Botswana is a sub-Saharan country located in Southern Africa. It was formerly a British protectorate of Bechuanaland, and adopted the name Botswana adopted after becoming independent within the Commonwealth in 1966. Since then, it has been a republic, with a steady and continuous record of uninterrupted democratic elections. It is currently Africa’s oldest continuous democracy.
The landscape of Botswana is mainly flat, with the Kalahari desert covering about 70% of the country’s area. It is bordered on the south and south-east by South Africa, to the north and west by Namibia and to the northeast by a very short border with Zimbabwe.
The Okavango Delta, which is one of the world’s largest inland deltas, is in the northwest. The Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt pan, is located in the north.
The population of the country is just over 2 million people, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.
The primary industries across Botswana are mining, cattle and tourism.
Botswana has many diverse areas of wildlife habitats, in addition to delta and desert areas, there are also savannas and grasslands where a wide range of fauna make their homes, antelopes, wildebeest, elephants and more.
Botswana’s first national park, Chobe National Park is the most biologically diverse. Located in the north of the country, it is Botswana’s third-largest park, after Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Gemsbok National Park, and has one of the greatest concentrations of game in all of Africa, including lions and African elephants.
Some people say that there is no better place to go on a safari than in Botswana. We recently spoke to the guys at TechPro Safari to learn more about what Botswana has to offer.
The story of Techpro safari began, as a dream by a campfire under a starry African sky. What would it take, wondered seasoned Africa traveller Dmitry Rudenko, to create the ideal safari vehicle? A vehicle that wouldn’t break down in the middle of nowhere because it was unsuited to the terrain and poorly equipped. A vehicle that was safe, easily maintained and a pleasure to live from on a long journey in remote lands. As the embers of the campfire died down and the night grew cold he realised that the vehicle he was dreaming of didn’t yet exist. It wasn’t on any showroom floor waiting to be bought and driven away. To create the ideal safari vehicle, he would have to take the best of what was available – and make it better.
And so he began searching for off-road fitters and engineers – anybody who shared his passion for creating the ideal expedition vehicle. His search led him to Paul Marsh and R&D Off-road, a specialist off-road fitment and engineering firm based in Cape Town.
With Paul’s long experience in creating adventure vehicles in several continents they quickly honed in on the ideal base vehicle to begin with – the Toyota Land Cruiser. From there, they planned an extensive modification programme to bring the vehicles to the right fitment and performance levels. Everything from the mechanical and electrical systems to the tents and camping equipment were upgraded, redesigned and modified to create a system that worked perfectly and gave the ultimate in safety and quality.
With the first Land Cruisers fully upgraded and kitted out, Techpro Safari was born and the first part of Dmitry’s dream was realised.
Now,having created and kitted out these vehicles, Dmitry offers the vehicles for hire and provides touring and travel guidance so that others can also experience the magic of an African Safari.
Techpro Safari offers self guided safaris in 6 African countries, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The Botswana self drive routes offered by Techpro reveals a land of contrasts, ranging from the central Kalahari Desert to the moon-like environment of the Makgadikgadi salt pans in the east and the watery expanse of the Okavango Delta in the north.
Popular safaris include a Maun safari and Kasane safari; these are definite must-dos when it comes to exploring the wilder side of Botswana. The country’s flagship, Chobe National Park, boasts Africa’s biggest elephant population estimated to be around 120,000 elephants. The park is located only 80 km away from the majestic Victoria Falls so be sure to add it to your safari itinerary.
Techpro offer three self drive Botswana routes. Each route offers 2 weeks or more of 4×4 self drive safari adventure.
There are also three tour levels that determine the type of accommodation on the route, from self-catering and camping to luxury safari lodges.
There are hundreds of accommodation options along these routes, which TechPro can adjust depending on the requirements of the participants.
Techpro Botswana Routes
1. The Classic (North and north-east)
A route for those who wish to explore Botswana’s most popular highlights. Includes Nxai Pan, Moremi Game Reserve, Savuti, Chobe National Park, finishing off at Zambezi river.
2. The Classic with a Twist
(Central and north-east)
A route similar to The Classic just with a few extra additions. This route is slightly longer offering more travel days to explore. Includes Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Central Kalahari, Moremi, Savuti and Chobe National Park.
3. All in Luxury (Central and north-east)
Similar to The Classic with a Twist the All in Luxury route offers only the best in luxury accommodation. All authentic tented camps and luxury lodges are unique and fall in line with the desert-adapted landscape and wildlife surroundings. Includes Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Central Kalahari, Moremi, Savuti, Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.
There are also options when it comes to accommodation on the routes with options to camp almost every night, to stay in mid range lodges to staying only in luxury lodges and campsites.
About the vehicles.
The vehicles use the raised Old Man Emu suspension and rugged Cooper tyres. These upgrades give the vehicles better ground clearance and grip, resulting in improved road handling and a safer drive.
Inside the vehicles you’ll find VHF radios, inverters and strategically placed USB ports to charge cameras and laptops. A GPS system and satellite phone ensure you’re only as lost as you want to be and can call for support if needed. Fire extinguishers, custom-built console, silencing floor mats, and top-end seat covers with lot of pockets complete the picture.
All camping equipment has been selected for its reliability and ease of use. A two-person roof tent unfolds securely on a platform over the vehicle, while a ground tent offers accommodation for two more. You get a full complement of luxurious bedding for restful nights under the stars.
Something you’ll notice after a day or two of use is that everything in the vehicles has its place and is easy to reach and use. Specially designed bags and containers keep all equipment neat and secure, meaning you won’t have to scrabble around trying to find things when you need them.
The vehicles can take up to four people and are suited to a wide range of uses from family holidays to scientific field trips and expeditions. Techpro also have a dedicated photography vehicle with A-shell roof tent, external camera mounts, sliders, gimbal head and an electric hatch in the roof enabling you to work without leaving the safety of the vehicle – just what you need when photographing Africa’s Big 5 game animals.
If you don’t have a specific route and destination in mind, the guys at TechPro will create a unique safari itineraries for you. Having gained some great local knowledge they are in a position to create unique routes and travel plans that avoid the crowds and that can take you straight into the heart of the Africa experience.
Dmitry says that “We know that the best way to let Africa get under your skin is to wind the window down and drive at a leisurely pace, taking the time to watch the game that crosses your path or stopping to take in an awesome view. Enjoy the freedom of setting up camp where you want to or heading for our recommended lodges to enjoy a touch of luxury”.
You can learn more about TechPro Safari and the countries in which they run their safari tours and also learn more about these customised vehicles and can also get in touch with the team to make a booking or to enquire about a customised itenerary via the Techpro Safari website.
South Africa: Marmer street, Stellenridge, Bellville, 7530
Phone +27 (0)72 830 9157
Namibian base and booking office:
Plot 26, Mountain View B1, South Windhoek, 9000
Phone +264 81 263 0168
Email: [email protected]