Sometimes the geographically challenged need a little reminder of just how GIGANTIC Africa is. Some might even need a little reminder that Africa is in fact an entire continent that could fit the countries of China, USA, India, Mexico, Peru, France, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Sweden, Japan, Germany, Norway, Italy,New Zealand, United Kingdom, Nepal, Bangladesh AND Greece all inside it and still have room to spare. Check out this map provided on www.goafrica.about.com.
Africa map representing the size of continent
The recent Ebola outbreak on the west coast of Africa has caused some panic among prospective travelers to Africa – as a whole. The popular safari destinations of South Africa, Botswana and “its neighbors” (Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia) are extremely far removed from this affected region; more than 3,000 miles removed from the region. However, in an attempt to assuage fears and be proactive with controlling visitors, Botswana officially announced a travel ban on 12 August 2014 for all non-Botswana citizens travelling from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Congo (DRC). South Africa and Namibia activated similar entry restrictions.
With much thanks to Botswana’s extraordinary stability and infrastructure, they are poised and committed to keeping their thriving eco-tourism industry alive.
While deciding when to travel to Botswana, it depends on what you want to get out of your safari experience. Generally the “shoulder seasons” of April/early May and September/October offer the most comfortable temperatures for day time exploring and night-time relaxing. Activities are plentiful and game viewing is abundant. The “green season,” which is their summer, is considered a time of abundance. Many babies are born during this season and water is plentiful. The Kalahari Plains has the best game viewing. The Green Season is considered the low travel season in Botswana because of the rain and temperatures are generally warmer.
The “Dry Season” is the peak travel season in Botswana. Reduced amounts of water results in higher concentration of wildlife sightings, and the temperatures are generally cooler.
The chart below lays out the seasonal highlights:
“Think of Botswana like the theater. When you visit you are not just watching a play. It’s like you’re part of it.” – Jane Lee Winter
Beautiful just doesn’t do justice to the magnificence that is Botswana. The varied landscape, abundant wildlife, and most importantly to me: the people. They won my heart the first time I set foot in the African Country in 1983. They are warm and welcoming and full of country pride. I love to visit the villages and watch the women cook the water lillies, weave the baskets and see the community engage in their traditional song and dance.
When we bring hosted groups to Botswana and their neighboring countries; Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, we like to offer the opportunity to include philanthropy in their trip. We support the Ebenezer Orphanage in Zambia and always try to pay them a visit. I have delighted in watching clients offer a lesson in the classroom or assist at the orphanage.
As a retail travel professional I am never at a loss for places to go, but rather privileged to have to have passion and ability to explore the world at my will. Some places I return to but many I do not. Since 1991 my husband and I have returned every year with a focus on Botswana safari camps. Botswana is a place that calls me back year-after-year and it is my pride and joy to be able to share the wonders of this special place with any bold traveler desiring a taste of its splendor.