Unique things to do in Botswana

Unique things to do in Botswana

If you are looking for unique things to do in Botswana then you are in the right place. Botswana is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular natural regions on earth. The south and east consist of the stunning Kalahari Desert and the moon-like deserts of Nusay and Makgadikgadi.

Meanwhile, to the north and west stretches the dazzling aquatic world of the Okavango delta and Chobe River ecosystems. This diverse terrain lends itself to a wide range of unique things to do in Botswana suitable for nearly anyone with an interest in the great outdoors.

Whether it’s your first African safari tour or your tenth, you’ll always find more than one unique thing to do in Botswana in one of Africa’s friendliest countries.

Because of the diversity, deciding on unique things to do in Botswana is no easy task. There are a lot of things to do almost everywhere in this southern Africa country.

Since 2005, we have toured all over Africa, providing bespoke Botswana safaris to thousands of travelers. To help you decide, we’ve put together the best unique things to do in Botswana.

Unique Things to Do in Botswana

 1. Meet San Bushman

Unique things to do in Botswana

Making it to the list of unique things to do in Botswana is a tour to the San. Synonymous with the Kalahari, the San are an indigenous hunter-gatherer group of the first peoples of southern Africa.

They conquered this difficult terrain some 20,000 years ago, honing their survival skills over generations. Today, you can learn everything from medicinal plants to how the long horns of the eland grew to the folklore of how the world came to be.

The reason why this is inn the unique things to do in Botswana is because you will join a San guided hike and learn about their unique culture, incredible tracking and hunting skills, and exceptional knowledge of medicinal and poisonous plants.

The San bushman tour makes it to unique things to do in Botswana as it allows you to learn more about life in one of the oldest cultures on earth, Botswana is the place.

2. Guided game drive

We have done safaris in Africa for over a decade but, as African safari experts we do many game drives but the unique things to do in Botswana always surprise us.

The guides are passionate and there are many animals therefore a game drive is among the unique things to do in Botswana.

This is a natural paradise and guided game drives are one of the most exciting activities on a Botswana safari. It’s as easy as throwing an arrow at a map and flying there.

Seriously, if you want to experience Botswana in all its wildlife-watching glory, head to Chobe and visit the Moremi Game Reserve, where you can see the largest herd of elephants on the planet and a spectacle of predators.

3.  Delta Water Safari

Traditionally, traditional mekoro or mokoro (traditional dugout canoes) were carved out of sausage tree trunks for rowing in the Okavango Delta.

Today, lighter, faster and more environmentally friendly fiberglass canoes are used in nearly all lodges. Riding a Mokoro on the world’s largest inland delta makes it to the list of unique things to do in Botswana.

Unique things to do in Botswana

It is one of the most serene experiences one can ever have when in safari in Africa. A guide will lead you slowly as he will tell you the beautiful lilies, the little painted reed frogs, and the goliath he herons.

Don’t worry about hippos. Polar gently pats Mokoro on the side to warn him of an approaching person. This is the Okavango Delta’s signature animal viewing vehicle, allowing you to get up close and personal with the animals of the ‘Venice of safari’.

The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta, with hundreds of canals through dense reed-beds perfect for motorboats.

Your guide will turn off the engine as you approach water-adapted wildlife such as sitatungas, hippos, crocodiles and elephants. However, motorboats allow you to travel farther from the lodge and see more remote areas of the delta.

4. Enjoy the Views from the Best Lodges and Camps

Botswana offers a wealth of scenery, including the Sabti Wetlands, the Chobe Floodplains and the Okavango Delta. Most of the country is fairly flat, the sky appears higher and bluer, the clouds are denser and the sun is more life-giving.

To enjoy one of the unique things to do in Botswana, bring your wide-angle lens to make the most of Botswana’s stunning scenery.

5. Go Bird Watching

Unique things to do in Botswana

Many African safari goers claim to be ‘not interested in birds’ prior to Botswana safari. But then there are the fun challenges of spotting a perched owl in a distant tree or trying to capture the perfect photo of an osprey taking flight.

After a safari to Botswana, home to 550 species, they sing another song and an immediate thrill. Visit Botswana during the summer months (November to March), the best time to visit Botswana for bird watching.

Then immigrants arrived and settled in areas infested with “ticks” such as kingfishers, maggot choppers, great egrets (who hunt fish by luring them into the darkness created by smelling water with their wings), and African sea eagles.

Among the unique things to do in Botswana, you may go watching the Giant eagle owls (which, strangely, often perch on the ground), and beautiful crimson bee-eaters.

The ground hornbill (Zazu’s inspiration in The Lion King), the jewel-like malachite kingfisher, and the most elusive, fluttering lilac roller.

6. Get the Superb Predator Sightings

Lots of grass means lots of antelopes. Where stags, zebras and other animals come to drink, you’ll also find Africa’s largest crocodile. They can lie still for hours, trick their prey into giving them a false sense of security, and then attack with lightning speed.

Tip for photographers: Crocodiles show no signs when in motion and have the uncanny ability to do exciting things at the very moment they change lenses or drink water. They keep you on your toes, making watching them be one of the unique things to do in Botswana.

