A Safari Paradise
Backpacking in Botswana
With friendly people and a relatively low crime rate, Botswana has some plus points for the backpacker planning a trip in Africa. But public transport, while cheap, is not plentiful, especially on the less major routes, and you will have to rely on hitch hiking. If you can team up with other backpackers and hire transport, your backpacking trip to Botswana will be an easier one, enabling you to visit the wildlife reserves, and camp in beautiful camps. While there are some hostels in Botswana, in stunning settings, offering accommodation for around £10-15 a night, they are few and far between. You will find, though, that most Botswana hostels offer free minibus transport from the nearest town/airport.
Camping in Botswana
It is possible to camp at quite a few hotels and lodges in Botswana at around £7 a night, which will often give you access to the lodge bar and swimming pool – a very welcome addition after a hot day in the bush in Botswana. It is possible to camp in the wild (outside of national parks and private lands) but it’s probably best to approach the local police station to ask where you are allowed to camp. Camping in national parks in Botswana is only allowed if it has been booked through the National Parks & Wildlife Reserves. You’ll find mostly basic camps, with just toilets and barbecue areas, but camping out in the wild in Botswana is a magical experience that will stay with you for a long time.
Culture and Arts in Botswana
Botswana has been a rich source of art and pottery since the Stone Age. There are rock paintings in the Tsodilo Hills that were painted some 1500 years ago or even earlier. The San people of Botswana produce beautiful crafts, such as Ostrich egg necklaces, leatherwork and woodwork, and Botswana is famous for its handmade baskets. Baskets are made in many places including the Bokamoso Basket Cooperative at Shorobe. Botswana is also home to several potteries that produce unusual and creative pottery. At the Dinkgwana pottery in Botswana, traditional potters mould their grey-coloured clay from the local river and make pots by the coil method, gradually building the pot from its base. The National Museum in Gaborone in Botswana shows contemporary art alongside traditional art in the main building. The National Art Gallery has regular exhibitions from up and coming Batswana artists, craftspeople and schoolchildren, and Bank of Botswana has a permanent exhibition of modern art.
Disabled Needs in Botswana
Botswana is not the most disabled-friendly country to visit, but it is still possible to get plenty of enjoyment out of your holiday to Botswana. Safari drives, mokoro (canoe) rides and most activities are accessible to the mobility-impaired in Botswana. A lot of the accommodation in safari lodges and camps in single storey, making it more accessible to the disabled visitor in Botswana. Many safari lodges offer accommodation and activities for the disabled visitor to Botswana, so it’s best to ask what facilities they can offer you.
Family Holiday in Botswana
Africa is not an ideal destination for families with babies or small children, especially where there is a risk of malaria. However, for older children, a safari holiday in Botswana can be a truly thrilling experience. Most safari lodges accept children aged 10 and over, but there are some camps in Botswana that take children younger than that and even offer the services of a special children’s guide. There are also a number of packages put together especially for families visiting Botswana, which ensure short journey times by using light aircraft and four-wheel drive vehicles to make a holiday in Botswana a fun experience for the whole family.
Gay and Lesbian in Botswana
All the countries of southern Africa are very conservative in their attitudes towards gay and lesbian activity, and officially in Botswana male homosexual behaviour is illegal. So when visiting Botswana, it is wise to avoid any public displays of affection.
Honeymoon in Botswana
Botswana is a perfect place for a honeymoon, with a huge choice of luxury accommodation in remote, intimate settings. Whether you choose a colonial hotel or a luxury tented camp, you’re sure of a very special honeymoon, and if the staff know you are newlyweds you can be sure to get some very special treatment. With private bungalows where you can have a candlelit dinner on your own observation deck, private game drives and the sort of olde-worlde service of yesteryear, Botswana is a very special location for a honeymoon. And, of course a visit to Victoria Falls, and a romantic dinner sitting above the famous falls is a must for any couple on honeymoon in Botswana. With most people getting married between May and October, the weather in Botswana at this time is perfect – hot, dry, low in humidity and with fantastic opportunities to see wildlife.
