Watching elephants from the hide at Kings Pool, Linyanti
Mokoro at Little Vumbra, Okavango, Botswana
Game viewing by boat
Leopard at Mombo Camp, Okavango delta, Botswana

The key element to any safari in Botswana is the Okovango Delta the world’s largest inland delta. It exists in the middle of an immense desert, a vast oasis with ribbons of clear water, palm islands, golden grasses, ponds of lilies and, sometimes, hundreds of animals.

To enjoy the full scope of what the Delta has to offer, it’s important to have a few days of both the water experience and the dryland experience. The water experience includes gliding silently through the Delta’s channels as you are poled along in "mokoros" or canoes, and exhilarating adventures in much faster motor-powered aluminium speedboats. The land experience usually takes place in open Landrovers with walks in some areas.

Botswana is far enough south that there is a considerable difference between the winter and summer seasons so temperature and day length are important factors to consider. You also need to time your stay to take into account the water levels of the Delta as they rise and recede throughout the year.

To the north, there are some unique places to visit such as Kwando and Selinda, huge private concession areas on the Linyanti and Selinda rivers. Further south there is the vast emptiness of the Makgadikgadi pans and the seasonal greening of the Central Kalahari that brings in migrant game. If you decide to visit these places you should aim to spend time with the Bushmen of the Kalahari to experience the extraordinary interconnectedness of their lives with the natural environment.

We recommend that you extend a Botswana safari for a few days or more to add breadth to your adventure and to take advantage of the exceptional experiences available in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi. Have a look at some of the other destinations that we can include on your itinerary.

Meerkats Buffalo Lions swimming amongst waterlillies, Xigera Camp, Botswana

Want to read up on Botswana before you go? Lowis & Leakey and Longitude Books have partnered to create lists of classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventure. Click here suggested reading on Botswana.

Credit and thanks for the images included here goes to Ninian Lowis.

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