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Things to do in Botswana

Going on a safari is clearly the top things to do in Botswana, but going on a safari does not always mean riding in a jeep or van with other tourists. There are some ways to expand the definition of “safari” as you plan what to do in Botswana.

Ride a mokoro, traditional canoes made by members of the Bayei tribe. They may not be made out of wood anymore (modern ones are often fiberglass), but it is an ideal way to see life along the river. (Local guides are best for steering them, too.) In the Okavango Delta, the best views of the hundreds of bird species can be had from a mokoro or motorboat. Expect to see anything from cormorants, kingfishers, African skimmers and warblers to the rare, reddish-brown Pel's fishing owl.

Take a hot-air balloon ride over the Kalahari Desert. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the vastness of the frontier, and how the wildlife below exists in an interlocking, ever-changing dynamic. You can also ride a horse in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. Some tour operators operate these non-motorized safaris that let you travel the same paths as the animals do—making this one of the coolest things to do in Botswana. You might see wildebeest, elephants and buffalo, or hear the signature sounds of hyenas and lions in the distance.

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  • Abercrombie & Kent

    The Abercrombie & Kent travel agency began as an African safari company, founded by Geoffrey Kent and his parents in 1962. Today, the company organ... More
  • Craig Beal

    Special booking: It helps to have entertained the GM’s of many of Southern Africa’s top hotels and camps in your own house. Beal recently organized... More
  • Desert and Delta Safaris

  • Jeanie Fundora

    Insider clout: For VIP American clients in need of top security for a trip to East Africa, Fundora arranged to charter the private helicopter of a ... More
  • Judy Udwin

    Insider clout: For a couple’s seven-year-old twins, Udwin organized a separate safari itinerary that included a private chef (who whipped up pizza ... More
  • Julian Harrison

    Insider clout: In Limpopo, Harrison arranges access to the 19th hole at Legend Golf & Safari Resort—the longest, as well as the highest, par three ... More
  • Ker & Downey

    This outfitter aims to provide life-changing experiences through environmental conservation and social philanthropy. This community- and conservati... More
  • Norman Pieters

    Special booking: For a high-profile client’s safari, Pieters worked with a worldwide security company and orchestrated a soup-to-nuts custom trip, ... More
  • Phoebe Weinberg

    Insider clout: Weinberg's connections reach far across South Africa. Examples: on Robben Island, she can arrange a meeting with a former ANC offici... More
  • Robert Malmberg

    Five decades of travel experience have made Robert Malmberg’s Boston-based agency one of the nation’s best. A member of the elite Signature Travel ... More
  • 201101-a-hotel-sanctuary-retreats_standard_thumb

    Sanctuary Retreats

    Since 1999, this U.K.-based company has managed a small portfolio of luxury lodges, safari camps, and cruise ships in ecological and cultural desti... More
  • Wilderness Safaris

    A safari operator with 70 camps in nine countries, Wilderness has been a champion of responsible travel in Africa for nearly 30 years. Overseeing a... More
  • Zambezi Queen

    Picture yourself in a top-deck whirlpool with a glass of Stellenbosch Pinot Blanc, watching for elephants, hippos, or rare puku antelope in the Nam... More

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