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Botswana Safaris Okovango Delta, Chobe National Park

As a stable democratic country since 1966, Botswana is naturally popular for safari holidays. Whereas other African safaris offer a mixture of landscape, people and travel in addition to wildlife, Botswana safaris are very much focused on the animals, particularly big game viewing.

If you travel at certain times of the year, there are special animal events you can plan into your safari itinerary in Botswana. For around two months from June every year, the elusive African wild dogs go to den and this is the only time you are able to view them with any consistency. The annual floods also provide a unique opportunity to see abundant bird migrations, and on some occasions captive rhinos are released in the wild.

Botswana's Okovango Delta and Chobe National Park

The two main destinations are Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. By focusing on these two areas, you will be able to combine the best of grasslands, seasonal floodplains, and untouched marshy wetland. Chobe is famous for its incredible concentration of elephants, and it is common to see large herds passing closely by. Okavango has a myriad of wildlife, and expect to see hippo, buffalo and birds. Many people travel to Botswana purely to bird watch and the quality and quantity of species is unsurpassed. A sunset boat trip can allow you to view breeds like kingfishers or egrets returning home to their nests.

Botswana is special due to the private concessions they have developed for lodge safaris. This means that there are very few safaris in large areas, and you stand a much greater chance of spotting big game when there are less vehicles on tour. These upmarket lodges are also licensed for night drives which can last for hours on end. This allows the visitor a chance to see wildcats, porcupines and other nocturnal wildlife, and some visitors have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of leopards roaming for prey. A safari in Botswana would not be complete without spending a night in a hide. It is common for elephants to approach within a few yards, and this adds a nervous but exciting element to the trip.

For those who enjoy travelling by water and seeing the birds and amphibians that live in the Delta, the traditional hollowed out tree trunk boat, the Mokoro, allows you to silently navigate among the reeds. Motorboat tours are also widely available, and this access to the deeper waters affords to opportunity to spot hippo and crocodiles, as well as bathing elephants. It is also possible to do a night boat safari to see crocodiles passing below the boat, and numerous insects, bats and owls. Some guides catch baby crocodiles and allow passengers to inspect them at close quarters.