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Botswana Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Luxury Travel Specialists on:01244 897 111

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Specialists


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Botswana, created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Luxury Travel Specialists.

Overview+

Capital Gaborone
Language English, (Se)Tswana
Time Difference 2 hours
Currency Pula
Voltage 220/240v

Botswana is a fascinating country to visit, particularly for lovers of wildlife, adventure, stargazing and magnificent scenery, including desert, swamps, floodplains and flat pans. Approximately the size of France, this vast, untamed and landlocked southern African country borders South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia and is a friendly nation with a rich cultural heritage. Game-drives are the main draw here, with a number of reserves and national parks home to a plethora of amazing birdlife and animals, including iconic predators and endangered species such as Pel’s fishing owl, brown hyaena and wattled vrane. Luxurious, intimate, colonial-style camps and lodges enhance Botswana’s appeal, with gourmet dining, bespoke excursions, activities such as game-drives, fishing and mokoro rides, plus stunning accommodation, just a few of the many attractions of an unforgettable safari experience here.

Highlights+
Chobe National Park

Located in the north of Botswana bordering Namibia, Chobe National Park was established in 1968. The park covers an area of 11,700 square kilometres and has a diversity of eco-systems including flood plains, swamps and woodlands. The park is perhaps most famous for its vast herds of elephants, reputed to be the biggest concentration in the world. Aside from these gentle giants, you can expect to see Cape buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, lion and leopard. Bird watchers won’t be disappointed with 460 bird species identified including carmine bee-eaters, fish eagles and the sacred ibis. Nothing can quite beat watching an African sunset, especially when you are cruising the Chobe River. See the vast herds of elephants and pods of hippo wade into water as you sip on a cocktail.

Okavango Delta

There is nowhere quite like the Okavango Delta on this planet. Botswana is blessed with this ecological paradise, courtesy of tectonic plate shifts that swell the Kwando River and flood the plains, thus providing the perfect sanctuary for animals to thrive. The abundance of animals is astonishing to witness, as the flooded plains are the perfect location to drink and graze in almost incomprehensible numbers (from May to October). In turn, this creates a spectacle that is not replicated anywhere else in the world. Species that may be seen during this time include the elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, hippo, rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, impala, African wild dog and wildebeest. Explore the waterways of the delta in a traditional dugout canoe. Known locally as mokoros, this is an excellent way to see wildlife as polers gently guide the vessel through the reeds and channels. Get closer to the bird life, listen out for the snorts of hippos and watch the splashes of the red lechwe as they run through the lagoons.

Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Located further north of the Delta, this area is a wonderfully isolated location boasting stunning scenery and prolific numbers of animals and birds, including herds of elephants that reach enormous densities in the dry winter months. Additionally, you'll find species of zebra, antelope, buffalo, wildebeest, hyaena, lion, leopard and cheetah, along with wild dogs, no doubt attracted by the marshes, waterways, riverine forests and grassland. At Kings Pool Camp you can enjoy spectacular sunsets and elephant-watching on a cruise aboard the camp's double-decker barge, Queen Silvia.

Moremi Game Reserve

Covering a staggering one-third of the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is home to some of the densest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. It is also very unique as it is the only part of the Okavango Delta that is cordoned off for the conservation of wildlife. Moremi is also home to the renowned ‘Big Five’ (lions, leopards, Cape buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) and, notably, the work done to protect one of the largest remaining populations of wild dogs in Moremi is commendable.

Savute Channel

Situated in a remote corner of Chobe National Park, the Savute Channel flows from the Linyanti River for about 100 kilometres into the Savute Marsh. Geologists are fascinated by the region, not least that during the last century, it dried up completely for almost thirty years and then started to mysteriously flow again. When the channel is full, a wealth of migratory birds can be seen, as well as large herds of zebra and hungry predators.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Remote, untouched and isolated, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the largest in southern Africa and the second largest in the world. A scattering of seasonal camps, such as Kalahari Plains can be found here, from which you can appreciate the solitude of this barren landscape. Despite its remote location, the reserve is also home to the Kalahari black-maned lion, and sightings of cheetah are quite common. Deep in the remote Kalahari, the Zu/’hoasi bushmen have survived in the barren landscape for centuries. Join them on an interactive bush walk as they share their knowledge of the desert plant and wildlife as they hunt and gather.

 

Selinda Reserve

Selinda Reserve is a glorious area of Botswana comprising 320,000 acres of pristine wilderness. It is home to the ancient, mesmeric Selinda Spillway, which flows in two directions and leads to the Okavanga Delta in the south and the Linyanti wetlands in the west. Here, you’ll find the largest concentrations of elephants and buffalo in southern Africa, along with the endangered ‘painted wolf’, or African wild dog. Get set to enjoy early-morning and late-afternoon game-drives, guided bush walks and boat-based activities when water levels permit.

Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve

Stretching some 12,000 square kilometres, the Makgadikgadi Pans form one of the largest salt pans on the planet. Formerly one of the world’s great lakes that covered most of Botswana, it dried up thousands of years ago following tectonic shifts in the Kalahari Basin. The area is flat, arid and remote with just a scattering of desert palms and baobab trees, making it a place of solitude, silence and peace. San Camp and Jack’s Camp provide excellent bases to explore this vast wilderness. Activities include walking with the local Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, meeting the curious meerkats or setting off across the desert landscape by quad-bike.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.

Climate+

Botswana's climate is semi-arid making the winter months (from May to August) the best and most popular time to visit as the grass is sparse and animals are easier to spot. However, during the summer (from November to March) Botswana’s becomes a kaleidoscopic paradise with an explosion of new life, allowing predators to take full advantage of the abundance of inexperienced young. The receding water levels reveal more open areas populated by grazing game species and make the islands and plains more accessible.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Botswana.

  Temp °C Rain mm
January3294
February3281
March3156
April2844
May2511
June234
July233
August262
September2914
October3140
November3269
December3282

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways direct from London Heathrow to Johannesburg.
Via Dubai with Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Onward connecting flights with Airlink and Air Botswana to Maun.

Flight Time
From London Heathrow to Johannesburg: 10 hours, 50 minutes.
Onward connecting flights from:
Johannesburg to Maun: 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Johannesburg to Kasane: 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Botswana Tourism Development
Visitors to Botswana will be asked to pay a new Conservation & Tourism Levy of 30.00USD when they arrive at all ports of entry (excluding children aged 9 and below).

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

New regulations have come into force in Botswana regarding documentation requirements for child travellers. Please note that parents now need to present a child's valid passport, along with a certified copy of their unabridged birth certificate. Should a child be travelling with only one birth parent, or legal guardian, a signed affidavit must be provided by the other parent.

A visa is required for entry into Botswana.

Dual nationals using two different passports can only enter the country on the same passport can only enter the country on the same passport they used to exit the previous country.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk

Health+

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/

In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.

Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net, www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

In certain areas, precautions against malaria are necessary.

Talk to our Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts

Our dedicated Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Botswana. Furthermore, we have 2 Luxury Travel Specialists who have personally visited Botswana and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

Luxury Holidays

Independent Reviews

Although our awards and long history stand testament to our success, independent reviews from our clients via Feefo further support our unrivalled travel experiences.

Elegant Resorts have achieved an average score of 4.9 / 5 based on 327 independent reviews.

We are proud to have been awarded the Feefo Gold Service award. This independent seal of excellence recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers. Trusted Service is awarded only to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews and achieve an overall score of 4.5 or more.