Things to do in Botswana

Mokoro boat ride in the Delta

The Okavango is the world's largest inland delta, and a phenomenal oasis in the middle of the colossal Kalahari Desert, attracting game in unrivalled numbers. Floating along its reed channels in a mokoro dugout canoe is a wonderfully tranquil contrast to a dusty game drive, and a relaxing way to spot riverside wildlife, including hippos, crocodiles and birds. The local guides are both expert navigators – known as "polers" – and extremely knowledgeable about the animals and their habitat. This is a great thing to do in Botswana for animals lovers, as the near-silent mokoros don't startle the wildlife, so you can just sit back and float past the incredible scenery of the Okavango.

For an adventurous addition to your Okavango cruise, disembark from your mokoro for a "Big Five" walk, following the fresh tracks of lions and elephants through the bush.

Listen to Hippos wallowing in the delta:

Listen to Hyenas laughing:

San experience in the Kalahari

Walking through the bush with a native San guide allows you to discover culture and nature like never before. Their intimate knowledge of the Kalahari remains unrivalled, as Bruce Taylor, from our supplier Sunway Safaris, discovered:
"Going on a walk with these guys is amazing. They'll look at a twig – literally a twig – and stop. Somebody will dig up the tuber below it, scrape the skin off, squeeze the pulp and drink from it. Then they put the skin back, pat the mud back onto it and bury it again so that the plant can continue to grow. Later, they’ll make a fire. Hard wood, soft wood, hand roll, bit of bark... and suddenly they’re all huddled round a fire while you’re freezing in your jacket. It's really impressive."

Our top Botswana Vacation

Botswana camping safaris

Botswana camping safaris

Botswana's premier game parks, Okavango Moremi Savuti Chobe

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While incidents are extremely rare, the feeling of being potential prey puts all your senses on red alert and makes for an unforgettable experience.

Okavango bush walks

"Bush walking adds another dimension to the safari experience. Walks are often offered instead of game drives and you will be accompanied by an armed guide with a special walking licence."
– Richard Madden, author of the Telegraph’s Bush Telegraph column
This arid, desolate landscape covers an area the size of Portugal and contains some of the world's largest salt pans.
Dotted with giant, 100-year-old baobabs, Makgadikgadi floods following the rains, attracting zebra, wildebeest and tens of thousands of flamingos. Also within the reserve is the sacred Kubu Island – an eerie rocky outcrop on the edge of Sowa pan containing archaeological remains; and Nata Sanctuary, which is fantastic for birding.
Written by Vicki Brown
Photo credits: [Page banner: 2630ben] [San experience: Sunway - Bruce Taylor] [Bush walk: Tim Copeland]