• Elephants crossing the Chobe River
  • Mobile safari camp in Chobe
  • Sunset on Chobe River
  • Elephants and crocodiles are found in abundance on the Chobe River
  • Hippos on Chobe River
  • Road through Chobe
  • Sunset on Chobe River
  • View of Chobe River

Savute. The new jewel of the Kalahari.

The Savute Channel, which snakes its way from the Zibadianja Lagoon through the arid grasslands of north-western Chobe to fill the Savute Marsh, has flowed and dried up several times over the past 100 years. After almost 30 years of drought it began flowing again in 2010 providing an oasis for the wildlife in the centre of an otherwise dry grassland. The flat landscape is punctuated by rocky outcrops and savannah woodlands.

EXPECTED WILDLIFE
African Elephant, Southern Giraffe, African Buffalo, Plains Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Greater Kudu, Tsessebe, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Impala, Steenbok, Klipspringer, (very rare: Eland),Warthog, Spotted Hyena, Honey Badger, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Painted Dog, Black- backed Jackal, Side-striped Jackal, Banded Mongoose, Dwarf Mongoose, White-tailed Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Yellow Mongoose, Nile Crocodile, Hippo, Porcupine.

  • Marc with guests around the campfire in Savuti
  • Bushmen paintings in Savuti
  • Savuti airstrip
  • Elephants in Savuti
  • Baobabs in Savuti
  • Rocky hills in Savuti
  • Savuti lion
  • Wildebeest in Savuti
  • Rocky outcroppings in Savuti

  • Dead Tree Island, Moremi
  • Elephants in Moremi
  • Afternoon game drive in Moremi
  • Mekoring in Moremi
  • Moremi landscape
  • Lunch in Moremi whilst on mobile safari
  • Early morning mist rising over Moremi
  • November rain clouds over Moremi
  • Tsessebe in Moremi
  • Water crossing in Khwai

Khwai. The river, the drama and abundance of wildlife.

This area, which is situated in the north east of Moremi Game Reserve, is mostly open flood plains that attract big herds of animals during the dry season. The Maunachira river, a branch of the Okavango River, leads into the Khwai River here and is bordered by beautiful riverine forests.

EXPECTED WILDLIFE
African Elephant, Southern Giraffe, African Buffalo, Plains Zebra, Greater Kudu, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Impala, Bush Duiker, Steenbok, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Blue Wildebeest, Tsessebe, Warthog, Spotted Hyena, Honey Badger, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Civet, Painted Dog, Side-striped Jackal, Black-backed Jackal, Banded Mongoose, Dwarf Mongoose, White-tailed Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Yellow Mongoose, Porcupine, Nile Crocodile, Hippo, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Water Monitor, Tree Squirrel.


Moremi Game Reserve. Painted Dogs and water lillies.

Moremi Game Reserve was the first game reserve in Africa to be established by a local tribe, in this case the BaTawana tribe of Ngamiland. In 1963, the widow of Chief Moremi III set this land aside to protect it for future generations.  The area was later enlarged and the present day park occupies an area of approximately 4,800 square kilometres which includes Chief’s Island, the largest island in the Okavango Delta. Moremi Game Reserve boasts one of the richest, most diverse ecosystems on the continent ranging from rivers to swamps (both seasonal and permanent), floods plains, lagoons, pans, grasslands as well as riparian, riverine and Mophane forests.

BLACK POOLS AND XINI
These 2 areas are in the south eastern part of Moremi Game Reserve. With both seasonal and permanent swamps, this flood plain landscape is home to a bounty of buffalo, elephant and prides of Lion while Cheetah and Painted Dog have frequently been seen hunting here. There are only two camping areas here reserved exclusively for the use of Botswana registered tour operators which keeps tourist activity to a minimum.

XAKANAXA AND THIRD BRIDGE
Tucked in the western part of Moremi Game Reserve, Xakanaxa and Third Bridge offer varied habitats for wildlife: Gigantic Mophane forests lead into wide open spaces, floodplains, rivers and both seasonal and permanent swamps, all of breathtaking beauty.

EXPECTED WILDLIFE
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Spotted Hyena, Painted Dog, Black-backed Jackal, Side-striped Jackal, African Wildcat, African Elephant, African Buffalo, Southern Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, Plains Zebra, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Tsessebe, Bushbuck, Impala, Steenbok, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Caracal, 4 types of mongooses, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, Water Monitor and a wide variety of birds including raptors and water birds.

