Tourism & Communications
Botswana’s safari tourism is the envy of many countries, offering some of the continent’s richest wildlife areas in the most unspoilt of natural environments.
With its well-run national parks and anti-poaching patrols across many wildlife management areas, nearly 40% of Botswana’s land is under some form of wildlife protection.
Much of the tourist industry focuses on the luxury/exclusive safari market. Many parks have limited concessions for private ventures and few amenities, keeping visitor numbers low.
However, more affordable safari packages are becoming available, with many travellers visiting the Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and Okavango Delta each year.
In the 1980s, Botswana’s national parks became popular with South African tourists. However these visitors tended to bring their own food and camping kits, providing little revenue. Worried about the impact of increasing visitor numbers, Botswana raised park entrance fees significantly. Numbers declined, but revenue remained the same. Thus, Botswana’s ‘high-cost, low-volume’ tourism was born.
A wealth of wildlife
The return of the rhino
The white and black rhino, which had largely been wiped out by hunters, are gradually being reintroduced – see the Khama Rhino Sanctuary on the Map..
The expansion of protected wildlife areas across northern Botswana has led to increased natural diversity and larger animal populations. Elephant and buffalo roam in sizeable herds and all the main predators – lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and wild dog – occur in numbers.
Big-game hunting is practised on some private reserves and is an important source of revenue for the country. However, concessions for hunting are controlled and illegal poaching is rare.
At independence, only a few kilometers of paved roads existed within town boundaries.
Today, Botswana has a network of tarred roads. However, for travelling in remote areas, a 4x4 is essential. Many bush tracks are maintained only by the passage of other vehicles.