All about the must-visit parks and reserves in Botswana

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 3:22 PM

Botswana: home to giraffes, lions and more

Botswana: home to giraffes, lions and more

Botswana's incredibly beautiful and wild landscape makes it the ideal destination for African safari tours. Home to numerous national parks and game reserves, the country has plenty to offer those seeking the ultimate wildlife viewing experience.

However, it can be difficult to choose a particular part of Botswana to head to. Take a look at our guide for some help!

National parks

There are three major national parks in Botswana: Chobe, Nxai Pan and Kgalagadi.

The 11,700 sq km Chobe National Park is home to a section of the Chobe river, which is an important source of water for all manner of creatures and their predators, including warthogs, leopards, giraffes, lions, monkeys and elephants.

One of the best ways to see the park and its inhabitants is by going on a river cruise. This enables visitors to spot water birds, hippos and crocodiles from the vantage point of the water.

Chobe is a popular park to visit and can seem crowded at times. Head to nearby Linyanti and you'll be able to enjoy excellent dry game viewing on a Botswana safari between the months of May and November while avoiding these crowds. Visit at other times of the year and, while there will be fewer game, the spectacle of the bush in bloom is a wonderful one.

Elsewhere, Nxai Pan National Park consists of a number of pans - which are areas of land where salt lakes used to lie - that are covered in either vegetation or water from seasonal rains.

The latter attract animals looking to satisfy their thirst, particularly between December and April, when constant rain brings the likes of cheetahs, zebras, lions, brown hyenas, springboks and giraffes.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in south-west Botswana is a unique one in that it is shared with South Africa. While visitors can spot wild cats, jackals and Kalahari lions here, safaris to this part of the country are rare because there is little suitable accommodation.

Game reserves

There are numerous game reserves across Botswana. Some of the most popular ones are Central Kalahari, Northern Tuli and Moremi.

Head to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and you'll be able to enjoy the sensation of being out in the wilderness on your own due to the sheer size of the site - some 52,800 sq km.

There are many creatures to see here, including giraffes, springboks and gemsboks. Visit during or after the yearly summer rains to view an abundance of local wildlife.

Northern Tuli Game Reserve is located in north-eastern Botswana and covers parts of the Shashe, Limpopo and Motloutse rivers, with plenty of bushland, woodland and marshland in between.

Search for lions, elands, leopards, zebras, elephants and warthogs or take advantage of the activities available here, including horse riding, biking, hot air balloon rides and hiking.

Make your way to the Okavango Delta and it's likely you will come across the Moremi Game Reserve. This was the first African reserve to be established by local residents looking to protect wildlife from hunters and cattle encroachment.

Explore lagoons, forests and grasslands and see if you can spot black and white rhinos and some of the over 400 species of bird that live there.

Wherever you choose to go, Botswana in Africa is the ideal destination for the ultimate safari experience, so why not look into booking a trip here today?