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Botswana's Wildlife

Wildlife in Botswana

Botswana represents wilderness on a grand scale. From the water-rich expanses of the Okavango Delta in the north to the arid emptiness of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, wildlife is in its natural element.


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The sheer range of Botswana’s ecosystems translates into a correspondingly wide range of animals. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant roam across the north, revelling in the permanent waters of the Okavango Delta, and out to the Chobe, Kwando and Linyanti rivers.

Further south, on the great salt pans of Makgadikgadi and Nxai, zebra congregate in their thousands during the rains, in a migratory pattern that remains far from understood.

Water-dependent antelope such as waterbuck and red lechwe thrive in the wetlands of the north; springbok and oryx seek out the arid grasslands of the pans and the CKGR.

Of the predators, lion are omnipresent, the availability of prey influencing the size of the pride. Cheetah, too, are at home across the region, though arguably more common in drier areas where competition for prey is less fierce. More specific, leopard favour riverine woodlands; wild dog the open savannah.

Great wildlife safaris to Botswana

The possibilities are endless; here are just a handful of ideas for great safaris in Botswana.


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Wild Dog Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An in-depth discovery of northern Botswana’s wilderness, from Chobe and the private Kwando Reserve to the Moremi and iconic Okavango Delta with a great variety of activities and wildlife.

US$9,980 - US$18,060 per person

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Porcupine Safari

11 days • 4 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit dramatically contrasting landscapes boasting a variety of species during this exploration of Botswana’s top-safari destinations. A combination of national parks and private reserves allows for a range of activities.

US$7,750 - US$14,040 per person

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Spring Hare Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An authentic and diverse safari to Botswana combining the Chobe Forest Reserve, Savuti Marshes and the Okavango Delta. Strong wildlife viewing, a variety of activities and excellent value camps.

US$6,030 - US$10,920 per person

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Large-spotted Genet Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A luxury safari exploring the Okavango Delta and Linyanti–Savuti, two of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana, staying at three top camps renowned for their guiding for a first-class experience.

US$8,990 - US$18,960 per person

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Red Lechwe Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Superb guiding from three fabulous camps full of character in three contrasting areas for a fabulous safari to the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert.

US$13,140 - US$19,610 per person

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Steenbok Safari

9 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A classic Botswana safari exploring the Moremi, Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta. Excellent wildlife viewing and a variety of activities from three of our favourite traditional tented camps.

US$6,130 - US$10,400 per person

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Pangolin Safari

8 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Three relaxed, local feeling camps in pristine settings – the Kwando Reserve and Okavango Delta. Guided by a driver and tracker at each, this a great trip for spotting Botswana’s top predators.

US$6,740 - US$12,200 per person

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Bushbuck Safari

8 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Discover three of Botswana’s best game-viewing regions with stays in the private Linyanti, Chitabe and Vumbura reserves. Intimate, smart camps offer a range of activities by which to discover these stunningly varied habitats.

US$10,480 - US$24,320 per person

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Reedbuck Safari

8 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Focussing on the Okavango Delta and combining the crème de la crème of Botswana’s camps – Zarafa, Vumbura Plains and Mombo – this is one of the finest safari experiences in Africa.

US$15,440 - US$30,950 per person

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Tsessebe Safari

7 days • 3 locations
MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit three sister-camps in and around Moremi Game Reserve during this thorough exploration of the Okavango Delta. A range of activities provide excellent opportunity to observe the local birdlife, mammals and fauna.

US$4,820 - US$9,660 per person

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Botswana's top camps for wildlife safaris

Click on the dots on the map to show the sightings from that lodges or camps for the species selected. It's based on 5501 reports by 664 groups of our our travellers since May 2018.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Wildlife species in Botswana

Average % sighting of success

Wildlife species in Botswana

Average % sighting of success

Quick facts about Lion

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Scientific name:

Panthera leo

Habitat:

Savanna & woodland

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

120–225kg

Lion

Quick facts about Leopard

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Scientific name:

Panthera pardus

Habitat:

Savanna, woodland, forest, mountains

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

30–90kg

Leopard

Quick facts about Cheetah

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Scientific name:

Acinonyx jubatus

Habitat:

Grassland & woodland

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

50–70kg

Cheetah

Quick facts about Wild dog

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Scientific name:

Lycaon pictus

Habitat:

Savannah & woodland

IUCN status:

Endangered

Adult weight:

20–36kg

Wild dog

Quick facts about Spotted Hyena

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Scientific name:

Crocuta crocuta

Habitat:

