Best Wildlife Safari Destinations in Botswana

Best Wildlife Safari Destinations in Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked country in the southern part of the African continent. Around 38% of the country’s surface is dedicated to national parks, reserves, and wildlife management areas. Botswana is also known to have the biggest population of elephants in Africa. Although the country is by far the most expensive safari destination on the continent, Botswana offers excellent wildlife safari experience. Here are some of the best wildlife safari destinations in Botswana:

Okavango Delta

wildlife safari destinations in botswana

The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s best wildlife safari destinations. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of a very few large inland delta systems without an outlet to the sea and it comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. The Delta is both a permanent and seasonal home to a wide variety of wildlife and endangered species of large mammals, such as the African wild dog, cheetah, lions, white rhinoceros, and black rhinoceros. It offers a true wilderness experience, excellent wildlife viewing, and stunning scenery. Game drives, night drives, walking safaris and mokoro trips with superb guiding are available in the delta. Most of the lodges in Okavango Delta are reached by charter plane and offer very exclusive, high-end services.

Moremi Game Reserve

moremi game reserve

Moremi Game Reserve is located on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and is the most productive area for wildlife viewing within the delta. The reserve was named after Chief Moremi III of the local Batawana tribe from Ngamiland. Moremi consists of wetlands and a dry peninsula. This game reserve is excellent for classic game-drive safaris and offers more wildlife sightings. Moremi Game Reserve offers exceptional wildlife viewing with all the Big Five are present. The reserve is also a major stronghold of wild dogs and has large concentrations of red lechwe, impala, blue wildebeest and Burchell’s zebra. Game viewing is at its peak from July to October, when seasonal pans dry up and the wildlife concentrates on the permanent water.

Selinda Game Reserve

Selinda game reserve

The Selinda Reserve is one of Africa’s best wildlife safari destinations. The reserve is a 300,000-acre private wildlife sanctuary in the northern part of Botswana and centers around the famous Selinda Spillway which weaves its way through the reserve. The reserve is one of the best for wild dog sightings. Wildlife viewing is very good with most big safari animals are present except rhino. Buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, hyena, waterbuck, kudu, steenbuck, lechwe, and impala are common species found in the reserve. There are several resident pride of lion, and huge herds of elephant arrive in the Dry season. When the bush gets dry, Zebras in large numbers also migrate to the reserve. Activities in Selinda Game Reserve include game drives, night drives, walks and boat safaris. The months of June until October are the best months to visit the Selinda Game Reserve.

Chobe National Park

chobe-national-park

The Chobe National Park is the first and most biologically diverse wildlife safari destination in Botswana. It is one of the greatest concentrations of game in all of Africa. Four of the Big Five present and easily seen in the park. The park is also renowned for its big concentrations of elephant and buffalo that come to drink at one of Africa’s magical rivers, the Chobe River. There are also plenty of hippos and crocs in the river. The birdlife in Chobe National Park is phenomenal, making it a perfect destination for those who love bird watching. Animals in Chobe are seen all year-round, but wildlife viewing is at its best particularly along the southern bank of the Chobe River during the dry season—from April to October.

African Safari Experience at Kruger National Park

African Safari Experience at Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 km2 in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa and extends 360 km from north to south and 65 km from east to west. The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve. To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. The Kruger National Park is the flagship of the country’s national parks and is known for its ultimate safari experience. The Kruger Park is a remarkable reserve offering an incredible experience of Africa.

The Wildlife

Africa’s Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos are frequently sighted. The African wild dogs, antelope, Springhare, Spotted Hyena, civets, zebra, baboons, and monkeys can also be found in Kruger. Some of the vast and diverse population of interesting birds which are found in the Kruger National Park are African Fish Eagle, Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Pennant-winged Nightjar and Croaking Cisticola. In fact, Kruger is home to a number of species including 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 507 Bird Species and 34 Amphibians. The Kruger National Park is not only known for its natural beauty, it is also known for its diverse and flourishing wildlife.

Kruger National Park Regions

The Kruger National Park has four regions to make it easier for visitors to select the type of African safari experience: Central Region, Southern Region, Northern Region and Far Northern Region.

elephants at kruger

Central Region

The Central Region is acclaimed to be the most game-rich area. It encompasses about 30% of the Kruger National Park’s land area stretching from the Sabie River north towards the Olifants River. It supports nearly half the park’s lion population as well as numbers of leopard , hyena, and cheetah. The central region also has a number of camps making it a popular region among tourists.

