Ботсвана: Национальные парки, заповедники и специальные территории
Информация представлена по названиям в алфавитном порядке:
• CENTRAL KALAHARI Game Reserve
• CHiTABE Concession
• CHOBE National Park
• GABORONE Game Reserve
• GEMSBOK National Park [Botswana/South Africa]
• JAO Concession
• KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK and MABUASAHUBE Game Reserve
• KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY
• KHUTSE (KUTSE) Game Reserve
• KWANDO Concession
• KWARA Concession
• KWEDi Reserve
• LiNYANTi Wildlife Reserve
• MAKGADiKGADi PANs National Park
• MANYELANONG Game Reserve
• MASHATU Game Reserve
• MOKOLODI Private Nature Reserve
• MOREMi Game Reserve
• NXABEGA Concession
• NXAi PAN National Park
• OKAVANGO DELTA
• SANDiBE Concession
• SELiNDA Concession
• SHA-LiMPO Game Reserve
• TSODILO HiLLS
• TULi BLOCK and MASHATU Game Reserve
• CENTRAL KALAHARI Game Reserve (...карта)
Larger than Denmark or Switzerland, and bigger than Lesotho and Swaziland combined, the 52,800 km² Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which was set up in 1961, is the second largest game reserve in the world. Situated in the centre of Botswana, the reserve is characterized by vast open plains, saltpans and ancient riverbeds.
The habitats vary from sand dunes with many species of trees and shrubs in the north, to flat bushveld in the central area and mopane forests to the south and east. Rainfall is sparse and sporadic and can vary from 170 to 700 millimeters per year.
The people commonly known throughout the world as Bushmen, but more properly referred to as the Basarwa or San, have been resident in and around the area for probably thousands of years. Originally nomadic hunters and gatherers, the lifestyle of the Basarwa has gradually changed with the times and they now live in settlements. Some of these settlements are situated within the southern half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and there is considerable ongoing debate about whether they should be relocated.
After the summer rains arrive in the northern section of the reserve, from Deception Valley to Piper Pans, the vast plains burst with sweet grasses and it becomes one of the prime game-viewing areas in Botswana. Not many people seem to be aware of this and visitors are few. The clear blue sky fills with gigantic clouds and the stage is set for an amazing transformation. Into the scene enter thousands of gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest. Plentiful lion, cheetah and jackal are in attendance. This gathering of animals is a sight to behold and can be compared with the Serengeti/Masai Mara migrations of Tanzania and Kenya
• CHiTABE Concession (...карта)
The Chitabe Concession comprises 28,000 hectares of pristine Okavango wilderness. It borders the well known Moremi Game Reserve and is nestled between two main river systems, the Gomoti to the east and the Santantadibe to the west. What makes Chitabe unique to some of the other areas in the Okavango Delta is that it contains such a variety of habitats within close proximity.
A finger of perennial swamps extends into the Chitabe concession, which is inundated by water throughout the year. The area is also dominated by seasonally flooded areas which transform 56% of the concession from dry floodplains into a lush oasis when the annual flood waters meander through. The variety of habitat ranges from the classic Okavango scenery, with Illala Palms dotting the landscape, to open savannahs and acacia woodlands. This gives rise to a surprising diversity of species.
Wildlife in the area includes elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah. Wild dog are also found here. Plains game includes zebra, reedbuck, giraffe, kudu and impala. Night drives can be very rewarding, giving rare opportunities to view animals such as pangolin, civet, serval, porcupine and aardwolf
• CHOBE National Park (...карта)
Chobe National Park - Botswana’s second largest Park - is arguably the country’s finest destination for game viewing. Famous for its impressive numbers of elephant, with the largest continuous elephant population on earth, Chobe also boasts one of the greatest concentrations of game on the African continent.
The Park is divided into four distinctly different eco-systems: Serondela with its lush plains and dense forests in the Chobe River area in the extreme north-east, the Savuti Marsh in the west, the Linyanti Swamps in the north-west and the hot dry hinterland in between.
The particularly game rich areas are the beautiful Chobe River and the Savuti Marsh area.
Often described as one of the best wildlife viewing areas in Africa today, the Park is home to over 100,000 elephants as well as giraffe, zebra, impala, tsessebe, roan, sable, wildebeest, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, warthog and eland. Predators include lion, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and even cheetah and wild dog.
Unfortunately the Park can have a tendency to get crowded at peak times. Visitors looking for a more remote experience should consider the neighboring private concessions, such as the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve or the Kwando or Selinda Concessions
• GABORONE Game Reserve
Although small, at just under 600 hectares, the Gaborone Game Reserve is one of the busiest reserves in Botswana, providing a very popular venue for city residents to unwind in.
