Botswana Wildlife Guide

© Zebras chase off a wild dog

Zebra [Equus quagga]

Best Places to See Zebra in Botswana

Zebras are generally widespread except for the drier central regions of Botswana. Most common sightings are in the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Savute. During the rainy season a huge dazzle of zebra migrate to the Makgadikgadi Pans. This Zebra Migration in Botswana the second largest migration of zebra in Africa with up 25 000 roaming through the pans.


In Botswana only the Burchell's zebra occurs. The zebra is the national animal of Botswana. Zebra are generally migratory animals and in Botswana there are two annual migrations of zebra that occur. The first is the migration of thousands of zebra between the northern waterways of Chobe and Linyanti, where they spend the dry season, to the lush grasses of the Savute Marsh and Mababe Depression after the first rains.

The second migration of note is to and from the Makgadikgadi Pans after the rains. This migration has been the source of much debate recently between the conservation authorities and the local farmers.

The Boteti River provided a natural barrier between the two in the past but with the drying up of the Boteti wildlife and cattle were competing for the same limited water sources. Solutions have been put in place.

Black, White and Brown

The zebra, with its black and white striped coat, is one of the most characteristic animals of the African savannahs. What is not well known is that the zebra of the southern wilderness areas have a shadow brown stripe in the white stripe. This distinguishes them from the zebra of east Africa that do not have the shadow stripe.

Each individual zebra has unique patterning i.e. no two animals are the same. The patterning works along the lines of fingerprinting in humans. When a zebra is born the mother keeps it hidden from other zebras until her patterns have imprinted on the foals memory.

Zebra's of Africa

There are three species of zebra in Africa: Burchell's or plains zebra, the Grevys zebra of east Africa and the Mountain zebras, Cape and Hartmann's, of South Africa and Namibia.
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