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Ein Löwe im Okavangodelta, Bild: Sjoerd Jansen / shutterstock

Botswana – Republic of Natural Paradises


The Republic of Botswana, also spelled Botswana, is the area with the most elephants in Africa with about 100,000 animals. Despite a total area of 581,730 km², the probability of seeing a herd of elephants is high. In addition to these magnificent animals, giraffes, lions, jackals and warthogs, among others, call this republic home, as do 2.1 million inhabitants. Of the Republic’s human cohabitants, 231,626 live in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. The Republic of Botswana borders South Africa to the south and partly to the east. Namibia lies to the west and Zimbabwe to the north.

The journey to Botswana

For a trip to Botswana’s flora and fauna, you first fly from various German cities to South Africa, either to Cape Town or Johannesburg. From there it goes to Maun or Gaborone and thus to Botswana. Depending on the departure point in Germany , the journey can take up to 63 hours. As a rule, the flight is 22 to 30 hours. If you don’t feel like flying through the air, you have the option of entering Botswana with a rental car. Border crossings can be found from Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe. It is possible to travel by bus from Johannesburg to Gaborone.

Pure nature in Africa

Maun, Botswana
View of Maun, Image: Hiromi Ito Ame / shutterstock

Botswana is home to one of the largest ecosystems in the world: the Okavango Delta!

The river is about 1,700 kilometers long and stretches from Angola in the highlands across Namibia and empties into the Kalahari Basin in the North West District. This is where the water seeps away and evaporates. Due to the floods dependent on the rainy season, the delta transforms the landscape into grasslands, islands, swamps, lagoons and lakes every year. For tourists, there are hyenas, leopards or jackals to see here. The delta is best known for its large population of lions. Herbivores can be found here, especially in the dry season: elephants, wildebeest or buffalo herds. Monkeys, baboons, crocodiles and hippos, among others, also live here. If you want to go on safari here, you will have a lot to offer from the wildlife!

Paradises in the National Parks

Not only the Okavango Delta offers tourists an abundance of animals and plants. Visitors can also experience a true natural paradise in the national parks. These are located around the delta and are among the most pristine game viewing areas in Africa.

Experience the beauty of Botswana in the following parks and protected areas:

1. Central Kalahari game reserve

The game reserve covers an area of 52,000 square kilometers and is located in southern Africa. There are four entrances for tourists: Tsau Gate in the north-west, Matsware Gate in the north-east, Khutse Gate and Xade Gate in the south. Interesting for visitors in the Central Kalahari are the springbok antelopes and herds of oryx. For example, bat-eared foxes, gophers and cheetahs are also at home here.

2. Kgalagadi National Park

This 38,000 square meter park is located partly in Botswana and partly in the South African territory. Tourists are best off traveling here during the rainy season. At this time there are most of the animals to see as well as a blooming desert.

3. Chobe National Park

The Chobe National Park has an area of 10,566 square kilometers. This park is popular due to its proximity to the Victoria Falls and the huge herds of elephants: depending on the season, between 90,000 and 120,000 elephants can be found here.

Nature lovers can also observe lions, buffaloes, leopards, kudus and cheetahs here. The most used entrance to Chobe National Park is at Kasane and is called Sedudu Gate. Other entrances are the Ghoha Gate in the southwest and the Ngoma Gate. This is located on the border with Namibia.

4. Nxai Pan National Park and Makgadikgadi Game Reserve

Central Kalahari game reserve, Botswana
Springbok in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Image: Giampaolo Cianella / shutterstock

The park and the wildlife reserve were merged in 1993 to form the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan. Its total area covers 5,500 square kilometers. Most animals come into the salt pan during their migration. Thus, a visit is only recommended at certain times. For driving by car, the dry season makes the most sense, as the paths are not passable during the rainy seasons.

5. Moremi Wildlife Sanctuary

In the eastern part of the Okavango Delta lies the Moremi Game Reserve. Lush, green vegetation prevails here. The landscape is characterized by forest islands, park landscapes and an impressive variety of animals: 350 species of birds, pride of lions, giraffes, elephants and many other animals inhabit this part of Botswana.

The victorious cases

Tourists and nature lovers should definitely visit the Victoria Falls. These are located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989. The Victoria Falls plunge 108 meters into the depths of the Batoka Gorge between Zambia and Zimbabwe over a width of 1688 meters. Depending on the weather, visitors can hike along the edge of the fall or go from one vantage point to the next. When traveling to the Victoria Falls, sturdy shoes, waterproof clothing and enough to drink are advisable. Despite the high wetness, very warm temperatures prevail here.

These are the ways to discover Botswana

For the adventurer, the Republic of Botswana can be explored as a self-driver. Challenges here are offered by water crossings or deep-sandy slopes. In addition to adventurous paths, various wild animals cross the path of the self-driver. Caution is called for. For a good orientation, the rental car is best equipped with GPS. The right map material should also be included.

If you are less adventurous, you have the opportunity to explore Botswana in a group. An experienced tour guide is available for questions and information. From him, those willing to travel will get insider tips about the inhabitants of Botswana as well as about the species-rich country