What to do in Botswana Besides Safari

Botswana offers a range of different activities besides safari including Walking with bushmen and discovering nature. Botswana horse safari across fence-less landscapes in the Okavango, Makgadikgadi Pans, or Mashatu Reserve viewing the beautiful Baobab trees and wild dogs. Mountain Biking in Mashatu.

Botswana has a population of 2.35 million people, with the capital Gaborone home to 10% of the country. It is often the point of departure and arrival for travelers looking to get to Botswana thanks to its international airport (GBE) and road-tripping visitors due to its proximity to the South African border.  

Located in the southeast, close to the border with South Africa, the city has museums, five-star hotels, quality restaurants, and buzzing nightlife. 

In the northeast, visitors will find Francistown, the second-most populous city in Botswana, home to the incredible Birds and Game Animal Orphanage. The city is also well positioned providing access to the Okavango Delta, Maun, Kasane, and Chobe National Park. 

Maun lies in the northwest, Botswana’s tourism center. Maun is officially a village, however, it has a population of 55,000 people, with access to Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango. Visitors can explore the area via mokoro (canoe) rides or helicopter trips.

Kasane is located in the northeastern corner of Botswana, near the borders with Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, providing easy access to Victoria Falls and Chobe. 

The Caracal Biodiversity Center is a must-see in Kasane, rehabilitating injured animals including honey badgers, tortoises, and meerkats.  Serowe in the center of Botswana sits close to the wonderful Khama Rhino Sanctuary. 

Things to do in Botswana: A global safari destination

With four national parks and numerous wildlife reserves, concessions, parks, and other conservation areas as well as two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Botswana is an unsurprising favorite for safari tours and honeymoon safaris.

With abundant and varied fauna, breathtaking landscapes, welcoming locals, and a pleasant climate, safari lovers are in their element in this incredible country. 

Our comprehensive Botswana Safari Guide is a helpful resource in planning visitors plan their trips. 

The 3 Best Parks and Reserves to Visit in Botswana

All the parks and reserves in Botswana have their own unique draw and offer something different and unique. However, a safari visitor should definitely take in the following best Botswana parks on their safari trip:

Okavango Delta

Chobe National Park

Botswana’s first national park and its third-largest protected area at 4,517 square miles. Named after the Chobe River and forming the border with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, Chobe is famous for its biological diversity, wildlife, lodges, and water activities. 

Home to the big five and Africa’s largest elephant population at around 50,000, Chobe also hosts large numbers of lions as well as African-painted dogs, blue wildebeest, Cape buffaloes, civets, crocodiles, giraffes, hippos, hyenas, leopards, and pukus. 

Moremi Game Reserve 

Moremi Game Reserve (GR) is a beautiful protected area in Northern Botswana and at 1,900 square miles, it covers almost 25% of the Okavango Delta. 

The reserve is renowned for its spectacular game drives, landscapes, pans, grasslands, bird watching and lush animal habitats in seasonally flooded plains and viewings of buffaloes, elephants, and zebras arriving from the dry Kalahari Desert in search of food and water. 

Understanding the best time to visit Botswana is useful as this can impact safari prices and availability. 

Other places of interest in Botswana

Other places worth a visit on your trip to Botswana include: 

Kalahari Desert & CKGR

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is one of the most remote reserves in southern Africa. In the dry season, the reserve becomes a hive of activity for large herds of plains game such as springbok and gemsbok as well as giraffes, cheetahs, and the legendary black-maned lion.

Car rental in Botswana is an excellent way to tour this stunning park and see the incredibly diverse range of Botswana animals and scenery. 

Nxai Pans

Although technically part of Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the Nxai Pan National Parks were created as an extension to expand the conservation area. A national park and wildlife reserve in its own right, Nxai Pan is a 40 square-kilometer fossil lakebed. 

During the rainy season from November to April, the lakebed becomes lush and green, playing host to incredible wildlife including lions, giraffes, kudu, springbok, impala, ostriches, jackals, bat-eared foxes, and birds. 

Tsodilo Hills

In 2001, the Tsodilo Hills has declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Famed for its religious significance, it consists of rock paintings, shelters, depressions, and caves with over 4,500 cave drawings found throughout the site.

Kubu Island 

Lying in the Makgadikgadi Pans in central Botswana, visitors can explore Kubu Island’s granite rock surface, stained white with fossilized bird droppings and riddled with other prehistoric artifacts.

Lake Ngami 

A shallow lake at the southwest corner of the 4,000-square-mile Okavango Swamp in northwestern Botswana, the swamp and the lake is fed by the Okavango River meaning it is rich in birdlife and contains barbel fish. 

Other activities in Botswana

Botswana also has many other activities that visitors can add on during their safari vacation. Carrying a small amount of Botswana currency, the Pula (BWP) is useful when tipping or paying for smaller items. 

Mokoro safaris 

A traditional canoe used by locals as their way of transport, a fun and relaxed way to discover nature.  

Luxury safari lodges  

With excellent wildlife viewing and lodges with incredible design and décor, Botswana is home to some of the African continent’s most supreme luxury lodges with beautiful, modern suites, well-trained staff, and excellent food. 

Sleep under the stars 

This extraordinary, experiential sleep out, under the stars on the vast Kalahari Salt Pans is a truly amazing encounter. Many of the river valleys are fossilized with these salt pans and guests can sleep on them in tents under the stars. 

Eco safari

The main focus of a Botswana eco-friendly safari tour is to preserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint of the traveler with Botswana safari lodges offering their own gardens from which they grow their own edibles supporting the local community and going on guided tours with local bushmen.

Hot air balloon    

Float soundlessly over the incredible Northern Tuli landscapes and see the wildlife from the air, a very unique perspective. 

Walking safaris

Explore the wildlife and wilderness via a guided walking tour, an authentic means of exploring Northern Tuli.

Quad bike/ATV safari

Swap sandy plains for salt flats, and jeeps for quad bikes in Botswana, a fun safari experience on different terrains. 

Boat cruises

Starting from $49.50 per person, visitors can choose a boat cruise. Departing from Kasane, with regular morning and afternoon departures. For the more adventurous, try a whitewater rafting trip on the mighty Zambezi river. 

Yoga Retreat 

Find your way back to nature on a 7-day yoga safari retreat in the Northern Tuli GR combining a unique wilderness experience with a yoga retreat and practicing meditation whilst exploring the surrounding nature.

What is Botswana famous for?

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Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. 38% of its total land area are devoted to national parks, reserves, and wildlife management areas.

Is Maun worth visiting?

Located in North-West District, Botswana, Maun is home to an impressive selection of attractions and experiences, making it well worth a visit.

Is the Okavango Delta worth visiting?

It’s a little break from the world

In addition to the excitement of seeing incredible wildlife, there’s nothing quite like the serenity offered by the quiet isolation at the heart of the Okavango Delta.

What are the three main tourist attractions in Botswana?

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Top Tourist Attractions In Botswana

  • #1 The Okavango Delta.
  • #2 Chobe National Park.
  • #3 Tuli Block.
  • #4 Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
  • #5 Tsodilo Hills.
  • #6 Nxai Pan National Park.
  • #7 Moremi Game Reserve.
  • #8 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

How do you get around Botswana?

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How to get around in Botswana, from 4WD safaris to canoe tours

  1. A mobile safari will get you up close to wild nature.
  2. Self-driving can be a great way to explore.
  3. Let the plane take the strain.
  4. Get a different view of wildlife from the water.
  5. Saddle up for a low-carbon horseback safari.