Get to Know Botswana

The landlocked country of Botswana is one of Africa’s most popular destinations for foreign visitors. The political stability and continuing GDP growth in the country has meant that more and more resources are being used to boost tourism in the region. This is not only great news for Botswana’s economy, but for those looking to experience an authentic Botswana safari that is both affordable and sustainable.

Botswana is home to intriguing landscapes, geographical wonders and luxury accommodation. An abundance of wildlife, birds, premium national parks and reserves all work together to make this a prime safari destination.

The Okavango Delta is the world's largest and each year swells with water, transforming grasslands and plains into snaking waterways and marshes. Elephants, hippos and Nile crocodiles call this home, as well as game and an astonishing number of birds. 

The Central Kalahari desert is another point of great interest, due to its history as the home of one of the world's oldest people; the San bushmen. The desert also has its own uniquely adapted wildlife and landscapes.


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Why Botswana?

  • Untouched landscapes makes Botswana naturally beautiful and a draw card for many photographers
  • A variety of adventurous activities makes this a wonderful family destination
  • Large numbers of wildlife and birds mean that there is plenty to see on game drives
  • Botswana also stakes claim to Africa’s second biggest migration route. Massive herds of zebra, wildebeest and buffalo attract throngs of top predators

Where to Go in Botswana

Chief’s Island in Botswana

Chief’s Island, in the heart of Moremi Game Reserve, is a massive sand island or “sandveld tongue” that covers 1,000 km2 of the central Delta region. On the northwestern tip of Chief’s Island lies one of the Okavango’s most famous game viewing areas, the Mombo Concession. Mombo is known to BaYei locals as “the place of plenty” and arguably the most fertile land of the Okavango. Mombo is located just below where the Okavango River splits into three primary channels and…

Chief’s Island in Botswana

Chief’s Island, in the heart of Moremi Game Reserve, is a massive sand island or “sandveld tongue” that covers 1,000 km2 of the central Delta region. On the northwestern tip of Chief’s Island lies one of the Okavango’s most famous game viewing areas, the Mombo Concession. Mombo is known to BaYei locals as “the place of plenty” and arguably the most fertile land of the Okavango. Mombo is located just below where the Okavango River splits into three primary channels and supports a diversity of wildlife hard to find anywhere else in Africa. When the water levels of the Okavango rise during winter floods, many animals move to find dry land on the island.

lions in chiefs island

Chief’s Island is particularly famous for its predators. Its far-reaching floodplains and diverse habitats attract high concentrations of prime prey species including buffalo, lechwe, impala, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, tsessebe and warthog.

Mombo Camp, interior view

In the nineties wild dogs ruled the Mombo Concession with the largest pack having as many 40 dogs. Their presence inspired the book Running Wild by Dave and Helene Hamman, which played an important role in raising awareness of the behavior and vulnerable status of these lesser-known carnivores. Nowadays, Mombo is famous for its large lion population and very relaxed leopards.

Chobe and Savuti Marsh in Botswana

Botswana’s Chobe and Savuti regions constitute a rich diversity of habitats that fall mostly within the boundaries of Chobe National Park, Botswana’s oldest wildlife reserve. The park was proclaimed in 1968 and protects an area of 11,700km2 that at the time of its formation was largely being ravaged by big game hunters and commercial logging. Chobe National Park is located in the north-east of Botswana, falling within the convergence of two major biomes: Kalahari savanna meets…

Chobe and Savuti Marsh in Botswana

Botswana’s Chobe and Savuti regions constitute a rich diversity of habitats that fall mostly within the boundaries of Chobe National Park, Botswana’s oldest wildlife reserve. The park was proclaimed in 1968 and protects an area of 11,700km2 that at the time of its formation was largely being ravaged by big game hunters and commercial logging. Chobe National Park is located in the north-east of Botswana, falling within the convergence of two major biomes: Kalahari savanna meets broad-leaved and acacia woodland as well as Zambezi Teak forest. Running through these beautiful ecosystems is the illustrious Chobe River with its yawning floodplains and surrounding riparian forest.

