The Essence of Botswana

From the sands and salt pans of the Kalahari Desert to the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta, Botswana is superb safari country. This is a place of dramatic wildlife-watching, where the lion is king and the only crowds are elephant herds.

Why choose a tour in Botswana?

For naturalists, adventurers, and lovers of wildlife, Botswana is a thrilling mix of Big Five reserves and little-known pockets of peaceful tranquillity. With its arid deserts, vast saltpans, rivers, lagoons, and A to Z of birds and animals, Botswana safaris are lauded as ‘the experience of a lifetime’.

The country’s first National Park, Chobe is not the biggest in Africa, but is considered to be among the best. Famed for its concentration of game, and for the world’s largest population of elephants, the award-winning park is home to about a quarter of the continent’s elephant herds, and is known as The Land of Giants. Spread around the banks of the Chobe River, its grasslands, floodplains, and mahogany forests are also home to lions and cheetahs, impala and zebra, buffalo, waterbuck, wild dog, and 450 species of resident and migratory birds.

In contrast, remote Nxai Pan National Park covers 2,578 sq.kms on one of Africa’s largest saltpans. A desert in the dry season, it is transformed with burgeoning greenery by the November-April rains, when animals come in their thousands in Southern Africa’s second-largest migration. Springboks, giraffes and elephants are joined by huge herds of zebra and antelope seeking the lush grass, and by their predators, jackals and big cats.

The wonderfully wild Okavango Delta is most abundant with flora and fauna from May to October, when the delta is flooded by the Kavango River. Within its watery spread, clear water channels link blue lagoons, cloaked with lilies, cutting through grassland and woodland, and punctuated with papyrus and palm islets.

Among the delta’s wildlife reserves, Moremi National Park was created by local people to preserve the wildlife in their ancestral lands, and encompasses the most diverse ecosystems to provide the breathtaking beauty for which the park is known. Now a birdlife paradise, visited by kingfishers, copper-tailed coucals, hornbills, hamerkops et al; it is also a Big Cat and Big Five reserve, after re-introducing both Black and White Rhino, and is home to hippos and large numbers of plains game.

Intimate, isolated Pom Pom Island is a private concession, accessible only by air. With very few visitors, and virtually no traffic, this truly pristine wilderness is an undiluted safari experience, ‘far from the madding crowd’. The island’s permanent lagoon provides the habitats for hippos and brilliant birdlife, and wildlife sightings can include lions, leopards, elephants, and spotted hyenas.

Botswana safaris also feature on tours teamed with neighbouring Namibia’s national parks and lush Caprivi Strip, and Zimbabwe’s renowned Hwange reserve Highlights of Zimbabwe & Botswanaand spectacular Victoria Falls; and can be added as a holiday extension to our terrific train journey, which explores the highlights of South Africa, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

When to go on Botswana holidays

Botswana’s sub-tropical climate comprises a hot and wet summer season from November to March, when the rains are likely but not abundant, and temperatures range between 30 and 35°; a hot and dry interlude in April and in September-October; and a mild winter season from May to August, when daytimes average 26° and nights are chilly. With regional variations, the driest area is the south-western Kalahari Desert, the wettest are the north and southeast. 

Jules Verne’s journeys in Botswana are timed for the seasons which offer the best experience of wildlife watching in the various areas, and the most comfortable climate for touring.

Who are Botswana tours suited to?

With game drives, bush walks, river cruises, and ‘mokoro’ canoes, our small-group safaris deliver an authentic, ‘up-close’ observation of Botswana’s wildlife; in Chobe, its most renowned reserve, in remote Nxai Pan, and in little-visited enclaves of the Okavango Delta, where a ‘life in the slow lane’ aura enhances the immersive experience. 

Our mixed-group tours are thoroughly enjoyed by singles, couples, friends and families; and we feature special solo-only departures and ‘No Single Supplement’ dates.

Why book Botswana tours with Jules Verne?

With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne finds the most intriguing, adventurous, and inspiring places to explore. Our Botswana safaris typically take to the tracks with a knowledgeable driver/guide, well versed in the habits and habitats of the country’s amazing animals; and, on our various journeys, highlights include a sunset cruise, an insight of the customs, beliefs, and lifestyle of the original Kalahari dwellers, and an optional helicopter flight above the Okavango Delta.

Our guided tours to Botswana are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.

Elephants Drinking, Botswana

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