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Botswana itinerary ideas to whet your appetite

Botswana itinerary ideas to whet your appetite

With unparalleled landscapes, wildlife and historical treasures, the only difficult thing about planning a trip to Botswana is figuring out what you’re going to have to put off until next time. Here are some suggestions for possible itineraries to enable you to maximise your time. Watery classic  (10 days) Maun >> Okavango Delta >> Chobe National Park Day 1 Fly into Maun and stock up on any last minute items you may have forgotten to pack. If everything is...

Botswana unwrapped

Botswana unwrapped

An insider’s overview, from the experts at Steppes Travel Why visit? Botswana offers the ultimate luxury safari experience. Its riches of wildlife include about 25 per cent of Africa’s elephants and is one of the few countries where you can regularly see vast herds. There is some of the most dramatic predator viewing anywhere, and the unique combination of wilderness landscapes attracts a variety of game that make a Botswana safari an exceptional experience. Many of Botswana's lodges have...

Big Read: Discover the Tuli Block

Big Read: Discover the Tuli Block

In south-eastern Botswana, hugging the Limpopo River, lies a rugged landscape unlike anywhere else in the region. The Tuli Block has drawn Mike Main back many times over decades. Here he explains his fascination and discusses why you should look at this mysterious corner for your next safari. (Images courtesy Tuli Safari Lodge) One of the brightest stars on Botswana’s tourism universe, the Tuli Block, has had a long – and not always glorious – past. Born on the...

The Delta in focus

The Delta in focus

Taking wildlife photographs requires technical skill, practice and patience. In this stunning portfolio of images, Hannes Lochner shares his tips on how to capture the animals of the Okavango Delta on camera During more than five years in the Kalahari Desert, I developed a craving for water, and lots of it; and elephants, and lots of them. We wanted to explore a totally different environment and spend enough time to get to know it intimately, especially its wildlife and...

Planet Okavango

Planet Okavango

The latest coffee table book from internationally acclaimed photographer Hannes Lochner, Planet Okavango is an evocative tribute to the wetland deltas of Botswana, its inhabitants, and its unique wonder. The meeting of the creative mastery of Lochner and the rich beauty of the Okavango has resulted in a stunning work, every page vivid with images of the delta wildlife at their natural best. Here Hannes shares some of his favourite images from the book, with the stories behind the...

Botswana on a budget

Botswana on a budget

In search of a more affordable option in this notoriously expensive wildlife destination, Sarah Gilbert joins a group mobile camping safari. Image copyright Letaka Safaris. "Look, behind you!” Still clutching my coffee, I swung around just in time to see an impala flash past. Swiftly followed by a blur of five African wild dogs, lithe bodies outstretched in hot pursuit — and less than a couple of metres from where I was standing. We jumped into the Land Cruiser...

Making an impact

Making an impact

In the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, Carrie Hampton has a look at how to give back when you travel to Botswana, and how to ensure that your funds are going into the right hands I want my holiday spend to matter,” stated Celsea Jenkins from California on safari at Great Plains Conservation’s Selinda Camp in the Okavango Delta. Her resolve was fuelled by unethical wildlife encounters she and husband Wyatt had experienced in Asia. From then...

Tricks of the trade

Tricks of the trade

Iain Wallace visits Deception Valley in the wild and immense Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and learns survival skills from Bushman trackers Once upon a time there was a mighty river, slap bang in the middle of Botswana. Millions of years ago, it may have flowed into what is now the glittering salt pans of the Makgadikgadi, but today, save for a few old maps, there is very little sign of any water course. In fact, there is not a...

Botswana Travel Guide

Botswana Travel Guide

Like most countries across Africa, Botswana is vast, with too many attractions to feasibly fit into one holiday. So where do you begin? To set you on your way we have compiled a list of Botswana’s key attractions and offered some advice on the practicalities. Our trade partners listed will be able to help with further advice and personal planning. Okavango Delta The jewel in Botswana’s crown, this vast wetland flexes between 6000 and 15,000 square kilometres as annual...

Picture-perfect

Picture-perfect

The wild, often-forgotten Northern Tuli Game Reserve, or Notugre, is a photographers’ heaven. Shutterbugs should go now. Words and photographs by Mike Dexter Far across the open plains, a dust devil whisks dry leaves, sticks and sand into a silent spiral, higher and higher, transporting them across the desolate landscape. Seeds from the knee-high grass that blankets the earth in the wet season are swept into the air and deposited in what will hopefully be fertile soil elsewhere in...

