Africa > Southern Africa > Botswana > Botswana Tourism Profile

Botswana: Botswana Tourism Profile




Botswana’s travel and tourism suffers from lack of investment in infrastructure

Travel and tourism has been held back by a failure to invest in basic infrastructure projects, particularly the road network, which has left much of the country inaccessible to tourists, but as well in new hotels and sites of tourist interest, such as safari parks and shopping facilities. There are signs that the government is presently willing to invest additional money with a view to developing the industry, and it is actively encouraging foreign private investment in the country.

Botswana continues to lack a strong identity as a tourism destination

Despite some limited marketing campaigns, Botswana has struggled to develop a cohesive brand image as a tourism destination and there has been a general failure to communicate some of the incomparable attractions that Botswana has to offer to potential incoming tourists. Successive advertising campaigns have amounted to little, with only a small budget allocated to national campaigns.

European tourists are a key increase area

Europeans are the fastest-growing group of incoming tourists, reflecting increased ad spend in northern Europe in particular, but as well an increase in connecting flights to northern Europe, which allows tourists a lower cost and quicker route into the country. Botswana does not have strong colonial ties to any particular European country, despite being a British colony until 1964, but given the strong increase in incoming European tourists to neighbouring nations such as Angola and South Africa, it has been an obvious area for the country to focus on.

Liberalisation of the airways to encourage new airlines into Botswana

As a result of the Open Skies Policy, Botswana has negotiated 21 and signed 8 Bilateral Air Service Agreements. Air Botswana’s acquisition of new aircraft will enable it to expand into the SADC region and beyond. The airline has successfully completed all the requirements for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit. As a result IATA approved its re-registration as a member in June 2012. This will allow the national airline to forge alliances, inclunding compete, with other international carriers

Lack of qualified staff impacts on increase of high-end hotels

A failure to provide appropriate training for hotel staff has meant that a lot of of the high-end hotels in particular have struggled to provide high-end service for premium tourists. This has contributed to the difficulties that the country has had in portraying itself as a viable high-end tourist destination. A lot of of Botswana’s hotel workers are still training abroad and there is a clear need to invest additional in domestic training.

Economic diversification through tourism development

Botswana is of the major diamond producers in the world and has maintained high economic increase rates over the years due to the buoyant strength of rough diamond prices. However, due to the recent economic meltdown, its economy has been hard hit by a slump in request for diamonds. Despite the slow recovery of the world economy, the country’s travel and tourism industry remained buoyant in 2010. This can be attributed to a government drive to diversify its diamond-dependent economy by promoting the increase of travel and tourism. With the world recession hitting the mining industry, travel and tourism has been measuring up to the bar to help sustain Botswana’s economic achievements, a trend that is expected to continue over the estimate period.

Additional than 3-quarters of Botswana is Kalahari Desert, so the huge emerald waterworld full of African animals known as the Okavango Delta, is a wonderful amaze.

Almost each safari experience you have ever dreamed about can come authentic in Botswana. You can fly, drive, walk with Bushmen, glide completed Hippos in a dug-out canoe, horse ride or wade through the delta on the back of an Elephant. You can even swim in it (if you dare!).

Privacy and wilderness are synonymous with a Botswana safari as most lodges only accommodate 8 to 20 guests. If you choose your camp carefully, you may see very few other tourists and plenty of game. Arriving by light aircraft at your lodge adds to the exclusivity and excitement of your Botswana\'s safari.

Commitment To Conservation

Botswana\'s increase has been carefully managed and its tourism industry has cultivated a reputation for quality not quantity. Its official \'low impact, high cost\' policy ensures conservation of its natural habitat and high standards of accommodation and services.

Botswana has set aside nearly 40% of its total land surface for conservation in national parks, game reserves and management areas known as private reserves or concessions. This is an amazing commitment and is rewarded by visitors from all over the world coming to experience the \'best all-round safari destination in the world\'.

Major Safari Regions of Botswana:

Okavango Delta and Moremi Wildlife Reserve
Selinda and Kwando
Mashatu and the Tuli Block
Makgadikgadi Pans

Okavango Delta

Botswana\'s jewel is the Okavango Delta - an oasis of winding channels, open flood plains, lily-pad lagoons, small islands and rich pastures. This all literally floats on a saturated sea of sand with water levels that rise and fall with the seasons.

As channels fill up, they carve out new routes which means the landscape is always changing.Maps therefore have to use safari lodges as permanent landmarks. There is so much game here in the Okavango Delta, that there will always be something to witness like Lion feeding on a kill, a Leopard up a tree and plenty of Elephant, Antelope and birds of prey.

Cruise The Chobe River

In the far north-eastern corner of Botswana the Chobe River cuts a green swathe through the land and provides the best boat-based animal watching in Africa.

There are literally hundreds of Elephant, Hippo and Crocodile and plenty of Lion and other predators, all of which can be seen from the comfort of a cruising riverboat.

Giant Fish Eagle remain perched on a branch as you drift by and one metre long monitor Lizards waddle along the bank. Everywhere you look there is something to see and photograph. This really is the majority astonishing animal-filled safari experience.

Makgadikgadi Pans

In complete contrast to Chobe are the dry cracked salt pans of Makgadikgadi, which are transformed into a birder\'s paradise next the rains.

The real adventurer will love the remoteness and silence of this flat expanse.

Several camps inclunding Jack\'s Camp and Makgadikgadi Camp are situated here amongst swaying palm trees and guests chief off to explore the glistening salt pans on quad bikes.

Kalahari Desert

During a Botswana vacation, try and include a visit to the Kalahari Desert for a fascinating contrast to the watery bush safari of the Okavango and Chobe. The Kalahari should not really be called a desert as it receives additional rainfall than a \'real\' desert and supports lots of game.

The only people who really know how to survive in the Kalahari are the Bushmen(San people). There are very few pure Bushmen around and fewer still living a traditional hunter gatherer life, but lodges like Deception Valley Lodge and Intu Afrika (on the Namibian side of the Kalahari), create opportunities for visitors to interact with Bushmen communities.

An Insiders Guide to Botswana

Botswana is one of Africa\'s great success stories. The country is about the size of Texas and is landlocked between South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The nearest coast is additional than 600km (375 miles) away to the east in Mozambique.

Botswana is probably the safest and most peaceful of all African nations, and has a thriving modern democracy.