When you head to Chobe, deep water bodies and lush riverbanks are prime habitats for alligators. Not only is the size of Botswana’s predators impressive, but so are the populations in which they live.

The famous Marsh Pride lion in the Sabti region of Chobe is one of Africa’s largest lions. Years of hard hunting in deep seas and dense marshes have made them known to be very strong hunters capable of taking down elephants.

But even if they’re not out hunting (which happens late at night when you’ll probably be in bed), lions are still interesting. Big cat activity continues in the Moremi Game Reserve, known for frequent leopard sightings.

Remarkably, this is the only officially protected area of ​​the World Heritage Okavango Delta. Of course, if you’re really lucky, you might spot a baby lion or a leopard learning how to compete with the outside world.

Lions are the most sociable of all cats and tend to get carried away with their antics.

7. Look for the Big 5 When in the Okavango Delta

The Big 5 include the rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards and buffalo are high on the list of things to see in Botswana for safari novices.

Unique things to do in Botswana

In your list of unique things to do in Botswana, it is possible to see them all in Botswana, especially the Moremi and Okavango deltas which are some of the best tourist attractions in Botswana.

Unfortunately, rhinos are endangered, but innovative conservation programs are giving this amazing animal another life after thousands of years of survival.

8. Playing with a Meerkat

Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, meerkats are fearless meerkats with amazing social structures and observation systems.

Meercats are so fearless that they quickly get used to people and actually start using us as a convenient perspective therefore an interaction with them should be among the unique things to do in Botswana.

Visit the Kalahari Desert (where meerkats prefer dry, sandy areas to burrow) and experience he one of Botswana’s best family-friendly activities.

9. Spot Rare and Unusual Wildlife

While the Big 5 deserve their reputation as Africa’s powerhouses, small and elusive wildlife should also be added to the list of unique things to do in Botswana.

Wild dogs have been revived from extinction through successful conservation efforts, and the Moremi Game Reserve is home to several excellent breeding packs of these canids.

Keep an eye out for hordes of hairy waterbucks on the way to Chobe National Park, a very beautiful antelope. The hind legs have large white rings. It is considered rude to jokingly compare it to a toilet seat.

Among the unique things to do in Botswana is to look for rather rare antelope, the beautiful sable antelope. The male’s crescent-shaped horns and glossy black fur represent this.

The sable antelope is often confused with the lone antelope, which is also elusive, with a white muzzle and much straighter horns.

Unique things to do in Botswana

The delta is a great place to find two rare antelope species, the leaping akalekwe and the very shy sitatunga. The sitatunga is actually harder to find than the leopard.

 Another difficult and shy species to spot is the African wildcat hence a unique things to do in Botswana.

The African wildcat is larger than the domestic cat, but shares the same distinctive traits, being able to run faster. They prefer open grasslands and you may get lucky to see them in Sabti or Linyanti.

The Oryx is one of Africa’s most elegant antelopes and is well suited to semi-desert areas such as the Kalahari Desert. The more “rings” in a man’s horns, the older he is.

Let your list of unique things to do in Botswana take you to the Kalahari Desert. Here, keep an eye out for other desert-adapted animals such as the brown hyena, aardvark, honey badger and bat-eared fox.

10. Watch the Game on Horseback

The list of unique things to do in Botswana can note be listed without the horseback safari. Horseback safari is one of Botswana’s most exclusive activities and is only recommended for experienced riders.

Your horse will get used to the game and enjoy cantering through pristine pastures while keeping an eye out for sitatunga, lekwe and the horse’s cousin, the zebra. Even if you are an inexperienced riders, you need not to despair. Many mountain huts offer gentle rides for beginners.

11. Fly a Hot Air Balloon over the Delta

The charm of the balloon is that you can feel the size of Okavango hence its inclusion among the unique things to do in Botswana. You may also opt to flying over it in a light aircraft is another matter.

Unique things to do in Botswana

Floating serenely over Crescent Lake and counting the hippos, elephants and buffaloes below is a whole other experience. It was a magical experience and without a doubt one of his best activities to do on your honeymoon in Botswana.

12. ATV Rides in Salt Pans

In Africa, off-road vehicles are known as quads, and Nsai Pan National Park and Makgadikgadi Pan National Park are the best places for off-road vehicles.

You can travel far enough and fast enough to get where you want to go on flat, smooth areas. Avoid the sun, keep your engines revving and experience the endless salt flats making it to the list of unique things to do in Botswana.

13. Sleep under the Stars

One of the unique things to do in Botswana is having your night under the stars. Nighttime in Botswana is a unique sight: a dizzying starry sky. The majestic Milky Way really shines here in the absence of light and air pollution.

In all honest, you should be able to find great stargazing outside of towns like Maun and Kasane. But if you want a reliable cosmic glow, you should consider the Kalahari Desert as you will find good reasons for that is because the sky is likely to be clear.

