The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) is responsible with conserving and managing Botswana’s wildlife resources and wildlife habitats.The DWNP is backed by the Wildlife Conservation Policy of 1986 and the WildlifeConservation and National Parks Act of 1992. Aside from these, the DWNP also makesuse of complementary policies such as the Tribal Grazing Lands Policy (TGLP) of1975, the National Conservation Strategy of 1990, the Tourism Policy of 1990 and theTourism Act of 1992 to educate the nation on the correct and wise use of the country'snatural resources.
Botswana’s wildlife estate takes up about 37% of the country’s surface area comprising of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) (20%) and Game Reserves and NationalParks (17%). The government, seeing as wildlife occupies a great part of the country’slands, deliberately took a stance to realize economic benefits from wildlife resourcesthrough consumptive and non-consumptive uses. The DWNP is there to make sure thatthe utilization of wildlife is not done in any way that is detrimental to the resource base’scontinued existence.
DWNP declares that their mission is to conserve the fish and wildlife of Botswanaeffectively through consultation with local, regional and international stakeholders forthe benefit of present and future generations. DWNP intends to promote and facilitatesustainable utilization of fish and wildlife resources and ask for the active participation ofBotswana’s citizens.
The DWNP has a Parks and Reserves Division which is responsible for themanagement of wildlife in the country’s protected areas. The division’s responsibilitiesinclude the development and management of protected areas, park interpretation,visitor public relations, reservations or bookings for camping in parks and reservespublic camp sites, compilation and analysis of tourist statistics and the processing ofapplications for filming permits.
There are three national parks and three game reserves in Botswana. The NationalParks are Makgadikgadi/Nxai Pans National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Parkand Chobe National Park. The game reserves are Central Kalahari Game Reserve,Moremi Game Reserve and Khutse Game Reserve. There are also educational gamereserves which include Francistown Game Reserve, Manyelanong Game Reserve,Gaborone Game Reserve and the Maun Game Reserve or Maun Educational Park.
The DWNP is a traveller’s best source of information regarding Botswana’s parks and reserves. It is also the right department for acquiring exact maps, park managementplans, reservations and information for researchers.
Other services the DWNP offer include providing permits, hunting licenses, guides and hunters licenses, hunting escort, compensation, problem animal control and assistanceand information on game ranching, fish farming, crocodile farming, guinea fowl farming as well as the administration of community funds under DWNP.
Park Fees must be paid prior to entering the parks, there is a different rates for Botswana residents, overseas visitors and children. If self driving you will need to pay an additional rate per vehicle.
Pay stations are located in Kasane, Maun and Gabarone.
You can visit the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’s website for more information.