Chobe River meanders through Botswana

The Chobe River rises in Angola as the Kwando (Cuando) River and then disappears into the swamplands of the Linyanti, reemerging as the Chobe River. During winter months, the banks of the Chobe attract the largest population of elephants in the world at around 60 000 – 70 000 individuals. Add great herds of buffalo, notoriously fearless lion prides, and 468 bird species to date, and you’ve got a playground for nature-lovers that’s second to none. From November to December herbivores migrate between the Chobe River and the Savuti Marsh in pursuit of fresh grazing grounds.

Elephant in Botswana are a sight to behold

The Savuti Marsh is an expanse of grasslands in the western region of Chobe National Park. In Botswana’s Bayei dialect, the world Savute means “unclear,” and this is thought to be a reference to the areas’ unpredictable water supply, the Savuti Channel. The channel has been a subject of great intrigue throughout history for its mysterious patterns of flow, that experts believe to be influenced by underground tectonic forces. The earliest mention of it can be found in European missionary explorer David Livingstone’s journal where, in 1851, he referred to Savuti (“Sontwa”) as a “dismal swamp”. The channel seems to have remained a drying wasteland for close on a century but began to flow again in 1957 when it drowned a large portion of the area’s acacia trees. These dead trees continue to stand today, creating an intriguing, almost ghost-like landscape. In 1982 the channel again dried up, a process that was documented by Dereck and Beverley Joubert in their film Stolen River, and later, Journey to the Forgotten River. The drought transformed a thriving wildlife area into a dramatic battleground for survival, where large lion prides become specialized elephant killers, and crocodiles sought refuge by hibernating in the Gubatsaa Hills. In 2008 the area got wetter and the channel flooded into the marsh into 2010, with the channel beginning to dry up again in 2016. The drying up process is a fascinating one to witness with storks, eagles, herons and numerous bird species flocking around small pools to feast on trapped fish. Even leopards have been caught grabbing catfish from the muddy shallows, showing off their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Savuti has a public camping area as well as some small exclusive lodges that are mostly tented with wooden walkways. Although the channel itself is currently experiencing a dry spell, the Savuti plains are lush and green during wet season. Large herds of buffalo and zebra can be seen scattering the open plains while bateleur eagles and white-backed vultures circle the skies. There are small clustered islands of wild date and ilala palm trees that make shady hideaways for predators at midday. Three artificial waterholes, introduced to the Savuti area in 1995 attract a high number of elephants during dry season.

A lodge overlooking Savuti

The Linyanti swamps lie on the northwest corner of Chobe National Park, bordering on the Zambezi region of Namibia. Linyanti is known is one of the most attractive and remote areas in Chobe National Park with its cathedral mopane forests and restful atmosphere beside the meandering Linyanti River. The area has several private concessions with a portion open to self-drivers and campers. The public section is slightly more limited in terms of road networks, yet the tracks running along the river are exceptionally beautiful for game drives. Linyanti is well known for its thriving wild dog populations.

Kubu Island in Botswana

The baobabs on Kubu Island

Kubu Island on Ntwetwe pan is the setting for the region’s greatest cultural mystery. The ‘island’ is nothing more than a rocky outcrop protruding from the crusty white pan, from which is sprouted several gnarly baobabs. It is beautiful in a rugged, enigmatic way, made more so by the presence of puzzling relics and ruins that litter the arid hillside. Artifacts found on the side of the lake appear to date from early Stone Age times, over 100 000 years ago, right up to recent…

Kubu Island in Botswana

The baobabs on Kubu Island

Kubu Island on Ntwetwe pan is the setting for the region’s greatest cultural mystery. The ‘island’ is nothing more than a rocky outcrop protruding from the crusty white pan, from which is sprouted several gnarly baobabs. It is beautiful in a rugged, enigmatic way, made more so by the presence of puzzling relics and ruins that litter the arid hillside. Artifacts found on the side of the lake appear to date from early Stone Age times, over 100 000 years ago, right up to recent decades. Some researchers have suggested that the island may have been used for ancient rainmaking ceremonies, with its protruding rocks being the highest point in the area. Because human settlers could not have survived out here without water, the island was most likely inhabited when it was still surrounded by a giant lake, or at least several wetter pans fed by other watercourses, reached by boat. Perhaps it would have been teeming with fish, crocodiles and hippo

Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana

The Makgadikgadi is an extraordinary region of Botswana, characterized by inhospitable salt pans stretching as far as the eye can see, rocky granite islands and open grasslands that spring to life in the wet season. Plains surrounding the saltpans are dotted with ostrich, zebra, springbok and oryx, closely pursued by dark-maned lions. There are beautiful clusters of palm trees and odd stunted baobabs that have stood for millions of years.

