Top Ten Botswana Attractions

Top Ten Botswana Attractions

       Botswana is a country located in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on September 30, 1966. It has held democratic elections since independence. Botswana is flat and up to 70% is covered by the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. A mid-sized, landlocked country of just over two million people, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa when it gained independence from Britain in 1966, with a GDP per capita of about US$70. Botswana has transformed itself, becoming one of the fastest-growing economies in the world to a GDP per capita of about $14,800 (2010 IMF estimate).

  1. Chobe National Park


    Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the 3rd largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse. It is also the country’s first national park.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chobe_National_Park,
  2. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and Sanctuary

    The Makgadikgadi Pan is a large salt pan in the middle of the dry savanna of northeastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, Top 100 Birds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botswana,
  3. Moremi Game Reserve

    Moremi Game Reserve is a National Park in Botswana. It rests on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta and was named after Chief Moremi of the BaTawana tribe. Moremi was designated as a Game Reserve, and not a National Park, since when it was created. The BaSarwa or Bushmen that lived there were supposed to be allowed to stay in the reserve. In the 1960’s, the government changed its mind and burned the Bushmen village and forced the villagers to move outside the park. They relocated on the other side of the Khwai River and named their new village Khwai. Within the village there is still a strong distrust towards the national government as there has been talk about moving the village once again. The Moremi Game Reserve covers much of the eastern side of the Okavango Delta, and combines permanent water, with drier areas, making for some startling, and unexpected contrasts. Prominent geographical features of the Reserve are Chiefs Island and the Moremi Tongue. In the Moremi one can experience excellent savannah game viewing by 4×4, as well as bird-watching on the lagoons. There are also thickly wooded areas, which are home to the shy, and rare, leopard. To the northeast lies the Chobe National Park which borders the Moremi Game Reserve. Although just under 5,000 square km (1,900 sq mi) in extent, it is a surprisingly diverse Reserve, combining mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons. Only about 30% of the Reserve is mainland, with the bulk being within the Okavango Delta itself. The Moremi Game Reserve, although not one of the largest Parks, presents insights and views even for the most experienced of travelers. Home to nearly 500 species of bird (from water birds to forest dwellers), and a vast array of other species of wildlife, including buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyaena, jackal, impala and red lechwe. African Wild dog, Lycaon pictus, is resident and has been the subject of a project run in the area since 1989; thus this species is often seen wearing collars emplaced by researchers. The Moremi area contains one of the most significant extant habitat areas for L. pictus.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moremi_Game_Reserve,
  4. Nxai Pan National Park

    Nxai Pan National Park is a national park in north-eastern Botswana, consisting of Nxai Pan, which is one of the Makgadikgadi Pan salt flats.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nxai_Pan_National_Park,
  5. Central Kalahari Game Reserve


    Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 km² making it the 2nd largest game reserve in the world. The park contains wildlife such as giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, eland, gemsbok, kudu and red hartebeest. The land is mostly flat, and gently undulating covered with bush and grasses covering the sand dunes, and areas of larger trees. Many of the river valleys are fossilized with salt pans. Four fossilized rivers meander through the reserve including Deception Valley which began to form around 16,000 years ago. The Bushmen, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990’s the Botswanan government has tried to relocate the Bushmen from the reserve claiming it is a drain on financial resources despite revenues increasing by tourism to the reserve. In 1997, three quarters of the entire San population were relocated from the reserve, and in October 2005 the government had resumed the forced relocation into resettlement camps outside of the park leaving only about 250 permanent occupiers. But in 2006 a Botswanan court proclaimed the eviction illegal by allowing people to return in Central Kalahari Game Reserve. A huge bush fire took place in and around the park in the mid of September 2008 and around 80% of the reserve was burnt. The origin of the fire remains unknown.
    Links: Top Ten Deserts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Kalahari_Game_Reserve,
  6. Tsodilo

    Tsodilo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in northwestern Botswana. It was inscribed in 2001 due to its unique religious and spiritual significance to local peoples, as well as its unique record of human settlement over many millennia. It contains over 4,500 rock paintings in an area of approximately 10 km² within the Kalahari Desert.
    Links: Top Ten Cave Paintings, Top Ten Deserts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsodilo,
  7. Mashatu Game Reserve


    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats,
  8. Mokolodi Nature Reserve

    Mokolodi Nature Reserve is a private not-for-profit game reserve in southern Botswana. Founded in 1994 by The Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation, it is situated on 30 km sq. of donated land 10 km south of the capital Gaborone. The nature reserve is inhabited by a wide variety of indigenous African game, bird and reptile species, some of which are rare and vulnerable to the threat of extinction. The southern White Rhinoceros herd at Mokolodi Nature Reserve is part of a national breeding program which contributes to the re-building of the national herd in Botswana. Environmental and conservation education are the key objectives of The Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation. The nature reserve hosts children from across Botswana, some of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds. The fee-based activity and accommodation services offered to the public by Mokolodi Nature Reserve support the Foundation’s charitable objectives, to present the children of Botswana with the opportunity to embrace the natural world and to promote the wider protection of Botswana’s natural environment. The park contains many species of wildlife such as white rhino, cheetah, mountain reedbuck, giraffe, zebra, red hartebeest, sable, gemsbok, reared elephants, kudu, impala, hyaena, leopard and water buck. The park is developed as a game sanctuary with an extensive network of paths, which permits viewing the wild life at close quarters. The park administration is planning to expand its limits of conservation area up to the Lion Park.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mokolodi_Nature_Reserve,
  9. Khama Rhino Sanctuary

    The Khama Rhino Sanctuary Trust is a community based wildlife project, established in 1992 to assist in saving the vanishing rhino, restore an area formerly teeming with wildlife to its previous natural state and provide economic benefits to the local Batswana community through tourism and the sustainable use of natural resources.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, Top Ten Birds, http://www.khamarhinosanctuary.com/,
  10. Links: Top Ten Botswana Hotels, Attractions, African Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botswana,