  • Wilddogs sleeping in the shade in Moremi
  • Elephants in Moremi
  • Leopard in Moremi
  • Lions in Moremi
  • Hippo in Moremi
  • Watercrossing in Moremi
  • Marc Baar with a guest in Moremi
  • Marc Baar walking a water crossing in Moremi

  • Mekoroing in the Okavango Delta
  • Boating in the Okavango Delta
  • Dramatic story skies in the Okavango Delta
  • Okavango sunset
  • Boating in the Okavango Delta with Simply Wild
  • Marc with Alex in the Okavango Delta
  • Elephants are common in the Okavango Delta
  • Family safari in the Okavango Delta with Simply Wild
  • Okavango Delta aerial
  • Papyrus lined waterways, Okavango Delta

Okavango Panhandle. Bushmen, tiger fish and papyrus labyrinths.

When viewed from space, the Okavango Delta looks like a giant frying pan with the upper Okavango river in Botswana forming the handle of that pan. The panhandle is well-known for its excellent fishing and even better bird watching. For fishermen the peak time to visit this region is during the so-called ‘Barbel runs’ when a local species of catfish school in massive numbers, feeding on bait fish which spill out of the floodplains as the floodwaters recede. This normally occurs in September-October and during this period there is some spectacular tiger fishing to be had along these waters. The Brown-throated Weaver, Greater Swamp-Warbler, Brown Firefinch, White-backed Night-Heron, Wattled Crane and the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl can all be spotted in this area. During the summer months the Carmine Bee-eaters form large colonies and nest in the banks of the river and gather in large flocks around the colony making for some wonderful photographic opportunities. The rare Sitatunga, an aquatic antelope with elongated hooves which enable it to walk on floating vegetation, frequent the papyrus.

EXPECTED WILDLIFE
Crocodile, Hippo, Sitatunga, Cape Clawless Otter, African Elephant.

  • Marc boating with guests in the Okavango Panhandle
  • Family safari in the Okavango Panhandle
  • Okavango Panhandle landscape
  • Okavango Panhandle sunset
  • Guest enjoying the Panhandle sunset
  • Reflection on the water, Okavango Panhandle
  • Waterlily leaves, Okavango Panhandle
  • African Skimmer in the Okavango Panhandle
  • Nile crocodile are regularly seen in the Okavango Panhandle
  • Boating in the Okavango Panhandle

  • Marc explaining whilst on safari in Nxai Pan
  • Baines Baobabs in Nxai Pan
  • Giraffe are found in abundance in Nxai Pan
  • Lunch under Baines Baobabs in Nxai Pan
  • Meerkats are found in Nxai Pan
  • Elephant bull crossing the road against a beautiful sunset sky in Nxai Pan
  • Picnic whilst on safari with Simply Wild at Baines Baobabs
  • Spikey salt grass is found on the pans in Nxai Pan
  • Sunset in Nxai Pan

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Silence and stars in a lunar landscape.

The present-day pan complex presents the traveller with an other worldly landscape which is both vast and desolate. During the wet months (Dec-April), large herds of Burchell’s Zebra and Blue Wildebeest can be found grazing on the large grassland areas which fringe the pans. In the southern part of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park large stands of the tall and iconic Mokolwane Palms can be seen standing more than 20 metres above the flat grasslands.

EXPECTED WILDLIFE
Besides the seasonal rains, the only source of water is one man-made waterhole filled with under-ground water. Springbok and Impala congregate around this waterhole and occasionally attract Lion, Cheetah and sometimes even Leopard. Elephant bulls and giraffe track between Nxai Pan and Makgadikgadi Pans and they too are common residents at the waterhole. Ostrich, Kori Bustard and Secretary Birds are common to this desert area as are sandgrouse.

 

  • Bushmen dancing
  • Stones and rocks found on the pans in Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Bushmen in Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Kalahari black maned lion in Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Khumaga ferry used for crossing the Boteti River in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
  • Playing bolle in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
  • Guide with scorpion in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
  • Family safari in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
  • Doing tai-chi in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
  • Zebra and wildebeest migration in Nxai Pan
  • Bushman storyteller

  • Burchell's Zebra in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Spotted Hyena in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Bush television, Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Springbok in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Marc Baar on a family safari in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Coffee break in Central Kalahari
  • Early morning game drive in Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Gemsbok in Central Kalahari

Central Kalahari Game Reserve. A remote thirstland with Kalahari black-maned lions.

