Wildlife locations

13 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Chobe National Park

Chobe sits on the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers. The mosaic of bush, waterway, floodplain and woodland is home to a vast array of wildlife, most notably Africa’s largest concentration of elephant, but also huge herds of buffalo that congregate along its fertile floodplain during the dry season.

  • Where: Northern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Lion, Puku, Wild dog
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Moremi Game Reserve

Moremi is an unspoilt and stunningly beautiful reserve, considered to be one of Africa’s finest sanctuaries. Its 3,000 sqkm of woodland, floodplain and reedbed includes the waters of the Okavango Delta, attracting high concentrations of plains game and predators which can be viewed by river or on land.

  • Where: Northern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Pel’s fishing owl, Red lechwe, Sitatunga, Fire-crowned bishop, Scops owl
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Okavango Delta

This 1.6 million hectare wildlife paradise is a vast tapestry of crystal clear water channels, lagoons and small islands. Known for its concentrations of large wildlife and birds, outings by water or land, at day or night, yields fantastic sightings within the private concessions of exclusive accommodation.

  • Where: Northern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Hippo, Nile crocodile, Red lechwe, Sitatunga, Tsessebe
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Savuti Linyanti

This rich complex of grasslands, papyrus marshlands, lagoons and forests are often described as one of Africa’s best game-viewing areas. With a dense concentration of wildlife, the perennial waters attract great herds of plains wildlife and predators, but wild dog are undoubtedly the area’s speciality.

  • Where: Northern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, Cheetah, African elephant, Red lechwe, Lion
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Combining perfectly with a safari in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia or Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls are not only a wonderful place from which to begin or end a safari, but offer enough interest to be a safari destination in their own right. The wildlife in the tributaries is active all year round, and the birdlife is superb.

  • Where: Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe
  • Ideal for viewing: Common waterbuck, African elephant, Hippo, Black eagle, Taita falcon
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Nothing quite prepares you for the size of this reserve, nor its wild and mysterious beauty. Covering 9% of Botswana, Central Kalahari Game Reserve was established as a sanctuary for the nomadic San Bushmen to live their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life, without intrusion from the outside world.

  • Where: Northern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Lion, Brown hyena, Gemsbok, Aardwolf, Eland
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Deception Valley

Located towards the northeast of the Kalahari, Deception Valley is composed from a mixture of vegetated duneveld, acacia outcrops, and remote valleys and pans that emerged over 15,000 years ago as the river began to fossilise. It is home to a diverse population of wildlife, including Cape fox, lions and cheetah.

  • Where: Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Ideal for viewing: Cheetah, Eland, Cape fox, Springbok, Lion
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Kalahari Desert

Despite this giant arid region being a harsh environment, scored with the beds of dried up rivers and vast salt pans, it not only provides the setting for fine game-viewing but also for encountering San bushmen, hunter gatherers who precariously cling to their traditional ways of life throughout this region.

  • Where: Western Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue wildebeest, Cheetah, Eland, Ostrich, Springbok
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris

Makgadikgadi Pans

One of Africa’s most important wetland sites and the only area in Southern Africa to witness a migration of tens of thousands of blue wildebeest and Burchell’s zebra when, during the rains, the dry and empty salt pans transform into lakes, also attracting vast flocks of flamingos and migratory birds.

  • Where: Northern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Blue wildebeest, Brown hyena, Lesser flamingo, Gemsbok, Springbok
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris

Mashatu Game Reserve

Sharing open borders with its neighbours – Zimbabwe’s Tuli Safari Area and South Africa’s Mapungubwe National Park – Mashatu Game Reserve has incredible biodiversity with huge populations of elephant, eland, lion and giraffe. A number of hides provide excellent photographic opportunities.

  • Where: Tuli Enclave, Eastern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Kori bustard, Lion, Ostrich, South African giraffe
  • Excellent for: Photography tours with Nick Garbutt, Vehicle safaris

Nxai Pan National Park

Located north-east of the Makgadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan National Park covers the land surrounding a large salt pan that was once part of a great lake in central Botswana. Nowadays, during the green season between October and March the area attracts large herds of springbok, gemsbok and zebra.

