Brava for Botswana! After gaining a democratic government in the mid-sixties, three of the richest diamond-bearing troves in the world were discovered in the country, allowing for Botswana—with the help of fair-playing democratic government—to enjoy high standards in education, healthcare and overall economic success. This success is without equal anywhere else in sub-Saharan African (with the exception of South Africa). Despite its modern sheen, it's still a country only for the truly adventurous and for the most part, the wealthy. For one thing,it's lacking in roads. To make it through the wilderness you need plenty of cash to hire vehicles, the kind of four-wheel drive vehicles that can make it through rugged remote terrain. And without road signs or even good maps on the countryside, you'll need to hire the driver to go with the vehicle. This can get expensive.
The country is facing two huge environmental problems: desertification and drought. Because of the drought, three-quarters of Botswana's population—human and animal—depend on groundwater, which means drilling deeply into the land, which leads to erosion.
This landlocked country, about the size of France, is at an average elevation of 1000 meters, much of it savannah and scrub. The Kalahari is an arid desert of sandy valleys which covers most of Botswana. The Okavango River in the north soaks into the sand forming the Okavango Delta. Botswana's expansive savannas are swarming with wildlife, mainly because the year-round water supply from the delta provides enough water for every southern African mammal there is. These can be found in abundance in Chobe National Park and in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve. Herds of zebra, wildebeest and other mammals annually migrate throughout the area searching for food and water and they're never hard to spot. Truly, Botswana is a wildlife lover's paradise.
Gaborone, aka Gaba, is the country's tiny capital city. It's not a city exactly, but more of a big friendly rambling village. This is where you can load up on supplies before heading off for a national park safari.
You'll find the most varied wildlife in the country in Chobe National Park. This dramatically picturesque 11,000 square kilometer park contains a riverfront at its northern border where its largest wildlife concentrations are to be found. The Savuti marshes in western Chobe also have an abundance of wildlife, particularly water birds, when the marshes contain water. Rarely visited is Ngwezumba, full of mopane forests, as well as the northwest part of the park which contains the pristine and striking Linyanti marshes.
Botswana wilderness safaris are the best reason why this country is visited for most. The main airport in Botswana is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport situated 15km from the capital of Gaborone.