Botswana's baobab trees are a beautiful reminder of nature standing the test of time

The Makgadikgadi pans are all that is left of…

Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana

The Makgadikgadi is an extraordinary region of Botswana, characterized by inhospitable salt pans stretching as far as the eye can see, rocky granite islands and open grasslands that spring to life in the wet season. Plains surrounding the saltpans are dotted with ostrich, zebra, springbok and oryx, closely pursued by dark-maned lions. There are beautiful clusters of palm trees and odd stunted baobabs that have stood for millions of years.

Botswana's baobab trees are a beautiful reminder of nature standing the test of time

The Makgadikgadi pans are all that is left of an enormous ancient lake that was once fed by the Okavango, Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, running south-eastwards via the Limpopo River and into the Indian Ocean. These watercourses changed over time, influenced by the tectonic shifting of the unpredictable Kalahari-Zimbabwe fault-line and also by a gradual rise of temperature, perhaps as a result of climate change.

The oryx strikes a formidable pose against the backdrop of the Kalahari Desert

In 1970, the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park was declared, which today comprises an area of 4,900 sq km. The Makgadikgadi’s two largest pans, Ntwetwe pan and Sua pan (sometimes called Sowa pan) do not fall within the park’s boundaries but are reachable by 4x4 in dry season. These are both spectacular places to explore for those who seek freedom in solitude. Nata Bird Sanctuary, on the north-east of Sua Pan is run by a community trust to protect the multitude of water-birds that flock there annually.

On the western border of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is the Boteti (or Botletle) River, a prime drinking and bathing spot for domestic cattle as well as migrating zebra and elephant.

Nxai National Park is one oof Botswana's many drawcards

Nxai Pan National Park is another special area to explore where, in the peak of wet season, travellers spend a good deal of the night listening to the evocative roaring of lions that ambush both springbok and impala at waterholes during daylight hours.

Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana

Moremi Game Reserve was proclaimed in 1963, and incorporates a large proportion of the Okavango Delta. The idea to create a reserve in the Okavango region came from Robert Kay (a crocodile-hunter turned conservationist) and his wife June (a writer). Yet it was the local BaTawana people (with help from the San/BaSarwa) who spearheaded the project, most notably Mohumagadi Pulane Moremi, the wife of deceased Chief Moremi II and the BaTawana’s Queen Regent. The reserve was named after…

Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana

Moremi Game Reserve was proclaimed in 1963, and incorporates a large proportion of the Okavango Delta. The idea to create a reserve in the Okavango region came from Robert Kay (a crocodile-hunter turned conservationist) and his wife June (a writer). Yet it was the local BaTawana people (with help from the San/BaSarwa) who spearheaded the project, most notably Mohumagadi Pulane Moremi, the wife of deceased Chief Moremi II and the BaTawana’s Queen Regent. The reserve was named after the BaTawana Royal title, “Moremi”.

Birdlife in Moremi

Moremi Game Reserve is 5,000km2 and made up of floodplains, woodlands, thick forests, savanna grasslands and myriad waterways surrounding thousands of islands. The smaller islands were formed through a process of termite bioengineering while larger ones, like the famous Chief’s Island, are an effect of wrinkled fault lines deep below the Kalahari.

Hippos in Moremi

Nighttime in the Okavango Delta is characterized by deeply evocative sounds: the bell-like “pings” of painted reed frogs, the hum of cicada beetles, the explosive grunts of hippos, and the deep roars of lions making you grateful to be tucked up safely in bed!

lion cub in the moremi game reserve

The most popular time to visit the Delta is in winter when large herds of animals congregate around flooded marshes and rivers. In Moremi Game Reserve you are driving on the mainland (primarily through mopane and acacia woodland with patches of open savanna), so your experience of the Okavango is limited to seasonally inundated plains of water and the outskirts of papyrus-fringed lagoons. These are fantastic game viewing areas and there are several great camping sites and lodges within the park (and also on nearby community concessions like Khwai) from which to explore.

