Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know
About Botswana Safaris
by Bill Given
Denver Zoo Research Associate / Wildlife Biologist / Safari Guide / Safari Planner
1) Botswana Offers You Exceptional Value 7 Months of the Year
Botswana has earned a reputation as being expensive. During high season, limited beds and high demand results in more expensive safaris.
The remaining 7 months of the year, one can actually obtain some of the lowest cost/highest quality safaris in all of Africa. The “off” months can sometimes be a higher quality game viewing experience than high season months.
2) Everything You’ve Read About Botswana Safaris is Outdated
What you’ve read about Botswana safaris in books and online is probably outdated.
Botswana is undergoing a historic change that is drastically modifying the safari landscape.
After a relatively dry cycle of 25+ years, northern Botswana is now experiencing an extended wet cycle leading to dramatic changes. Areas for prime wildlife viewing are continuously shifting.
3) Botswana’s Low Season Offers Great Opportunity
November – December
In November and December, the waters are near their lowest – allowing access to land that can’t be reached during much of the high season.
The combination of easiest driving conditions, vegetation having just gone green, antelope calving season and peak of bird life creates a peak time for safari at off-season pricing.
January – March
Low season, January through March, is the ideal time to visit the Kalahari. The Okavango remains very special at a tremendous value.
4) Botswana’s Dedicated Trackers Maximize Game Viewing
Dedicated Trackers make a world of difference when it comes to finding wildlife on safari.
Botswana lends itself well to tracking – most of Botswana is Kalahari sand which provides an excellent medium for preserving animal tracks. Commonly, Botswana safari operators have a dedicated tracker sitting on the front of the vehicle to assist with following fresh spoor (tracks).
Having a tracker also means that you have a two person crew: guide and tracker. This provides tremendous benefit to the safari experience:
- With a spotter along, the guide can focus on driving and communicating with guests
- Should the vehicle become stuck in wet conditions, your two man crew ensures you’re moving again viewing wildlife rather than remaining stuck in the mud
5) Botswana Has the Oldest Culture on the Planet
The Oldest Culture on Planet Earth: The Bushman People
Botswana is often overlooked as a cultural destination. Learning from the Bushman people is an unparalleled learning experience, connecting with our ancient African heritage.
We have pioneered visits to a couple of villages in the Okavango region. Because this culture is often overlooked there are actually some of the best chances for “un-touristy” visits. I have found it far more interesting than my visits in East Africa where culture is highly touted.