Wildlife in Botswana

Botswana is home to the Big Five and much more, and the north is where you’ll find the greatest numbers and variety. The permanent waters of the Okavango Delta and the Chobe Linyanti River System provide water and food for huge herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as thousands of zebra, giraffe and other iconic species. These of course attract a variety of predators, including lion, leopard and cheetah, plus numerous scavengers and over 500 species of birds. The only animal under-represented is the ever-threatened rhino and although they can be found in Moremi Game Reserve (on the eastern edge of the Okavango Delta), sightings are rare. Your best chance of spotting a rhino is at the excellent Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a small, community-based wildlife reserve near the south-eastern town of Serowe. Botswana’s southern and central regions are generally less productive for wildlife viewing, although at specific places and times of year, sightings can be just as spectacular as in the north. In winter, from May to October, conditions are extremely dry and many animals migrate north in search of water. This can make the few remaining permanent water sources excellent focal points, especially for the Kalahari’s famous black-maned lions. These stay behind to prey on the springbok, oryx and other desert-adapted species that can go for long periods without a drink. The permanent waterhole at the Kgalagadi’s northern Kaa Gate, for example, is particularly well known for lions. From November to April, the summer rains transform the region. Although predators can be harder to spot in the thick, green vegetation, the Kalahari itself is at its most beautiful and the antelope and other grazers are drawn in high numbers to the fleetingly full rivers and pans. If you would like to inquire about our car hire options, one of our consultants will readily assist with any questions you may have.