If you are a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s “Mma Ramotswe”, Botswana already might hold a special place in your heart. Located in the Southern region of Africa, Botswana is the place visit next! Mostly famous for being home to the Kalahari Desert and the Okavongo Delta, Botswana is not short of grandeur and places to see.
Africa, is no stranger to safaris and wildlife tourism, however, Botswana is exceptional when it comes to wildlife tourism and conservation. Locations such as the Okavongo Delta, Savuti and the Kalahari Desert are home to some of the world’s most endangered animals. The Okavongo Delta is often graced by seasonal floods, resulting in lush wetlands often toured using a dug out canoe. The wildlife found in the Okavongo Delta is like no other elsewhere, as multiple species of animals, fish, birds, insects and fauna co-exist. Similarly, Savuti and the Kalahari Desert are also hotspots for safaris, especially popular for elephant sightings.
While given the chance to intimately interact with majestic creatures such as rhinos, elephants and lions; the Botswanan government has implemented eco-friend laws and regulations and laws to ensure the projection of wildlife and vegetation species indigenous to Botswana. These laws include having seasonal tourism periods and limiting the amount of access and tourists to animal habitats.
Do not be disheartened, if you happen to visit Botswana during its “down” season. Botswana is also known to be home to a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tsodilo Hills, north-west of Botswana, is said to have records of Bantu human settlement, rock art and rock shelters over thousands of years old. It is thought that the art was done by the first people, as Tsodilo is believed to be the “birthplace of all life”. Consequently, it is also a place of religious significance for locals, as they believe deceased elders and spirits reside in these hills.
In addition to historical sites, Botswana is also the world’s largest producer of diamonds. Located in the Kalahari Desert, Tsabong, is known to be the largest diamond field in the world. The area is also famous for camels as a means of transport, and serviced by the local airport.
How to get to Botswana
Multiple flights from Johannesburg, and neighboring countries to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, and then the national airline, Air Botswana can take you to various towns across the country. On the other hand, driving from the other southern countries, is also a possibility and provides some flexibility when it comes to transport in the remote areas of Botswana.
Most commonwealth and African countries do not require visas for entry into Botswana. However, if applying for a visa, apply a month in advance to allow for adequate processing time.
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