Southern Region

The Southern region covers the lower fifth of the Kruger Park, from the Sabie River down to the Crocodile River right in the south. This is the region where you’re almost sure of seeing a white rhino. The combretum woodlands of the Southern region also attract reasonable herds of kudu, impala, giraffe , buffalo , zebra , white rhino and elephant. There are only a few lions in this region which makes way for the cheetah and wild dogs.

Northern Region

The Northern region is a semi-arid region covering 7 000 km2 that sees very little rain. It extends from the Olifants River to the Tropic of Capricorn and is mostly dominated by mopane trees. Elephant sightings are common in this region of the Kruger Park, as well as buffalo and zebra.

Far North Region

The Far Northern region extends from the Tropic of Capricorn right up to the Limpopo River. The area is mainly arid and flat, apart from around Punda Maria, where localized rainfall allows tall mopane trees to flourish in abundance. Visitors can get to see the sand frogs, a collection of bats, the nocturnal bushpig and the rare Sharpe’s grysbok. There are also samango monkeys, packs of endangered wild dog , and the major water pans across the Jambiya sandveld are a good place to sight tropical warm-water fish. Game viewing in this region is best along the river systems, and this is a great area to see nyala, elephant, buffalo, cheetah, and leopard.

Things To Do In Kruger National park

Game Drives

game drives at kruger national park

For those who want to experience wildlife encounters, the private game lodges offer game drives. Games drives can be morning drives, sunset drives, night drives and usually include a coffee break, breakfast or sundowners in the bush as part of the game drive experience. A game drive is a highlight of any day as guests venture out on the back of an off-road vehicle to the bush in hot pursuit of an up-close encounter with the animals. These game drives are conducted by experienced rangers who will impart to you their knowledge about the animals and the wild.

Bush Walks

Guests can also explore the Kruger National Park on foot. During bush walks, guests get to experience the excitement of tracking a rhino or elephant or lion on foot through the heat of the bush.  Guided bush walks are designed to enable the guests to take a much closer look at the ecosystem. It allows guests to see smaller details which cannot be seen during game drives. Bush walks can last up to four hours and mostly conducted by the camps during morning or afternoon.

Wilderness Trails

Guests will experience the wildness, remoteness, tranquility, and peace in the wilderness trails. Some of the most incredible wilderness trails in Kruger National Park are Metsi-Metsi, Napi Wilderness Trail, Bushmans Wilderness Trail, Sweni Wilderness, Nyalaland, and Wolhuter. The wilderness is perfect for small groups. It requires a certain level of fitness and stamina to survive days in the trails. Staying in a rustic, primitive camp and experiencing the African bush on foot for a few days is definitely an authentic wilderness experience.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve: A True African Safari Experience

Sabi Sands Game Reserve: A True African Safari Experience

If your goal is to indulge in nature, experience a true African safari with incredible accommodation and create memories that last forever, the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is for you.

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a 65,000-hectare reserve adjacent to the renowned Kruger National Park. Sabi Sands offers unparalleled viewing possibilities and ultimate photographic safari. It is claiming to be the best place in the world for a safari and offers a safari experience found nowhere else in the world, including up close and personal experience with the big five and other wildlife animals.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Brief History

Sabi Sands Game Reserve used to be an agricultural land. The original Sabie Reserve was already proclaimed in 1898 which turned out to be the forerunner of the massive Kruger National Park. When the National Parks Act was passed in 1926, many of the original landowners were excised from the area. They, in turn, created the Sabi Private Game Reserve next to Kruger National Park in 1934. The landowners formally formed what now is the Sabi Sands Reserve in 1948. Up to date, Sabi Sands is under the ownership of six families which are now third and fourth generation owners.

Sabi Sands Wildlife

Sabi Sands is renowned for the up close experience with the Big Five —Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino. In particular, it is well known for its extraordinary close encounters and prolific sightings of the elusive leopard which is frequently spotted when going on a game drive in the reserve. On night drives, the reserve’s famous leopard, mongoose and civet cat are frequently encountered.

