Hunting Botswana

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Oct 1, 2007
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Hunting Botswana

Botswana is located in Southern Africa. A landlocked country, Botswana borders Namibia to the West, Zambia to the North, Zimbabwe to the Northeast and South African Republic to the South. This former British protectorate gained its independence in 1966.


It was not until 1962 that sport hunting started to catch on in Botswana once hunting outfitters from East Africa established themselves for hunting in Botswana. These well connected hunting outfitters from East Africa partnered with local hunting outfitters in Botswana and in only a few short years, it became one of the finest hunting destinations in Africa.

There are two major hunting areas in Botswana, the Okavango Delta and the central region of Kalahari (the Central Kalahari Game Reserve).

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world. It is undeniably a paradise on earth. The unique habitat is so rich in vegetation and water, it is home to a very diverse animal population. Thousands of Elephants, considerable herds of Cape Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Caffer), Crocodiles, Hippos, Lions and Leopards are all found in this region. The Okavango Delta is also home to the unique Red Lechwe (Kobus Leche Leche) and an incredible variety of birds.

The central region of the Kalahari (Central Kalahari Game Reserve) allows the hunting of some of the largest and most beautiful antelopes in Africa such as the Gemsbok (Oryx Gazella), Cape Eland (Taurotragus Oryx) and Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros). There are also Lions and Leopards which are hunted with dogs and Bushmen trackers. Elephants are also present in large numbers and can be hunted.

Unfortunately, many species have been closed to hunting in Botswana for many years and it seems unlikely that licenses for these species will be granted in the future. These would include the Situtunga (Tragelaphus Spekei), the Sable (Hippotragus Niger), the Roan Antelope (Hippotragus Equinus) and the Southern Reedbuck (Redunca Arundinum). The Common Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus) is also fully protected.

Botswana also offers the opportunity to hunt on game ranches. These are fenced territories such as those found in South Africa or Namibia. Several species can only be hunted on these game ranches, Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus), Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes Gnou) and Blesbok (Damaliscus Dorcas Phillipsii).

In the Okavango Delta, as in the Kalahari Game Reserve, hunting areas are open territories, not fenced.

The habitat of the Okavango Delta is alternating wet and dry areas with seasonal variation: lagoons, islands, marshes, palms forest and grassy plains. The habitat of the other hunting areas varies little from one region to another. It is primarily sandy terrain including acacia or mopane forests, thorn bush and dry grassy plains.

Hunting safaris in Botswana usually begin with a drive in a 4x4 from camp, then once in the bush, tracking on foot. The terrain is flat and the hunting is not very physically demanding. While hunting in the Okavango Delta for species such as Cape Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Caffer) and Red Lechwe (Kobus Leche Leche), wooden dugout canoes may be used to get to areas inaccessible by other means.; a truly memorable hunting experience.

The hunting areas in Botswana are managed by outfitters and professional hunters who are most often locals or from either South Africa or Namibia. The hunting camps are generally large and comfortable tent camps with full amenities. In the vast majority of cases, access to the hunting areas is by small plane from the capital of Botswana, Gaborone.

The hunting season in Botswana runs from the beginning of April through the end of September. Most hunting outfitters do bird hunting. Dove, Pigeon and Quail are hunted throughout the year. Duck, Francolin and Guineafowl from April 1st to September 30th and Sandgrouse from October 1st until April.

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