Coming To Botswana: 4 Things You Absolutely Have To Do Here
- 11 Posts
- Age 24
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. We share borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Botswana is flat with 70% of its territory being the Kalahari desert. The main sources of income for my country are diamond sales, beef exports and tourism. Last year, Botswana topped the Lonely Planet’s list of best places to visit in 2016. Now this means you definitely have to come visit.
Here are 4 things I suggest you do when you come here.
1. Sandboarding in the Kalahari desert
This is a desert that covers mostly Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. The Kgalagadi desert, as it is known in Botswana, attracts many tourists from all over the world. The desert gets its name from the Tswana word Kgala ("the great thirst"), or Kgalagadi, Khalagari, or Kalagare, meaning "a waterless place". One interesting fact about the Kalahari desert is that it supports more animals and vegetation than a true desert. There are over four-hundred species of plants that have been identified in the desert. So if you love the feel of sand (most likely hot sand) between your toes, climbing up dunes and seeing mirages, then definitely come to the Kalahari desert.
2. A whole new world in the Okavango delta
This is probably the other tourist attraction Botswana is most known for. According to UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the Okavango Delta World Heritage property sustains robust populations of some of the world’s most endangered large mammals. Among them are the cheetah, the white and black rhinoceros, the wild dog and lions, all adapted to living in this wetland system. The delta’s habitats are species rich with 1061 plants (belonging to 134 families and 530 genera), 89 fish, 64 reptiles, 482 birds and 130 mammals. Unfortunately, I have never had a chance to experience this but I hear this part of Botswana feels like an outer body experience. Everything you do there, be it a boat cruise, a game drive or even just watching the sunset over the delta will feel like you are on a whole other planet.
3. Let's go camp in Tswapong
I currently live in Palapye, which is a village in the central part of Botswana. This village is home to the imposing Tswapong hills, which are situated to the east of Palapye and rise almost four hundred metres above the surrounding plains. The Tswapong hills host fragments of pottery which is said to date back to the first millennium. Carefully nested deep within the hills is Moremi Gorge, which just might be my favorite thing about this place. Moremi Gorge is the source of three permanent waterfalls. The area is of great religious and spiritual importance to the community. In fact there are certain times where tourists and visitors are not allowed to see the gorge. Before venturing into the hills, you should, as a matter of courtesy and respect, request permission from the local headman. One fun activity to do after seeing the Tswapong hills is to set up camp and watch the stars at night.
4. Wild City Life
For those who prefer the hustle and bustle of the city, the capital Gaborone is located in the south east of the country. Here one can do a number of activities, from enjoying the posh traditional food to going to the national museum to learn more about Botswana’s history. One can also go and see the Sir Seretse Khama statue. He was the first democratically elected president of Botswana. A weekend picnic in the Gaborone Game Reserve is one of my favorite things to do. It’s one of the few game reserves located in a city. It is home to a number of Botswana’s indigenous species, including zebra, eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, impala, kudu, and steenbok, to name but a few. There are also numerous resident and migrant bird species, best viewed from the small dam in the park. I don't know whether anyone shares the same sentiments as me, but the thought of having wild animals and the country’s corporate and government life in one and the same space excites me.
If you are looking for a getaway in the southern part of Africa,
Botswana is the place to visit. Of course, if you want a tour
guide who’s also keen on exploring her country then you know who
to contact. *Winks*