Things to see in Botswana

Print our full travel guide to Botswana

Botswana Attractions

Wildlife is Botswana's main draw and game reserves compose nearly one-fifth of the country's territory. In these parks you will find lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, antelope, wild dogs, and hundreds of species of birds. Visitors can take safaris and stay in lodges running the gamut from inexpensive dorms for backpackers to five-star, luxury private lodges with your own driver and guide.

Among southern Africa's most impressive and popular wildlife destinations is the Okavango Delta where the Okavango River widens into the world's largest inland delta. Lying in the middle of the arid Kalahari, the swamps & water channels attract animals from thousands of kilometers around and triples in size during floods in July and August. Nearby Chobe National Park has a large population of elephants and it is also easy to spot many of Africa's well-known species, especially zebras and lions. The bleak salt pans of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park attracts a large number and variety of birds year-round. Other great game parks include Nxai Pan National Park, Mokolodi Nature Reserve and Gemsbok National Park.

Unfortunately, most of the native tribes in Botswana only dress in traditional outfits and perform rituals for tourists. Nevertheless, for the culture-cravers, the villages of D'Kar and Xai-Xai have many offerings, including arts, crafts, and the opportunity to participate in various rituals, while Tsodilo Hills contain one of the largest collections of ancient rock art on the continent.


Giraffe

Mokolodi Nature Reserve

This 300-hectare reserve is just nine miles (15km) from Gaborone and contains examples of most of the local flora as well as an impressive collection of indigenous animals such as the white rhino, mountain reedbuck, various antelope, zebra, giraffe, hyena, and warthog.

The reserve was...  see full details



Leopard 7

Moremi Wildlife Reserve

Moremi, about 37 miles (60km) from Maun, is a 1,160 square mile (3,000 sq km) reserve set in the middle of the Okavango Delta in one of the world's most pristine wilderness areas. It consists of a network of waterways surrounding two main...  see full details



Baby Elephant

Chobe National Park

The second largest game park in Botswana, Chobe, is situated in the far north of the country and its 4,517 square miles (11,700 sq km) is divided into four distinct regions. These comprise the river frontage with floodplains and teak forest; the Savute...  see full details



Tsodilo Hills

Tsodilo Hills

To the west of the Okavango Delta area, about 33 miles (53km) from the town of Shakawe, is a mysterious site shrouded in myth, legend and spiritual significance for the local San people, who have inhabited the area for 35,000 years or more....  see full details



Buffalo

Gaborone Game Reserve

Although small, at just under 600 hectares, the Gaborone Game Reserve is the third busiest game reserve in the country, providing a very popular venue for city residents in which to unwind. Serving as a popular escape for city dwellers with picnic sites,...  see full details



Salt Pans

Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

The Makgadikgadi Pans are located in the north-east of the country and are among the largest salt flats on earth, covering 6,200 square miles (16,000km²) of the Kalahari basin. During the annual rains, the pans become a source of fresh water and grass for...  see full details



Cheetah Cub

Khutse Game Reserve

Established in 1971, the Khutse Game Reserve encompasses 965 square miles (2,500 sq km) of semi-arid Kalahari bush savannah in the Bakwena tribal lands. Boreholes have been sunk into this undulating terrain to provide more water and encourage wildlife to stay in the area...  see full details



Gemsbok

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, located in both Botswana and South Africa, extends over 15,000 square miles (38,000 sq km) of the southern Kalahari Desert. About three quarters of the park lies in the extreme south-west of Botswana, locally known as the Gemsbok National Park....  see full details



Bushmen

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

At 20,380 square miles (52,800 sq. km), the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is larger than some European countries, such as Denmark or Switzerland, and is bigger than Lesotho and Swaziland put together! Indeed, the reserve is the second largest game reserve on earth and...  see full details