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Places of Interest

Click on the links below to read more about the places of interest of your choice
The Okavango Delta Moremi Game Reserve Chobe National Park Savuti
Linyati Selinda & Kwando Makgadigadi pans Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Tuli Game Reserve

The Okavango Delta

The Okavango is a maze of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering an area of over 17,000 square km and the largest inland delta in the world. Trapped in the parched Kalahari sands it is a lure for the wildlife who depend on the perennial waters of this unique feature.Occasionally called a 'swamp', the Okavango is anything but. Moving, mysterious, peaceful and gentle, from a wide and winding channel it spreads through small, almost unnoticeable channels that move stealthily away behind a wall of papyrus reed, into an ever growing network of increasingly smaller passages.

These links a series of lagoons, islands and islets of various sizes, open grasslands and flooded plains in a mosaic of land and water. Palms and lofty trees abound, casting their shadow over crystal pools, forest glades and grassy knolls.The Okavango's water is remarkably clean and unpolluted and this is due to the fact that it passes through very sparsely populated areas on its journey from Angola. Despite this, a staggering 660 000 tons of sediment a year are delivered to its great alluvial fan.The general length of the Delta from the border to the Thamalakane River is a little under 300kms and the core of the Delta is approximately 200km from end to end.

Wildlife in the flourishing indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this great marriage of water and sand, more than 400 species of birds flourish.On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels.Fishing can take place anywhere in the Delta, if one wants a challenge the deeper and faster waters of the major fishing camps in the north of the Delta, in the Panhandle, are the most likely choice.

 

 

Moremi Game Reserve

The Moremi Game Reserve is situated to the northeast of Maun, Botswana, and covers some 20 percent of the Okavango Delta. The Moremi Game Reserve was established by the Tawana and named after their chief Moremi. The reserve lies within a wildlife management area that is well managed and the animals in the reserve are allowed free seasonal movement. Moremi Game Reserve enjoys a wide diversity of habitats and is well known for the height of the trees in the mopane tongue, which covers the central area.

Wildlife in the Moremi Game Reserve consist of Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Hyena, Jackal as well as a wide range of antelope including the endemic Red Lechwe. The bird population includes many water birds and during the wet season bird watchers can enjoy exceptional bird watching opportunities.

The largest part of the dry land area of the Moremi Game Reserve is covered in Mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane) canopies. Riverine woodland, floodplain grasses, sandveld and some flower species are also found. Part of the adventure for the self-drive enthusiast of visiting this wilderness area is the 4x4 vehicle driving experience. The Moremi Game Reserve is not accessible to other vehicles.

In the heart of Moremi, at the tip of the Mopane Tongue, lies Xakanaxa Lagoon. The area is beautiful and packed with game. Leopard and Wild Dog are regularly seen and the density of antelope is unbelievable. Xakanaxa Lagoon, which boasts some of the widest varieties of fish to be found anywhere in the Delta, is a vast expanse of deep, permanent reed-lined waterways. Several private camps and lodges have been established along the edge of the lagoon.

Situated on the northeast tip of Moremi, the Khwai River is a beautiful area where tall evergreen trees line a wide floodplain. It boasts an admirable density and variety of predator and prey species. The area surrounding the Khwai River is well known for its concentrations of Elephant and large herds of them can be seen towards the late afternoon heading down to the river. All of the loop roads that skirt the river banks offer the change of rewarding Elephant sightings.

Moremi Game Reserve is best visited in the dry season and game viewing is at its best from July to October, when seasonal pans dry up and the wildlife concentrates on the permanent water. The winter months of May to August can be very cold at night, but pleasantly warm during the day. From October until the rains come in late November or early December, the weather can be extremely hot.

 

Chobe National Park

A impressive and colorful park, Chobe National Park has one of the world's largest elephant populations in Africa. The natural unspoiled environment of the Chobe, makes one to wonder whether there is any other place in the world where the sun rises and sets in its own peculiar way like it does in Chobe region.
Chobe National Park is one of the world's last remaining true wilderness areas and one of Africa's greatest game parks. Chobe is the third largest park in Botswana (after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the remote Gemsbok National Park in the south-western corner of the country) and covers an area of 10,698 square kilometres. Chobe however, is unquestionably the most spectacular and diverse of Botswana's areas, even more so than the celebrated Okavango Delta.