Lion strike an imposing presence in Moremi

When the floodwaters recede and the first rains arrive in November/ December, wildlife disperses, especially breeding herds of elephant that move into the mopane forests where natural water holes fill up with rain. Summertime brings its own unique allure, turning the russet veld a vibrant green to be gorged upon by grazers like zebra, wildebeest and impala antelopes. This is the height of baby season and the plains abound with newborn plains game, tottering alongside their parents on unsteady legs. This makes for beautiful photo opportunities, and plenty of easy prey for wild dog packs and leopards. It may be more challenging to spot predators in the newly sprouted grass, but the spectacular display of migrant bird species is enough to inspire any nature lover, filling the air with brilliant trills and hues.

To experience the Okavango’s innermost secrets, however, a traveller needs to visit one of the remote island camps tucked away in the water-rich inner regions of the Delta, only accessed by light aircraft.

Okavango Delta in Botswana

The Okavango Delta from the air

Botswana’s world-famous Okavango Delta, also known as the “Jewel of the Kalahari”, could easily be the most pristine oasis in the world. The Okavango River finds its origins in the highlands of Angola, in a catchment area of about 112,000 km2.

From here it begins a winding journey of 1,900 km before fanning out into an intricate system of waterways covering 22,000 km of Kalahari sand; a phenomenon that can be observed by astronauts in space. Although the river would have once…

Okavango Delta in Botswana

The Okavango Delta from the air

Botswana’s world-famous Okavango Delta, also known as the “Jewel of the Kalahari”, could easily be the most pristine oasis in the world. The Okavango River finds its origins in the highlands of Angola, in a catchment area of about 112,000 km2.

From here it begins a winding journey of 1,900 km before fanning out into an intricate system of waterways covering 22,000 km of Kalahari sand; a phenomenon that can be observed by astronauts in space. Although the river would have once reached the ocean, today it is swallowed up by a thirsty basin of white Kalahari sand, creating an effect that resembles an outstretched emerald hand, or more correctly referred to by scientists as an “alluvial fan”.

Unlike other rivers, the waters of the Okavango are exceptionally clear of mud, and by the time they reach the furthermost lagoons and marshes, have been filtered through sand and reeds for many months. The Okavango reaches its peak water levels in winter, attracting an extravagant concentration of wild creatures that centre their biological patterns of existence on this annual flooding.

The wildlife in the Okavango delta is home to about 160 mammals (including the recently reintroduced black rhino and globally threatened African wild dog), 155 reptiles, 30 amphibians, 80 fish species, 1500 species of plants and 500 species of birds, including 22 that are globally threatened.

Scientists are still discovering new species each year and expeditions such as National Geographic’s Okavango Wilderness Project led by Dr Steve Boyes are vital to our continued understanding of the Okavango’s dynamic ecosystems. The initiative was also instrumental in getting the Okavango Delta finally recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.

Moremi Gamme Reserve is home to amazing wildlife

Moremi Game Reserve was proclaimed in 1963 and incorporates a large proportion of the Okavango Delta. The idea to create a reserve in the Okavango region came from Robert Kay (a crocodile-hunter turned conservationist) and his wife June (a writer).

Yet it was the local BaTawana people (with help from the San/BaSarwa) who spearheaded the project, most notably Mohumagadi Pulane Moremi, the wife of deceased Chief Moremi II and the BaTawana’s Queen Regent. The reserve was named after the BaTawana Royal title, “Moremi”.

Moremi Game Reserve is 5,000km2 and made up of floodplains, woodlands, thick forests, savanna grasslands and myriad waterways surrounding thousands of islands. The smaller islands were formed through a process of termite bioengineering while larger ones, like the famous Chief’s Island, are an effect of wrinkled fault lines deep below the Kalahari.