Established in 1988, the Gaborone Game Reserve has a good network of game viewing roads, a visitors education centre, a couple of picnic sites, a game hide and a remote bird hide overlooking a reeded expanse of wetland. A detailed route map is supplied at the entrance gate, a short distance off Limpopo Drive on the western side of the city.
A section of the reserve has been enclosed to protect the park's couple of rhino, which can be viewed along certain roads, in addition to which visitors can expect to see impala, kudu, ostriches, wildebeest, zebra, gemsbok, bushbuck, springbok, Duiker and Africa's largest antelope, the eland.
As with much of Botswana, the Gaborone Game Reserve is very popular with bird watchers. The wide variety of habitats that the park covers from thorn scrub and woodland to riverine forest and marshland has lead to a wide variety of birds being commonly seen there, including raptors like the snake eagle, the unbelievably bright and prolific crimson boubou and the luminescent purple gallinule which inhabits the wetlands.
• JAO Concession (...карта)
The 60,000 hectare Jao Reserve (Wildlife Management Area NG25) is located in the north-western area of the Okavango Delta directly below the panhandle. The Moremi Game Reserve forms the eastern boundary of the reserve.
Lying as it does in the very heart of the Delta, the Jao Reserve embodies all the magic and mystique of the Okavango. Narrow water channels cut their way through the papyrus and reed beds in the permanent delta to the north and east of the reserve, providing the perfect environment for the elusive sitatunga and the rare Pel's fishing owl. Beautiful lush palm islands dot the water, begging to be explored. In the central region of the reserve, vast open floodplains provide some of the most stunning scenery of the region. This area of the reserve has beautiful islands fringed with riverine forests. Further west the reserve gets progressively dryer and Hunda Island which is the tip of a large sand tongue is the largest area of dry land during the flood season. Hunda Island has sandveld vegetation supporting many species of nutritious acacia and grewia shrubs which provide excellent browsing.
A variety of habitats ensures diverse and interesting game viewing. The wildlife depends largely on the water levels in the area. The lagoons are home to hippo and crocodile and the permanent waterways and floodplains attract large numbers of waterfowl. In the permanent waters, sitatunga can be tracked silently by mokoro.
From October to March the waters subside and extensive green open plains are the highlight. This is when the game viewing is the most diverse. Lion, cheetah and leopard are plentiful, while tsessebe, red lechwe, zebra, giraffe, warthog and wildebeest dot the flood plains. Large herds of buffalo move in and out of the reserve at will. Night drives are good for spotting creatures not often seen such as porcupine, spotted hyena, pangolin, spring hares, bushbabies, civet and genets.
During the winter months, the water levels at Jao rise and the savannah areas become inundated with water. Huge herds of lechwe can be found on the floodplains and the lion prides are adept at hunting and drowning their prey in the water. Leopards are still often seen and elephants are more prevalent at this time. Plains game such as impala, zebra, wildebeest and tsessebe stick to the dry islands
• KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK AND MABUASAHUBE GAME RESERVE
Africa's first formally declared trans-border conservation area - the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) on the border of South Africa and Botswana - was officially launched on May 12, 2000 by South African President Thabo Mbeki and Botswana President Festus Mogae. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is located in Kgalagadi District approximately 865km southwest of Gaborone. The combined land area of the KTP is about 38,000 km2 of which 28,400 km2 lies in Botswana and 9,600 km2 in South Africa. Transfrontier parks, border parks or transboundary conservation areas are protected areas that straddle international boundaries. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is such a protected area in the southern Kalahari Desert. The southern Kalahari represents an increasingly rare phenomenon: a large ecosystem relatively free from human interference. The absence of man-made barriers (except to the west and south of the Park) has provided a conservation area large enough to maintain examples of two ecological processes that were once widespread in the savannahs and grasslands of Africa. The large scale migratory movements of wild ungulates; and predation by large mammalian carnivores. These processes are impossible to maintain except in the largest of areas, and their presence in the Kalahari makes the system of special value to conservation.
In addition to this, the Kalahari has a particular aesthetic appeal. The harsh, semi-arid environment has placed adaptive demands on both fauna and flora that are of considerable scientific interest. Few other conservation areas have attracted so many research projects. This research has revealed a widely fluctuating environment, driven by rainfall events, which vary widely in time and space, and produces a system that is difficult to predict and understand without long-term study.
