When the topic of safaris comes up, the Republic of Botswana in southern Africa is one of the first countries mentioned. The geographically diverse country, which is about the size of Texas, has what experts consider some of the world's best safari destinations because 40 percent of its land is wide-open national parks and game reserves. Safaris of every kind, from photography to big game, are especially popular in the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta.
The best time to visit Botswana is between April and November, when many large animals migrate to the Okavango Delta's waterways. From December to February, which is summertime there, it is very, very hot, and rainy season is January through March.
Visitors can see the country's remaining rhinos at Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Serove, take a hot-air balloon ride over the Kalahari Desert, go sport fishing in the Okavango Delta and Chobe River systems, hike up to the rock paintings at Tsodilo Hills and motorbike the bush region of Mashatu.
Botswana is the setting for HBO's "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series.
Visitors generally fly into the southern region's city of Maun. U.S. citizens are required to have a passport that is good for six months after the visit to Botswana, but no visa is necessary for those staying under 90 days. Visitors may be asked to show outgoing documents and enough funds to pay for their stay.
The liveliest city is the capital city of Gaborone, which offers diverse accommodations, restaurants, movies, bars and cinemas. Information on tour guides and companies, as well as designing your own trip, is available on Botswana's tourism board website (see Resources).