The Gunn's Camp overlooks the legendary Chief's Island

Night time in the Okavango Delta is characterized by deeply evocative sounds: the bell-like “pings” of painted reed frogs, the hum of cicada beetles, the explosive grunts of hippos, and the deep roars of lions making you grateful to be tucked up safely in bed!

The most popular time to visit the Delta is in winter when large herds of animals congregate around flooded marshes and rivers. In Moremi Game Reserve you are driving on the mainland (primarily through mopane and acacia woodland with patches of open savanna), so your experience of the Okavango is limited to seasonally inundated plains of water and the outskirts of papyrus-fringed lagoons. These are fantastic game viewing areas and there are several great camping sites and lodges within the park (and also on nearby community concessions like Khwai) from which to explore.

Wildlife in Moremi

When the floodwaters recede and the first rains arrive in November/ December, wildlife disperses, especially breeding herds of elephant that move into the mopane forests where natural water holes fill up with the rain. Summertime brings its own unique allure, turning the russet veld a vibrant green to be gorged upon by grazers like zebra, wildebeest and impala antelopes.

This is the height of the baby season and the plains abound with newborn plains game, tottering alongside their parents on unsteady legs. This makes for beautiful photo opportunities and plenty of easy prey for wild dog packs and leopards. It may be more challenging to spot predators in the newly sprouted grass, but the spectacular display of migrant bird species is enough to inspire any nature lover, filling the air with brilliant trills and hues.

The Okavango Delta is a magical place

To experience the Okavango’s innermost secrets, however, a traveller needs to visit one of the remote island camps tucked away in the water-rich inner regions of the Delta, only accessed by light aircraft.

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When is the best time to travel to Botswana?

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Botswana in January

This is one of Botswana’s highest rainfall months with an average of 100mm falling in often unpredictable and heavy downpours, and as a result January is not the most popular time to visit. It does mean that prices are a lot lower, making this prime safari destination more accessible to travellers on a lower budget. Birding is excellent at this time of year; however the water levels in the Delta are low, and the presence of water means wildlife is scattered.Botswana’s climate is…

Botswana in January

This is one of Botswana’s highest rainfall months with an average of 100mm falling in often unpredictable and heavy downpours, and as a result January is not the most popular time to visit. It does mean that prices are a lot lower, making this prime safari destination more accessible to travellers on a lower budget. Birding is excellent at this time of year; however the water levels in the Delta are low, and the presence of water means wildlife is scattered.

Botswana’s climate is fairly regular and consistent, with hot, wet summers and mild, dry winters. The north gets the most rain, and precipitation decreases steadily as you head south. December and January are the wettest months, with average daily temperatures between 30°C and 35°C, and hot days approaching 40°C. The most extreme conditions are in the Central Kalahari, but even there nights seldom drop below 15°C.

Botswana is fairly temperate in January

The summer rains attract large grazing herds to the suddenly verdant grasslands of the Central Kalahari, Makgadikgadi Pans and the Savuti plains. Wildlife viewing in these areas can be spectacular, with plenty of predator activity against a stunning backdrop of glassy, water-filled pans and towering thunderclouds. The only negative is the state of the roads, which can get extremely muddy and in some places, impassable.

This is especially true in Moremi Game Reserve and around the Okavango Delta. The local rains don’t have much effect on the water levels in the delta, but they do have a huge impact on the surrounding roads. Moremi’s roads are infamous, particularly from December to March when they’re extremely waterlogged and muddy.

Botswana in February

Perhaps Botswana’s rainiest month with long showers, and hot and humid weather, temperatures ranging from mid-20s to 30s(C). The heavy rain makes some parts of the parks (i.e. Moremi) either inaccessible or very tricky to navigate by road, but in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the landscape is a green, grassy paradise with lots of newborn antelope and a great variety of birds. By February the summer rains are beginning to lessen, but otherwise conditions stay much the same as…

Botswana in February

Perhaps Botswana’s rainiest month with long showers, and hot and humid weather, temperatures ranging from mid-20s to 30s(C).

The heavy rain makes some parts of the parks (i.e. Moremi) either inaccessible or very tricky to navigate by road, but in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the landscape is a green, grassy paradise with lots of newborn antelope and a great variety of birds.