The significance of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is that it is the first formally declared Transfrontier Park in Africa and it will hopefully serve as a model for conservation in the 21st Century. The Government of Botswana is keen to make the Transfrontier Park a success. The Peace Parks Foundation (an NGO dedicated to promoting transfrontier parks in southern Africa) has played an important role in the development of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and provides assistance for the creation of other transboundary conservation areas in the region
• KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is situated south of Makgadikgadi Pans. This small sanctuary was established as a last refuge for Botswana’s remaining white rhinos. Game drives and rhino tracking guarantee close-up sightings of these magnificent creatures
• KHUTSE GAME RESERVE
Khutse Game reserve is a 2590 km2 park which adjoins the southern boundary of the CKGR. It is only 240 km North West of Gaborone but the journey can take up to 5 hours due to the challenge of the road. Once done, the reward is well worth it, with the chance of visitors seeing gemsbok, kudu, steenbok, duikers, ostriches, black-backed jackals
• KWANDO Concession (...карта)
The Kwando Concession comprises 2,320 km² of unfenced wilderness in the north of Botswana, bordering Namibia’s Caprivi Strip. Famous as a big game area, this private concession boasts 80 km of exclusive river frontage.
The perennial and southerly flowing Kwando River disappears into the vast marshes before emerging as the Linyanti River, flowing in north-easterly and south-westerly directions. The triangle formed in Namibia by this direction change is home to the Mamili National Park.
The Kwando area is home to huge herds of elephant and buffalo. There are few places in Africa where such concentrated numbers of these animals exist, especially in the dry season.
Kwando is also well known for its high density of predators, including lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah and wild dog. The lions of Kwando are famous for their elephant, hippo and buffalo kills. The wild dog viewing is amongst the best in Africa.
Other wildlife in the concession includes hippo, lechwe, zebra, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, kudu and tsessebe. The endangered sable and roan are also often seen
• KWARA Concession (...карта)
The 1,700 km² Kwara Concession is located within the remote north-eastern part of the Okavango Delta and shares a 30 km water boundary with Moremi Game Reserve. The concession has permanent water and seasonal flood plains as well as extensive dry bush wilderness. Habitats range from the clear Delta waters with reed-lined lagoons and channels, to open grasslands, mopane woodlands and palm-fringed islands.
The Kwara area is home to a variety of animals including lechwe, sitatunga, reedbuck, bushbuck, hippo, crocodile, elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, impala and tsessebe. The endangered sable and roan can also be found here. Lion, hyena, wild dog, leopard and cheetah are abundant in this part of the Delta and regularly seen.
The area offers excellent birding opportunities and species you can encounter through the channels and rivers include herons, storks, kingfishers, pygmy geese, fish eagles, jacanas, darters and, if you're really fortunate, the elusive Pel’s fishing owl
• KWEDi Reserve (...карта)
This private concession is situated in the extreme north of the Okavango and is known locally as the Kwedi Reserve.
The vegetation ranges from the vast open flood plains to dense mopane bushveld and offers spectacular game viewing and birding opportunities all year round.
The area has both the wetland and savannah species of wildlife, including red lechwe, waterbuck, hippos, crocodiles, as well as sable, kudu, wildebeest and tsessebe who roam the open plains. Herds of buffalo and elephant also occur here, along with the major predators - lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. Guests who enjoy their birding will love the combination of all the Okavango water "specials" with acacia and dry woodland species.
The entire Kwedi area of over 100,000 hectares has been ceded by the Botswana Government and the Tawana Land Board to the people who live along the Okavango's northern boundary so that they can derive direct benefits from the wildlife and the environment on their doorstep. Wilderness Safaris is the joint venture partner with the Okavango Community Trust, and manages the lodges and tourism activities in this area
• LiNYANTi Wildlife Reserve (...карта)
The private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is a 125,000 hectare concession area on the western boundary of Chobe National Park. A remote and pristine wildlife area, it is bordered by the Linyanti River, which runs from west to east. On the far bank of the river lies Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, the long wetland of this otherwise arid country.
The Linyanti area is renowned for its predators and large concentrations of game, particularly elephant. Dereck and Beverly Joubert made the region famous in their National Geographic films. "Eternal enemies" is a classic, and chronicles in detail the interaction between lion and hyena.
There are three main features of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve: the Linyanti River, Savuti Channel and the woodlands of the interior. The last stretches of Africa's Great Rift Valley separate the forests of the interior from the rivers and floodplains of the Linyanti and it is along this ridge - and along the Savuti Channel - that the best wildlife can be seen.
