Botswana and Namibia are two of the most popular destinations in Southern Africa and their popularity is only like to increase over time with more and more flights from Europe and the Middle East coming online.
There both offer a number of fabulous natural attractions and we have picked six out of a potential many to share with you on Budget Africa Travel.
1. The Fish River Canyon
There’s nowhere else in Africa like Fish River Canyon, which has been gouging this gorge for thousands of years with incredible results. It’s huge – 160km (99mi) long and 27km (17mi) wide – and most of the canyon falls within Fish River Canyon National Park, where you can camp, walk, hike or relax in the bubbling hot springs.
2. The Petrified Forest
The petrified forest is an area of open veld scattered with petrified tree trunks up to 34m long and 6m in circumference, which are estimated to be around 260 million years old. The original trees belonged to an ancient group of cone-bearing plants that are known as Gymnospermae, which includes such modern plants as conifers, cycads and welwitschias.
3. The Daan Viljoen Game Park
This beautiful wildlife park sits in the Khomas Hochland about 18km west of Windhoek. You can walk to your heart’s content through lovely wildlife-rich desert hills, and spot gemsbok, kudu, mountain zebras, springbok, hartebeests, warthogs and elands.
4. The Tsisab Ravine
The most famous figure in the ravine is the White Lady of the Brandberg, which is located in Maack’s Shelter. The figure, which isn’t necessarily a lady (it’s still open to interpretation), stands about 40cm high, and is part of a larger painting that depicts a bizarre hunting procession. In one hand, the figure is carrying what appears to be a flower or possibly a feather.
5. Hot Springs
Ai-Ais is Nama for ‘Scalding Hot’ and these springs are beneath the towering peaks at the southern end of Fish River Canyon National Park. Although the 60°C springs have probably been known to the San for thousands of years, the legend goes that they were ‘discovered’ by a nomadic Nama shepherd rounding up stray sheep.
6. Nata Bird Sanctuary
This 230-sq-km community-run wildlife sanctuary was formed when local people voluntarily relocated 3500 cattle and established a network of tracks throughout the northeastern end of Sowa Pan. Although the sanctuary protects antelopes, zebras, jackals, foxes, monkeys and squirrels, the principal draw is the large population of water birds.