Chobe National Park is resident to huge herds of Elephant, Buffalo, and Burchell's Zebra and high densities of predators such as Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyena and Cheetah. The park is also famous for the presence of more unusual antelope species like Roan and Sable, Puku, Tsessebe, Eland, Red Lechwe, Waterbuck, and the rare Chobe Bushbuck. Other more popular species such as Giraffe, Kudu, Warthog, Wildebeest and Impala also abound.

Chobe has an incredible fusion of habitats, ranging from floodplains, baobab, and mopane trees and acacia woodlands, to verdant flood grasslands and thickets bordering the Chobe River. Flowing along the park's northern boundaries are the Linyanti and Chobe Rivers, while in the south the Savuti Channel brings life to the Mababe Depression. Over and above the elephants, the Chobe National Park has an amazing variety of game, and many brightly coloured birds.

The Savuti Channel which alternately flows and then dries for years at a time, bisects the Chobe National Park and empties into the Savuti Marsh. The Savuti Marsh area is well known for its exposure in a number of well known wildlife documentaries, especially the National Geographic films by Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Situated on the bed of a once-huge Paleo super-lake, Savuti is comprised of rich grasslands, savannah woodland and a large variety of trees and vegetation.

 

Savuti

In the southern part of Botswana's Chobe National Park lies a vibrant wilderness - a far-reaching expanse of savannah brooded over by seven rocky outcrops guarding a relic marsh and the erratic channel that was once its lifeblood.

The area is the geologically diverse and captivating Savuti region. The area - all of 10,878km2 - is covered with impressive undulating grasslands and an amazing abundance of wildlife ranging from elephant, variety of birdlife and other game.

The Savuti Marsh is a remainder of a vast inland lake, deprived of its main water supply many moons ago by the same movement of the earth's tectonic plates that gave rise to the Okavango Delta. It's part of the Mababe Depression and is fed by the unpredictable Savuti Channel.

During the dry season game viewing reveals herds of elephants bullying each other around half-empty pans while thirsty warthog, kudu and impala wait in the shade. The rains bring hundreds of birds, and a feast for lions and hyenas as thousands of migrating zebra assemble in frenzied patterns on the marsh.
The Savuti channel has a peculiar history of drying up during good rains and flooding at other times. A striking if somewhat puzzling feature of the channel is its hundreds of dead trees. These arise due to the channel's erratic flow, which sometimes stops for years on end and later resumes, seemingly inexplicably. Years of analysis have determined that the channel's erratic nature is due to tectonic factors.

 

Linyati, Selinda & Kwando


More or less parallel to the Okavango, the Kwando River flows south from Angola across the Caprivi Strip and into Botswana. Like the Okavango, it starts fanning out over the Kalahari's sands, forming the Linyanti Swamps. During wetter years this is also a Delta, complete with numerous waterways linking lagoons; a refuge for much wildlife. It's a wild area, much of which is on the Namibian side of the border, in the Mamili National Park, where it's difficult to access. A fault line channels the outflow from these swamps into the Linyanti River, which flows northeast into Lake Liambezi, and thence into Chobe.

Both the Kwando and the Linyanti rivers are permanent, so for the animals in Chobe and Northern Botswana they are valuable sources of water. Like the Chobe and Okavango, they have become the ultimate destination for migrations from the drier areas across northern Botswana and also sought-after safari destinations, especially in the dry season.

In current years this area, between the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, has been split into three large concessions Kwando in the north, Linyanti in the east, and Selinda in the center.

In some ways these are comparable, as each encompasses a large area of mopane woodlands and smaller, more prized sections of riparian forest and open floodplains on old river channels. Looking at the situation of the camps one will realise that much of the interest lies in these floodplains and riparian forests diverse habitats rich in species.

Away from the actual water, two fossil channels are also worthy of attention: the Savuti Channel and the Magwegqana Spillway. Both offer distinct and interesting wildlife spectacles.

