Once upon a time a river took a journey and lost its way in the desert. Instead of drowning in despair, it luxuriated in its solitude, spread its liquid resource into a delta and created nature's greatest kaleidoscope. It became known by the mokoro boatmen as Okavango. It became known by conservationists as the jewel of the Kalahari.
The Okavango, however, is only one facet of the wilderness we parcel up for you. For the optimum wildlife experience, we annex the other great gameviewing areas: the drylands of the Okavango in the Moremi; Chobe National Park including Savute - the kingdom of the lion; the endless stretches of the wild Kalahari and Makgadikgadi; the big tusker country of the Tuli.
This is a country of adventure, challenge and discovery: mokoro trails up secret waterways; overnight camping on islands and highlands; fighting the mighty Tiger Fish; surveying the vastness from elephant and horse back; admiring the abundant bird and wildlife; discovery of weird and wonderful plant and tree species on bush walks; sampling the Okavango bream, the sweetest eating fish of the realm.
Most of all, it's a unique experience just being there.
Welcome Tourism Services has extensive knowledge and experience resulting in a comprehensive offering ranging from mobile safaris to tailor-made fly-ins and special interest adventures. Our close association with Air Botswana, working directly with the internal charter companies, and product knowledge, affords us the flexibility to link lodges from different operators, ensuring innovative itineraries based on clients' preferences.
Our approach to customising safaris is to give clients an intense experience of the areas visited. This means concentrating on the highlights. In Botswana, there are 4 wildlife and wilderness highlight experiences. A stay in a water camp to explore the wetlands of the famed Okavango Delta by motorised craft or mokoro (dugout canoe).
A stay in a dual or land camp to view a great variety of game and birdlife from an open safari vehicle. A venture into the Chobe area including Savute, harsh land where the battle for survival is desperate and prides of African lion are dominant. On a mobile safari tracking migratory herds of the game through the endless vistas of the wild Kalahari.
In addition, some of our special interest safaris will take you to lesser-known areas and add a special touch to your Botswana sojourn.
Welcome Tourism Services represents all accommodation establishments in Botswana, from hotels suitable for groups to luxury tented camps and lodges and old-style rustic safari camps. The emphasis is on personal service, comfort, convenience and good food, all within the spirit of wilderness life.
With a population of about 1.5 million people and covering almost 582 000 square kilometres, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Africa. Having scarcely been developed under a British colonial administration between 1885 and 1966, the discovery of diamonds, a year after independence, has allowed Botswana to develop rapidly.
Sir Seretse Khama, the country's first post-independence president, being one of the most remarkable and far future-thinking leaders that any nation could wish for, laid the foundations for a free and uncompromisingly democratic society, which with continuing political stability and economic growth, truly makes Botswana a role model for success in Africa.
With the exception of the eastern part of the country, which receives slightly higher summer rainfall and hence is the most densely populated region, most of Botswana is technically desert. This makes the Okavango Delta, situated in the northwest of the country, particularly unique. At around 17 000 square kilometres the Okavango is the world's largest inland delta and is an extraordinary wetland environment surrounded by the strikingly flat and arid Kalahari Desert, the world's largest expanse of sand.
The northern portion of the Okavango Delta is known as the 'panhandle'. Here, the river is mostly still confined to its banks with seemingly limitless beds of papyrus. The area is attractive to birdwatchers and those hoping to glimpse the rare and elusive Sitatunga antelope. It is also popular with sport fishermen for the renowned Tiger Fish.
The Okavango Delta is a labyrinth of islands, secret lagoons and hidden water channels. It varies in size throughout the year, being dependent largely on the rains which fall in the Angolan Highlands, 1 000 kilometres to the north. Although the flood arrives in the panhandle in March, it doesn't reach Maun at the southerly end of the delta until August.
The Moremi Wildlife Reserve occupies a large portion of the Okavango Delta. It contains diverse habitat, ranging from permanent swamp to floodplains, islands and large areas of dry land including 'Chiefs Island' and the 'Mopane Tongue' of dry scrub and Kalahari sands, which results in prolific bird and animal life.
The Chobe National Park in the north of Botswana is noted for the superb game viewing year-round along the riverfront and is famous for the heaviest concentrations of elephants to be found anywhere in Africa today.
The Kwando, Selinda and Linyanti areas do not perhaps symbolise Botswana in the same way that the Okavango and Chobe do, yet tucked along the border with Namibia's Caprivi Strip these areas remain Africa in its most untouched form. Those who have visited the area, speak of it with reverence and awe.
The complex of salt pans found in eastern Botswana is a striking feature and some of the largest in the world. The Makgadikgadi Pans cover nearly 12 000 square kilometres. The remains of an ancient super lake rich in archaeological evidence undergo a radical transformation in the rainy summer months from a landscape offering nothing but sand, salt and sky to one teeming with tens of thousands of migrating zebra and wildebeest and countless water and wading birds.
More than 17% of Botswana is set aside for national parks and a further 15% is devoted to private reserves and the game is prolific both inside and outside the boundaries thereof. More than 160 species of mammals and nearly 600 species of birds can be found. With its pristine wilderness and policy of exclusivity, Botswana provides an authentic safari experience for the discerning traveller.
Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and African travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me. E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Website Address: [http://www.12234455.co.za]
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