One of my favorite activities in Botswana is spending the night in a bed of amazing stars. You will hear hippos croaking, hyenas giggle and distant lions roaring as you gaze out at the endless starry sky behind a mosquito net.

A “Star bed” is, as the name suggests, a comfortable outdoor bed in the great outdoors. Some are simply built on romantic candlelit riverbeds, while others are perched on rustic ‘bird’s nest’ style platforms above the tree line.

Some live in luxury tree houses with private bathrooms and running water. Visit a private reserve in Botswana for an unforgettable night in the wilderness or visit Lake Makgadikgadi for otherworldly stargazing.

If you are planning a safari to Africa for your honeymoon, this should be added to your list of unique things to do in Botswana.

14. Chobe Sunset Cruise

Unique things to do in Botswana

The Chobe River lies north of Chobe National Park and is often the terminus of safaris to Botswana. What a unique thing to do in Botswana with a finale! A superb sunset cruise as a classic way to end the day.

Observe ospreys, crocodiles, hippos, myriad birds and even water monitor lizards from the boat. One of the benefits of viewing wildlife from a boat is that it provides a unique angle for wildlife photography.

This makes it to the list of unique things to do in Botswana as the absolute eye-catcher is always how elephant families migrate from shore to shore. As you traverse patiently, your guide will explore submerged rocks and logs, test depth, and basically choose the safest route.

Babies are always in the middle of the herd and often end up paddling their little feet like crazy when they get too deep. It is a humble encounter and one of the most beautiful things to see in Botswana.

15. Compete with the Baobabs

Local Tswana folklore refers to the baobab tree as “the tree God created in his wrath”. Apparently irritated by the baobab tree, he threw it from the sky, whereupon it fell to the ground and landed awkwardly with its “roots” floating in the air, hence the name “upside-down tree” as another nickname.

Baobab trees are extraordinary, their massive trunks hold lots of moisture, and elephants regularly tear the bark with their tusks to get close to the baobabs. Yet, baobabs survive the exploration of fluids by these pachyderms.

The Makgadikgadi region is home to many wonderful baobab trees. It make the list of unique things to do in Botswana due to the Banes Baobabs in Nusaipan National Park which are worth a visit.

Also known as the “Sleeping Sisters”, this cluster of seven stunted baobabs was immortalized in a painting commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society in 1862 by British landscape painter Thomas Baines .

16. Yoga in the Desert

While African safaris are known to be all about food other than animal watching, more and more camps now offer active options as well. One of the most unique things to do in Botswana on safari is Yoga.

Unique things to do in Botswana

Yoga is a great way to slow down and give yourself a spiritual presence to truly connect with a quiet environment. Salute to the sun at Jack’s Camp in Makgadikgadi that has a dedicated yoga pavilion overlooking the pan.

17. Mobile Camping Expedition

One of the unique things to do in Botswana safari is to explore the country on mobile tented camp. Mobile camping is a great way to get back to basics and take a little adventure into the great outdoors.

It is one of the most popular activities in Botswana because it is an authentic, affordable and comfortable African safari experience.

Instead of staying in lodges, they stay in several tented camps in private concessions, national parks and game reserves, traveling by road or plane to new locations every few days.

No swimming pool, air conditioning, spa treatments, or Wi-Fi, but we have everything you need: flush toilets, hot showers, charging stations, and great food. It also gives you an incredible closeness to nature that is unparalleled.

It’s not uncommon to see elephants, honey badgers, ground squirrels, and the occasional spotted hyena or leopard around the camp.

18. Green Season Safari

Being here during the rainy season is also among the unique things to do in Botswana.

The importance of rain to the country is indicated by the fact that its currency is called ‘Pula’, which means ‘rain’ in Tswana. Rain is life and Botswana has one of the most revitalizing wet seasons in the world.

From November to around April, the earth turns green, the air is dustless, the skies are teeming with birds, and baby animals (and predators!) flock here and everywhere.

Talk to an African safari expert on why it’s worth traveling to Botswana in the off/green season (often literally, prices are much cheaper at this time of year).

19. Step Out to see Flamingos and the Annual Zebra Migration

The Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans are great places to see the annual zebra migration, second only to the wildebeest and zebra migration in Tanzania which is among the unique things to do in Botswana.

The best time to see the migration in this part of Botswana is from December to January when the herds arrive and from March to April when the herds leave. It’s also a great time to see flamingos and birds gathering in the shallow pools created by the rains.

The only downside of the rainy season (November-March/April) is that it makes road travel a bit more difficult, but it is a good time to visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and it is quieter and cheaper during this time in the year. !

20. Explore the Rock Paintings of Tsodilo Hills

One of the unique things to do in Botswana is to see one of the world’s largest collections of rock paintings at the Tsodilo Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in northwestern Botswana near the Namibian border.

Tourist Attractions in Botswana

There are more than 500 paintings in the area that are sacred to local people who believe that the land is inhabited by the spirits of their ancestors.

This site is quite close to one of my favorite camps in Namibia, Ngepi Camp, so it would be a great stop if you are coming to Botswana from the Caprivi Strip (also known as the Namibia Panhandle).

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