Botswana Babes: Cute Animals of the Botswana Wilde

by Travelbag on 23 May 2018, 08:05AM

okavango delta

Botswana travel is all about the wildlife and what better to spot than cute babies on your safari? The big five are all found here – buffalo, elephant, lion, rhino and leopard – alongside an inexhaustible list of other animals; from zebra (the national animal) to tree snakes. Timing is everything so most safaris start in the early morning when animals are most active.

If you’re concerned about roughing it, the good thing about a Botswana safari lodge is the luxury features – welcome respite after a hot day spent out in the wild. Take our “6 Day Highlights of Botswana” package that includes a stay at the Nata Lodge. It’s just north of the Nata Bird Sanctuary at the crossroads leading to the Okavango, Chobe and Francistown areas. Rooms are thatched chalets with en suites, indoor and outdoor showers, air conditioning and swimming pool. Glamping has been a thing here before it was even a thing. If you want to be closer to the action, our “Eight Day Chobe and Okavango Experience” includes a stay in the Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge that sits on the edge of the basin itself. No time is wasted driving to national parks here – well trodden animal trails meander through the campsite itself.

When you go is as important as where you stay. Weather patterns are dramatic and can be roughly divided into three different phases. The green season runs from December to May. This is the cheapest time of the year to travel to Botswana but that’s for good reason, wildlife – particularly concealed and smaller infants – are difficult to spot in the thick, lush greenery. The dry season (April to October) when foliage is sparse and the best game viewing opportunities are available. The wet season runs from November to March and the sudden floods transform the landscapes. But this is when most Botswana wildlife has their young and if you arrive early enough, the grasses and bushes aren’t yet leafy enough to conceal them from view. Read on to find out five of Botswana’s cutest animals.



Cubs are born in litters sized three to five. They are born deaf, blind and covered in a white mantle not unlike a mohican hair style that gradually falls out as the cats mature. They make squeaky chirping noises to locate each other and to find mum who moves them every few days to try and keep them safe from predators.

Where: The Linyanti Reserve in northern Botswana



The adults might not be that adorable but tiny baby warthogs score big points on the cute scale. Mum and piglets form a ‘sounder’ with other mums with young kids – a sort of non-stop day care. Pigs are dead playful and grunt and scurry around digging for bulbs together in the undergrowth. They carry their tails in an upright position making it easier for family members to spot them in the bush.

Where: Look out for them grazing roadside on bended knees



On of the world’s largest population of elephants resides in Botswana. Elephant calves weigh around 200 pounds and stand at about 3 feet tall. At first, infants aren’t too sure what to do with their trunk and it’s not uncommon for them to suck it as a baby would its thumb. It’s not until they’re around eight months old that they start to use it effectively to grasp, feed and drink. Like humans, elephants are not born fully developed and learn much of their behaviour and culture in their young years from their elders.

Where: Chobe National Park and the Chobe River where they can be seen bathing and splashing themselves with mud



Litters are typically between one and four cubs and lionesses synchronise births so that all cubs are born around the same time. This means one lioness can be left to do the babysitting of all cubs and they can collectively the arrival of their offspring when food is most abundant. Cubs are born blind but learn the basics of hunting through playing and imitating the pride. They take on their first hunting lesson on their first birthday and a year after that will be fully grown.

Where: The Savute Marsh area of Okavanga Delta



Zebra migrate with the seasons and newborns are raring to go from birth – able to stand within 15 minutes. Mother’s will keep their newborns hidden immediately in the days that follow until the foal is able to recognise her unique smell and stripe patterns. Mothers give birth to a single foal and this could be in at anytime throughout the year.

Where: Okavango Delta in Northern Botswana where they spend the drier season and or on their great migration south to the flooded Makadikadi Basin.

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