Botswana Overland Safari
Botswana has vast tracts of wilderness, deserts, savannah and open spaces that beckon travellers from across the world. A Botswana overland safari is perfect if you are seeking a one-of-a-kind African wildlife experience and adventure. The nature parks and reserves in the country allow you to explore the wild side of African like never before.
For many nature lovers, Botswana is the ultimate paradise. Nearly 17% of the country has been converted into national parks while another 20% is designated protected wilderness. So, when you head out on a Botswana safari, you can be confident that it will be a wildlife fiesta from start to finish.
Spending Time in Botswana
If you intend to experience a Botswana overland safari, you may believe that the entire country comprises of wilderness teeming with wildlife. While this is true for Botswana’s nature parks and reserves, the country also has beautiful cities and towns.
When you are looking to explore Botswana and enjoy an unforgettable safari, you will be heading to Maun, which offers you access to Kasane and Okavango Delta. Maun is located at the border of the iconic Moremi Wildlife Reserve and neighbouring Zimbabwe, and are extremely popular with nature lovers, and adventure thrill seekers.
Maun: A Brief Overview
While Gaborone is the capital of Botswana, most travellers give it a miss, as they prefer going to Maun for the ultimate African safari experience. It is located south of the Okavango Delta, which is spread over an area of 15,000 square kilometres. Maun functions as the perfect base for travellers who want to head out for a safari to the Okavango or experience mokoro rides through the Delta.
You have the option of reaching Maun from Kasane, which is situated at the northern border of the country. Alternately, you can fly in from Johannesburg or Victoria Falls, or drive a 4X4 through the iconic Chobe National Park.
Maun gets its name from Maung, which is a San word meaning a place with short reeds. You may be hard-pressed to find reeds here! Thankfully, the town has many campsites, restaurants, bars, and hotels where you can sip chilled beer or cocktails and catch a break from the blazing sun.
Kasane: Why You Should Make Kasane a Part of Your Botswana Safari?
Kasane is a small village located close to Chobe National Park and the Zimbabwean border, in the north, along the banks of the Chobe River. The strategic location of Kasane makes it the focal point for travellers. It is here that Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe meet.
While the Chobe River is home to crocs, you can still enjoy an exhilarating boat ride. There is no wall between the village and the Chobe National Park, so it is common to see huge African elephants walking through Kasane.
Chobe National Park is merely 80 kilometres from the majestic Victoria Falls, and the Chobe River dissects it. The plains around the river are lush and covered with dense forest while the central region is a blend of dry, arid plains and swamps. In the west, you will find the Savuti Corridor, which is home to predators and leads to the Moremi Game Reserve. You will be able to witness elephant calves frolicking in the water while massive herds of buffalo come to the river to quench their thirst – a perfect picture during an overland safari in Africa!
Moremi Game Reserve: Perfect for Overland Adventure
Moremi is the perfect destination for overland safari adventures. It is home to Chief’s Island, with Boro and Santantadibe rivers flowing around it. The island comprises dry sandy soil and spreads over an area of 1,000 square kilometres. It is scattered with Mopani trees and clay pans and is also home to spectacular wildlife.
The African elephants from Chobe National Park often migrate to Moremi seeking water, but the best part is that you will be able to see the Big Five in magnificent splendour along with wild dogs, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and giraffes. The wild dog is an endangered species and you can watch the remaining few in Moremi.
It can be thrilling to cross long bridges that are crafted out of Mopani poles. They are present all over the game reserve, and both visitors and the wildlife residents use these bridges. You may be in for a surprise when you see a lion nonchalantly stroll over the bridge to access high ground when the floodplain is covered in water.
Okavango Delta: The Home of the Hippo
The moment you enter the Okavango Delta, loud grunts of hippos soaking in the water greet you as crocodiles bask on the banks or slither into the water. Couple these sights with the chirping of birds, and you have the perfect recipe for a wilderness experience like no other.
The waters of the Delta begin at the western highlands of Angola and pass through Namibia as Kavango River and then transforms into the Okavango in Botswana. An interesting snippet for overland adventure seekers is that about 30,000 million litres of water flow through a network of channels and lagoons before getting soaked by the sands of the Kalahari located in the south.
At Okavango, you will be able to see not only the Big 5, but also hippos, giraffe, red lechwe, and hordes of other animals and migratory birds. You can also use this Botswana trip to go on a fishing expedition or enjoy a birding safari. So, make sure you carry your binoculars with you.
The are two ways to best way to explore the length and breadth of the Okavango Delta. One is going on a mokoro ride as you pass the waters with floating lilies and two is using a 4×4 to enjoy spectacular game viewing.
Making Your Overland Safari Dream Come True
It is never too late to turn your Botswana overland safari dream into a reality. There is no better time than now to book your safari and enjoy the Botswana wilderness on a 4×4 self-drive safari as you navigate the dirt roads and experience close encounters with wildlife.