Botswana is amongst the top travel experiences in Southern Africa. Choosing a travel destination is all about the excitement of exploration and opening the mind and soul to new experiences. But it is also about returning to favourite haunts that ring with memories. And, for most, so much the better if the destination is safe and reliable. Botswana Travel has a world of thrilling options to offer the first-time traveller and those who return time and again.
There are various ways of travelling to Botswana. The most popular is of course by air. Air Botswana does not fly outside Southern Africa, and there are relatively few other airline links to Botswana. The vast majority of visitors to northern Botswana travel via the gateways of Maun and Kasane, which is effectively serviced by the nearby airports at Victoria Falls (in Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (in Zambia). Most common for many visitors to the region is to fly to Livingstone via Johannesburg, and then leave from Maun, again routing via Johannesburg. Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, is relatively rarely visited if you’re on your way to or from northern Botswana – although occasionally you might stop in Gaborone as you fly between Maun and Johannesburg.
However you arrange your flights it is advisable to book the main internal flights at the same time – with the same company – that you book your flights to / from Johannesburg. Often the airline taking you to Africa will have cheap deals for add-on regional flights within Africa. You should be able to get Johannesburg–Livingstone flights, or Maun–Johannesburg flights, at discounted rates provided that you book them at the same time as your return flights to Johannesburg. Further, if you book all your flights together with the same company, then you’ll be sure to get connecting flights, and so have the best schedule possible.
Johannesburg is invariably the best gateway as it’s widely served by many carriers. From Europe, British Airways, South African Airways, Lufthansa and Air France (to name but a few) have regular flights to Johannesburg. Generally these are busy routes which fill up far in advance, so you’re likely to get cheaper fares by booking well ahead rather than at the last minute; this is a virtual certainty during the busiest season from July to October, and in December–January around the Christmas period.
If you need a visa for Travel to Botswana, then you must get one before you arrive. Contact your local Botswana embassy or High commission – who are also the best source to verify that the information here is still current. Currently visitors holding passports from the following countries do not need a visa:
All EC (European Community) countries
• USA, South Africa, Scandinavian countries, Uruguay, Western Samoa and countries from the former Yugoslavia
• All Commonwealth countries (except Ghana, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Mauritius – whose citizens do need visas).
Citizens from these countries will be granted a one-month entry permit on arrival. Though Botswana hasn’t changed these rules often in the past, it’s always wisest to check with your local embassy before you depart – or on the government’s website: www.gov.bw/tourism/entry_req/entry_req.html
SAFARIS IN BOTSWANA
Kruna Operators offers different options in Botswana including, The Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta, the Makgadikgadi Pans as well as the Central Kalahari. Our safaris in Botswana will bring you in contact with a paradise for the wildlife enthusiast. It is one of the only places in the world where great migratory herd’s still roam free, and are able to migrate seasonally from permanent water sources to areas where the rains have created lush vegetation. Our Botswana safaris offer some of the most luxurious and remote African experiences.
Safaris in Botswana offer experiences in a place like no other. Nowhere in Africa is the cycle of life and death, birth and renewal, survival and decline more apparent than in the great sun-scorched spaces of Botswana. Safaris are conducted in an area where desert and delta survive as seemingly impossible neighbours in one of the great wildernesses of the world – the Kalahari.
From the calcrete floors and ancient baobabs of the Makgadikgadi Pans to the savannah grasslands of Chobe National Park and the mopane woodland of the Tuli Block, there’s an enormous variety of wildlife. But it is in the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game Reserve where visitors will find unforgettable beauty and arguably the finest safari experience. The Okavango Delta is Botswana’s prime safari destination and the most popular way of exploring the maze of waterways is by Mokoro, a dugout canoe.
