If you're a wild-life enthusiast, then pack your bags and plan a trip to the incredible Botswana. This land-locked country, residing in Southern Africa is renowned for its extraordinary national parks which is home to a large amount of animals from a variety of species. Botswana is also known for its varied landscape - from the vast salt pans to the limitless deserts, rich and fertile plains and gushing rivers which will surely please nature lovers.
Promising some of the best wild-life viewing in the planet, be sure to spend some time at the magnificent and mesmerizing Chobe National Park. The Savuti marsh is home to some of the largest amount of wild-life in Africa throughout the year. Chobe houses around 120,000 elephants and it is a fascinating sight to view them swimming in the water from a safari cruise, particularly during sunset. One can also catch glimpses of other wild-life species such as lions, giraffes, zebras and so forth.
Among other famed and impressive wild-life destinations is the Okavango Delta which cuts through the center of the arid Kalhari, thereby developing a unique inland water systems that gives life to a large amount of birds and mammals. It is a special safari setting because tourists can watch much of the wild-life from a traditional canoe, amokoro. One can spend some time at the Moremi National park that lies in the Okavango-Chobe region of Botswana. There is a plethora of bird-life that can be viewed, as many as 500 species, through a pair of binoculars. Be it wild dogs or black and white rhinos, this national park offers glimpses of bountiful wild-life.
Don't forget to take a trip to Nxai Pan National Park. The salt pans, when flooded, offers an incredible opportunity to view bird and wild-life. The short grasses, that replaces the salt pans, draws herds of ungulates. Need a gateaway? Trek over to Tsodilo hills - showcases over 4,000 ancient San Bushmen rock paintings. They portray hunting scenes, dances and animals. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, some rock art dates as far back as 20,000 years ago and more. Those who are interested in understanding and learning culture of a new destination ought to visit the villages of D'Kar and Xai-Xai which showcases local arts & crafts and the chance to participate in many rituals.
Drop by at the Tuli block for it is a rich wild-life zone in Eastern Botswana. It is home to several reserves such as Mashatu Game Reserve and Northern Tuli Game Reserve. This area is breathtakingly beautiful for it is packed with numerous rivers, riverine luscious forests, savannah and other huge baobad trees. Some of the wild-life that are spotted are huge herds of elephants, lions, leopards, cheetah and so on. What makes the Kgalagadi transfrontier Park special is the glimpses of some rare animals such as the pangolin.
Devoted to conservation education, take a day trip to private reserve Mokoldi - a short drive from Botswana's capital Gabrone. One of the highlights from this reserve is Rhino tracking and one of the few places where can catch a glimpse of white rhinos. A successful breeding program has enabled white rhinos from extinction in Botswana. Another place that helps conserve rhinos is the Khama Rhino Sanctuary. It come under the classification of a highly endangered animal and it is imperative to save them from extinction. School children are often brough to the sanctuary to help educate and empower them about conservation.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for specific food items such as wood-carvings, hand-crafted jewellery, textiles and eye-catching basketry. Head over to the Okvango Delta villages of Etsha and Shorobe for procuring Ngamiland-style baskets. Visit the village of D'kar to pick up modern Bushman art and ostrich-eggshell jewellery. As for cuisine, don't forget to dig into few of local delicacies from Southern Africa from restaurants spruced around.
The stay options in Botswana are abundant with the richie-rich craving to be put up at the best luxury hotels and apartments, the country can boast of. Similarly backpackers and tourists who are light on the pocket have a variety of options - from the cheap lodges to budget accommodations.
Botswana experiences a sub-tropical desert climate and is characterized by enormous differences in day and night temperatures. The best time to visit would be during the dry months from April to October as animals are inclined to head over to permanent water sources and the foliage is sparse.