There is a 50-kilometer unfenced boundary between the Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, so wildlife roams freely in a huge natural environment. Aside from the big 5, there are about 145 other mammal species, more than 500 bird species, approximately 30 amphibian species, about 110 reptile species and 45 fish species which can be found in the Sabi Sands. The number of different species proves to show the incredible diversity of wildlife in the reserve. Some of the mammals which can be seen in the reserve include Aardvark, African Wild Cat, Bushbuck, Cheetah, Honey Badger, Hippo, Jackals, Vervet Monkey Warthog and the Wild Dogs. There are also more than 330 kinds of trees growing in the reserve. In addition, the Sabi and the Sand Rivers run through the reserve and add a further dimension to the bio-diversity of this area. With a high density of wildlife, guests are guaranteed to encounter most, if not all, of the Big Five, as well as a variety of other species.

sabi sands

An Exclusive Safari Destination

Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a private game reserve which means that it is not accessible for day visitors. The guests must book at one of the Sabi Sands lodges upon entering the reserve. Self-catering, camping, or picnic facilities are not available in the reserve. However, it is home to many different lodges that all have something unique and incredible accommodations to offer. These lodges range from quite affordable to ultra-luxurious ones. Meals and safari activities are also included in the rate. The guests are not allowed to drive around the reserve alone for safety purposes. Nevertheless, guests are guided by highly trained guides who explain everything you need to know about the reserve and the animals. One of the highlighted advantages of Sabi Sands is that rangers are allowed to drive off the road when on safari. So when there is leopard sighting, the ranger is allowed to follow it in the bush.

It is said that Sabi Sands possibly makes the best South African safari destination for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and bird watchers alike. So plan your next trip and visit the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

Blyde River Canyon Rafting Trips

Blyde River Canyon Rafting Trips

If you are looking for an extreme whitewater rafting experience in South Africa, you should surely consider a Blyde River Canyon Rafting trip. Such a trip is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, helmets and other protective gear are essential for your safety and endurance in the Blyde River. The Blyde River is considered one of the most gorgeous rivers in the world. It allows you to paddle challenging rapids and take in some of a gorgeous scenery that begins in the Mariepskop Forestry Reserve and ends as the Blyde River connects with the Blydepoort Dam. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Blyde River Canyon Rafting.

Blyde Rafting

A rafting trip in the Blyde River Canyon offers a full day’s worth of fun and exhilaration to you and your loved ones. The River Canyon is 26km long and 762m deep. It is considered the second largest Canyon in Africa and the third largest in the world. Although it is famed for the spectacular scenery, there is much more than taking in the views. A rafting trip in the Blyde River Canyon is fast and furious because the river contains steep gradients. These slopes range from long rapids to steep drops and much more that get your adrenalin pumping along all 8km of white water. The 8km stream is followed by a 5km leisurely cruise over the dam. The views of the Three Rondawels from the dam are unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

When you choose a reputable operator in the area, you are assured of a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Blyde River Canyon. The Blyde Canyon Adventure-Centre is the best place to visit for all your whitewater rafting trips in the Blyde River Canyon. You will be offered a 2-person “Croc raft” operated by trained and qualified guides of the service provider. They will follow you in their own rafts. The rapids in the area are rated as Class Three to Four, but if you are healthy and reasonably fit, you need no prior experience. You have the option to choose between an overnight stay or a one day tour with a picnic lunch. You find A-Framed Huts at the Wet Camel Camp for this purpose.

The Blyde River Canyon is considered the greenest Canyon in the world. It consists of luxuriant sub-tropical vegetations. If you prefer to move slowly while viewing these scenes, you can choose a slow-moving craft to paddle the Lower Blyde River. Many clients have highly rated their experience with The Blyde Canyon Adventure-Centre. The internet is full of positive reviews and testimonials provided by highly satisfied customers. That is why it is important that you choose a reputable and experienced operator to paddle the rapids of the Blyde River Canyon.

In conclusion, a rafting trip in the Blyde River Canyon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. The gorgeous sceneries will surely mesmerize anyone who undertakes to whitewater raft in the area. The aforementioned article provides an overview of whitewater rafting in the Blyde River Canyon.

Rafting trip leave from Hazyview, which is only 49 kms from Nelspruit. Nelspruit is considered the gateway city to the adventure and wildlife province of Mphumalanga. If you are looking for places to stay in Nelspruit check out our accommodation listings or check out this Nelspruit B&B.

Blyde Pot Holes