A Guide To Northern Botswana, Africa
Written by Alex from Gin And Giraffes
Ever fancied creeping up to a herd of elephants on foot, galloping alongside giraffes over a flood plain or sleeping outside under the brightest version of the Milky Way you’ve ever seen, all miles away from any other person? Well if you like adventure, wilderness or wildlife, Botswana is the place for you! There are lots of places to visit in Botswana but my favourite is the Okavango Delta – one of the last remaining wild places in the world. In 2014 the Okavango Delta was named the 1000 UNESCO world heritage site! Home to some of the world’s most endangered large animals such as Wild Dog and Rhinos, the Delta is known as the Eden of Africa.
Where to stay on a budget?
Planet Baobab in the Makgadikadi pans, just to the south of the Delta is a great budget friendly option at £50 per night per person.
Alternatively, if you want to stay in Maun which is the kick-off point for the Delta I can recommend ‘The Old Bridge Backpackers’ as a fun place to stay. From £7per night you can sign up for a mobile safari or enjoy boat and Mokoro trips up the Thamalakane river all from a comfortable, friendly and super fun base. A short taxi ride from Maun Airport (about £2) will whisk you to the Backpackers in no time and you can access everything you need from there.
Where to eat on a budget?
There’s only one option in Botswana and that’s to have a Braii! A traditional southern African BBQ, braii’s are the best place to unwind and share stories at the end of the day.
If you are lucky enough to catch a Bream in the Delta (during fishing season only please!), there is nothing tastier when cooked under the stars over a glowing fire.
Every camp will offer a Braii as Botswana isn’t really the kind of place where you can just pop down the road for a bite to eat.
What to do or to look at?
Obviously there are many options for safaris whether on foot, in a jeep or on horseback but in my view there is nothing better in life than a sunset boat ride down one of the Okavango’s rivers. Take a cooler box of beers and some biltong, hop off onto a sandbank and watch one of the spectacular Okavango Delta red sunsets to the sounds of the African bush. If you are up for something a bit faster paced, go quad biking through the Makgadikgadi pans where you can see the curvature of the earth and a 360 degree horizon, and sleep out under the stars on a bedroll.
What not to do?
Don’t be scared to try a walking safari – you will see LOADS of animals and birds and as long as you’re with a proper regulated guide you will be safe. There is nothing as exciting as walking through the bush with nothing to separate you from the wildlife.
3 fun facts about Botswana, Africa
- “Dumela” is hello – the Batswana people will love you if you try out a few words!
- The water in the Okavango Delta is very clean as it’s a huge natural filter system BUT if you want to be extra safe simply sip water through the stalk of a water lily to filter anything remaining out!
- If it’s your birthday watch out for elephant dung cake. Camp chefs have been known to surprise unsuspecting guests with a cake less chocolaty than it may look!
This amazing guide was written by Alex Smith. Check her out on Facebook and Pinterest. If you are looking for more accommodation then check out Agoda and Hostelworld, I highly recommend them. Travel insurance? Go World Nomads, a trusted and reliable travel insurance company.
Author: Hi my name is Alex Smith and I am a 27 year old English girl just back in the UK after an amazing 18 months in Botswana. I write my blog mainly for busy people who want to make the most of their precious time off to explore and immerse themselves in amazing places.