Resting silently in the arid grassland are a pair of black-maned Kalahari lions. On a Botswana safari holiday, this is not unexpected. In the enormous Kalahari Transfrontier Park these lions have become desert-adapted, and live alongside many other species: springbok, hyena, the very sociable meerkat, to name but a few.
In contrast to this arid region, flying into the Okavango Delta on a small plane reveals an ever-changing floodplain filled with rivers, lagoons, swamps, islands, and channels. Moremi Game Reserve, in the eastern part of the Delta, is surrounded by various unfenced and privately managed wildlife concessions.
Super luxurious bush camps and lodges in the Delta are exclusive, with excellent guides—among the best in Africa. To make the most of your time in this magnificent wilderness, you need to carefully select the right accommodations. That’s no easy task. Unless you have the knowledge and experience of an Enchanting Travels destination expert, who can guide you with the right choices, based on the season and your personal wildlife-viewing interests. Walking safaris, game drives, and water safaris—we can plan them all, to give you a comprehensive experience of this fascinating ecosystem. Picture this: As your mokoro (canoe) gently glides through the water, you spot a pod of submerged hippos. Colorful birds flit by or forage on the banks, while an African Fish Eagle suddenly sweeps down to grab its prey from the water.
Dense with animals is Chobe National Park in the country’s north, most famous for its huge herds of elephants adding up to an incredible 100,000 animals. We’ll book you into the best lodges along the Chobe riverfront, to make sure that so long you are in the area, your animal encounters never stop.
You may have an inkling about modern Botswana after reading Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Botswana tours introduce you to the Batswana, the local people who are a fusion of cultural diversity, with over twenty different ethnic groups. Some of these groups have been fiercely holding onto their traditions and customs that have been practiced for 20,000 years, against the wave of modernity.
It is considered by some advocates that the Kalahari’s conservation laws are endangering the San people’s foraging existence.
Whilst English is the official language, Setswana is the main language, and you might hear up 26 different languages when you travel in Botswana! Many guests are fascinated by the Khoisan tongues – one of the prevalent language groups that are often known as click languages due to the incredible clicking sounds the tongues produce. A few thousand people in Botswana speak !Xoo, what is considered the world’s most complex-sounding language.
(To familiarise yourself with the click language, we highly recommend you watch the 1980 comedy movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy)
Introduced by missionaries in the 19th century, the primary religion of Botswana is Christianity, but on one of our Botswana safaris you will notice that this has been merged with aspects of the indigenous belief systems.
Like most African countries, Botswana bases its cuisine on meat and maize. Most Batswana eat their main meal at lunchtime.
Goat is a particularly popular meat, but it also has a tradition of serving up excellent locally reared beef, once the main income source before diamonds became the country’s major commodity. Offal, especially oxtail, was once a dish saved for special occasions but is not eaten frequently in the country’s urban centers. You might be surprised to find freshwater fish features in the local fare served on your Botswana safaris.
Due to the variety grown in the country, pulses are prevalent in Botswana’s cuisine, including cowpeas, ditloo (bambara groundnut), peanuts and letlhodi (China beans).
During one of our Botswana tours, there are some interesting traditional foods you might wish to try:
Seswaa: the national dish, a meat stew that is served over thick polenta (pap) and often served with leafy greens known as Morogo
Bogobe: a sorghum porridge, typically eaten for breakfast but also served with meat and vegetables at dinnertime.
Vetkoek: an unsweetened donut, usually filled with mince.
Marula: an aromatic and juicy fruit is used in all sorts of sweets, jams and even alcoholic beverages. You might often find the odd elephant wobbling around a marula tree in southern Africa, as the fermented fruit even makes pachyderms tipsy!
Only for the most adventurous traveler! Mopane worms, a multi-colored caterpillar high in protein and fat, are a traditional food in the country.
The Enchanting Travels team looks forward to help your plan your private and tailor-made Botswana safaris.
The history of Botswana began with many migratory ethnic groups, including the Bantu, San and Khoikhoi, from as early as AD200.
In the 1820s the Boers (Dutch-settling farmers) began their Great Trek, occupying any land they wished to in southern Africa, which caused hostilities with the country’s major ethnic group, the Tswana. The Tswana sought support for several decades from the British Government, who finally agreed to put Bechuanaland (as it was known) under its protection in 1885.
Botswana gained independence in 1964, when the British Government accepted the country’s proposal for democratic self-governance. Seretse Khama, one of the leaders of the independence movement and one of the chieftains of the native people, was the first president.
During one of our Botswanasafaris you will find a clean, democratic government, a well-maintained economy with policies that have a strong focus on peace and stability for its people.