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Destinations

BOTSWANA

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Destinations

BOTSWANA

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Destinations

BOTSWANA

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Destinations

BOTSWANA

Not for nothing is the Okavango Delta is known as "the Emerald of Africa"; this, and a plethora of game, unearthly saltpans, and ancient bushman culture, make Botswana a true jewel in Africa's crown.

The Okavango Delta's lush, life-giving waterways host almost half of all of Africa's elephants, and its green abundance of flora and wildlife make for a stark contrast with the harsh beauty of Makgadikgadi's moonscape salt pans. Add the invaluable benefits of a stable government, a small population, and a strong focus on responsible tourism, and you have the dream destination that is Botswana.

Best time to traval: The floodwaters begin to arrive during the months of April and May, and July through September is peak flood time.

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Abundant Elephants

Botswana boasts the world's largest population of wild African elephant, and it's no wonder: plentiful water, thick Mopane forest, and blissful freedom from human conflict and poaching all make for idyllic conditions. The beauty of sighting them in this state is not just their numbers; it's their state of relaxation that allows you to spend hours with them as they frolic in the glittering Delta shallows.

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A Twitcher's Paradise

Because of the way the Delta's water shifts and changes seasonally, millions of migrants flock in for summer to mingle with the resident species: long-toed plovers, Pel's fishing owl, spoonbills and lesser flamingos will thrill passionate birders here. Moreover, the islands that dot the Delta tend to comprise thick riverine forestry around their edges, and clear, open centres with no foliage, making for spectacular natural amphitheatres whose diversity attracts an abundance of birdlife.

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Ultimate Exclusivity

Botswana's approach to tourism strives to stay low-impact by limiting the numbers of visitors to its protected areas. The Delta contains just one national park, while the rest of it is divided into private concessions, each of which can be accessed exclusively by its member-camps and their guests. The upshot of this highly successful conservation model is vast tracts of exquisitely pristine wilderness, with hardly anyone else around to spoil your view.

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Adventures and Activities

The diversity of the Delta offers a wealth of ways to get to grips with your surrounds. Punting along in a traditional Makora dugout canoe might bring you knee-level with elephants crossing a waterway, while zooming down channels in a speedboat could bring you to an inaccessible island for a picnic and afternoon meander. Better yet, horses can take you places no boats or vehicles could, and right into the heart of it all.

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Prehistoric Cultures

The San Bushmen have adapted to a way of life in the middle of the most arid place in the world, and have stayed loyal to their traditional way of life. So otherworldly are they that up until the 1940's, one could still buy a license to hunt these people, as though another species entirely. Spending time walking the saltpans with them is a deeply humbling experience, as you witness survival without any of the things we see as necessity, let alone luxury.

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The Infinite Pans

Stepping out of the lush fertility of the Delta lands you in a moonscape desert so vast, and with horizons so endless, that it is possible to see the curvature of the earth. The saltpans crunch underfoot, and the wildlife - brown hyena, meerkats - seem as though they could belong nowhere else. Explore the wide-open spaces on a quad bike, and sleep out under an iridescent night sky with just the stars for company.