25 More Secrets about Botswana

To celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary since independence, we asked experts to reveal their tips for planning the most extraordinary trip. Deciding which to publish in the magazine was very difficult, due to space restrictions, , so here are those that didn’t quite make the cut… 1 Stay at Jack’s Camp In the bleached-out Makgadikgadi, where the silence is even stronger than the sun, there’s only one man to know: Ralph Bousfield. Out of nothing, Ralph has carved one...

50 Secrets about Botswana

50 Secrets about Botswana

To celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary since independence, we asked experts for their insight and advice to help you plan an extraordinary trip. Compiled by Laura Griffith-Jones and Jessica Mayhall Why Botswana? His Excellency The President of the Republic of Botswana, Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama tells us what makes his country so special: Botswana has been named Lonely Planet’s top country to visit in 2016. While we very much appreciate and agree with this accolade, we...

Part of Africa

In the south-eastern corner of Botswana lies the Tuli Block, hugging the "great, grey-green, greasy Limpopo" to the south and spreading out to the horizon in a sea of trees and sandstone outcrops. A wild, hard land with abundant wildlife, the Tuli captures the soul of those who visit. With Part of Africa, it is possible for individuals to become a co-owner of a 20,500 hectare reserve, which is supporting conservation initiatives especially focused on rhino and wild dogs....

The smell of the rain

The smell of the rain

Intrigued by accounts of a secret migration, Laura Griffith-Jones heads to Botswana’s Chobe floodplains and the Boteti River to be dazzled by zebra A gigantic slurping awakens me from my contemplation — not so dissimilar to the noise of a plughole greedily sucking dirty dishwater into oblivion — and I glance around sharply. An elephant is standing a couple of hundred yards away, glugging the contents of my plunge pool. Once finished, she slowly and silently plods to the...

Brush up your bush skills in 7 easy steps

Brush up your bush skills in 7 easy steps

As Emma Gregg discovers, some of the best experiences on safari can happen when you are getting your own hands dirty. A good safari game drive is hard to beat. But what if you find yourself longing for something more hands-on, and perhaps more challenging? At Baines Camp in the Okavango Delta the staff had come up with an activity programme that puts you in the driving seat, literally, by teaching you some essential bush skills. Eager for adventure,...

Botswana – Into the Okavango

Botswana – Into the Okavango

In 2014 the Okavango Delta became the 1000th World Heritage site – and not before time. This vast, varied, wildlife-abundant wetland is matchless, and long overdue protection. Here, we look at the background to the Delta’s designation, and celebrate its many wonders, beginning with James Gifford’s journey through the ebb and flow of the Okavango’s seasons. April sun The water droplets trickling from the two-metre ngashe back into the channel played a hypnotic rhythm. It was the only manmade...

Botswana – The sound of silence

Botswana – The sound of silence

On a self-drive exploration of Botswana, Anthony Ham records his adventure to the heart of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Deception Valley, 5pm My first sight of Deception Valley is of golden grasses dancing in the breeze. To the south, islands of acacia shelter shy springbok. Nearby, greater kudu consort with gemsbok, while the kori bustard, the world’s heaviest flying bird, pretends that it has not seen me. To the north, a family of bat-eared foxes watches from a...

Botswana: 6 Degrees of Exhilaration

Botswana: 6 Degrees of Exhilaration

James Gifford takes you to six of Botswana’s greatest natural landscapes and speaks of the classic wildlife encounters available in each today. 01 Okavango Delta I sit motionless, eyes straining to pierce the murky, predawn curtain that has been drawn across this unique landscape. Towering mopane trees gradually emerge from the darkness, like statues in a dimly lit museum. A red-billed francolin pecks impatiently at the dust, announcing itself with a noisy squawk that might have been nature’s first...

Botswana: Going with the flow

Botswana: Going with the flow

Having experienced the Savuti Channel at its driest, James Gifford was perfectly placed to revisit and observe the remarkable transformation taking place while the waters are flowing. I stop at the edge and stare, mesmerised by the crystal-clear ripples rolling over the static, baby-smooth pebbles. It is almost two years to the day since I was last here and the difference could not be more dramatic. In front of me then was a dustbowl riddled with a maze of...

Botswana: Land of dust and giants

Botswana: Land of dust and giants

The Tuli Wilderness in southeastern Botswana truly feels like a place where time has stood still. The land has remained largely unfenced and untouched, leaving the wildlife to wander as instinct dictates. So what better way to explore this enchanted land of dust than in the footsteps of the giants who call it home. Tabby Mittins steps into the tracks of elephants to find out what this beguiling region has to share. A small herd of elephants loped along...

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