Vast almost beyond comprehension, the Central Kalahari is home to a hardy population of wildlife that has made this thirst land their home. Characterised by immense grassland expanses and punctuated by valleys, ancient dune ranges and small tree islands, the Central Kalahari is an astonishing destination. Most of the tourist activities within the Central Kalahari take place in the northern parts of the reserve and mobile safaris in particular favour the locations of Deception and Passarge Valley. During the rainy season (Dec-Apr) this arid environment turns green and minute wildflowers emerge in their millions. During the winter months the night skies of the Central Kalahari are unrivalled, the coal-black heavens sparkle with innumerable stars and the ghostly silence is palpable.

EXPECTED WILDLIFE
Central Kalahari Game Reserve is good for dry country wildlife. Springbok and gemsbok are abundant in the valleys after the rains. The predators here are the Kalahari Lions, Cheetah, Leopard and Brown Hyena, while Honey Badger, Black-backed Jackal and Meerkats can also be spotted.


Weather chart. The best time of year to travel to Botswana.

Botswana is a land-locked country which has a sub-tropical, desert climate characterized by great differences in day and night temperatures, virtually no rainfall in the winter months and overall low humidity. During the rainy season one can expect short lived thunder storms with torrential down pours or witness the gentle “mother” rain from the north which can sometimes last for a few days.

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
April - October: Okavango, Moremi, Chobe
March - May: Makgadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan and Central Kalahari Game Reserve

PEAK SEASON
July - October: Not crowded, except on the Chobe River

LOW SEASON
December – March: Some lodges and camps close down and mobile safaris are not ideal due to flooding and heavy mud.

BEST WEATHER
April – September: moderate temperatures, little to no rainfall and few clouds.

WORST WEATHER
October – November: very hot.
January – February: peak rainy season.

May to October – winter (dry season)

May - The temperatures are relatively cool, typically 10°C/50°F in the morning and 28°C/80°F in the afternoon.
June, July and August - Be sure to pack winter clothing because morning game drives in our open vehicles will be cold. The average morning temperature is 6°C/42°F. Night temperatures can drop below freezing, especially in the dryer desert areas. Afternoons can be sunny and pleasant with temperatures around 25°C/78°F.
September and October
- The heat gradually builds and it can get very hot in October (39°C/100°F), but the average temperature remains around 34°C/93°F in the afternoon.

As the vegetation thins out and waterholes in the interior of the bush dry up, animals concentrate in large quantities around permanent water in areas such as Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai River, along the Savute channel and the Chobe River. This makes game viewing a real pleasure and one can spend hours observing the behavior of various species.

November to April – summer (wet season)

November and December - Clouds start to appear, bringing cooler temperatures and an occasional late afternoon shower. This pattern continues in December, with typical temperatures between 20°C/69°F in the morning and 33°C/91°F in the afternoon. The more extreme Kalahari areas can still have very hot days, and cold mornings. Humidity is typically between 50 and 60%.
January and February - These are the wettest months, characterized by torrential downpours in the afternoon and sometimes continuous rainfall for days. Daytime temperatures are around 32°C/90°F and the humidity is between 50 and 80%.
March and April - Rainfall decreases and it steadily cools. This trend continues through April, which has lovely, clear weather and few clouds. The nights tend to be cooler but the days are very temperate at 30°C/87°F.

As the vegetation becomes thicker during the rainy season it becomes more difficult to spot game in the northern National parks, having said that, you will still see plenty game, including newborn animals and large herds of Buffalo, Zebra and Wildebeest in the Savute Marsh. In Nxai Pan you can witness huge herds of Springbok, Gemsbok, Zebra and Wildebeest followed by Lion and Painted dogs. Large migrations of Springbok and Gemsbok can also be witnessed in the Central Kalahari National Park with predators like Lion, Cheetah, Painted dogs and brown Hyena. It is a birders paradise during this period as the migratory birds from Europe and Northern Africa come to breed, nest and rear their fledglings. During October and November the birds are in their colorful breeding plumage.

 

  • Botswana weather