Botswana is a country in southern Africa with a vast and varied landscape. It is locked in by South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. The population of around two million is concentrated in the southeast, including more than 300,000 in the capital city of Gaborone. The vast Kalahari Desert hogs most of the central region, while the north has the lush Okavango Delta and the famous Chobe National Park. Tourists should remember that summers in this part of the world are from November to April, and it may rain in summer. Temperatures tend to soar to extreme levels just before the rains, so visits have to be timed properly. You will have to get a car for hire in Botswana if you want to move around and explore Gaborone, Francistown, Ghanzi, and the other major destinations.
If you are flying in to Botswana via Seretse Khama Airport or entering by road from Johannesburg, then you will be seeing Gaborone first. The capital city is just a hop away from the South African border. You can start with the town center, Main Mall, and Government Enclave. Get a car for rent in Botswana and you can visit the Gaborone Game Reserve, which is inside the city. Other must-visit attractions include the Gaborone Dam, Three Chiefs Monument, and the National Museum. The museum also has an art gallery and botanical gardens. If you are in need of some urban entertainment, Gabarone's three biggest hotels also house casinos.
Head north from Gabarone on the A1 for about five hours and you will reach Francistown. This is a very old and historic city with gold rush origins. Today, Francistown combines history with game reserves and urban attractions. You can start with the Supa Ngwao Museum and an animal orphanage called Birds and Game Botswana that is very popular among kids. Adjacent to Francistown is the Tachila Nature Reserve, where you may come face to face with leopards, impalas, and hyenas. The Domboshaba archeological site is another must-visit attraction.
Ghanzi is an eight hour drive from the capital, and you will be entering the Kalahari Desert. The city of Ghanzi is a hub for more than 200 cattle farms in the area. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGH) is located due east of Ghanzi, after a "no-man's land" buffer zone between the farms and the reserve. CKGH is the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, with endless plains of waist-high grass hiding all manner of wildlife. You can see herds of wildebeest, giraffe, and springboks. Many of the farms have been turned into game ranches.
Ghanzi does offer a legitimate African safari experience, and you can see a bit of wildlife near Gaborone and Francistown. But the real deal with big five game and massive herds of prey with huge lakes to sustain them is in the north, where you will find Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, and the Okavango Delta. Book your car rental in Botswana right now and plan for a real African safari after the six hour drive from Francistown to Kasane or Maun. Kasane near the Botswana-Namibia-Zambia border is the ideal base for a foray into Chobe Park, while Maun is the gateway into Moremi Game Reserve.
19 November 2019
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20 November 2019
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22 November 2019
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