Botswana is one of the most stable of African countries, with a tiny population of only about 1.5 million people in country about the size of France, offering the ultimate in wild life experiences. Although there is serious cattle overgrazing in some of the fringe areas of the Kalahari, enough wild places still exist to satisfy the most demanding visitor.
The dry and inhospitable Kalahari covers about 75 % of the country, and in the very South, the border between Botswana and South Africa has been set aside, and the adjoining National Parks of both countries combined to create the first cross border Peace Park. Here the magnificent Kalahari lions roam over miles of sparse vegetation and red sand dunes, with a host of animals and plants that have adapted to the hot and arid conditions.
In the North of the country, near Angola, the water of the Okavango flows south into the desert and disappears, but not before creating a vast Delta area, a unique water wonderland of up to 15000 km2. Here, light planes carry visitors into small airstrips, where they will be met and taken by boat or 4 x 4 vehicles to small and intimate lodges, usually sleeping no more than 15 or 20 people
Game viewing is by open vehicle, speedboat, on foot, or even by mekoro, the wooden dug outs canoes used by the local people for centuries. East of the Okavango, linking with Moremi, is another pearl of Botswana, the Chobe National Park. Here, some 50000 elephants roam over a huge wilderness area, and in the dry season, along the banks of the Chobe River, it sometimes seems as though all the elephants have gathered in one place, and viewing these at close quarters from a small boat is a truly humbling experience.
The real adventurer may want to join an expert guide and well prepared party and head off on a camping trip into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, to see some extraordinary wild life, as well as the fascinating cultural life of the indigenous peoples of the Kalahari.
The climate of Botswana is generally dry, with a period of quite heavy rains from about November until the end of February, but the intending visitor should ask us about conditions in each area.
A popular tour is to combine the area around Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe with Chobe, or the Okavango Delta (and even parts of Namibia), with a few days in Cape Town to round it all off.
The famous photo taken by Horst Klem, "The Dynasty of Abu" on an Elephant Back Safari in the Botswana delta.