Botswana’s vast landscape and the many national parks that are located within has made it a top destination for game viewing in Africa. Unlike other countries in Africa where the game parks are located on mostly unused land, Botswana has put aside almost 80% of its land to cater for the National parks and game reserves so that the wild life in the country is preserved and protected from poaching. Game viewing within the different National Parks in the country can be done either by driving through them or walking through the Parks with an experienced tour guide. When you get to Botswana for the game viewing experience, below are some of the few things that you should expect for the fun filled experience.
- If you have never seen any wild animals up close this is your chance to see a wide range of wild species that habitate within the different National Parks within the country.
- Game viewing in Botswana is all about experiencing the wild and it is an experience that you do not want to miss out on and there are open roof vehicles that are used to take you through the National Parks with a tour guide so dress appropriately and get ready to take on the Botswana wild.
Game viewing in the different tourist destinations in Botswana normally depends on the weather patterns that are experienced in the individual parks although in most cases the best time for game viewing in most National Parks and game reserves is during the dry season because many animals can be seen moving up and down in search of food and water due to the droughts and scarce water during this time. Although this might not be the case for every game viewing destination and that is why you should first consult and find out the best time for game viewing in the specific National park.
Game viewing in the Moremi Game reserve
Considered to be the largest game reserve on the African continent, the Moremi Game reserve is a good destination for all those that love game viewing. It was set up by the local community as a bid to save the almost extinct black rhino that had been poached down by the locals and it was named after the chief Moremi III. Game viewing within the Moremi can be done throughout the year that is the birding is done during the wet season which runs from the months of December to April and animals can easily be viewed during the dry season which runs from the months of May to November. The wildlife that is found within the Moremi include elephants the African Jackal, Impalas, cheetahs, leopards, lions, the red Lechwe, black rhinos, buffalos, hippos, giraffes, Goliath herons, slaty egret, the gray herons, white pelicans, the greater painted snipes, the lesser Jacana and marabou storks.
Game viewing in the Nxai National Park
The Nxai National Pan National Park is located in Eastern Botswana and it is a home to some of the largest salt pans in the country. The best time for game viewing in the Nxai pans is during the dry season which runs between the months of November to March because this is when the animals gather around the water holes. The wild life that will be seen when it gets to game viewing in Nxai include Kudus, elephants, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, gemsbok, the brown hyenas, Zebras, springbok, elephants, African Jackal, antelopes, the bat eared fox, lions, the Kori bustard, saddle billed stork, ostriches, pin tailed whydah and egrets.
Game viewing through the Chobe National park
The chobe National park was named after the Chobe River and is one of the most sought after National parks when it comes to game viewing. Game viewing through the chobe National Park is done all year round that is the dry season as many animals during this time flock around the Chobe River and the views that you will be rewarded with include antelopes, elephants, zebras, the long toed lapwing, the African fish eagle, the African fish skimmer, lions hippos, the winged nightjar, the African finfoot, zebras, warthogs and wild dogs.
Game viewing in the Central Kalahari Game reserve
The best time for game viewing in the central Kalahari game reserve is between the months of November and May which serves as the rainy season in the reserve. During your game drive through the reserve, you will be rewarded with sights of zebras, elephants, lions, buffalos, spotted hyenas, buffalos, bat eared fox, the red Lechwe, cape wild dogs, ostriches, red billed francolin, the blue wildebeest, the red billed spurfowl, leopards, cape fox and the honey badger.
Game viewing in the Okavango Delta
The Okavango delta is a home to quite a large number of animals that can be seen while you drive through. The dry season is always the best time for one to go for game viewing as many animals species will be seen roaming the delta in search of food and water although the birds frequent the delta during the wet season making it an all year round destination for tourists who visit Botswana for game viewing. The game in Okavango include the red billed hornbill, zebras, elephants, lions, bush pigs, cheetahs, bush pigs, Topi, buffalos, Lechwe, blue wildebeest, warthogs, crocodiles and both the brown and spotted hyenas.
Game viewing in the Savuti Nature reserve
The Savuti Nature reserve is located between the Chobe National park and the Okavango delta and is one of the hidden treasures of Botswana. It is a privately owned reserve and it is mostly open to only tourists who rest from the camps that are found in Savuti and only if they have pre-booked for the game drives. It is also best visited during the dry season and some of the best games that will make your stay enjoyable include secretary birds, Queleas, kudus, elephants, impalas, giraffes, wild dogs the Kori bustard the spotted genet, bush bay, pangolins, aardwolf and the spring hares.
