FIRST TIME TRAVELLER INFORMATION
Situated in the southern part of Africa, Botswana is well-known for its unique wilderness areas made up of by deep lagoons, wetlands, lush palms, rugged hills and desert plains scattered with bush veld.
The main attraction to tourists is certainly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a peaceful environment for the African wildlife to flourish. Other key highlights of this beautiful country include the impressive Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where tourists can view the massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Chobe River Front is a unique wonder on its on with beautiful scenery around the area with an abundance of wildlife; the Savuti plains, which host large prides of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills, where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.
Herewith is a sample itinerary of what to experience and do in Botswana!
Botswana’s currency is the Pula (which means ‘rain’ in Setswana).
The US dollar, Euros, British Pound and the South African Rand are the most easily convertible currencies.
TRAVEL, TRANSPORT AND GETTING AROUND
Public transport in Botswana is mainly aimed towards the needs of the locals, as most of the tourist attractions are situated off the beaten track into the wilderness and away from major cities and towns. There are major airports in Maun, Kasane and Gaborone and the use of smaller charter flights are used to get to the top attractions and camps especially in the Okavango Delta. Driving off the main roads in Botswana is only recommended with 4×4 vehicles, that are equipped correctly and efficiently.
Most lodges offer transfers or they can be arranged and you can sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
CLIMATE & WEATHER
The rainy season in Botswana comes mostly between December and March, when an average minimum temperature is in the low 20 Degrees Celsius. Some days you can expect it to be bright and full of sunshine with the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. As with Namibia, April and May in Botswana is ideal weather conditions ensuring that there are clear skies and the landscape ever so green. Night temperatures start to drop during these months, especially in the Kalahari. Regions in and around the Okavango tend to have less extreme, more moderate temperatures than the drier areas of the Kalahari.
June to August the night-time temperatures in drier areas can be close to freezing, but it warms up swiftly during the day. From July it’s the start of ‘peak season’ for most safari areas: the land is dry in most areas so the animals congregate around the few available water sources. This continues into September and October. This is the best time for big game safaris. November is a difficult month to predict as it can sometimes be a continuation of October’s heat or sometimes it’s cooled by the first rains of the season; nonetheless it’s always an interesting month to explore Botswana.