Board Game Review

Botswana cover


Released: 2010

Created by: Reiner Knizia

I'm excited to share my thoughts on a delightful and engaging game that transports players to the heart of the African savannah: Botswana. Designed by Reiner Knizia and published by Eagle-Gryphon Games, this quick and easy card game invites players to embark on a safari adventure, strategically collecting animal figurines to score the most points.


Botswana comes in a compact box, containing 26 Animal cards, 5 Elephant cards, 5 Giraffe cards, 5 Rhino cards, 5 Lion cards, 5 Zebra cards, 50 animal figurines (10 each of Elephants, Giraffes, Rhinos, Lions, and Zebras), and a rulebook. The components are of good quality, with sturdy cards that feature vibrant and appealing artwork. The animal figurines are made of durable plastic and are both colorful and charming, adding a unique tactile element to the game.


Botswana is a card-playing and set collection game for 3-5 players. The game is played over several rounds, with players taking turns either drawing an Animal card from the deck and adding it to the display, or taking an animal figurine from the supply and placing it in front of them. Each Animal card features a color and a value, which determines the points that each animal figurine of that color will be worth at the end of the round.

Players must carefully decide when to take an animal figurine, considering the current values of the animals and the potential for those values to change as more cards are revealed. The round ends when all players have taken animal figurines, and the game ends when the supply of animal figurines is depleted. Players then calculate their scores based on the values of their collected animal figurines, and the player with the highest score is declared the winner.

Playing Time and Replayability

A game of Botswana typically takes around 20-30 minutes, making it an accessible and enjoyable choice for quick gaming sessions or as a filler game between heavier titles. The game offers high replayability due to the unique combination of cards and the strategic decisions players must make in each playthrough.


Botswana is a delightful and engaging game that provides a satisfying blend of strategy, decision-making, and competition. Its accessible mechanics and high replayability make it a fantastic addition to any board game collection, appealing to both casual gamers and experienced strategists. Embark on a safari adventure, skillfully collecting animal figurines, and outmaneuver your opponents to emerge victorious in this colorful and strategic journey across the African savannah.

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