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Botswanan is situated in the southern part of the African continent. It is a landlocked nation and is surrounded by the countries of South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe on its southern, western, and north-northeastern sides respectively. Most of the landscape in Botswana is flat land and almost 70% of the land is occupied by the Kalahari Dessert. Gaborone is the capital city of the nation and also happens to be the largest city with about 11% of the population living here. The main attraction in this sparsely populated nation has to be its wildlife which includes all kinds of animals and birds spread throughout.
Whether you are looking at long stretches of arid, empty lands in the Kalahari Desert or the lush vegetation loaded with all kinds of lifeforms in other parts, you will always be looking at something grand in Botswana. The landscape has all the feel of being an African nation! The only problem that you may face while exploring Botswana is the high-cost f touring through the place. In fact, it is one of the most expensive destinations on the entire continent and might not be easily affordable to all. However, for budget-conscious travelers, moving around in Botswana in a self-drive car could be a very affordable means of travel.
The Okavango Delta is one of the most impressive regions in Africa if you are expecting to come across all kinds of wildlife. It is easily reachable from the Maun or Chobe. If you are traveling from Maun, you have to get on a chartered flight to reach the destination. You may as well hit the road on a 4x4. If you intend to drive to this place, the better option is to drive from Chobe. The distance is about 600 km and it will take you around 7 hours to reach your destination.
The best thing about Okavango Delta is that it is quite an untouched and unspoiled piece of land teeming with wildlife. You will either find dry grasslands or swamps in the region with game watching being the most popular attraction of the area. Some of the animals which you are most likely to see are herds of zebras and elephants, elegant giraffes, crocs, rhinos, and cheetahs. If you are planning a trip into the delta, you should meticulously plan your trip. This is because the roads are great and you will always be welcomed by some of the most amazing sights that you will ever see- however, the climatic conditions of the area are very fickle and affects your chances of seeing particular animals.
Moremi Game Reserve
The Moremi Game Reserve has two main access points, namely, the North Gate and the South Gate. While the North Gate situated nearby the Khwai River is easily accessible through Chobe National Park, the South Gate is 60 km away from Maun taking you about 2 hours, and just 30km away from the North Gate. If you are visiting Okavango Delta, you should put Moremi Game Reserve on your itinerary too, since they are close to each other and different parts of the delta.
Moremi has been voted as the best game reserve that Africa has to offer in 2008 making it one of the places that you have to visit while you are traveling through Botswana. The history of Moremi is also quite interesting since it is the first such game reserve to be founded by the locals to counter the increasing threats to wildlife in the region. You will some of the most spectacular sceneries that the nation has to offer while you are in Moremi Game Reserve. The ecosystem in this region is also grand allowing you to view all kinds of flora and fauna throughout the area. Most of the tourists choose to go around the game reserve in self-driven 4x4s but you may also contact a tour operator to get into one of the many camps.
Gabane is a small village very near to Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. Being this near to the capital, it is very easy to access the village. In recent years Gabane has become an interesting tourist destination and thus has its own international airport making it so easy to enter the area. the region offers excellent opportunities for travelers to explore the hills surrounding the region on foot. It is an industrious village and there are lots of small manufacturers producing all kinds of wares such as glassworks, metalworks, pottery, and so on. If you are in Gabane be sure to at least drop by the pottery factory- there is also an attached shop that sells pottery items, handiworks, vases, and so on which you can take home as souvenirs from the trip. Hiking is one of the most sought-out activities in this village and thus it is a great place for adventure lovers. Another brilliant facet of the village is the interesting nightlife that the villagers have. If you want to run away from the everyday crowd and immerse yourself in a night of music, revelry, and merry-making, this is the place for you to be in. This also ensures that there are tins of clubs and bars speckled throughout the region.
Kasane is a stunning destination in Botswana located at an equally stunning position- it lies at the crossroads between four nations- Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. There is an international airport in Kasane that welcomes regularly scheduled flights from Gaborone, Maun, and Johannesburg in South Africa. You could enter the region by car as the place is well connected to Maun, Gaborone, and Francistown via a network of paved roads that goes all the way into Zimbabwe.
The geographic location of Kasane already makes it picturesque and worthy to be on your Botswana itinerary. The most exciting thing that you could be doing here is to take a trip to Victoria Falls. Chobe National Park, another popular game-laden area in Botswana is also nearby making Kasane a great base to explore the National Park.
