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ESCAPES TO BEAUTIFUL BOTSWANA
Holiday Escapes to
is internationally acclaimed for its supreme and unforced
combination of tourism and wildlife. 17% of the country is
proclaimed protected and a further 20% made up of wildlife
management areas. With its eclectic mix of serenely beautiful
landscapes and some of the largest populations of wildlife species
found in Africa, Botswana is a premier holiday destination amongst
adventure and eco-tourists. Although the country is rich in cultural
and historical heritage Botswana’s main tourist attractions are the
national parks. Of the many parks and reserves which make up this
magnificent country there are three definite must sees when
travelling to Botswana.
The Okavango Delta
Undoubtedly the most striking region in the country the Okavango
Delta is situated in the Kalahari Desert and is the greatest inland
delta system in the world. A natural wonderland of a thousand
islands in a thousand streams, born of a great river’s determination
top meet the sea which it never will, as its strengths are captured
by the desert sands which surround the delta.
The delta ranks
amongst the finest of wetlands in the world and from above it
is a vast, fan shaped, emerald wilderness of waterways, lakes,
lagoons and lush forests. Over 1000 species of plant can be found in
the delta and the rivers are teeming with fish, 80 species overall
which in turn draws many birds to the area, the Delta is in fact one
of the most celebrated bird watching and angling regions in Africa.
The few people who in fact permanently live here are mainly
fishermen. Undoubtedly the best way to view this natural wonder is
by means of a mokoro which is a dug-out canoe that manoeuvres
swiftly through the waters near impenetrable areas. The waters are
crystal clear and crocodiles, hippos and hundreds of fabulous birds
can be seen as well as elephants, zebras and giraffes. The only area
in the Okavango that is protected is the Moremi National Park; the
rest of the delta is carved up into giant private concessions,
sprinkled with luxury lodges.
The Okavango Delta has three main areas, the
Panhandle which a 15km wide fault in the northwest offers superb
fishing but less spectacular game viewing; the central permanent
swamp, with its maze of pans and water meadows and the arid seasonal
swamps to the south and east. In the months of August to November
the Okavango is hot and dry which makes for magnificent game viewing
but low waters which often prevent mokoro trips. From December to
March the region is hot and wet prompting game to disappear into the
undergrowth but this is when bird and plant life is at its best.
As independent travel is very difficult in the delta region the
majority of visitors get to experience these amazing swamplands with
the help of tour operators who offer package deals to the region.
The Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Acclaimed for its sheer beauty and intense variety of wildlife, this
park covers 1812 sq km and is located in the northeast corner of the
Okavango Delta. Comprised of lush wetlands, forested islands,
lagoons, woodlands and grasslands the Moremi Wildlife Reserve offers
spectacular game viewing accompanied by gorgeous landscapes. There
are no artificial borers and human encroachment is kept to a
minimum, which facilitates game viewing of such excellent nature.
Some of the animals you will be able to view are Elephant, Buffalo,
Zebra, Kudu, various herds of Buck, Lion, Leopard and Wild Cats. The
parks dry months which span from April to October are the best
months for game viewing; it is also during this time that the
impressive herds of Elephants converge on the Khwai River.
The park is home to over 400 species of bird making it one of
Botswana’s prime birding areas. The Pelicans, Ibises, Herons and
Storks are only some of the species which bring gorgeous splashes of
colour and sweet melodies to the area. The reserve is one of the
most beautiful unmarred spots in Botswana and a trip to its tranquil
plains is highly recommended.
The Chobe National
Botswana’s common border with Namibia’s Caprivi region has been set
aside for one of Africa’s premier wildlife conservation parks. The
Chobe National Park occupies 10,566 sq km of land and is home to a
splendid variety of wildlife. The park is comprised of rivers,
swamps, scrublands, grassy savannah and natural pans.
One of the most
magnificent sights to behold here are the elephants who move in
their thousands along the well-worn paths of the Chobe River every
afternoon to drink. Boasting the highest elephant population in
the world (approximately 45,000) is but one of the Chobe
National Park’s drawcards. There are also large herds of Buffalo,
Blue Wildebeest, Bushbuck, Kudu, Impala and Sable while the wetlands
are home to impressive numbers of Hippo and Crocodile as well as an
eclectic range of birds. The Savuti area of the park marks what was
once the massive super lake which covered most of Botswana, its flat
dry lakebed is now a sea of grass which is renowned for spotting
Leopard, Cheetahs, Hyena and Lion.
With the exception of
certain sections, which are closed in the rainy season during
November to April, the park is open throughout the year. The best
time to visit it is between May and September when it is possible to
see several thousand animals each day. Even though the Chobe
National Park is one of Botswana’s most developed reserves, many of
the roads in the area are only accessible by 4X4 vehicles. Many
visitors to the park chose a package option which includes luxury
accommodation; safari drives various other guided expeditions.
With the wide range of activities, accommodation and
travel option on offer in this magnificent country, a holiday in the
wilderness regions of Botswana is made easy and accessible for all
tourists. Many tour operators offer exceptional package deals which
allow you to experience the true essence of Africa.
wonders of Botswana with Escape Tours African safari packages.
The Botswana Explorer package will take you to world-famous reserves
in this unspoilt and magical country. This trip combines exciting
game viewing with delicious bush cuisine and exclusive bush camp
living. Southern Africa is an untouched and magical gem that is just
waiting to be explored by you.
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