ABOUT The Republic of Botswana is situated in Southern Africa, nestled between South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The country is democratically ruled, boasts a growing economy and a stable political environment. Botswana has some of Africa's last great wildernesses including the famous Okavango Swamps and the Kalahari desert. Botswana is a ‘year round’ destination offering safe, exciting safaris to explore the true wilderness. Botswana avoids ‘mass tourism’ and offers intimate, cultural and game rich safaris away from the crowds. For these reasons, safaris can be expensive – but with careful selection of Lodges and time of year chosen, Botswana can be affordable for all. Botswana is a wealthy and stable country with a wealth of game viewing areas – the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe National Park, the Central Kalahari game reserve and Magdikgadi Pans as well as lesser known destinations such as The Tuli Block, Tsodillo Hills and Kalaghadi NP. Experience the stuning beauty, the unimaginable vastness, the isolation and other-worldiness, the astoundingly profilic wildlife of the best kept African secret - Botswana. Whether your thing is safaris, mokoro rides, hunting, elephant riding, quad biking, fishing, 4x4 off-road adventures you are sure to make the best of your stay in Botswana. Botswana offers the traveler a choice of accommodation options from top class hotels, luxury lodges and safari camps, to budget guesthouses and camping grounds. The Botswanan government's "National Conservation Strategy and Tourism Policy" was created to promote tourism while protecting wildlife areas. Citizens of the United States, South Africa, British Commonwealth countries, and most Western European countries do not need visas for stays of less than 91 days. Passports are required for travel in the country. Proof of yellow fever and cholera immunizations are required of tourists from infected areas.
The World Economic Forum report on Travel and Tourism Global Competitiveness ranked Botswana 87 out of 130 countries in its 2008 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. The same report praised Botswana's attractions, and the low rating was due to challenges confronting tourists, including lack of access to modern technologies, poor hygiene standards, and poor roads and communications. Central Kalahari Game Reserve is an extensive national park in the Kalahari desert of Botswana. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 km² making it the second largest game reserve in the world. The park contains wildlife such as giraffe, brown hyena, warthog, cheetah, wild dog, leopard, lion, blue wildebeest, eland, gemsbok, kudu and red hartebeest. Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest games concentration in Africa continent. By size, this is the third largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse. This is also the country's first national park. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a large wildlife preserve and conservation area in southern Africa. The park straddles the border between South Africa and Botswana and comprises two adjoining national parks: Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and Gemsbok National Park in Botswana. The total area of the park is 38000 km² (14,668 mi²). Approximately three-quarters of the park lies in Botswana and one-quarter in South Africa.

CLIMATE The rains in Botswana come mostly between December and March, when average minimum temperatures are in the low 20°s. April and May in Botswana are generally lovely, with clear blue sky. Night temperatures start to drop during these months, especially in the Kalahari. From June to August the night-time temperatures in drier areas can be close to freezing, but it warms up rapidly during the day, when the sky is usually clear and blue. In September and October temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. This is the best time for big game safaris – although October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C. November can sometimes be a continuation of October's heat, whilst sometimes it's cooled by the first rains; it's always an interesting month.

BEWARE Attacks on tourists are rare, but petty and violent crime is increasing, particularly in the major towns of Gaborone, Francistown and Maun. House burglaries, often by armed gangs, are also increasing. There have been some cases of car-jacking, particularly of four by four vehicles. If you are attacked, do not resist. Theft from parked cars does occur and thieves target cars waiting at traffic lights to smash and grab handbags, phones or laptops. Make sure these items are not in sight. Safeguard valuables and cash. Deposit them in hotel safes, where practical. Keep copies of important documents, including passports, in a separate place to the documents themselves. There have been isolated incidences of room break-ins and robbery from lodges in the Chobe area, in particular river fronting lodges. You should make sure you lock your room when you can and secure valuables including your passport. There have been incidences of rape and other sexual offences. Given the high level of HIV/AIDS in the country, you should seek immediate medical advice if you are sexually assaulted or otherwise injured. Women, in particular, should not walk alone at night.