Reasons to Visit
The Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of waterways linking secret lagoons and marshlands, where hippo splash in the water and elephants drink at the shallows. Boat trips take you to inaccessible locations and hidden islands for a glorious spot of solitude and wildlife spotting, before a relaxing sundowner drink amongst the reeds.
On a game drive in the Delta, Linyanti or Chobe, you soon discover Botswana’s phenomenal array of wildlife. Lions are often on the prowl in the morning while night drives increase your chances of spotting leopard and other nocturnal species. As well as the cats there are thriving populations of elephant, hippo, giraffe, buffalo and even wild dog.
From the water birds of the Delta to the sand grouse of the Kalahari and flamingos on the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana is a twitcher’s paradise. Rare species like the Pel’s fishing owl, and African pygmy goose are commonly found, with a trip to Chobe, the Delta and the Kalahari offering an unrivalled level of ornithological interest.
Bushman history is an intrinsic element in the evolution of humanity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Botswana. Bushman communities have survived on the Makgadikgadi Pans and in areas of western Botswana for centuries. A visit there now allows you to interact with them, experiencing first hand how they cook, hunt, eat and live.
Slipping through the Delta's mazy waterways and tall papyrus in a mokoro is the most relaxing way to view game. Serenely moving along with only the gurgle of the water passing under your craft, you encounter lechwe grazing in the shallows, kingfishers perched on overhanging branches and crocodiles lurking in dark corners.
On the Makgadikgadi Pans you experience an ethereal lunar landscape unlike anywhere else in Africa. It is possible to see the curvature of the earth, sleep out under the stars, and at some times of the year watch a great wildlife migration. Although more thickly vegetated, Nxai and Tau Pans also offer unique landscapes and habitats.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Our Botswana specialists are experienced and passionate about the country - between them they have spent many weeks a year researching new experiences and ensuring everything is of the highest standard. They know Botswana inside out.
AlexBotswana Specialist01993 838 531
DonnaBotswana Specialist01993 838 419
EmmaBotswana Specialist01993 838 532
Russell NBotswana Specialist01993 838 406
KirstyBotswana Specialist01993 838 527
Botswana has an array of superb little camps and lodges. Some are in private concession areas and others in national parks. All are remote, so access is usually by light aircraft. We have an extensive network of flights and we will fly you from one camp to another - a safari from the air itself.
Audley’s specialists have travelled throughout Botswana and found tiny camps on palm islands, luxury lodges in rich game areas and adventurous mobile camps.
Some camps are surrounded by water, with safaris by boat and mokoro (dug-out canoe), others on dry land where you will walk or explore by 4WD.
None of Botswana’s camps are fenced so don’t be surprised to find elephant eating the tree above your tent or tree squirrels by the fruit bowl at tea.
All the camps have professional guides.
The official languages are Setswana and English but there are about 26 other languages spoken in Botswana. English is widely spoken in lodges and towns, but a little Setswana will be much appreciated.
The currency of Botswana is the Botswana Pula. The Pula is a fairly strong currency with exchange rates in May 2007 at approximately £1=12 Pula. Major credit cards are accepted widely, and travellers cheques and foreign currency are accepted at most large hotels and lodges. That said, all hotels & lodges accept and prefer payment in US dollars and we would recommend bringing sufficient US dollars cash for local purchases and tips. Please note that it is best to carry smaller denominations as some of the lodges will not have change for US$100 notes.
Tipping is not compulsory but always enthusiastically received if you are happy with the service and would like to tip. We recommend that you tip your safari guide directly at the end of your stay at each camp. As a rough guideline you might tip U$10 per guest per day. You may also like to tip your driver and/or mokoro poler at the end of your stay. Here a tip of around US$5 per guest per day would be recommended. It is also a nice gesture to give general camp/lodge staff a tip. Here we recommend about U$3-5 per guest per day. This should be placed in the communal tipping box if there is one or given to the camp manager to distribute. When tipping porters we recommend about U$1. Where restaurant meals are involved, the tipping standard is usually 10% of the bill.
Conservative casual wear is generally acceptable everywhere, but revealing clothes should be avoided. Do not take pictures of people without asking permission. Photography is not allowed in airports. Places of historic and scenic interest may be photographed, but permission should be sought before photographing military installations, government buildings or other possibly sensitive subjects.
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
'Cry of the Kalahari' by Mark and Delia Owens, is a personal account of the authors' seven years spent in the Kalahari and their conservation project there. 'The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency' by Alexander McCall Smith, is a hugely successful series of tales of Ma Precious Ramtoswe and her detective agency in Gabarone. This book is the first in the series and gives an excellent flavour of modern-day Botswana.
Tswana music, a form of folk music, is a distinctive and unusual African form of music found in Botswana and in South Africa. It is mostly vocal and performed without drums, it also makes heavy use of string instruments. In the absence of instruments a clapping rhythm is used alongside the typical chant and answer manner of singing. The absence of drumming is predominant and peculiar of a southern African Tribe.
'The Gods Must Be Crazy' is a 1980s film about a group of bushmen in the Kalahari.
The papa or amize meal is the standard staple of Botswana and you should try to taste this whilst in Botswana.
Castle and Lion are the clear lagers which are brewed in Botswana and are readily available.
'Dumela Rra/Mma!' (Hello!).
Lush, exclusive, Delts, Mokoros, lion prides, elephant herds, flood waters, bird life, Kalahari Bushmen, salt pans, meerkats and wild dog.
Botswana is home to some handicraft bargains, especially the woven baskets made from the fronds of the real fan palm and the crafts of the San like ostrich eggshell jewellery.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Botswana by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in BotswanaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoAccommodationCountry Guides
Other countries in Africa:KenyaMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZambiaZanzibar ArchipelagoZimbabwe
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