The Savuti Channel is a "dry waterway" that used to connect the Linyanti River at Zibadianja Lagoon with the interior of the south Chobe National Park at the Savuti Marsh. The Savuti has only ever flowed intermittently and dried up for the last time in 1980. Two thirds of the famous Savuti Channel savannah is in the Linyanti concession and guests are able to view the abundant wildlife privately and exclusively.
Elephants are one of the prime attractions, especially during the dry winter months when they congregate along the waterways and around the waterholes as the rainfall-filled depressions and pans of the interior dry up. At times the reserve must have several thousand elephants roaming around. Red lechwe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, sable, roan, eland, giraffe, baboon, monkey, warthog, crocodile and buffalo are some of the other animals to be found here. Predators include lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyena. Night drives provide a chance to see nocturnal animals such as bushbaby, spring hare, aardwolf, serval, genet and pangolin. Birding is excellent from the Okavango "specials" such as slaty egret, white-rumped babbler and wattled crane through to the bushveld species
• MAKGADiKGADi PANs National Park (...карта)
The Makgadikgadi Pans consist of two major basins, relics of one of the world’s largest super-lakes. The Makgadikgadi dried up thousands of years ago as a result of the continued shifting of the earth’s crust. When the lake was formed, some five to seven million years ago, its shores were the setting for the mysterious transition from ape to man.
The Makgadikgadi Pans National Park includes a portion of these enormous pans, which are almost devoid of human habitation. However, the existence of villages on the periphery and in between the pans is evidence that the area has supported people as far back as the stone-age. Today the area contains large numbers of animals who migrate to grasslands in the west of the park after the rains.
Journeying into this magical land and across the desolate pans, you somehow feel its ancient mystique. The subtle hues at sunset transform Makgadikgadi into a surreal wonderland, which is unlike anywhere else. During the day the dusty pans, with whirlwinds skirting across a seemingly endless desert, offer the best way to come face to face with true isolation.
But Makgadikgadi is not always dry. The pans fill with water during the rains from mid-November and mostly retain their water into April or May. The "thirstlands" are then transformed into great sheets of water, which attract a spectacular array of waterbirds and trigger dramatic migrations of wildebeest and zebra to the pans.
During the dry winter months, the migrations move westwards to the water available in the Boteti River but many desert-adapted creatures remain resident. These include meerkats, yellow mongoose, ground squirrel, aardwolf, African wildcat, caracal, spring hare, porcupine, steenbok, kudu, jackal, honey badger, genet and very occasional lion. This is also the domain of the brown hyena, a shy and elusive creature, as well as suricates, aardvarks and small bustard species.
Birdlife is excellent, particularly in the wet season when the pans are home to a massive number of migrant waders. During the dry months, bird species include large numbers of white-backed and lappet-faced vultures, bateleurs, tawny and martial eagles, black-breasted snake eagle, lanner and red-footed falcons, gabar and pale chanting goshawks. Also, red-billed and orange river francolin, ostrich, secretary bird, guineafowl, black and red-crested korhaan, kori bustard, crowned plover, double-banded courser, spotted dikkop, all species of sandgrouse, giant eagle and pearl-spotted owls, lilac-breasted and purple rollers, large numbers of hornbill species and a huge number of LBJs, larks, cisticolas and pipits.
In the wet season, these are joined by sandpipers, ruffs, greenshank, stilts, pratincoles, wattled cranes, storks, egrets, lesser and greater flamingos, spoonbills, terns, teals, ibis, Montagu's and palid harriers, brown snake, steppe and Wahlberg's eagles, lesser and rock kestrel, swallows, swifts and martins
• MANYELANONG Game Reserve
Manyelanong is the name of the hill north of the village Otse, which is 15km outside Lobatse on the Gaborone road. In the sheer cliffs of the hills, the tiny Manyelanong Game Reserve protects a breeding colony of Cape vultures. The place was known for many years as Otse Vulture Colony.
The Cape vulture is an endangered species and fully protected under the laws of Botswana. Cape vultures have nested in Manyelanong for hundreds of years, but in the last 40 years or so their numbers have diminished considerably. In the late 1960s, the population dropped to 50 pair, but numbers have since increased. Today there are just under 70 breeding pairs of birds in the colony, but it is still one of the largest colonies of vultures in Botswana.
The vultures can usually be clearly seen flying about the area and, when in season, the young birds are sitting on the rocks, which cover the hill. Visitors are asked not to make excessive noise, disturb the birds in any way or leave any food lying around. At present it is though that the birds fly several hundreds of kilometres to the Kalahari Desert to scavenge food.