There are several interesting features within Kasane too with one of the most interesting ones being a majestic Baobab tree. This tree is so huge that it used to serve as a prison- the trunk was wide enough to accommodate a human being. Another unmissable attraction in Kasane has to be the snake park with about 50 snakes spanning over 17 different species. You could also get grand views of the Chobe River as you are exploring through Kasane.
Maun is a city that will fall in your way some time or the other as you are traveling through Botswana. In fact, it is one of the best entry points into Africa with the delta region being nearby. There are regularly scheduled flights into Maun since there is an international airport here. If you are already in Botswana, Maun is well-connected by roadways to major cities such as Gaborone, Francistown, Rakops, Ghanzi, and Serowe. This allows you to either take a car or even a bus to this town.
Maun is known as the best gateway to travel into the exciting lands of the Okavango delta. Since it receives a huge footfall every year, Maun has developed into an impressive place with many hotels, restaurants, shopping complexes, and so on. There is not much to see around Maun and it is like a normal city where travelers come to rest before they move on. There are even campsites alongside the river where you can rest for a couple of nights and enjoy the laidback city life of this place.
The capital and the largest city in Botswana, Gaborone, is the best way you could enter or exit the nation. The Seretse Khama International Airport sees regular national and international flights. Outside Johannesburg, you could fly into Gaborone from airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Harare, and Lusaka. You could also get in through Windhoek, Durban, Addis Ababa, Victoria Falls, Livingstone, and Doha. Gaborone is also well connected by roadway and railway routes. If you are already in Botswana, you could easily enter the city through several bus, car, and train routes from different areas within the nation.
Gaborone has an unusual atmosphere for a capital city- you will all kinds of modern buildings and amenities throughout the city against a tropical backdrop. Other than that, there are very few attractions to look out for within this city despite the large size. There are huge residential areas within the city. You will also find many options for lodging and flooding inside the city. It lacks in history and has a uniquely modern feel to boast off. The city is also slowly paving its way forward towards a bright future and gives you a good experience of Botswana among the crowds.
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is the third largest one in Botswana and offers quite a collection of rare animal sightings in Africa. It is easily accessible from other parts of Africa- you have to fly into Kasane and hit the road from there onwards. Chobe National Park has situated about 6 km toward the western side of Kasane. You could also reach Chobe National Park from Victoria Falls if you travel about 80 km towards the west. Once you have reached Kasane you can choose from several self-driven 4x4 options.
The best thing about Chobe National Park is that it boasts the largest collection of rare fauna on the whole continent. The Chobe River flows through the National Park and gives the place its name- it's one breathtaking sight the first time you see that you just cannot forget. The river is also the source of a vibrant ecosystem within the park which supports the collection of exotic and rare animals. Some of the common things that you will find in Chobe National Park are elephants, baboons, giraffes, lions, and different species of birds. If you are particularly exploring Chobe National Park during the winter months, you may get to see herds of hundreds of elephants at a time- an experience you are likely never to forget in your lifetime!
Francistown is the oldest and the second largest town in the nation. The area had major deposits of gold and the town was built on it until the Europeans came to it with a mind for profiteering. Being an important town in Botswana, it is very easily accessible through the roadways. It is well connected to Gaborone and Maun through a network of highways and the road goes all the way into Zimbabwe. You could either take a car or a bus to travel via road. There is also an international airport in the town that receives regular flights from Gaborone and even Johannesburg.
While you are in Francistown make sure that you visit the Ngwao Museum- it is an interesting place to learn about the Kalanga people who inhabited this region, their cultures, and their traditions. Birds and Games is another interesting place to visit in this town- it is a refuge for all kinds of orphaned animals and truly a remarkable experience to behold.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve
Situated in the Kalahari region, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve will give you a true experience of seeing wildlife. The road is quite good in dry weather and you can easily drive from Maun to Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The distance is about 250 km and it will take you about 5 hours on road. However, the road becomes pretty bad after rains and it will take you longer to reach your destination.
The central Kalahari region is simply vast- it stretches on and on and is entirely covered in all kinds of wildlife activities giving you a true taste of Africa at its best. Throughout the day you will get to experience vast stretches of extraordinary savannah while at night you will be awestruck at some of the clearest skies in the world. The summer rains are important to this region since it brings with them all kinds of wildlife including springbok and wildebeest. The winter months on the other hand are not a good time if you are planning to visit Central Kalahari Game Reserve since it brings about harsh conditions and thus lowers the probability of viewing animals.
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