Why we love safaris to Botswana
Explore Botswana, one of Africa's top safari destinations
Botswana's Incredible wildlife...
Botswana is renowned for its incredible wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. It’s Africa’s luxury safari capital and for good reason…
With pristine wilderness and unique ecosystems, some of the best safari camps on the continent, and some of the warmest and most welcoming people on earth, you will start to understand what sets Botswana so far apart from its competitors.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about what makes a safari to Botswana so unique, including its amazing conversation model, luxury safaris, and wildlife havens that are second to none.
Luxury eco-tourism in Botswana
And as life-changing as a Botswana safari can be for a guest, these safari experiences are also critically important to the country’s growth and development. Tourism is a major contributor to Botswana’s economy and drives the conservation initiatives that keep this awe-inspiring wilderness as pristine as it is.
Safaris in Botswana are designed to put the earth, its wild flora, and fauna first. Botswana’s unique brand of safari style is based on sound conservation models which have been tried and tested to focus on the planet.
Botswana has developed a low-impact, high-end approach to tourism. This concept is underpinned by small, sustainable safari operations that benefit both people and the planet. It ensures that visitors to Botswana positively impact local economies, leaving a legacy that helps conserve and protect Botswana’s natural heritage for future generations.
Camps and lodges are kept deliberately small, intimate, and as off-grid as possible, keeping environmental impact to a minimum. They employ local people, investing heavily in their training and skills development, creating careers for life.
This is exactly what Stanley Safaris is all about, and what we aim to share with our guests. Our mission is to send our guests to only the best, most authentic, and most immersive camps and lodges across Africa. In Botswana, it’s difficult to pick!
Botswana’s Spectacular Wildlife Havens
When it comes to wildlife diversity and density, Botswana is Africa’s reigning safari champion. There are animals, everywhere. And not just a few of them, but in huge concentrations, the likes of which you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else on earth.
Botswana’s safari destinations are incredibly varied. There are the vast salt pans of the Magkadikgadi, the lush wetlands of the Okavango Delta, the sweeping floodplains of Chobe and Linyanti, as well as the arid panoramas of the Central Kalahari. Botswana offers phenomenal and distinctly different safari experiences within its borders.
The Okavango Delta is Botswana’s shining star. Made up of a rich system of perennial rivers, swamps, and marshes, this area attracts wildlife all year round and is packed with some of the most iconic species on the planet. Huge herds of elephants and buffalo can be found in the Okavango Delta and along the Chobe River, along with some of Africa’s highest densities of carnivores.
Botswana is also one of the best places on earth to see Africa’s cats in action. Lion, leopard, cheetah, serval, caracal, African wild cat, and black-footed cat roam free here. And of course, there are Botswana’s legendary packs of painted wolves (African wild dogs), jackals, and the Cape and bat-eared fox, meaning canines are also well represented in Botswana.
And then of course we can add to the mix the unique, desert-adapted wildlife that’s found in the challenging environments of the Magkadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan National Park, and Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Botswana is truly incomparable when it comes to the wildlife that calls it home.
Some of the best birding in Africa
Where is the best place for birding in Africa? It’s a bit of a loaded question, but we think Botswana is Africa’s leading (if not the top) destination for avid birders. Without including the incredible influx of summer breeding migrant species, the country’s bird list is packed with “lifers” like Pel’s fishing owl, the Narina trogon, and African emerald cuckoo, as well as rarities like the long-toed lapwing, great snipe and Schalow’s turaco.
Then there are spectacular bee-eaters, kingfishers, and stunning raptors, like the African fish eagle, African marsh harrier, martial eagle, and red-footed falcon. Add to this a host of seed-eaters, weavers, and warblers, and you begin to understand our enthusiasm!
If you’re in search of larger birds, there are incredible breeding colonies of a variety of stork species in both the Okavango Delta and along the Chobe River, as well as in the north of the country along the Okavango River. And during the wet season, you’ll find astonishing numbers of flamingos and great white pelicans in the shallow waters that flood the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans.
The best time of year for birding in Botswana is the emerald season between November and March when the country is at its most lush and green. It’s the hottest time of year so be prepared, but twitchers in search of Botswana’s spectacular bird life will not be disappointed.
Botswana: The Home of Luxury, Exclusive Safari
In Botswana, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do and ways in which to explore the country’s beautiful wildernesses.
For an uber-exclusive safari experience, opt for one of the country’s vast private concessions. These reserves highlight Botswana’s conservation model beautifully, with huge stretches of land and extremely limited beds.
The Selinda Reserve in the north of the country, for example, offers 130 000 ha of pure wilderness for a maximum of only 32 guests! That’s 4 064 ha per guest! At Duba Plains in the Okavango Delta, you have 33 000 ha for just 24 guests, and the beautiful Kwando concession is a whopping 404 685 ha, offering only 70 beds. This works out to 5 665 ha per guest!
Apart from the obvious bonus of exclusivity and space, you can also drive off-road in the private concessions to track and approach high-profile animals, something that is not possible in government-run reserves.
Most camps and lodges offer the usual morning and afternoon/evening game activities, but in Botswana, you can look forward to even more activities that you won’t find anywhere else. Be poled through the weaving waterways of the Okavango in a mokoro (a dug-out canoe), quad-bike across the shimmering salt pans of the Makgadikgadi, have habituated meerkats use your head as a look-out post, and learn the art of tracking and desert survival with the San Bushmen… Private concessions also allow guests to enjoy a walking safari or helicopter safari with options for doors-off scenic flights or the possibility to land on a deserted island and enjoy a champagne picnic. All these amazing experiences and so many more are only possible in Botswana.