• MASHATU Game Reserve
(...на сайт MASHATU Game Reserve)
Mashatu Game Reserve, which is the largest private reserve in Southern Africa, has the largest elephant population (almost 900) on private land in the world. It occupies the area between the Shashe and Limpopo rivers south of the Tuli Circle. Mashatu covers 46,000ha of savannah plains, riverine forests, open marshland and rugged outcrops of sandstone.
The name comes from the Mashatu or Nyala trees - round-topped leafy giants which cover the huge open spaces of this wilderness. This beautiful sanctuary is home to seven of Africa's giant phenomena - the Limpopo River, the African Elephant, the baobab tree, the eland, the ostrich, the kori bustard and the endless African sky.
The elephants of Mashatu are known as the relic herds of Shashe, which once roamed the Limpopo Valley in vast numbers. The elephants became extinct locally for about 60 years, but after 1947 they started slowly returning to the Tuli Block.
Today, visitors may drive into the midst of these mighty herds and marvel at how their numbers have been restored. Elephants are not all you'll see on the game drives. A ranger and tracker at the helm in open four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers, linked by two-way radios, will follow the spoor of lion, leopard, elephant, giraffe, spotted hyaenas, bat eared foxes, cheetahs, kudu, Burchell's zebras, bushbuck and baboons. Spotlight-assisted night drives may reveal porcupines, aardvarks, spotted genets and civets, in addition to the larger carnivores.
Over 350 bird species have been identified in the area. One of the reserve's attractions is the game viewing walks and night drives on offer. The latter are not permitted in Botswana's national parks, so many visitors miss seeing nocturnal predators such as leopard, lynx and wild cat, which are reasonably common sightings in Mashatu.
Game drives and walking trails (with armed guides) are offered. Night drives are permitted to enable the visitor to witness rare and elusive nocturnal creatures such as the aardwolf, caracul, porcupine and leopard.
Mountain biking within the reserve has become a popular adventure sport to combine game viewing with the excitement of approaching wild animals in the natural habitat. Armed game rangers oversee such excursions and add to the experience through their extensive knowledge of the bush. .
• MOKOLODi Private Nature Reserve
(...на сайт MOKOLODi Private Nature Reserve)
Mokolodi is a private reserve managed by the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation, which is dedicated to wildlife preservation and environmental education. Just 10km south west of Gaborone, the park was established in mid-1994 as a 3,000ha conservation area.
For the first few years an intensive re-stocking campaign brought many species of wildlife into the park including white rhino, cheetah, mountain reedbuck, giraffe, zebra, red hartebeest, sable, gemsbok and a team of hand reared elephants. This range of wildlife joined the indigenous game, such as kudu, impala, hyena, leopard and water buck, which were already living in the area, making the park a rich and varied ecosystem, literally just ten minutes drive from the city.
The elephant walk enables guests to spend a few hours walking through the park literally with the elephants. One of the added advantages of the elephant walk is that the other game is not threatened by a human presence, so with care you can walk remarkably close to the other game in the park.
For the more adventurous Mokolodi also offers the chance to track the endangered white rhino. With so few of these majestic creatures left, Mokolodi is one of the only places in the world where one has the chance to track these impressive animals in their own environment, and it is certainly an unforgettable experience.
The park has a well-developed network of 4x4 tracks, although some are still being repaired as a result of the flood damage caused in the 1999/2000 wet season, although most saloon cars can reach the over-night chalets set on a hillside overlooking a waterhole some 5km from the Mokolodi restaurant and park entrance gate.
Over weekends there are numerous game drives. The early morning and late evening drives are the most rewarding as during the heat of the day most animals retreat into the shade. The evening drives, can incorporate an amazing "bush-braai" dinner, under the usually clear canopy of stars, punctuated by very good traditional dancers from the local village. It is also good for spotting the more unusual nocturnal creatures such as the small cats, porcupines and spring-hares.
Mokolodi has been visited by two US presidents: George W Bush and Bill Clinton, two Botswana presidents: Festus Mogae and Quett KJ Masire and three princesses: Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Princess Anne.
• MOREMi Game Reserve (...карта)
Moremi Game Reserve is the only proclaimed wildlife reserve in the Okavango Delta, covering 20 percent of the total area. A scenic area with diverse habitats, Moremi offers an excellent year-round wildlife experience. Characterised by a combination of floodplain and the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, Moremi is rich in game and bird life.
