A country of impressive contrasts, the natural phenomena includes a diverse scenic landscape and an abundance of wildlife in some of the best safari parks in Botswana. Included are the vast salt pans of the Makgadikgadi, the sandy plains of the Kalahari Desert and the famous Okavango Delta.
The best safari parks in Botswana teem with wildlife and unrivalled biodiversity. From horizon to horizon, from sunset to sundown, the landscape is littered with an astonishing number of wild fauna and flora. Amid this myriad of species, a great number of endangered animals have found a safe refuge – black and white rhinos, cheetahs, wild dogs, brown hyenas. Almost 600 bird species can be observed in the skies of Botswana making the country a superb birding destination.
A variety of game viewing excursions are on offer in some of the best safari parks in Botswana. Visitors can float between reeded channels in a dugout canoe while admiring the antelope wading through crystal clear water. Some of the world’s largest herds of elephants as well as a handful of unique predators can be observed on self-drive excursions or guided game drives.
Wild Safari Guide has narrowed the best safari parks in Botswana down to these five excellent choices.
Chobe National Park is located in northern Botswana and is a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts. The famous Chobe River carves through the National Park and attracts an abundance of wildlife during the dry season.
Known as the Land of the Giants, and for good reason, Chobe National Park is home to the largest number of elephants in the world. During the dry season, the Chobe River offers unsurpassed wildlife-viewing with an abundance of hippos and crocodiles. The wet season; however, is ideal for bird-watchers, with over 450 species of birds, including highly-sought-after birdlife.
Safari-goers to Chobe can expect to find the essence of Africa while embarking on an adventure of a lifetime. For the intrepid at heart, Chobe National Park boasts excellent options such as a boat cruise or game drive along the Chobe River. The abundance of wildlife and birdlife is ideal for aspiring wildlife photographers, while those looking for a different perspective can book a scenic flight or a mokoro canoe excursion on the Delta.
As one of the best safari parks in Botswana, Moremi Game Reserve spans 5,000 square kilometres, including a quarter of the Okavango Delta, and comprises an exceptional landscape of lagoons, lush acacia forests, islands, and floodplains.
Moremi Game Reserve offers excellent views of the savanna, lush woodlands that attract the rare African wild dog and cheetahs, as well as numerous lagoons that are home to over 500 bird species, including the African fish eagle and the sacred ibis.
Among other wildlife, visitors can expect to see the Big Five, hippos and elephants bathing in the lagoons, buffalos, blue wildebeests, impalas, giraffes, red lechwe, hyenas, warthogs, lions, cheetahs, and leopards.
The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park boasts a magnificent location in the heart of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana. Known as one of the largest salt flats in the world, it spans 3,900 square kilometres and lies southeast of the Okavango Delta.
Made up of many salt pans spread across the sandy desert, including Nxai Pan, Makgadikgadi is considered a nature photographer’s dream. The salt pans are all that remains of the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi and appear as endless shimmering plains that generally come to life during the wet season.
The endless sheets of the sandy desert of Makgadikgadi provide perfect photo opportunities to capture the remoteness of the Park. Visitors can book a plethora of activities here, including game drives. For a unique perspective of the migratory birdlife, helicopter rides are the best way to view thousands of flamingos flocking to the water. The intrepid at heart can embark on an adventure by foot, a great way to explore the Park.
Selinda Reserve is most certainly one of the best safari parks in Botswana and provides an excellent safari destination for adventurous travellers to this part of the continent. The private wildlife sanctuary is centred around the Selinda Spillway which carves its way through the reserve, eventually linking up with the outer reaches of the Okavango Delta to the west and the Linyanti Swamps to the east.
Selinda Reserve spans 300,000 acres and is defined by a varied and game-rich landscape made up of floodplains with clusters of palm trees. Nestled upstream from the Chobe River and the Savuti system, the reserve boasts an abundance of wildlife and birdlife, adding to the incredible safari experience to be had here. The alluring landscape is undisturbed by the crowds of tourists in more popular parks, which means safari-goers can reconnect to the great outdoors of Africa with ease.
Guided game drives are the most popular safari activity, and Selinda is the perfect place to get off the vehicle and venture into the bush on foot. For the truly adventurous at heart, there are trekking expeditions that combine days of walking along the Selinda Spillway and gliding across the water on a canoe for the ultimate safari experience.
Mashatu Game Reserve is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in Botswana and offers a memorable safari experience in Africa. This incredible wildlife area forms part of a cross-boundary wildlife conservation area that protects the impressive biodiversity of the region.
The Game Reserve gets its name from the Mashatu tree which can be found peppered throughout the land and provides shade, shelter, and food to an array of wildlife. There are over 50 species of mammals and reptiles, and more than 350 bird species found here, providing an exceptional game-viewing experience.
What makes Mashatu Game Reserve an excellent choice when it comes to safari experience is its exclusive adventure safaris. For those with a thirst for the great outdoors, horseback safaris provide a surreal perspective of the landscape and its residence. Furthermore, the active safari-goers can explore on foot or bicycle, with a walking or cycling safari experience.