South Africa's discreet northern neighbour, Botswana is undoubtedly the pearl of southern Africa . This quiet, sparsely populated country has avoided civil wars, post-colonial racial tensions and conflicts endured by most of its neighbours. What's more, since gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, Botswana has held democratic elections - a rarity on the Africa continent. The result is a peaceful country, where life is generally good and provides a pervading optimism that rubs off on its visitors. From a geographical point of view, it's a land of contrasts where heavy rainfall and drought co-exist. Thanks to the great rivers of North Linyanti and Chobe and the Okavango Delta in the north, the country has an extremely varied plant and animal life, whereas the south houses the arid Kalahari Desert, which stretches as far as the capital, Gaborone. A country with as many contrasts as there are wonders. So, are you ready to discover Botswana ?
Botswana; that rare combination of jaw-dropping landscapes, fascinating history, majestic wildlife, and rich culture, and yet a travel destination that remains blissfully-untouched by mass tourism. In fact, home to only two million inhabitants and covering over 360,000 square miles (slightly larger than the UK), Botswana has one of the lowest population densities in the world. This landlocked country lies in the heart of the African continent, surrounded by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa. Diversity is the key word here; to the south west of the country you’ll find the Kalahari Desert, and in the north east, you’ll be able to see one of the world’s largest salt pans; the Makgadikgadi Pan. Much like its neighbours, Botswana’s predominant pull for tourists remains its world-renowned safari opportunities, but whatever your reason for visiting, there’s no better way to take in Botswana’s wealth of sites and experiences than with the help of an experienced local travel agent who knows their destination like the back of their hand.
Planning a holiday to Botswana with one of Evaneos’ carefully-selected local travel agents will also give you an insider’s perspective on the climate and the best time to visit particular areas, providing you with the best insights for planning your perfect tour. Above all, they can be your on-the-ground support for everything, whether you need a translator, tips on the best national parks for spotting wildlife, or you’re experiencing a problem. With so much to see and do in Botswana, from photographing lions to spending the day learning about the customs and lifestyle of a local tribe, a local agent is a sure-fire way to pinpoint what interests you most and to ensure that you don’t miss it.
As you might have guessed, most travellers are initially convinced to visit Botswana to tick that universally-popular category off their Bucket List: embarking on a safari in Africa. That’s not all you’ll find on a holiday in Botswana, though, and while wildlife frequently featured in David Attemborough’s documentaries might be the country’s biggest tourist attraction, many travellers end up making return trips to this charming southern African nation for its extraordinarily-friendly people and exquisite scenery. For the sake of helping you narrow down the sites to include on your itinerary, here’s a quick travel guide to the top highlights of Botswana:
Now that you've had a glimpse into the best things to see in Botswana, it's time to turn your attention to what activities and excursions you should include in your trip. Botswana might be the dream destination for honeymooners, but that doesn't mean that romantic, wind-swept safaris at sunset are all the country has to offer travellers. So, without further ago, here's a quick list of some of the most popular things to do in Botswana:
For the best tips, information, and inspiration to plan your holiday to Botswana, ask the experts: Evaneos' hand-picked local travel agencies based there. As well as providing unparalleled local knowledge including access to hidden gems and advice on how to avoid tourist-traps, they'll organise the trip of a lifetime for you based around your needs and interests.
Deciding when to go to Botswana will depend on what you would like to do and see during your trip. The most popular time to visit (the high season) is generally between June and October, since this is the period that is best for wildlife and safari tours. During this period the weather in Botswana is fairly dry and the temperature is consistently hot so the animals are easy to spot due to the lack of vegetation. Less rainfall also means that the skies are clear and that there are far fewer mosquitoes. The low season starts in November and continues until May, with more rainfall and some lodges closing down until peak season restarts. The rainfall and lower temperatures mean that grass and vegetation begins to cover the plains during this time and so the landscape only becomes more stunning. The prices during this season are also often much lower, meaning that despite the rain there are many benefits of travelling during this off-peak season.
Safety in Botswana is something that many visitors want to investigate before leaving for their trip. Like any foreign country, Botswana has its share of crime, but armed with a few simple tips you can ensure a hassle-free holiday. Firstly, Botswana is known as one of the safest countries in Africa, and it really is. All you need to do is avoid leaving valuables in sight when walking around and avoid carrying large sums of money. Try to avoid walking at night if possible too. Provided you exercise basic common sense during your trip, it's unlikely that you'll encounter any difficulties.
All EU citizens are actually exempt from needing to obtain a Botswana visa for their trip. It's one of the many benefits of choosing this beautiful African gem as your next holiday destination: a simple and hassle-free process.
It is recommended that all visitors get booster injections for all the basic vaccinations before their trip, as well as ensuring that they organise several other injections for Botswana specifically. You will need to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Cholera and Rabies.
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