Why Botswana is the Top Travel Destination of 2017
Botswana is truly a hidden gem of the world. From opportunities to spot rare animal species to delicious culinary experiences, the country is sure to enchant you-- even better, its central location gives you the opportunity to sightsee around the neighboring countries of Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Zambia. We’ve put together 10 reasons why Botswana should be your next travel destination!
1) Hands-on Encounters with Meerkats and Baobab Trees
Make some new friends at Jack’s Camp, where you can sit and play with the famous burrow of “Meerkat Manor.” Watch as they play with each other (and you), keep a lookout for predators, and scrounge up any food in sight! These curious little creatures are not tame-- they’re just used to the non-threatening presence of humans, so you’ll be in for a truly unforgettable experience. The camp is also located in the Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the oldest salt flats in the world and home to ancient Baobab trees. These huge, otherworldly trees are a must-see in Botswana, as they’re native to only a select few of African countries.
2) Viewing Safari in a Tribal Mokoro Boat through the Okavango Delta
The mokoro, a traditional canoe-like boat, is the perfect way to participate in a viewing safari on the famous Okavango Delta. Spend a day gliding comfortably past a colorful variety of birdlife and beautiful marsh landscapes-- if you’re lucky, you might even spot a hippo, or approach an elephant munching on reeds. You won’t run the risk of scaring off animals with the motor of a car, so have your camera ready!
3) Walk with Lions and Cheetahs in Livingstone, Zambia
Ever taken a lion for a walk? You’ll have the chance in Livingstone, Zambia, located right across the border from Botswana. You’ll feel like a member of the pack walking with gentle cheetahs and lions through the African Bush, in an experience far from your typical safari. Under the supervision of your knowledgeable guide, you’ll feel the thrill of seeing these majestic animals up close.
4) Cruise along Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
What traveler can resist a stunning sunset or landscape view? Take another quick trip across the border to Zimbabwe, where you can’t miss out on a cruise across Victoria Falls. As you take in the sights from one of the natural wonders of the world, keep your eyes open for hippos, crocodiles, birds, and maybe even some elephants and zebras on the shore. The cruise vessels provide gourmet cuisine and excellent service, so you can relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
5) Experience Exotic Fruits, Vegetables, and Game Meats in a Traditional Tribal Feast
During your stay in Zimbabwe, be sure to stop by the famous Boma restaurant for a total immersion of the senses. Going to Boma Night, known as “the Place of Eating,” is a cultural and culinary experience all in one. It’s all a celebration of African vibrancy: traditional dancing, drumming, face-painting, and storytelling reign throughout the night, and you’ll have the chance to sample delicacies such as warthog steaks, game stews, and Bush vegetables.
6) Visit Chobe National Park for the Best Chances at Spotting a Rhino
No trip to Botswana is complete without a trip to Chobe National Park-- the safaris offered there have been rated as one of the best wildlife experiences in the world. Over 460 species of birds have been sighted, along with elephant, impala, giraffe, warthog, monkey, hyena, lion, and leopard. Most amazingly, though, you’ll have your best chance at seeing the extremely endangered white rhino, whose population has thankfully begun to rise due to Botswanan conservation efforts. Don’t miss out on your chance to spot one of these rare (and adorable) animals!
7) Visit the San Bushman Tribe in the Kalahari Desert
One of the reasons we love traveling is because it gives us the chance to celebrate new cultures and perspectives. The San people of the Kalahari are a dignified and culturally-rich group, and visiting with them gives a unique insight into their tribal civilization. Guests have the opportunity to participate in age-old ceremonies and get a window into a world that has been relatively untouched by modernity. Go on bush walks with San trackers, witness medical rituals, or visit the sacred caves of Tsodilo Hills to see 200 individual ancient art sites. A visit with the San is an unforgettable experience, so don’t miss out on getting to know these special people.
8) Take a Quick Trip to Namibia and Climb Dune 45
One of the best things about Botswana is its proximity to so many other beautiful countries. Hop across the border to Namibia, and be sure to leave time to climb the tallest sand dune in the world, Dune 45. The dune reaches more than 560 feet, and the orange-gold sands and views from the peaks lend themselves to stunning photographs. Wake up early to catch the sunrise over the top of the dune and take in the expansive views!
9) Stay in Beautiful Fly Camp or Luxury Lodge in the Middle of the Safari Lands
You don’t have to rough it to enjoy the beauty of Botswana. Enjoy your stay at the Bush with airy rooftop lounge areas, private pools, and lavish bedrooms, all with a fantastic view of passing wildlife like elephants and zebras. Staying at a luxury lodge will ensure that you’re well-rested, for all of those early morning game drives through the safari lands! After a day spent adventuring in the Bush, there’s nothing like watching the sunset from the patio of a beautiful camp.
10) Take a Cooking Class in a Local Village and Learn How to Make Traditional African Cuisine
Learning how to make the traditional foods of a nation is a great way to learn about the culture of a country. Immerse yourself in Botswanan life by learning how to cook traditional dishes like seswaa, a meat meal often served with maize, or pap, a maize porridge that’s a staple in Botswanan cooking. Taking a cooking class in a small village also gives you the opportunity to interact with locals, giving you a more authentic travel experience-- and you’ll end the day with a delicious meal to boot!
Blog Post Author: Hannah Hunt