Welcome to the greatest wildlife show on earth, in breathtaking Botswana.

This landlocked Southern African gem strikes the perfect balance between protecting and celebrating its many natural attractions. Through careful conservation and responsible, tightly controlled tourism, Botswana has remained a true wildlife haven.

If you’re coming to Botswana to escape hectic modern life, you’ll love its wide-open spaces and endless skies – where you’re more likely to see a wild animal than another human. But that doesn’t mean you can’t expect a thrilling, multi-sensory experience, especially as Botswana is known as one of the most exciting countries in Africa.

Whether you’re enjoying a luxury safari or a back-to-nature wilderness camp, untouched Botswana promises an unforgettable wild experience. There really is no place on earth quite like it.

Plan the trip of a lifetime to Botswana with Blank Canvas and you’ll get a bespoke itinerary put together by your own personal Botswana travel expert.

  • History and Culture

    The history of Botswana’s people, the Batswana of Tswana origin, dates all the way back to the 14th century. But before this, the Kalahari and other parts of Botswana and South Africa were inhabited by the San and Khoi peoples.

    After decades of territorial approaches by Dutch, German and British settlers, Botswana became a British protectorate known as the Bechuanaland Protectorate. In 1965, Botswana attained its independence, and has since become an African success story in relation to its stable democracy, clean government, thriving economy and commitment to conservation.

  • Nature and wildlife

    Botswana is the perfect place to see Africa’s Big Five up close – including lion, leopard, black rhino, buffalo and elephant. In fact, Botswana boasts over 130,000 elephants, more than any other place on earth. The quantity and diversity of animal species that live here is simply dazzling, and it’s all thanks to the country’s conservation efforts and fence-free preservation of ancient migration routes.

    Out on safari in Okavango Delta, you’ll see the abundance of wildlife in all of its splendour. Expect to see hippos, Nile crocodiles, packs of wild dogs, adorable meerkat, stealthy cheetah and an unimaginable variety of colourful bird species.

    Another of Botswana’s most impressive natural landscapes is the Kalahari Desert, the largest unbroken sand desert in the world. The Kalahari boasts numerous game reserves, but one of the most important reasons to visit is to learn more about the San bushmen who’ve lived off the land for centuries.

    Also worth exploring are some of the lesser-known parks, such as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Nxai Pan and Kgalagadi. Here, there are even fewer tourists, which makes for unspoilt, genuine wilderness experiences.

  • Food and drink

    Botswana may not be known as a foodie destination, but be prepared for a pleasant (and tasty) surprise. Batswana are passionate about their food, serving up hearty dishes such as Seswaa – a tender meat stew cooked low and slow.

    Aside from the national dish, you must try Matemekwane seasoned dumplings, the moreish Dikgobe savoury porridge and the nation’s favourite beer Bojalwa.

  • Adventure and experiences

    It would be a crying shame to visit Botswana and not head out on safari, but there are plenty of other fabulous wildlife experiences to throw yourself into. Water-based experiences are the order of the day within the Okavango Delta, where you can get a hippos-eye view of the area during a traditional mokoro canoe tour.

    To see the Kalahari elephants in full force, on their 200-mile journey across northern Botswana, visit the vast Kalahari Game Reserve from July to October.

    Bush walks with the San offer an eye-opening glimpse of life for the Kalahari’s original inhabitants, but choose your tour carefully – Blank Canvas can help you find an ethical tour provider that respects rather than exploits local people. Another must for your itinerary is the remote Tsodilo Hills, a sacred spiritual place for the San where you’ll find ancient rock art.

    And if you can tear yourself away from the wilderness and its startling blood-red sunsets, Gaborone calls. The country’s capital may not be able to compete with Botswana’s natural attractions, but a climb up Kgale Hill offers breathtaking views.

    You can also visit Gaborone Nature Reserve or Mokolodi Nature Reserve, and fans of the Alexander McCall Smith ‘No 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ novels will also enjoy a tour of featured locations – finishing with a cup of redbush tea on the terrace of the President Hotel.

Flag of Botswana
  • Capital city: Gaborone
  • Language: English, Setswana
  • Currency: Botswana Pula (BWP)
  • Time Difference: UTC + 2
  • Flight Time: 12h30m From Major UK Airports
  • Visa: Stamp on arrival (UK passport holders)
  • Peak Season: May to September

Did you know?

Nearly half of Botswana's land is designated as national parks and wildlife reserves, making it one of the best safari destinations in the world

Botswana Climate Guide

Chobe National Park
Okavango Delta
Northern Tuli Reserve
Nxai Pan National Park