Botswana Access & Travel
How to get there & Getting around …
Of the ten districts within Botswana, Nagamiland and Chobe Districts (northern part) are the hubs of the tourism industry. The principal draw cards to Ngamiland are the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park.
Commercial Airlines; Air Botswana, Airlink & Air Namibia operate Scheduled Flights to Botswana, offering daily flights from Johannesburg to Maun, Kasane and the Tuli area, as well as 3 flights a week between Windhoek and Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta.
A number of private charter companies provide light aircraft internal flights throughout the country for easy access to the National Parks and wilderness areas. Light aircraft used out of Maun and Kasane are mostly the Cessna 206, 210 and Grand Caravan.
Although Botswana has a good system of roads from neighbouring South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the distances involved result in most visitors preferring to fly.
TOURIST AIRPORTS IN BOTSWANA:
|Town||Airport Code||Airport Information||Connecting Airports|
|Maun||MUB||Okavango Delta||Johannesburg / Kasane / Victoria Falls / Windhoek|
|Kasane||BBK||Chobe - north||Johannesburg / Maun|
MAUN - (Central Botswana)
For travellers, Maun is a crossroads and a gateway; visitors travel through on their way to a safari. Maun serves as the administrative headquarters for the safari industry in the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and surrounding wildlife areas. Maun Airport is one of the busiest airports in southern Africa, with most travellers connecting directly to smaller charter aircraft off international flights.
Situated along the banks of the Thamalakane River, in the North-West District of Botswana, Maun serves as the administrative town center of Ngamiland. The name Maun originates from the San language, meaning "the place of reeds”.
Although classified as one of the fastest-growing towns in Botswana, Maun still retains much of its village feel. The town is not considered scenic and reed and mud hut infrastructures as well as donkey carts and livestock dominate the picture. Despite having numerous hotels, lodges and bed & breakfasts, options are generally quite basic and more suited to a safari pre or post night.
KASANE - (Northern Botswana)
Location, location, and location: That's what gives Kasane its cache. Though small in population (Kasane has several thousand residents), its status as the gateway to the Chobe National Park, its placement near the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, and its situation in northern Botswana near the borders of three other nations -- Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe -- makes it a major crossroads for travellers.
Situated on the banks of the Chobe River, Kasane is the administrative centre of the Chobe District. This little town supplies the tourism industry that surrounds it including the Chobe National Park and Chobe Forestry Reserve. There are a number of hotels, guest houses and camp sites located along the river. The Chobe National Park is only a 10 minute drive from town. Wildlife such as warthog, elephant and buffalo is often seen wondering around and walking down the road. Activities in the area include drives into the park and boat cruises on the Chobe River. Fishing trips on the river and day trips to the Victoria Falls across the river in Zimbabwe or Zambia can also be arranged.
GHANZI - (Western Botswana)
Ghanzi is located in the western part of the country. Despite its flat and featureless landscape as well as the dryness of the area, this town is the largest cattle farming area in Botswana. The area is the main supplier to the Botswana Meat Commission, of prime beef that is exported to European Countries. Ghanzi also serves as a good stopover for traveller's travelling on the Trans Kalahari Highway or coming from Namibia en-route to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. Where culture is concerned, Ghanzi is well known for its population of the Bushmen correctly called the San people. The various lodges there offer activities such as Bushmen walks, games drives, traditional dancing and cultural tours to name a few.
A trip to Botswana can either be planned as a unique tour which is tailored to your specific requirements in terms of budget, lodges and destinations, or the traveller can select from a variety of ready-to-go tours, ranging from participatory camping safaris which traverse the wildlife reserves in 4 x 4 vehicles, to luxury fly-in safaris which include premier lodges and camps. These air hops are done between all the Okavango, Moremi and Chobe camps, in single or twin engine light aircraft.
Trains and Coaches: We do not recommend train and coach transport for travel within Botswana
FLY-IN SAFARIS & FAMILY SAFARIS:
Shuttle/Charter Flights are the only way of reaching the various premier lodges and camps in the Chobe, Moremi, the Central Kalahari and Delta areas. Scheduled light aircraft flights depart from Maun and Kasane and handle all inter-camp transfers.
Our consultants can tailor a tour to your needs and interests or select a safari which meets your criteria in terms of budget and expectations.
Charter Aircraft -
The Cessna 206 is ideally suited to use in this region; this is primarily because of its ability to negotiate the bush airstrips and also the added benefit of an under belly cargo pod and fixed wing for viewing below.
The Cessna 206 and 210 can seat 5 people and the pilot.
The Cessna 208 can seat 12 people and the pilot.
Maximum baggage allowance is 12 kilograms per person (excluding photographic equipment). Only soft travel bags are allowed on the charter aircraft
Scenic Flights over the Okavango Delta can be arranged as an extra in either a fixed wing Cessna or Bell Jet Ranger helicopter.
A helicopter is ideal especially for enthusiastic photographers; the doors can be taken off in order to accommodate even the biggest of camera lenses
A diverse selection of guided safaris is available; we offer a range of guided safaris from classic African style and comfort on mobile safaris, personalised camping and lodge-accommodated tours.
For young and budget travellers, there is a vast option of overland expeditions available; camping mostly in government administered camp grounds on the fringes of the Delta. Travellers usually contribute to a food kitty and everyone helps with the daily chores.
We only recommend self-drive options in Botswana to more experienced 'old Africa hands'; it’s not advised as a first trip to Africa.
Botswana is not an easy destination to drive yourself around. All major towns are accessible by 2-wheel drive cars, although travelling at night outside of large towns can be dangerous due to the long, tedious stretches of road, poor lighting and domestic animals that are allowed to wander onto the roads.
Travel into Moremi, Chobe and the Central Kalahari can only be undertaken by 4-wheel drive vehicle. The roads in the parks and reserves are not tarred – “roads” are simply ruts in the sand made by previous vehicles. They split from one another without warning, making navigation tricky. There are few signposts and no bystanders to ask.
Self-drive clients have access to most of the Moremi, Savuti and Chobe lodges.
When planning a trip, remember to make allowances for sandy or muddy roads, a distance of 150kms can be a full day's travelling.
TRAVEL BY ROAD
- Foreign or international driving licence is required and seat-belts must be worn.
- Driving is on the left hand side.
- No vehicle will be allowed into Botswana without vehicle registration papers, if you are planning to hire a vehicle outside of Botswana, make sure you have the correct documentation from the hire company.
- Petrol and diesel are freely available but often far apart.