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Animals to see in Botswana

by Travelbag on 23 May 2018, 08:05AM

okavango delta

Holidays to Botswana are all about the wildlife. And what better way to see them than on a safari? The 'big five' – buffalo, elephant, lion, rhino and leopard – are all here, alongside an endless list of other animals. But that doesn't mean you're guaranteed to see them. 

When it comes to safari holidays, when you go is just as important as where you stay. Timing is everything. 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. In the dry season, from April to October, is sparse so it's the best time to see animals. Meanwhile, the wet season runs from November to March. The floods transform the landscapes, but this is when most of Botswana's wildlife has their young.  

If safaris make you think of camping – which also makes you think of wellies and mud – you'll be pleased to know that most safari lodges in Botswana have luxury features. Glamping has been a thing here for a while. Take a look at our Highlights of Botswana package that includes a stay at the Nata Lodge. It’s just north of the Nata Bird Sanctuary, and rooms are thatched chalets with en suites, indoor and outdoor showers, air conditioning, and a swimming pool. If you want to be even closer to the action, our Chobe and Okavango Experience includes a stay in the Xaranna Okavango Delta Lodge that sits on the edge of the basin itself. Here's what you can expect to see while you're there...




The national animal of Botswana is the zebra. They migrate with the seasons and newborns are raring to go from birth – able to stand within 15 minutes. Mothers 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.




Cheetah cubs are born in litters sized three to five. They're 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


Ready to embrace your inner David Attenborough? Take a look at our Botswana tour packages.

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