Botswana, Africa, with lots of wide-open spaces—and lots of wildlife to fill them—is one of the few remaining destinations in Africa where the adventuresome safari spirit still survives. Travelers on safari in Botswana get to see an ark full of animals in the wild: lazing in the waters of the Okavango Delta (Moremi Game Reserve), grazing on the grasslands of Chobe National Park (Chobe Game Lodge) and tracking the arid salt pans of the Kalahari Desert.
To protect Botswana's natural assets, government policy promotes low-volume, high-cost tourism. The country may have high travel fees, but Botswana travel rewards visitors with a plethora of colorful birds and large game—including lions, brown hyenas and cheetahs, ostriches and zebras, antelope and leopards. Accommodations can range from a tented riverbank campsite to a plush lodge.
Botswana can afford to discourage mass tourism because of its great mineral wealth. It is one of the world's largest producers of diamonds, and it has reserves of gold, copper and nickel. The country is also a large exporter of beef to the European Union.
More than 80% of Botswana's small population of 2.3 million lives in a scattering of towns and large villages, such as Francistown or the capital of Gabarone, leaving plenty of room for animals—and travelers—to roam the countryside unhindered.
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