Game viewing in the Northern Tuli block
The Tuli block is located in the eastern part of Botswana and is famously known for the large number of bird species that can mostly be seen during the wet season. Some of the animals that can be seen in the Northern Tuli block include elephants, wildebeests, leopards, zebras, Kudu, Impalas, lions, giraffes, cheetahs, boulder chats, cormorants, steenbok, the African kingfisher, shrikes and hyenas.
Game viewing in the Mokolodi reserve
The Mokolodi reserve was set up so that the black rhinos that were being hunted down to extinction by poachers were saved. It is an NGO based reserve which was opened up in the year 1994 and the best time for one to visit the reserve between the months of May and October during the dry season and some of the treasures that you will see while in the Mokodoli include the antelopes, spring hares, impalas, gemsbok, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, elephants, reed bucks, waterbucks, leopards, impalas, kudus, porcupines and many more other species.
Game viewing in Linyanti game reserve
The Linyanti game reserve is located next to Savuti and is also one of the tourist destinations where you can go for game viewing in Botswana. It is an all year round place for all those that want to visit and some of the wild life species that can be viewed here include racket tailed roller, the wattled crane, red billed hornbill and red billed oxpecker, African fish skimmer, the African darter, squacco heron, crocodiles, the long toed lapwing, the African finfoot, hippos, lions, the white backed night heron, leopards, the pennant winged nightjar, kudus, elephants, zebras and antelopes.
Game viewing in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park is shared between two countries that is Botswana and South Africa. Game viewing in this Park is also mostly done during the dry season because during this time there is limited water and pasture to feed the animals and some of the wild life that can be seen include lions, zebras, hyenas, crocodiles, elephants, Kudus, zebras, antelopes and very many bird species which include the golden tailed woodpecker, the glossy starling, pied barbet, southern grey headed sparrow and the swallow tailed bee-eater.
Game viewing in the Makgadikgadi National Park
Makgadikgadi National Park is located in the North eastern part of Botswana and it is a home to the largest salt pans in the world which are shared with the Nxai pans National Park. The park is mostly filled with different animals during the wet season because during this time the pans are flooded and animals surround the water holes in order to get some water so that especially during the dry season and some of the wild life that you can see when you visit the Makgadikgadi include the baboons, hyenas, lions, giraffes, warthogs, jackals, elephants, springboks, bushbucks, the hartebeest, bush pigs, meerkats, ostriches, the great white pelican, the pink lesser flamingo and the white browed coucal.
If you think you have exhausted African safaris without visiting Botswana on wildlife safari holidays, think twice! Botswana is once of the favored African wildlife safari destinations with exhaustive wildlife habitats stretching from lush dense forests to the vast desert plains of Kalahari. You will definitely want to return for another Botswana wildlife tour…surely why not? For a country as big and diverse as Botswana, you can enjoy so much;
Botswana Wildlife Game Parks
Okavango delta is the prime tourist attraction in Botswana. It occupies more than 5,000 sq miles of palm fringed rivers, swamps, lagoons, and is a spring of life for a variety of birds and animals. Chobe National Park shelters one of the largest concentrations of African elephants, buffalos, leopards, lions, sitatunga, zebras, giraffes and other animals in Serondella river area.
Moremi Game reserve, not far from Chobe provides refuge for migrant animal herds from Chobe. Selinda nad Kwando private reserve make the wildlife safaris more complete and fulfilling. Another option is Mokolodi Nature Reserve, which has a broader range of wildlife including giraffes, elephants, hippos and more, and you can even pet a cheetah here!
Kalahari Desert is not as plain as you may think… the open grasslands of Kalahari are home to some few black manned lions, meerkats, gemsbok, springbok, hyenas and so much more. The Makgadikagadi salt pans are an extension of the Kalahari with herds of game visited the salt pans after the long rains and birds such as flamingos and pelicans enjoy the algae growing on the pans during the flooding seasons.
Linyanti wildlife reserve are lush wetland region and swamp with habitats for water loving animals such the sitatunga, amphibians, more than 300 different birds, buffalos, crocodiles, lions and others gathering on the banks of Savuti channel after the long rains subdue.
When to visit
Wildlife safaris in Botswana are possible all through the year. The best time for Botswana safari holidays comes around June to November if you are looking forward to good game viewing. It is the period of dry months, migrant herds congregate around water pools, predators too patrol the scene for a day’s kill, vultures and other raptors are part of the scenery.
Botswana safari lodges and Accommodation
On a Botswana wildlife safari, you don’t need to worry about where to stay, spend the night or have your evening meal. There are plenty of luxurious, standard and budget safaris and game lodges within the parks and near the park gates
Top luxury accommodation is ready and available on booking with Botswana safari ant tour operators. Some of the best game and safari lodges are Delta camp, Chobe game lodge, Thakaduu camp, Mashatu lodge and others from each game park you’ll visit.