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The Big Five of the SeaMarch 10, 2017
Botswana has too many beautiful attractions to fit into a single holiday. We have put together a list of the top attractions Botswana has to offer.
Moremi Game Reserve
This reserve provides a variety of ecosystems which range from grasslands, woodlands to watersides. This reserve is located on the verge of the Okavango. There are many different species of wildlife and this could possibly be the most visited game reserve in Botswana. The best time to visit is April to October.
This magnificent lake comes and goes with the flow of the Okavango. It’s still a mystery as to why the Okavango floods move the way it does. As the water flows west, Lake Ngami fills up and comes to life again. When this happens the lake is home to numerous different water birds. To access to the lake can be done from Maun and is best all year round.
One of Botswana’s most popular destinations is the enormous wetland that spreads over 6000 – 15000km2 as floods come and go through the year. The Delta is where the Okavango River extends over 1 000km Kalahari sands and absorbs into nothing. The Okavango contains lagoons, a maze of islands and floodplains, which are mostly uninhabited and is home to a considerable amount of wildlife and birds. Small lodges in this area offer game drives, walks and rides in a traditional dugout canoe called a mokoro. This destination is good any time of the year.
Kwando River and Linyanti Marshes
The Kwando River flows south before it changes direction dramatically when the Savuti Channel beings to travel away from the river and towards the Mababe Depression. This shows the magnificent joining of a river and wetland. This is where the Selinda Spillway joins the Okavango with the Linyanti. This area is known to have large herds of buffalo, lion, giraffe, elephant, hippo, crocodile as well as a number of antelope species. The rain falls heavily between January and March.
The Makgadikgadi Pans is an ancient sea that was formed over two million years ago. This destination is known for unusual views. Kubu Island is a lone granite outcrop that is decorated with baobab trees which emerge from the Sowa Pan. This island is also a big flamingo breeding site. Large herds of zebra and wildebeest can be found in the Ntwetwe Pan and Makgadikgadi grasslands along with a few lions. The best time to visit this destination is from February to April.
The Tsodilo Hills are 800 million-year-old hills of quartzite schist. Among these hills are over 5000 rock paintings that are located at over 400 different sites. There are only a few paintings over 2000 years old that will be visible; however, the younger paintings will be visible. These sites and paintings which are the work of the San have a profound traditional and religious importance. Many of the paintings refer to ‘trance’ dances and certain animals having ‘power’. This destination can be visited any time, however, May through August is the best.
This is a flat seabed that is covered in grass which is a part of the Makgadikgadi. This seabed is home to strange vegetations. Both impala and springbok gather here, there are very few places where this occurs. Many animals use the waterholes including lions and elephants. Lion prides also use the vegetation and waterholes for ‘ambush’ hunts. This destination attracts animals all year round.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR)
The majority of the Kalahari is dry and contains nothing and yet it remains fascinating. The famous Deception Valley and Piper’s Pans are located in the north. The remains of the former delta: a sector where rivers soak into the Kalahari sand, this is located in the great northern pans. The Khutse Game Reserve is located in the south and can be accessed from Gaborone. The park has a few quality lodges and its surroundings. The best time to visit this destination is between February and May.
The Southwest Kalahari has red dunes that provide terrific views and exciting drives. There are also high fossil dunes which are reminders of the previous desert, as there is no grass or bushes and the evening light casts magnificent colours over the sand. Looking through the different colours are plenty of snake-like sand tracks. This is a great self-drive destination and can be accessed any time of year, however, there are no facilities.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is also known as the ‘peace park’ as it combines the Botswana Mabuasehube, Kalahari reserves and South Africa’s Gemsbok National Park. This kind of park was the first of its kind in Africa to be cooperatively administrated by two countries (Botswana and South Africa). The Mabuasehube part allows easy access to magnificent examples of pans in the alluring open country. These pans are excellent for lion, hartebeest and gemsbok. The best time to visit is June until August (winter) as the temperature is a lot cooler.
Chobe National Park
This is one of the most accessible parks in Botswana, it is located along the Chobe River. The Chobe has most species of game and has beautiful bird life. However, it is famous because of the large elephant herds. There are a number of lodges and hotels in Kasane, which provide boat rides. There are also self-drive boat and game drives and Victoria Falls is about 100km away. The best time to visit is between August and October.