Couples Holiday in Botswana
For a romantic holiday, Botswana is an ideal choice for couples. If you long to walk hand-in-hand on the beach, combine your safari holiday in Botswana with a stay on the shores of Zanzibar. But Botswana has lots to offer couples. Whether you stay in a luxury safari lodge in Botswana, or choose to drive your own vehicle and stay at independent camp sites, the memories of eating out in the bush, gliding along the Okavango Delta in a mokoro (canoe) and setting out in the early morning to look for lions, elephants and giraffes will be shared memories that will last a lifetime. If you want nightlife, you’ll find some in towns such as Gabarone and Maun, where you can eat out, and even dance the night away, but the main reason for a visit to Botswana is to enjoy all that nature has to offer.
Safari Activity Holiday in Botswana
In Botswana, vast areas of wildlife country have been set aside as private safari reserve, which makes Botswana a top spot for wildlife watching. On a safari holiday in Botswana you can enjoy a real wilderness experience in privacy and comfort. With a tiny population of people, the animals and birds have the lion's share of the country to themselves.
In Botswana, the Okavango River runs inland, finishing in the centre of the desert creating an enormous oasis called the Okavango Delta. In the midst of the desert, you'll fins palm trees, grassland and water, which creates a paradise for millions of animals. On a safari holiday in Botswana you can explore the Okavango Delta with expert guides by open vehicle and on short walks.
A highlight of any safari holiday in Botswana is the chance to glide silently along waterways in a mokoro canoe or take a lazy boat cruise as the sun sets. Further north in Botswana, open savannah plains, semi desert and woodland see elephant gathering in herds hundreds strong in the dry season from August to November. This makes it the ideal place to see lions and wild dog, as well as buffalo, giraffe, zebra, plains game and dozens of other mammal species while on safari in Botswana. Botswana is also home to more than 400 species of birds.
Botswana has numerous Safari lodges and resorts to choose from, the majority of which are quite costly during the peak season. Its advisable to book in advance to enjoy low rates, or travel during the off peak season. May, September and October are excellent off-peak times to travel as the weather is perfect and you are bound to see the Big 5.
Well-being and Spa in Botswana
If you fancy being pampered and preened, but need a little extra excitement from your well-being and spa holiday, Botswana is an interesting destination for you. You’ll find some safari lodges in Botswana offer a combination of wildlife viewing and health and beauty treatments in the most stunning surroundings deep in the bush. Experience fantastic levels of service during your holiday in Botswana, and luxurious treatments including luxury facials and body massage at places such as Chobe Chilwero Lodge in Chobe National Park and Khwai River Lodge, Ngamiland, Okavanga Delta.
Touring - Driving holiday in Botswana
If you are feeling reasonably adventurous, it’s possible to enjoy a touring holiday in Botswana, staying at hotels, B&Bs, camps and lodges around the country. A 4WD drive vehicle will be necessary for driving in the national parks of Botswana. A touring holiday in Botswana may include a trip to the Khama Rhino sanctuary, a few days in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve spotting cheetah, a stay in Maun, a few days enjoying the Okavango Delta and a makoro trip, several days at the Chobe National Park, famous for its elephants and a drive into the Makgadikgadi Pans for a guided tour of the pans at night. A driving holiday in Botswana will allow you to stay in a variety of accommodation, stopping off to enjoy trips led by experienced guides and appreciating the different landscapes that Botswana can offer you. There are several companies that offer self-drive safaris of Botswana.
Winter Sun in Botswana
From November to March, Botswana experiences the rainy season, which means that, while it will still be hot, wildlife viewing (which is really what you go to Botswana for) is less successful, as the animals are harder to find and many of the tracks in the national parks become inaccessible. The weather at this time of year in Botswana may be too much for some – with high humidity and temperatures often over 40 degrees C, so a winter sun holiday in Botswana is a not-particularly attractive option.