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Insider's Guide: Botswana

1.    What makes this country unique?
Botswana has an incredibly diverse landscape from desert to saltpans to rivers to a wetland delta.  The country is an ideal place to go on safari with its large diversity of wildlife from elephants filling the banks of the Chobe river to the ‘Big 5’ (consisting of the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros) roaming the Chobe National Park.  The Okavango Delta is also listed as Unesco’s 1000th World Heritage Site and Botswana is also home to one of the largest salt pans in the world, the Makgadigadi Pan. 

2.    When is the best time/season to visit and why?
The best time to visit Botswana is May to September. This is during the winter months and the dry season so temperatures are quite moderate and it’s the perfect time to safari and see plenty of wildlife. However, if you have a love for birds the best time to visit is over the summer months, which is from November to April. It is when the bird life is at its peak in prime birding areas, such the Chobe National Park. You will experience an abundance of birds during this time of year.

3.    What is the ‘hot spot’ for 2017?
Chobe National Park - One of the main benefits of coming to Chobe National Park is the option between land and water-based safaris. When you visit this area, spend a few nights at the Pangolin Private Tented Camp situated in the heart of the Chobe National Park to experience the land-based game drives and see some of the spectacular wildlife in the park. Following on from this, spend a few nights on the Pangolin Voyager where you can take part in water-based safaris and experience the remarkable elephant concentrations on the banks for the Chobe River and other wildlife, birds and breathtaking sunsets. This is the perfect combo, making the Chobe National Park the hot spot for 2017. 

4.   3 highlights for first time visitors:
a.    Food
b.    Place/Sight - There are so many places to visit in Botswana, however, we would recommend visiting the Chobe River, which is home to plenty of game and the Okavango Delta, which is one of the most sought after wildlife destinations in the world and is home to a large concentration of mammals from cheetah to lions. 
c.    Activity - If you’re passing through Kasane for the day, you should not miss out on an unforgettable photographic safari on the Chobe River in custom made photo boats. The safari is usually 3 hours long and takes place either morning or afternoon. You will have a dedicated photo guide who will show you how the camera works, for those who are first timers, and they will advise on how to capture the perfect images in this game rich environment.  

5.   Did you know that….? Don’t miss… (little known fact)
Did you know that Pula (which is the name for the currency in Botswana) means "rain" in Setswana. This is because rain is quite scarce in Botswana and so it’s extremely valuable and a blessing.

6.    What is your personal favourite place/location to visit/stay?
Personally, our favourite place would of course be time spent on the Chobe river where you can spend the day photographing some of the most amazing wildlife on the banks of the river from the custom-made photo boats. You’ll also witness one of the most breathtaking sunsets in Africa while you’re on your water-based safari. Whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting to learn photography, it’s a must-see for anyone wanting to experience the best of the Chobe River. 

​Copy provided by Pangolin Photo Safaris. Images by Janine Krayer. Visit them on stand AF2 at the Destinations Show.