Lucas T. Jahn
7 Once-In-A-Lifetime Adventures for your Botswana Roadtrip
Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Planning a roadtrip through Botswana? Look no further, we share seven once-in-a-lifetime adventures in Botswana with you.
1. Go on a self-drive safari roadtrip.
Botswana is a wildlife safari paradise. Almost nowhere else will you find so many animals living undisturbed in their natural habitat. This is especially true for the Okavango Delta in the north of Botswana including the Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park. Many luxury lodges offer fly-in safaris which are without a doubt a memorable experience. But how about going on your own safari roadtrip? You could rent a vehicle, travel around Botswana, and explore the wildlife-rich game reserves at your own pace. Instead of traveling with a guide, you‘ll be looking out for animals yourself. Make your way along the rough offroad trails of the country, so you can later tell the story of how you spotted your first elephant all on your own.
2. Gcwihaba Caves
Situated in the far west of Botswana, the Gcwihaba Caves are a true adventure destination. You will have to conquer more than 100 km of sandy offroad trails to arrive at the entry of the caves. The next village is 35 km away, no human is anywhere near. You are all alone in the wilderness of Botswana. As soon as you are ready, venture down into a world of darkness. The Gcwihaba Caves are an underground cave system with countless tunnels and caverns. Don‘t get lost, help is far away! In the humid cave, you will find Horseshoe Bats and Egyptian Slit-faced Bats hanging from the walls. This is an adventure for the fearless!
3. Marvel at the Tsodilo Hills Rock Paintings.
The rock paintings at Tsodilo Hills are premier examples of the early habitation of this area. Some of the 4500 paintings have been dated back to 24000 years ago. Also called the ‚Louvre of the desert‘, there are several hiking trails around Tsodilo which you can only explore with a local guide. This will allow you to dive deep into the cherished history of this area which has a high cultural and spiritual significance for the local San people.
4. Cross the Okavango by ferry.
In Western Botswana there is no bridge spanning across the Okavango River, however, you can take an old, battered ferry to reach the other side. Join cars, people and horses as they cross over this mighty river to the opposite shore of the Okavango. To be honest, there is not much to see on the Eastern side, however, the crossing with the ferry is a worthwhile adventure in itself.
5. Camp among lions.
Camping in Botswana means embracing nature. A safe fence around the campsite? There's no such thing. Wild animals can wander around freely, and nowhere is this more true than at Third Bridge in Moremi Game Reserve. During our stay at the camp we had a herd of elephants spend the day on our camp spot, a pair of lions walked 20 m past us and a spotted hyaena ran next to our car. If you are into wild campsites, this is the place to be.
6. Walk among baobabs in a salt pan.
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in the center of the country are a desolate and yet beautiful place. Rising from the flatness of the salt pan is Kubu Island, a rock formation with a large number of majestic Baobab trees growing on it. Take a stroll among these remnants of a forgotten time and you will be in good company. Early European explorers such as David Livingstone used Kubu Island and other Baobab trees as navigation points on their journeys through Africa‘s interior.
7. Drive through the vast Kalahari.
In comparison to the water-rich Okavango Delta, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve might seem like an unforgivingly dry place. No water from the Okavango makes it past the salt pans that lie just north. The Kalahari is arid with little to no rainfall. Still, a roadtrip through this remote part of Botswana is a great adventure for the courageous traveler. If you travel with open eyes, you will be able to spot many animals such as bat-eared foxes, lions, wildebeest, springboks, oryx, and ostriches. Make sure you bring plenty of time and enough food and water, as the roads are long and there are no facilities or help anywhere near.
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