Traveling in Botswana

Traveling in Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa that is made up of dry deserts in the south and wetlands in the north. Unfortunately Botswana has one of the highest known HIV/Aids rates in the world, almost 40% of the population carries the virus. This couldn’t happen to a better country, because the people here are some of the best I’ve ever met. There are no political problems in the country, and crime is very low, making Botswana one of the safest and most stable countries in all Africa. The country is also very beautiful and has two special places that make it unique, the first is the Okavango Delta and the salt pans.

Botswana Okavango Delta Boat Ride

The highlight of Botswana is no doubt the Okavango Delta. Unfortunately my pictures don’t show the variety of wildlife here, but the delta is packed with lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles and just about every type of game animal found in southern Africa. There are several ways to explore the delta, there are scenic flights, safaris, boat trips, hiking and camping. I used a canoe and later I did some hiking on one of the delta’s islands. The man on the upper left is a native from a village nearby who gives rides on the canoes, using the stick to guide the boat.

Botswana Francistown
Botswana Francistown Internet Cafe

When I first arrived to Botswana, I was expecting an extremely poor country. My first stop was in Francistown, and I was surprised about how developed everything was here. My first picture is of a shopping center in Francistown, on the right is a photo of an internet cafe which are widely available throughout the country.

George Kashouh Village
Botswana Village Hut

I drove through Botswana and saw that it is one of the most rural countries that I’ve ever been to. Outside of the cities, most of the population live in huts like these seen above. Sometimes there would be one or two alone, or sometimes an entire village filled with these huts. On the left is me visiting a small village near Maun.

Botswana Cows Highway
Botswana Passed Out Boy

Most of the rural population own lots of livestock. I had to stop very often because of cows, goats, and donkeys crossing the highway. Animals aren’t the only thing on the roads. On the right is a picture of a boy that who is completely passed out. I went right up to him to take the picture and he didn’t move at all.

Botswana Termites
Botswana Termite Mound

Throughout Africa are many termite hills, most of them rising several feet above the ground. On the upper left are some termites hard at work, bringing food inside their nest. I’ve seen several ant hills in African countries, but in Botswana for some reason they seem to have the biggest. That termite hill on the right is at least 8 feet in height!

Botswana Pans
Botswana Pans

These photos above are from the great salt pans. They aren’t very scenic themselves but they are a unique place in the world. Thousands of years ago, here in Botswana were huge lakes, and after they dried up the salt pans is all that is left of them. What makes the salt pans worth visiting is going 4 wheeling in a place where from horizon to horizon all you can see is the flat grayish terrain. It’s easy to lose your sense of perception here!

Botswana Baobab Tree
Botswana Tolido Hills

Most of Botswana is very flat terrain with small plants. The large tree above is called a balboa tree, and they are found randomly throughout the country. The only elevated part of Botswana is in the northwest and is called the Tolida Hills, On the right you can see one of the hills during the early morning.

Botswana Boat Man Guide
Botswana Okavango Lily
Botswana Okavango Bell Frog

Since the Okavango floods the whole area, much of the water is still and has very little flow. On the upper left is a lily filled with lily bugs, on the right is a bell frog.

Botswana Okavango Zebras
Botswana Okavango Gazelle

Some of the game animals I saw where herds of zebras and gazelle. The terrain above looks dry because it is actually on an island inside the delta. I also saw many other times of game animals as well as baboons.

Botswana Okavango Kingfisher
Botswana Okavango Storks

With the huge variety of birds the Okavango is definitely a bird watcher’s paradise. On the upper left is a kingfisher resting just after it made a dive into the water. On the right are some storks flying by the water.

Botswana Okavango Sausage Tree
Botswana Okavango Eagle

With the huge variety of birds the Okavango is definitely a bird watcher’s paradise. On the upper left is a kingfisher resting just after it made a dive into the water. On the right are some storks flying by the water.

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