Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO)
Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. With a full 38 per cent of its total land area devoted national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas – for the most part unfenced, allowing animals to roam wild and free – travel through many parts of the country has the feeling of moving through an immense Nature wonderland.
In Botswana you can experience the stunning beauty of the world’s largest intact inland Delta – the Okavango; the world’s second-largest game reserve – the Central Kalahari Game Reserve; the isolation and other-worldliness of the Makgadikgadi – uninhabited pans the size of Portugal; and the astoundingly prolific wildlife of the Chobe National Park.
Botswana is the last stronghold for several endangered bird and mammal species, including Wild Dog, Cheetah, Brown Hyena, Cape Vulture, Wattled Crane, Kori Bustard and Pel’s Fishing Owl. The first – and most lasting impressions – will be of vast expanses of uninhabited wilderness stretching from horizon to horizon, the sensation of limitless space, astoundingly rich wildlife and bird viewing, night skies littered with stars and stunning sunsets of unearthly beauty. Combine this with more and more cultural tourism options on offer – experiencing first hand the rich cultural heritage of the people of Botswana – this is a country that has no parallel.
But at first glance, the options for a safari in Botswana can sometimes appear bewildering. Therefore this guide packages information in an easy and abridged format which travel agents and tour operators will find makes for easy reading and reference. The photographs included gives only a small sample of the sights that can be seen and help to make the dream a reality.
Where we operate
- Bird Watching
- Mobile Safaris
- Riding Safaris
- Safaris – Fixed Camp
- Self-Drive Holidays
Our Commitment to Responsible Tourism
After Independence in 1966, the Botswana Government decided to ‘manage’ tourism. As guardians of many fragile eco-systems including the Central Kalahari, Magkadikgadi Pans and the Okavango Delta, they wanted to ensure that the natural habitats and the wildlife they sustained would be preserved for many future generations.
This desire for maintaining the delicate balance of these eco-systems led the Government to designate over 30% of the country into national parks and wildlife reserves, primarily unfenced, to continue to allow the free movement of the game. They introduced legislation to restrict the size of tourist properties by bed nights to a maximum of twelve rooms, encouraged the use of sustainable building materials and made regulations concerning the use of the reserves – e.g. no night or off-road driving.
Tourism in Botswana is purposely high value and low volume. Not only does this protect the environment, but provides those who go there with an unequalled opportunity for game viewing. Large concessions with restricted numbers of beds give guests the exclusivity of sightings.
More recently, the Government sought to develop its eco-tourism policies and directed the Botswana Tourism Organisation to develop the existing grading standards for accommodation facilities to include ‘green’ credentials. This resulted in the development of a new Eco-Certification scheme. The first of its kind in Africa.
The Eco-Certification scheme is designed to encourage and support responsible environmental, social, and cultural behaviour by tourism businesses making sure they provide a quality eco-friendly product for consumers.
It is a voluntary industry programme using a three-tiered structure to promote progress and encourage operators to improve their performance towards the next level. Companies in Botswana have recognised the benefits of the scheme, several have achieved accreditation and many others are working towards this aim.
Botswana was one of the first countries in Africa to take eco-tourism seriously – even before “eco” was a buzz word! They are now leading the way with this scheme and reaping the benefits. Through the promotion of the scheme and the ideas behind their eco-tourism policy, it is hoped other countries will be encouraged to strive for the same excellence.
Botswana Tourism Organisation
Fairscape Precinct, Plot 70667
Fairgrounds Office Park
Building 1A & 1B, 2nd Floor (East Wing) Gaborone, Botswana
Tel: +267 391 3111 Fax: +267 395 6810