Botswana is teeming with some of the best nature sights on earth. With endless horizons of salt pans, great rivers, a vast expanse of exceptional desert beauty, thriving wildlife, diverse landscapes, the country boasts of abundant natural wonders. Undoubtedly, it is an ultimate safari destination that must be included in your South Africa holiday.
One of the best nature spectacles in Botswana is the great zebra migration that takes place in the central and northern part of the country. Each year, thousands upon thousands of zebras have to cover an impressive amount of ground in order to survive.
The migratory routes and patterns of animals have changed over the years. There is nothing more enthralling than the once-in-a-lifetime experience of bearing witness to animal migrations. The knowledge that each migration is part of a much larger cycle of life is humbling and quite fascinating. Understanding the species, their habits, their reasons for migration are all important in completely appreciating the spectacle of animal migration.
Recently, National Geographic named the migration of zebras in Botswana as the longest mammal migration covering a distance of 300 miles or over 482 kilometres of land travel.
The migration starts when these creatures start looking for greener grass at the Boteti River. During the months of March and April, herds of zebras move between the grasslands of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan situated in the Kalahari Desert. The large semi-arid desert boasts of dramatic landscapes, grasslands on the fringes of salt pans, transient rivers, and fossil watercourse, abound in terms of beauty. This is the ideal location to witness how all the action unfolds.
Imagine the striking view of striped black and white creatures against shimmering white salt pans stretched endlessly across the horizon. The sight is phenomenal.
As the zebras travel, they also face imminent danger. They are considered an easy target for aggressive predators hunting for food. Those who are witnessing the migration spectacle will also witness the action from lions taking down their prey.
When September arrives, the Boteti River beckons. With its lush land and plentiful water sources, the river is the final destination of the zebras. The river, however, is filled with hungry crocodiles, which presents itself as the final predatory danger for the nomadic zebras.
As November opens, the zebras move back north again where they will once again stay before going through the route all over again.
Botswana offers travellers many accommodation options across all price points. Visitors can choose from luxury hotels, top class lodges, safari camps, budget guesthouses, and camping grounds.
Guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines in hotels and restaurants—local favourites, game meat, Asian and continental dishes. Those who prefer a more local taste can dine in fast food outlets and small restaurants that serve appetising and unique Setswana food.
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Charles is a world traveler having lived in 44 states and 11 countries and traveled to dozens more. He and his wife spend time between London, Ireland, Canada, and the Philippines.