 
Makgadigadi pans

The Makgadikgadi is a place of wide-open, unoccupied spaces under an endless cover of blue sky. The isolation, inaccessibility and danger of the pans all add to their attraction.

It is a vast expanse filled with delicate hues and surrealistic beauty. Approximately the size of Portugal, the pan covers 12 000 square kilometers and is the biggest saltpan in the world. The pan is only a portion of what used to be one of the largest inland lakes in Africa.

The area is comprised of the Sua and Ntwetwe pans. During the heat of the late winter day the pans become a flickering mirage of disorienting and ghostly austerity. The large number of small villages and the small stone age tools and other artifacts that can be found scattered around the islands (for example on Kubu Island), all point to the fact that the Makgadikgadi Pans have supported human habitation, and their livestock, for a very long time. At one time the Makgadikgadi Pans was important as a major trade route.

In September large herds of antelope, zebra and wildebeest journey the dusty plains awaiting the first rains. On their arrival the waters turn the pans into a perfect mirror of the sky, distorting all sense of place and time. Although these rains are short lived, in December another surge turns the edges of the vast pans into waving fringes of green grassland where herds of wildlife congregate to partake in the bounty.
Flocks of birds arrive to build their nests along the shoreline of the Nata River, in Sua Pan, and feed on algae and crustaceans that have been lying dormant in the salt and sand awaiting the drenching rains

 

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Africa's first formally declared trans-border conservation area - the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) on the border of South Africa and Botswana - was officially launched on May 12, 2000 by South African President Thabo Mbeki and Botswana President Festus Mogae.

The combined land area of the KTP is about 38,000 km2 of which 28,400 km2 lies in Botswana and 9,600 km2 in South Africa.

Transfrontier parks, border parks or transboundary conservation areas are protected areas that straddle international boundaries. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is such a protected area in the southern Kalahari Desert. The southern Kalahari represents an increasingly rare phenomenon: a large ecosystem relatively free from human interference. The absence of man-made barriers (except to the west and south of the Park) has provided a conservation area large enough to maintain examples of two ecological processes that were once widespread in the savannahs and grasslands of Africa. The large scale migratory movements of wild ungulates; and predation by large mammalian carnivores. These processes are impossible to maintain except in the largest of areas, and their presence in the Kalahari makes the system of special value to conservation.

In addition to this, the Kalahari has a particular aesthetic appeal. The harsh, semi-arid environment has placed adaptive demands on both fauna and flora that are of considerable scientific interest Kgalagadi means "land of thirst" and the huge, desert landscape is part of the Kalahari Desert - the largest continuous area of sand in the world. It is characterised by red sand dunes and sparse vegetation and is home to black-maned Kalahari lions, leopards, cheetah, spotted hyaena, wild dog, black-backed jackal, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, eland, springbok, red hartebeest, duiker and steenbok. Some 215 bird species have been recorded. The area also has significant archaeological significance and traces to Stone Age human activity have been found.

 
Tuli Game Reserve

The Tuli block forms a extended, perimeter of land on Botswana's south-eastern frontier. It is an area of exceptional natural beauty with imposing rocks, extraordinary vegetation, plentiful wildlife, a wealth of birds and a rich archaeological heritage.

The Northern Tuli Game Reserve, on the confluence of the Limpopo and the Shashe rivers, in the easternmost corner of Botswana, is the communal name for several privately-owned game reserves including the Mashatu, Ntani and Tuli Game Reserves, covering all the land north of the Limpopo River.
The whole area consisting of game reserves, hunting and conservation concessions covers up to 300,000 ha and is the biggest privately-owned game conservation area in southern Africa. Mashatu Lodge has the largest elephant population on private land.

A large portion of the area is unfenced, allowing the animals to wander freely between the Motloutse and Limpopo rivers. Visitors can follow the spoor of lions, elephants, leopards, elephants, giraffes, spotted hyenas, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, cheetahs, kudu, Burchell's zebras, bushbuck and baboons.Night drives reveals porcupines, aardvarks, spotted genets and civets, in addition to the larger carnivores.