Often described as the most beautiful wildlife reserve in Africa, Moremi enjoys a wide diversity of habitat and is well known for the height of the trees in the mopane tongue, which covers the central area. However, the mainland part forms only about thirty percent of the reserve and is in many ways untypical - the remaining area being part of the Okavango Delta. Birdlife is prolific and varied, ranging from water birds to shy forest dwellers. Elephants are numerous, particularly during the dry season, as well as a range of other wildlife species from buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, hyena, jackal and the full range of antelope, large and small, including the red lechwe. Wild dog, whose numbers are so rapidly dwindling elsewhere, are regularly sighted in the Moremi and have been subject to a project being run in the area since 1989 so these animals are often seen wearing collars placed on them by the researchers. It is claimed that the Moremi area contains about thirty percent of all living wild dog.
Situated on the extreme western boundary of the Moremi, the Xigera area is probably at the very centre of the Okavango alluvial fan. This magnificent area epitomizes the permanently flooded section of the Okavango. Palm filled hardwood islands, hardwood riverine forests and a multitude of clear water channels and flood plains are what the delta wetland is all about. This is the land of the sitatunga antelope and Pel’s fishing owl. Water birds are seen in numbers.
A new attraction in the area is the reintroduction of black and white rhino on the biggest island in the delta, Chief’s Island. The island was originally reserved as the local chief’s hunting ground before handing it over to the park. The reintroduction is a great success so far with more than half a dozen calves being recorded. Soon the animals, which are under the tight security of the army and the wildlife department, will spread elsewhere during low water levels.
Chief’s Island is an excitingly game-rich area. When the annual inundation of water arrives during March to May each year, large mammals are able to move into the area, which contains rich resources of grass and acacia forests. The wetlands are fringed by large hardwood trees, containing shade, cover, nesting areas and food for a wide variety of mammals and birds. By September/October the wetlands have started to recede, leaving behind vast floodplains of short green grass when the rest of the large islands are at their driest.
Moremi is best visited in the dry season and game viewing is at its peak from July to October, when seasonal pans dry up and the wildlife concentrates on the permanent water. The winter months of May to August can be very cold at night but pleasantly warm with clear blue skies during the day. From October until the rains break in late November or early December, the weather can be extremely hot - both day and night
• NXABEGA Concession (...карта)
Nxabega is a 7,000 hectare private concession located on the edge of the Okavango Delta on the western border of the Moremi Game Reserve. Meaning "Place of the Giraffe" in the language of the Bayei (or River Bushmen), Nxabega is ideally positioned to explore the magnificence of the Okavango.
Nxabega offers abundant bird watching opportunities – the area is rich in wetland species such as African jacana, malachite kingfisher and openbilled stork. The fortunate will see a sight coveted by birders globally – Pel’s fishing owl, one of only three fishing owls in Africa, which might be spotted while cruising the Delta waterways by powerboat.
Larger herbivores in the area include elephant and buffalo. Lion prides, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog may be encountered. Herds of red lechwe favour the edges of floodplains, often feeding in the company of tsessebe. Hippos reside in deeper channels and lagoons. Honey badgers are observed during daylight hours. Roan and sable antelope favour taller grass in open woodlands while the elusive sitatunga keeps to dense papyrus beds. Families of dwarf and banded mongoose occupy large termite mounds. Noisy epauletted fruit bats sip nectar from baobab and sausage tree blooms and feast on ripe figs
• NXAi PAN National Park (...карта)
Nxai Pan National Park adjoins the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park on its northern border. The pan itself is another fossil lakebed about 40 km² in size. The landscape is dotted with clusters of umbrella acacia trees and mopane woodland in the north. During the rains from November to April, the pans become covered in grass - a landscape typical of the Kalahari.
The famous artist Thomas Baines arrived in 1861, and painted an unusual group of Baobab trees, which became known as "Baines Baobabs". It is rare to see these trees so close together and as one was growing on its side, Baines named his painting 'The Sleeping Five'. The Green brothers passed this way too and to this day their inscription into the bark, "Green's Expedition 1858-1859", can clearly be seen.
Perhaps the focal point of Nxai Pan is the water hole, in the midst of a large grassy plain which is dotted with a few clumps of short umbrella thorn trees. Here - and within the mopane woodland - lion, giraffe, kudu, impala, ostrich and large numbers of springbok are permanent residents. Also resident are jackal and bat-eared foxes, along with numerous smaller creatures and fascinating birdlife.
Nxai Pan is well known for a huge springbok population, as the short-cropped grasses can testify, and extraordinarily large herds of giraffe with up to 30 in a group. Also to be seen are blue wildebeest, gemsbok, eland, greater kudu and red hartebeest. The more commonly seen predators are spotted hyena, cheetah, leopard and jackal with the elusive brown hyena a rare treat.