  • Where: Northeastern Botswana
  • Ideal for viewing: Gemsbok, Cheetah, Eland, Lion, Red hartebeest
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Passarge Valley

Situated toward the north of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the Passarge Valley is now a fossilised river that once snaked across the landscape, whose dried and rocky bed now punctuates the landscape and intersects the iconic Kalahari Desert. Its geology provides optimal grazing for Kalahari game.

  • Where: Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Ideal for viewing: Lion, Brown hyena, Steppe eagle, Cheetah, Caracal
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Victoria Falls, Zambia

Combining perfectly with a safari in Botswana, Zimbabwe or Namibia as well as Zambia, the Zambian side was once considered to be the ‘poor cousin’, by comparison with the views of the river and the falls from Zimbabwe. The two countries are linked by a spectacular iron bridge above the raging waters.

  • Where: Southern Province, Zambia
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, African elephant, Hippo, Trumpeter hornbill, Common waterbuck
  • Excellent for: River safaris, Birdwatching

Wildlife trips

Immortalised in wildlife documentaries, Botswana offers some of the planet’s best game viewing. Hemmed in by parched desert, the Okavango Delta is an oasis of waterways and lagoons teeming with wildlife and boasting some of the world’s finest safari lodges. Wildlife enthusiasts be warned – one visit is rarely enough!

7 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Giants of Mashatu

How wonderful to be able to photograph iconic African species ‘up close and personal’ from a dedicated hide, allowing time for the perfect shot of elephants by the waterhole. In addition, jeep safaris are operated in private game reserves away from the crowd for a prime photography experience.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Natural Wonders

Few trips venture as far as Namibia’s northern border, but this innovative itinerary employs a combination of self-drive and guided safari to visit famed Etosha and the Caprivi en route to Africa’s Four Corners – where Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet – ending at Chobe and Victoria Falls.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 14 days

Five Rivers Crossing

In the Green Season the arrival of the summer rains transforms the dry land into verdant pastures dotted with wild flowers. At this time of plenty, there is no shortage of food, so many species choose to bring their young into the world, attracting the unwanted attention of various predators.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 14 days

Highlights of Northern Botswana

This small group trip incorporates prime wildlife areas, starting in the Okavango Delta, one of the ecological wonders of the world and home to predators such as lion, hyena, wild dog and leopard. Continuing on to Chobe National Park, you will find here one of Africa’s highest remaining concentrations of wildlife.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Wings Over Botswana

Flying from camp to camp is one of the most exciting ways to experience Botswana’s stunning wilderness. From the rich vistas of Savuti-Linyanti, to the stunningly beautiful Moremi Game Reserve and the renowned Okavango Delta. Included are safaris by vehicle, on foot and by mokoro (canoe).

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Return of the Rivers

Water levels in the Savuti Channel are flowing again after around 10 years of laying dry, with the result that the attracted wildlife can be seen with ease. Enjoy vehicle safaris to see herds of elephants, packs of wild dogs, zebra and wildebeest, and leisurely river trips by mokoro dugout canoe.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 7 days

Kalahari in Bloom

Explore some of Botswana’s finest wildlife destinations during the scenic splendour of the green season as the arrival of the rains brings the landscape to life. As the arid plains are rejuvenated, large herds of herbivores gather to graze on the grasslands, followed by a host of predators, including hyena, cheetah and lion.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 10 days

When to go

Rains fall between December and March. The land is verdant when the skies clear in April attracting wildlife, and steadily dries until temperatures peak in September and October.

Seasons

  • Dry season

    May to Oct: The dry winter brings some fabulous wildlife viewing opportunities
  • Green season

    Nov to Apr: Botswana’s summer months receive more rainfall and the country is lush and green

Wildlife events

  • May to Jul: Water rises in Okavango Delta
  • Jul to Aug: Best game viewing in Okavango Delta
  • Jul to Oct: Herds of elephant & buffalo gather on Chobe riverfront
  • Sep to Nov: Carmine bee eaters nest
  • Oct: Okavango heronries are full of birds
  • Nov: Birthing season – tsessebe, impala, lechwe
  • Dec to Jan: Migrant bird species arrive for the peak breeding season
  • Dec to Mar: Kalahari Desert in bloom – wildlife abounds
  • Feb to Apr: Many birds in breeding plumage
  • Mar to Apr: Water rises in Okavango Delta

Accommodation

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