There is nothing more incredible then seeing animals in their natural environment! The roar of a lion, elephants protecting their young and watching wild dogs chase down their prey. None of this you can see in a zoo! I have always been an avid animal lover so when I had the chance to plan my around the world bucket list trip it is no surprise Africa was a must! Botswana is the envy to most other African countries when it comes to wildlife. Home to Africa’s largest elephant population (numbers estimated to be close to 200,000 thousand) and ALL of the famous ‘BIG 5’. Botswana has you covered!
1. CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
Located in the small village of Kasane, Chobe National Park is the most northernly point of Botswana. This national park is best known for the Chobe River which primarily borders Namibia and Botswana. Home to large herds of elephants, cape buffalo, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, the Chobe offers a wildlife encounter experience like no other. Cruise the main channel of the Chobe at dusk to spot pods of hippos, crocodiles and birdlife. If you’re lucky you may spot the odd predator at the river banks having a late afternoon drink. Australian’s be warned, the crocodiles here aren’t half as impressive as back home.
2. MOREMI GAME RESERVE
Moremi Game Reserve is perhaps my favourite place in all of Africa. Unlike Kruger National Park in South Africa, you can drive all day without seeing more then a handful of cars at most in low season. It is less commercialised and entrance prices are extremely cheap - 30 Pula for citizens and 70 Pula for tourists. That’s around 7 USD! The other great thing about Moremi Game Reserve is that I found the animals to be extremely wild. They weren't as used to vehicles as other parks I'd visited so their behaviour patterns are truly authentic.
3. CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
The Central Kalahari is Botswana's largest game reserve and impressively the world's 2nd largest reserve. Covering an extensive 52,000 square kms, the Kalahari is home to some of Africa's most incredible creatures. Cheetah, lion, hyaena, warthog and springbok can all be found here.
4. MAKGADIKGADI SALT PAN
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan is a large open pan made of salt. It is here you can spot the famous Kubu Island which is covered by the african baobab trees. Expect to spot desert animals such as gemsbok, meerkat, zebra and wildebeest throughout your game drive. You can also spot larger predators such as jackal and lions.
Officially the world’s 1000th heritage protected site, the Delta covers an incredible 15,000 square kilometres and is the only natural environment in Botswana where you can find free roaming rhinos. The Delta is home to not only an impressive variety of animals but also to the local Motswana people.