Once the rains have started, gemsbok, elephant and zebra migrate to the area. At that time, zebra are present in their thousands and drop their young at Nxai Pan - rivalling the spectacle of the multitude of young springbok - to further enhance game-viewing opportunities. Birdlife is excellent. The noisy black korhaan is a hallmark of Nxai Pan and small raptors such as kestrel and goshawks abound.
Whilst many other parks and reserves are not considered to be at their best during the rains, Nxai Pan becomes a veritable Garden of Eden. The best game viewing months are December to April
• OKAVANGO DELTA (...карта)
The most famous geological feature in Botswana is without any doubt the Okavango Delta, listed as a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ in 1997 by the Ramsar Protocol on Wetlands. The water in the delta originates in the highlands of western Angola, flows through Namibia as the Kuvango River and enters Botswana as the Okavango River at Mohembo in the north before it finally spreads over the sandy soils of the Kalahari to form a maze of lagoons, channels, palm-fringed islands and fertile floodplains. The varied habitats offer an incredibly diverse range of fauna and flora.
This is southern Africa’s largest wetland, spread over an area of around 12,000 km² and has been described as "the river that never finds the sea". Formed by persistent seismic shifting of the earth’s surface, the area is a magical oasis surrounded by the sands of the Kalahari semi-desert. The river system annually brings more than 2 million tons of sand and silt into the delta.
Less than three percent of the water flowing into the delta emerges at the other end to either flood Lake Ngami or cross another 300 miles of the Kalahari, to enter Lake Xau and the Makgadikgadi Pans. The biggest percentage of delta water is lost to the atmosphere through evapo-transpiration. Unfortunately the delta is getting smaller and smaller with global warming.
As a reliable source of permanent water, the delta attracted the San or Bushmen, one of the oldest tribes in Africa. In fact archaeological evidence suggests that the Okavango region has been inhabited for more than 30,000 years. It has historically been less densely settled than other riverine areas on the continent, probably because of insect borne diseases caused by tsetse fly and mosquito. Consequently, the Okavango Delta is arguably the most pristine wetland in the world.
The delta is a natural refuge and giant water hole for the larger animals of the surrounding dry areas such as Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans and the Kalahari desert. The water gives rise to many forms of life unexpected in a "desert". Hippos open channels through the papyrus on their nocturnal forays to graze, recycling nutrients from land into the water. The water loving sitatunga and red lechwe traverse across the swamps, which are fringed with the tall trees of garcinia livingstonii, giraffe thorn, knob thorn acacia, jackal berries and African ebony - giving shade to herds of larger game.
It is in these forest fringes and savanna grasslands that larger game such as elephants, buffalo and giraffes can be found, alongside a wide variety of antelope including wildebeest, kudu, sable, roan and impala. Of course the predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and wild dog are never far away. The area also supports an abundance of bird life and a high diversity of fish.
The delta is a fragile and unique example of dynamic equilibrium at work in nature. Gliding silently through the reeds and water lilies in a traditional mokoro canoe is the best way to appreciate its extraordinary beauty, watching the birds and the fish and the animals as they come down to the waters to drink. You can fish in the clear water or game view by boat, 4x4 vehicle or on foot
• SANDiBE Concession (...карта)
Sandibe is a 270 km² private concession located on permanent Okavango Delta channels adjacent to the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, east of Chief’s Island.
This is a land of Okavango channels glinting through a maze of brilliant green papyrus, and golden-grassed floodplains stretching into the distance - framed by lush palm islands and the spires of giant termite mounds. Ancient baobabs, some still bearing a winding garland of climbing pegs used many years ago by the Bayei (River Bushmen), are a feature of this area.
During the dry winter months, from May to November, an abundant array of wildlife is drawn to this oasis in search of water and food. This area enjoys a prime location between permanent water and the open plains, providing an excellent big game-viewing experience during the thirsty season.
By October the seasonal Delta is shrinking and the land longs for water. With the rain, tortoises, frogs, chameleons and dung beetles rejoice. This is also the season for the arrival of the birds. Waterbirds flock to the marshes – storks, herons, kingfishers and brightly-colored bee-eaters.
Whether slipping silently through the waterlily-adorned corridors in a mokoro or eco-craft, Sandibe and the Okavango will mesmerize you with their magic
• SELiNDA Concession (...карта)
The Selinda is a private wildlife concession located in Botswana's northern Kwando/Linyanti Wildlife Management Area. It is a 135,000 hectare reserve that straddles the Selinda Spillway, a waterway that links the Okavango Delta to the game-rich floodplains of the Linyanti Swamps and the Zibadianja Lagoon; source of the Savuti Channel.
