When planning a safari we'll often caution against the temptation to include too much, whereby you spend much of your time travelling and not enough quality-time on the ground - and this in turn may create a single country destination. Here are 5 reasons to choose Botswana -
1. Phenomonal Game
With the largest population of elephants on the planet, the greatest variety of mammals in Africa and a huge predator population - from a game-viewing perspective Botswana is a no-brainer. From Aardwolf to Zebra, by way of Bat-eared Fox, Caracal, Giraffe, Hippo, Impala, Jackal, Kudu, Lechwe, Leopard and Meerkat this alphabet soup of potential encounters will satiate everyone from novice to seasoned veteran.
2. Brilliant Birdlife
While some countries may have longer lists and more endemics, the overall experience birding in Botswana is very high indeed. Whether watching wildfowl at eye-level while poling through the swamps or encountering some of the winged-behemoths like Ostrich, Kori Bustards, Pel's Fising Owl and Wattled Crane - it is impossible not to take at least a passing interest in the birds here. Superb birds of prey and an array of colourful songbirds are likely to provide entertainment while the predators are catnapping.
3. Few other folk
The Botswana government actively pursues a policy of low-density, low-impact toursim and while this puts many of the offerings available firmly on the high-end of the cost spectrum, in terms of exlusivity and quality of exprience these really are unsurpassed anywhere. If you believe (as we do) that it is not merely about seeing the game, but unquestionably also about how you see it then Botswana can be a very attractive proposition.
4. Safe, stable and very comfortable
Once one of the world's poorest countries, Botwsana has become a successful free-market, multi-party democracy, underwritten by the subsequent discovery of diamonds. Mineral wealth and a thriving tourism industry have transformed Botswana in to one of the best financed developing nations. Freedom of speech, the press and religion are all constitutionally guaranteed and the Batswana are a peace-loving people who have never been at war, crime rates are low and incidents against visitors infentisimal. Couple this with some of the most comfortable camps on the continent and it becomes clear that there is no need to suffer any hardship on safari here.
5. Good links to Cape Town and the Victoria Falls
The town of Maun is the gate-way to the Okavango and one of the buisiest light-aircraft airports in the world. It is from here that all the little charter flights emanate from to move you seemlessly from one top-drawer destination to the next. It also has excellent links to the Victoria Falls and Cape Town which means that a Botswana safari can easily be combined with a few days of someting completely different, by the Falls or in the winelands.