Botswana’s tourism industry began to develop in the 1990s following the end of apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. The Okavango Delta region is both a popular tourist destination and a world heritage site. The tourism industry created 23,000 jobs in 2005, representing 4.5% of the total formal employment in Botswana. Tourism in Botswana has the potential to reduce pressure and traffic in existing wildlife attraction sites while simultaneously creating more opportunities for local communities to engage in the tourism economy. Some argue it can boost the economic status of the people, create employment, enhance community cohesion and cultural pride, and contribute to the development of infrastructure.
Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest game concentrations in the African continent. Established in 1961 it covers an area of 52,800 km2, making it the second-largest game reserve in the world. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a large wildlife preserve and conservation area in southern Africa.
SA Airlink, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Botswana’s main airline, Air Botswana, are the major airlines that fly into Botswana. There are no direct flights from Europe or the majority of the rest of the world. Commercial airlines can only fly directly into Botswana from Johannesburg, Cape Town, or Victoria Falls in South Africa.
The dry season, which lasts from May to October, is the best time to visit Botswana. Temperatures range from 22°C to 35°C, so you’ll have warm, sunny days — just keep in mind that the nights can get much colder, so pack accordingly. During the dry season, water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, creating the waterways and channels that Botswana is famous for. The green season in Botswana lasts from November to April. The rain brightens the scenery with verdant foliage, and you may see animals giving birth to their young, so it’s still a great time to travel (if you don’t mind the rain).
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