While Botswana may be well known for its wildlife reserves and safaris, don’t forget this southern African nation has a rich heritage and culture too that are equally enthralling.
A Great Place to Start
For those planning a holiday here, a great place to learn about the local culture is the National Museum and Art Gallery close to Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino. Those staying at such hotels in Gaborone, Botswana can easily visit this museum which features exhibits on history, arts and crafts, culture, wildlife, nature, paintings and more.
Diverse Local Tribes
The people of Botswana are made up of various tribes, though the majority are from the Tswana ethnic group; in fact, the country is named after the Tswana people. The Basarwa, Babirwa, Bayei and Kalanga are amongst the many other tribal groups in the country, each with a unique set of customs and traditions.
Those on cultural tours in Botswana should also look to hear indigenous music which has its own identity. Passed along over generations, this form of traditional music incorporates rhythmic clapping and singing; also popular is folk music which features traditional lyrics and stringed instruments for a memorable auditory experience.
Very much a part of the local culture is the various traditions of dance to be found here too. These often expressive dances can vary from tribe to tribe and are performed at festivals and religious ceremonies or even for storytelling. Examples include the distinctive rain dance of the San people in Botswana.
Anyone who visits Botswana does not forget to visit the trio of massive bronze figures. This monument reveals many facts about the history of Botswana too.
The Three Dikgosi
This monument is also known as the Three Dikgosi. These 3 statues represent Sebele I, Bathoen I and Khama III who were considered three tribal leaders who took measures to talk on behalf of the people of Botswana once.
They travelled from Botswana to Britain in 1885 when the country was about to be threatened due to the exploitative British South Africa Company. The case was brought to the Queen and the situation was handled.
Recognition and celebration
According to the historical facts, their actions brought both good and bad to Botswana. But still, this monument was built and 2005 for the locals to pay their due respect. The statues have been done in regal bronze and they are 18 ft tall.
When it comes to experiencing African wildlife, few places in the continent can beat the fantastic opportunities Botswana offers. From sprawling deserts to lush swamplands, there’s an astounding degree of biodiversity to go around here.
The Okavango Delta
Most Botswana resorts – for example, the Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino – will make mention of how you can see amazing varieties of wildlife in the region. The absolute best location for this is undoubtedly the Okavango Delta. Surrounded by the dry expanse of the Kalahari Desert, the delta serves as an oasis for all manner of species – from wading birds to colossal hippos.
The desert that surrounds the Okavango is by no means devoid of life either – quite the opposite in fact. The Kalahari contains some of the world’s most recognizable animal species. This included the African elephant and the iconic African lin.
Lake Ngami is full of spectacular wildlife and some breath-taking views. The lake is formed by the overflowing waters of the Okavango and provides a haven for many species. Notable sighting includes wading birds like marabou storks and predators like the Nile crocodile.
The Tsodilo Hills is an old geological formation that’s over 800 million years old! There are caves here that are full of ancient paintings that depict the region’s wildlife – from scavenging hyenas to roving herds of buffalo.
Botswana is one of the most beautiful and wild countries found in Africa – and that really is saying something. It is home to some of the continent’s most majestic wildlife as well as untamed expanses like the Kalahari Desert and Okavango Delta. So, here’s a few facts you might not have known about this hidden gem of a travel destination.
The Safari Capital
Botswana is renowned for its great safari adventures, but it truly is astounding just how many wildlife reserves the country has. For example, if you’re staying at one of the Botswana resorts found in the capital city of Gaborone – say for instance the Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino – you’re just a 20-minute drive away from a game reserve!
The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is undoubtedly Botswana’s biggest attraction. Surrounded by the dry expanses of the Kalahari Desert, the Delta is a beacon for a myriad of wildlife who seek hydration – these include animals like hippos, lions, and cape buffalo.
The Resident Elephants
Botswana actually has the largest population of African elephants on the continent! Massive herds are known to roam national parks like Chobe and nomadic herds are known to constantly traverse the Kalahari.
A Wild Land
Botswana is roughly the size of France in terms of area. However, it only has 2 million people living in it compared to France’s 66 million. The low number of humans is one of the chief reasons that wildlife tends to thrive in the country, there’s plenty of wilderness for them to call home.
Exploring the Kalahari Desert is simply a magical experience. The main reason is that it’s unique in its features and travellers can’t feel the same enjoyment at any other desert in the world.
The Okavango River runs through here
Did you know that Papa Falls- one of the most favourite attractions among guests holidaying at Botswana resorts is a part of the Okavango River? This river is considered the 04th longest river in the world and it runs through the Kalahari Desert.
There is a higher rainfall
Bringing in good news for everyone hoping to visit the desert during their stays at hotels such as Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino, there is the hope of rain here! Yes, it’s strange, but this desert receives 5-10 inches of rainfall every year.
There is a rich plant life
Particularly in the Northern parts of the desert, the plant life is rich. This is because of the special feature in the desert soil as it can retain water much better than the other desert soils.
The dunes have a permanent landscape
If you have ever visited the Namib Desert, you must have noticed that its sand dunes are shifting with the wind. But, the Kalahari dunes do not change and their shapes are more or less static.
Botswana is one of the go-to locations for safari-goers. It’s home to all members of the famous Big Five, which include the lion and African elephant. It’s also a region steeped in ancient traditions and a culture based around the bush. Here are five locations you should visit if you find yourself here.
The Okavango Delta
Born out of the Okavango river and surrounded by the dry expanse of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is a fantastic location teaming with games. Here, during the flood season, a large portion of the land gets submerged under several feet of water, this presents the unique opportunity to go on safari via a traditional canoe or kayak.
The Gaborone Nature Reserve
Though comparatively small compared to most reserves, this park’s claim to fame is that it’s situated inside Botswana’s capital city. Many of Botswana’s resorts surround the park, making it remarkably easy to visit. For example, you can try your luck at the slots in the Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino and then take a short drive to view some wildlife – all on the same day!
Mokolodi Game Reserve
This is another park that’s located very close to the country’s capital. It is, however, significantly larger and home to a far wider variety of games. Rhino tracking is a highlight at this reserve where successful breeding programs have ensured the species’ continued survival.
The Kgalle Hill
A popular destination among rock climbers and hikers, Kgalle Hill is one of Botswana’s major landmarks. Visitors who make an hour’s climb up the hill will be treated with a breathtaking view of the surrounding area complete with a stunning sunset in the evening.
Although attractions the likes of Mokolodi Nature Reserve are popular among the ones who travel to Botswana, there are many places that are worth a visit, yet so hidden that most of us simply do not even know of their existence!
Three Chiefs Monument
The Three Dikgosi figures are quite popular among the guests of hotel properties the likes of Avani Gaborone Resort & Casino. These are three historical figures immortalized in bronze and is a definite must-see for those history and architecture lovers!
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Those who stay in hotels in Gaborone, Botswana often visit Northern Botswana as well, and Makgadikgadi salt Pans are an attraction you find there. They span over 10,000 square miles and of course, are one of the largest salt pans on the planet.
You may call it a cave with a lot of historical significance. Although this is a place of pilgrimage for the faithful Botswana locals, for tourists it’s more of a curiosity spot!
According to legendary myths, the first humans were created in the pools here and the footprints you can see behind the rock are theirs. As this place is just a 30-minute drive away from downtown Gaborone, the accessibility is not at all difficult.