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THERE’S SO MUCH MORE TO SAFARI THAN 4X4S: Discover Botswana

When you think of a trip to Africa, what comes to mind? You wouldn’t be alone if your first thought is of safari, tracking the Big Five in a 4×4 and falling asleep to the sound of the bush in a luxury camp. Vehicles are a fantastic way to get up close to some of the most majestic animals, but if you look beyond, you’ll discover there are so many more ways to do safari.

Located in Southern Africa and stretching over 100,000 sq km, Botswana is a hugely diverse yet peaceful country. From the Kalahari Desert that stretches nearly two-thirds of the country and the Okavango Delta that’s home to a range of wildlife, to the culture-rich  Tsodilo Hills  and the Kanyu Flats, this country is full of excitement and adventure. From lions and black rhinos to hippos and crocodiles, each area provides different landscapes, climates and wildlife so you won’t be left wanting.

Tuludi - Sleep out quad biking Botswana
heli congo bushmen safari xai xai

ON LAND 

There is so much to see within Botswana and myriad ways to see it all; from walking safaris, quad bikes, horses, helicopters, Mokoro and boats, Botswana might just have it all.

A must-visit destination, the Makgadikgadi Pan – a salt pan – is located in the middle of the Savanna and is one of the largest in the world. Immerse yourself in this unique environment by driving across the lunar expanse on a quad bike, enjoy a bushman walk at Jack’s Camp, or feel like a character from a bygone era as you spend an afternoon horseback riding across the vast desert at San Camp.

Africa is a nature-lover’s paradise, so for a close-up experience reminiscent of how safaris originally were, lace up your boots and go on a guided walking safari along the banks of the Khwai River.

For the patient saints among us, Hyena Pan’s hides – nestled on the edge of a watering hole – offer a whole new way to wildlife watch. Sit back, relax and watch the animals come to you.

xigera mokoro hyena pan Botswana
riding safari Kalahari reserve Okavango delta hippos

ON WATER 

One of the most impressive environments within Botswana, the mighty Okavango Delta is an inland river covered in grassy plains that welcomes animals of all manners. A playground waiting to be explored, hop into a mokoro – a traditional canoe made from a hollowed-out tree (it’s safer than it sounds). At Xigera Safari Lodge, their mokoros have an added glass bottom so you don’t just get to see the amazing birds flying about or the hippos bobbing in the water, but you might just catch a glimpse of what lies below…

Want to delve deeper? A private boat trip can take you further into these winding waterways where you’ll be able to see more of the wildlife in their natural habitats, from big game stopping for a drink to crocodiles floating past you.

For something a little different, take to the skies to see the Okavango Delta in a whole new light (it’s one of our favourite ways to see it in all its glory). At Eagle Island Lodge, their helicopter safari has been designed to do just that: explore this expansive land in an open-door helicopter boasting spectacular panoramic views.

Finally, no trip to Botswana would be complete without a trip to Chobe National Park, home to the highest elephant population in Africa. One of Botswana’s most famed areas, there are so many ways to explore. Drift along the water and see the wildlife drinking along the banks. Or, for a different take, a hot air balloon ride over the Chobe is an experience you’ll never forget.

Botswana is home to an incredible array of wildlife, landscapes and cultures, and there are some fantastic properties that will unlock this country’s authentic side (see below for some of our favourites). The expert rangers and safari guides that call this magnificent landscape their home have fine-tuned their offerings to provide a unique, adventurous and eye-opening experience.