Semi-desert, forest, savannah

IUCN status:

Least Concern

Adult weight:

40–80kg

Spotted Hyena

Quick facts about Brown Hyena

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Scientific name:

Parahyaena brunnea

Habitat:

Semi-desert & savannah

IUCN status:

Near Threatened

Adult weight:

37–43kg

Brown Hyena

Quick facts about Meerkat

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Scientific name:

Suricata suricatta

Habitat:

Semi-arid desert

IUCN Status:

Least Concern

Weight:

650g

Meerkat

Quick facts about Elephant

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Scientific name:

Loxodonta africana

Habitat:

Woodland and savanna

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

2,500–6,500kg

Elephant

Quick facts about Buffalo

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Scientific name:

Syncerus caffer

Habitat:

Floodplains, mixed bush & moist grasslands

IUCN status:

Near-threatened

Adult weight:

500–950kg

Buffalo

Quick facts about Giraffe

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Scientific name:

Giraffa camelopardalis

Habitat:

Woodland savanna

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

800–1,200kg

Giraffe

Quick facts about Hippo

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Scientific name:

Hippopotamus amphibius

Habitat:

Freshwater rivers & wetlands

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

1,300–2,600kg

Hippo

Quick facts about Black Rhino

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Scientific name:

Diceros bicornis

Habitat:

Scrub & open woodland

IUCN status:

Critically Endangered

Adult weight:

800–1,400kg

Black Rhino

Quick facts about White Rhino

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Scientific name:

Ceratotherium simum

Habitat:

Woodland savannah

IUCN status:

Near Threatened

Adult weight:

1,800–2,700kg

White Rhino

Quick facts about Oryx

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Scientific name:

Oryx beisa and Oryx gazella

Habitat:

Arid savannah

IUCN status:

Endangered (O.b) /Least Concern (O.g)

Adult weight:

120–210kg (O.b) /180–240kg (O.g)

Oryx

Quick facts about Eland

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Scientific name:

Taurotragus oryx

Habitat:

Open savanna & grasslands

IUCN status:

Least concern

Adult weight:

340–940kg

Eland

Quick facts about Roan antelope

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Scientific name:

Hippotragus equinus

Habitat:

Savannah woodland

IUCN status:

Least Concern

Adult weight:

180–300kg

Roan antelope

Quick facts about Sable antelope

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Scientific name:

Hippotragus niger

Habitat:

Savannah woodland

IUCN status:

Least Concern

Adult weight:

220–235kg

Sable antelope

Quick facts about Sitatunga

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Scientific name:

Tragelaphus spekeii

Habitat:

Swamps and swamp forest

IUCN status:

Least Concern

Adult weight:

24–119kg

Sitatunga

Quick facts about Wildebeest

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Scientific name:

Connochaetes sp.

Habitat:

Open savannah & grasslands

IUCN status:

Least concern

Adult weight:

250–290kg

Wildebeest

Quick facts about Zebra

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Scientific name:

Equus quagga

Habitat:

Woodland and savannah

IUCN status:

Near Threatened

Adult weight:

155–322kg

Zebra

Quick facts about Pangolin

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Scientific name:

Smutsia temminkii

Habitat:

Savannah woodland

IUCN status:

Vulnerable

Adult weight:

5–27kg

Pangolin

Quick facts about Aardvark

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Scientific name:

Orycteropus afer

Habitat:

Grassland & woodland

IUCN status:

Least Concern

Adult weight:

60–80kg

Aardvark

Some Botswana wildlife highlights

Wildlife proliferates in northern Botswana’s vast areas of pristine wilderness.


Botswana: Africa’s sanctuary for beleaguered wildlife

Botswana is home to around a third of African elephants, along with a similar proportion of wild dogs. It also provides refuge for a small but slowly growing population of both black and white rhino. The key is a combination of factors, among them are the vast unfenced spaces and plenty of permanent water – and genuine government backing for wildlife, with tough legislation and serious enforcement.

An estimated 130,000 elephants live in Botswana. As migratory creatures, they tend to break up into smaller groups during the rainy season, returning to areas of permanent rivers when water sources elsewhere dry up.

For the endangered wild dog, whose entire population has slipped below 3,000, Botswana represents a last stronghold. Strictly territorial, the dogs hunt in packs, each covering an area of 400km2 or more – for which the Okavango Delta is ideal.

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Wildlife

Other top destinations for wildlife

To understand more about the the wildlife in our other key destinations in Africa, click on the countries below.


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