The Selinda is characterised by its game-rich floodplains. Wildlife includes elephant, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, impala, hippo, hyena, sable, wild dog and lechwe. The lagoon is home to high concentrations of hippo, which attract the famous hippo-killing Selinda lions. Night drives produce an abundance of nocturnal species and an occasional leopard. The region enjoys stunning birdlife and vegetation, which is best viewed in summer from October to April
• SHA-LiMPO Game Reserve (...на сайт заповедника)
• TSODILO HiLLS (...карта)
In the flat barren landscape of the western Kalahari, the sheer quartzite cliff-faces of the four Tsodilo Hills rise majestically above the surrounding savannah.
Forming a line, the hills are referred to by the San people as "The Male", "The Female" and "The Child", with the fourth hill unnamed. "The Male" is the largest hill which reaches a height of 410 m above the surrounding plain; "The Female" is a smaller hill - rising 300 m - but with an overall area of almost three times that of The Male; “The Child” is only 40 m high and lies about 2 km away from The Female. Beyond these three is a much smaller unnamed knoll. According to legend, this was the Male Hill's first wife who was discarded when he met and married the taller Female Hill.
Tsodilo is a place of special significance to the San who have been living here for thousands of years. They believe the hills are a resting place for the spirits of the deceased and that their various gods live in caverns within the Female Hill, from where they rule the world. The most sacred place is near the top of the Male Hill where the first spirit is thought to have knelt to pray after creating the world. The San believe you can still see the impression of his knees in the rock. The Harnbukushu, who also live in the area, believe the hills are where God lowered man to earth.
Archaeological studies have revealed that this area has been occupied by humans for at least 100,000 years. Paintings on the hills cover 9 km² of rock in a 22 km² area. The fact that Tsodilo is totally removed from all other rock art sites in southern Africa adds to its aura of mystery and magic. The nearest known site is 250 km away. What is more, the paintings at Tsodilo are generally unlike others in the southern African region in both style and the incidence of certain images
• TULi BLOCK and MASHATU Game Reserve (...карта)
Tuli Block: the remote far eastern corner of Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, is historically known as the Tuli Block. It forms a diverse wilderness of savannah, riverine forests, marshland, open plains and sandstone outcrops.
In past times this area was populated by a civilization that we know very little about. Some of the ruins at Mashatu pre date the nearby mysterious Great Zimbabwe ruins and there is a permanent on-site archaeologist to enlighten you as to its ancient inhabitants.
The Tuli block became its awkward long narrow shape when it was given to Cecil John Rhodes in the late 1800's to build a railway line. There were far too many small rivers to cross, so the line was eventually constructed further west.
The area used to be farmland until in the 1960's it became obvious that game farming and tourism were the better options. Farms began to consolidate into conservation areas, which became privately owned reserves, including the Mashatu Game Reserve.
There are few fences in the entire Tuli area, which permits unrestricted travel for animals along a large section of the Limpopo River
MASHATU Game Reserve: (...на сайт заповедника)
Located in the north-eastern Tuli Block, Mashatu Game Reserve - historically known as the Tuli enclave - is the largest privately owned game reserve in southern Africa covering an expanse of 75,000 acres. Mopane veld and open acacia savannah stretch southwards to the thick riverine vegetation of the mighty Limpopo River.
The name is derived from the magnificent Mashatu trees, which occur throughout this immense tract of privately owned land. Two of Africa's giants are found here: massive time-worn baobab trees stud the plains where huge herds of elephant roam. Indeed, Mashatu provides a refuge for the largest single population of elephant on privately owned land in Africa. Known as the relic herds of Shashe, these elephants are the last living testament to the great herds that once populated the meandering Limpopo Valley. Today, the population on Mashatu Game Reserve alone is estimated to number in excess of 500.
Mashatu is also home to prides of lion and cheetah. Along the river courses, huge Mashatu trees provide shade for eland, impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra. As night falls, the bat-eared fox, African wildcat and magnificent leopard search for prey. Some 366 species of birds may be seen.
This area of history and legend is a place of exceptional beauty where one can enjoy guided explorations of the rugged, unspoilt African landscape either by 4x4 vehicle, on walking safaris or on mountain bicycles or horse back.
In addition to the game experience, Mashatu offers a view of Africa unchanged since the days of early visitors such as Kipling, Selous and artist/explorer Sir Thomas Baines. Interwoven with this natural tapestry are reminders of man's presence in ancient times. In the north-eastern part of Mashatu, black eagles nest at the Motloutse Ruins, the remains of an ancient civilization thought to be connected to the dynasty of Monomatapa