Please note Botswana is currently closing to all hunting, as of June 2014. We will keep this page updated to reflect the situation on the ground.
Botswana is a relatively flat country and one of the least inhabited countries in Africa. The vast Kalahari occupies the southwestern third of the country, a living desert of sparse bush and desert grass. To the northeast lies the Chobe region, a better-watered country ranging from thornbush along the edges of the Kalahari to Mopane forest along the Zimbabwe border.
To the northeast is the great Okavango Delta, one of the great natural wonders of the world. This maze of islands and channels is actually an inland delta created by the division of the Okavango River into multiple channels. The Okavango is a lush region of papyrus beds near the water’s edge, palm-studded islands, and dense thornbush and Mopane forest around the fringes.
Botswana is blessed with a tremendous abundance of wildlife, but lacks the diversity of habitat to host a huge variety of species.
Buffalo are abundant except in the desert areas. Elephant are terribly over populated. An estimated 125,000-150,000 occupy an area about the size of western Montana. Generally 200 – 250 tags are issued for trophy bulls per year and ivory size ranges from 55 to 80+ pounds per side. Each year outstanding bulls of 80-95+ pounds are taken!
Greater kudu of impressive size are fairly common throughout the country. Livingstone’s eland, though much less common, are also widely distributed. Desert game includes cape hartebeest, gemsbok, and springbok. Red lechwe are found not only in the Okavango, but in suitable habitat along the Chobe River.
Tsessebe are quite common around the Okavango, and blue wildebeest are endemic throughout much of the country. The thornbush and Mopane woodlands also hold common species such as impala, warthog, and zebra. Most outfitters use tented camps, extremely comfortable and with all the amenities.
Most camps are reachable by road from Kasane or Maun, but charter aircraft are readily available.
MAJOR HUNTING AREAS
Easily one of the most scenic areas in Africa, the Okavango offers extremely pleasant hunting for plains game along the edges of the delta, plus buffalo in the reedbeds and among the islands. Buffalo are common and elephant abundant. Red lechwe are plentiful, with exceptional trophy quality. Tsessebe, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, and kudu are found throughout. Sighting the Big Four – elephant, lion, leopard, and buffalo – is an every day occurrence. Bird life can be awesome. Hunting the crystal-clear waters of the Okavango Delta from dugout canoes (makorros) is one of the greatest hunting experiences in Africa. Fishing can be excellent.
The thornbush of the Chobe region is generally more difficult to hunt than the Okavango, but buffalo average a bit larger in the horn. Leopard are common and large, greater kudu of excellent quality are available. Quality eland and gemsbok are also found here plus common plains game. Botswana’s best elephant are found in this region.
The Kalahari Desert offers some of the most diverse hunting in all of Africa. It is some of the least unpopulated land in the entire world. Kalahari Proper is a fairly large desert, stretching from southern Botswana to the northwest corner. It is an immense piece of uninhabited real estate. There is a combination of government hunting concessions to the north and northwest and large, private ranches in the south. It is relatively easy to arrange a four or five day add-on hunt to any safari conducted around the Okavango or Chobi. The renowned bushman trackers are used to your advantage and offer some of the most rewarding hunting found in all of Africa. Typical desert plains game, including gemsbok, kudu, eland, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, warthog, ostrich, and small antelope like duiker and steenbok are found as well.