The scorching sun, the inhospitable terrain and the generally featureless landscape would hardly seem to hold many attractions for visitors planning safaris in Botswana. Anyone who doubts the attraction only has to join a 4 X 4 safari to the primeval fringes of Botswana’s Kubu Island in the Makgadikgadi Pans and watch a bat-eared fox at sunset coax her youngsters to sniff out termites in the gathering gloom. Or lie under the stars at the Mgobe wa Tkhu waterhole and listen to the sound of hyenas and hyphaenae palms shivering in the wind. Kruna Operators just burst with possibilities.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
More than 30 000 elephants – the largest concentration in any national park in the world, roam the vast open spaces of Chobe National park, a wild country of floodplain, baobab, mopane and acacia woodland, stretching across the endless face of Africa. In this land of lumbering giants on the edge of the mighty Chobe River, visitors find rich rewards in the ever-changing panorama of animals. The Chobe National Park is huge, covering 11 700 sq km in northeastern Botswana. Flowing along its northern boundaries are the Linyanti and Chobe rivers, while in the south the Savuti Channel brings its precious cargo of water into the Mababe Depression.
Spurred northwards by the aching dryness of the Kalahari, massive herds congregate along the sumptuous and cooling floodplains of these rivers. In the north, legions of elephants wallow in the marshlands of the Chobe, joining squadrons of multicoloured birds that hover around the islands. Streams of buffaloes, pods of hippos and rarer species such as suni, puku and red lechwe, occupy the river banks. In the southern part of the Chobe National Park, Blue Wildebeest, Zebras, Buffaloes and a variety of antelope form massive chains of animals on the endless plains of the Savuti and the Mababe Depression. Among the plains animals are the Lions, Leopards, Spotted Hyenas and Wild Dogs.
These wonderful natural spectacles are within the reach of tourists to the Chobe National Park with a selection of superior accommodation, ranging from basic safari-tented camps to luxury lodges. All the game lodges and upmarket camps offer morning and evening game drives. Our safaris in the Chobe National Park offers guests the opportunity to view large herds of elephant and buffalo as well as great concentrations of lion and hyena. It is also popular for its abundant bird life. Many visitors choose Botswana Safaris visit Chobe because it’s close to the Victoria Falls. This makes it possible to combine a safari in Botswana with viewing the Victoria Falls.
The Okavango Delta or otherwise known as the Okavango Swamp is an entanglement of spectacular lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering over 17,000 square kilometers, in Botswana, this is the world’s largest inland delta. The area was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that dried up many years ago.
The Okavango Delta is a magnet for the wildlife that depends on the permanent waters of this unique feature. There are more than 400 species of birds swarming the Delta and on the mainland and among the islands in the Delta; lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals such as warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels. The Okavango Delta is nothing short of miraculous.
The waters of the Okavango Delta are surprisingly crystal clear due to the slow moving waters and the natural filtration of the dense reeds and papyrus lining the riverbanks. Boasting a surprising array of flora and fauna, a cruise along the channels in a mokoro (dugout canoe) completes your Okavango Delta safari. Today the Okavango Delta is trapped within the parched Kalahari sands and empties out onto the sands as there is no outlet to the sea.
Botswana Safaris in the Okavango Delta explore one of the world’s great wetlands and undoubtedly one of the best places in Africa to enjoy a safari. Fed by the Kunene River in the north, the waterways of the delta annually transport more than 10 billion tons of water across the scorched plains of Botswana, Creating a lush oasis which provides a host of exceptional Botswana Safaris.
The area is the setting for a large variety of bush camps, and the destination for visitors from around the world wishing to experience the Botswana Safaris of a lifetime. On the mainland and among the islands lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dogs, rhinos, hippos and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller mammals – warthogs, mongooses, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels.
Safaris on the Makgadikgadi pans explore the most visible remnants of a lake that is one of the world’s largest salt pans formed more than five million years ago. The great Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve implies a boundless open land, vacant of human habitation which offers guests safaris which experiences vast open spaces.
Villages on the circumference and in between the pans are evidence that the area has supported people as far back as the Stone Age. The Makgadikgadi Pans fill with water just once a year when the rains fall usually beginning in November and ending in about March, the pans can retain water until April or May. From April to November great numbers of Antelope, Wildebeest and Zebra move from the south-east pans towards the Boteti River in the west, where rain is expected to fall in November. Safaris on the Makgadikgadi Pans are best enjoyed during this time of year.