Botswana is favoured with some of southern Africa’s most varied national parks, from the vast Kalahari to the Chobe National Park.
The jewel in Botswana’s tourism crown has to be the Okavango Delta. This remote inland delta offers welcome respite from potentially barren landscape and attracts a wealth of wildlife to the area. The 5-star safari typical to southern Africa has come home to roost here. A growing number of premier lodges and camps offer surprising luxury in remote locations that are accessible only by air. But Botswana is also home to the quintessential African safari. Its wide open spaces are some of the few remaining places where unrestricted exploration by 4-wheel drive can still be experienced.
Chobe National Park, the Okavango delta and surrounding concessions offer some of southern Africa’s best traditional bushveld game viewing. However, it is the lesser-known parks and reserves that showcase the real Botswana. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park highlight the abundance of the Kalahari Desert and the lives of the ancient San people. Meanwhile, the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park hosts the annual zebra migration as summer rains bring life to the salt pans.
The “Switzerland” of Africa, Botswana has benefited from a stable political environment and a healthy economy based on its mineral wealth and tourism assets. Never formally colonised, the country has displayed effective democratic governance since its independence in 1966 and combined with the discovery of diamonds in 1967, has resulted in one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Since the majority of the country is uninhabitable arid and semi-arid wilderness, Botswana has one of the lowest population densities in the world – less than 3 per km². The result is that vast tracts of untouched wilderness have been declared National Park areas.