The Central Kakahari is ideal in February

By February the summer rains are beginning to lessen, but otherwise conditions stay much the same as January. Average daytime temperatures remain in the low 30°C’s, while the coldest nights in the Kalahari may occasionally drop below 15°C. Towering thunderclouds still form an impressive backdrop to afternoon photographs, and the atmosphere stays clear and fresh after each bout of rain.

Botswana inFebruary is relatively hot

February is still prime time for the Central Kalahari, Savuti, and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans, which attract large numbers of zebra, springbok and oryx. Predators, especially lion, are never far away. Elephants can be harder to spot in summer as they tend to disperse due to the abundant vegetation and increased surface water. Birding, however, is at its best with numerous migrant species and large flocks descending on the pans.

Road conditions are at their muddiest in February so make sure you’re carrying recovery equipment and drive in convoy if possible. Driving on or near the pans is particularly treacherous and doing so will almost certainly get you stuck. In Moremi, and around the delta, certain tracks may be closed due to flooding and others will have deep pools that you’ll need to treat with caution. Always ask other travellers about the conditions ahead, and look out for no-entry signs or the equivalent – logs or branches laid deliberately across the road.

Botswana in March

The steady drop in temperature and rainfall continues throughout March, but hot days across the country can still reach the mid 30°C’s. In the south and centre of Botswana, cold nights can drop to 10°C, but tend to stay between 15°C and 20°C in the north. There are still afternoon thunderstorms every few days, which keep the atmosphere clear. March remains an excellent month for spectacular landscape photography. March and April are considered some of the best months to visit…

Botswana in March

The steady drop in temperature and rainfall continues throughout March, but hot days across the country can still reach the mid 30°C’s. In the south and centre of Botswana, cold nights can drop to 10°C, but tend to stay between 15°C and 20°C in the north. There are still afternoon thunderstorms every few days, which keep the atmosphere clear. March remains an excellent month for spectacular landscape photography.

Rhino in Botswana

March and April are considered some of the best months to visit the Kgalagadi. The Kgalagadi is worth visiting at any time of year, but as the summer rains withdraw, the landscape is at its most striking – a vast green grassland against low, red-ochre dunes. As the animals begin to congregate around any pans that are still full, predators, especially lions, gather too, with exciting interactions virtually guaranteed.

Further north, the Central Kalahari is also green and full of life, though road conditions around the pans remain extremely muddy. To the northeast, Nxai Pan is no exception, although it’s especially wonderful at this time of year as migrating grazers make the most of the lush grassland and abundant surface water.

Birding in Botswana is a marvel

In the Okavango Delta, the marula trees start dropping fruit, attracting hungry elephants, often right into camp. There are few things more marvellous than sipping on your drink, watching the sunset, as a magnificent elephant munches happily at a marula tree nearby.

By the end of the month, the roads in Moremi have usually begun to dry, making driving a bit easier. The water in the delta is now approaching its lowest level and makoro trips may not be possible, but boats out to the deeper channels are usually available year-round.

Botswana in April

The April/May shoulder season is an excellent time to visit Botswana. By April, rainfall has almost completely ceased across the country, although there may still be a few scattered showers. Everywhere is still green and most pans still hold some water, but what is available is getting scarcer, forcing both predators and prey to stay near. Average daytime temperatures are now about 30°C and nights hover around 15°C – pleasant enough for long evenings around the campfire, while also…

Botswana in April

The April/May shoulder season is an excellent time to visit Botswana. By April, rainfall has almost completely ceased across the country, although there may still be a few scattered showers. Everywhere is still green and most pans still hold some water, but what is available is getting scarcer, forcing both predators and prey to stay near. Average daytime temperatures are now about 30°C and nights hover around 15°C – pleasant enough for long evenings around the campfire, while also allowing for a more comfortable sleep.

Elephant are bountiful in certain parts of Botswana

By mid-April, water levels in the Okavango Delta panhandle are beginning to rise, although it takes a few months for them to filter down to Moremi. The delta itself feels fresh and alive, with fruit-laden trees and tall, green grass as far as the eye can see. April is the start of the antelope breeding season and the well-fed male impala begin fighting it out for females. If you’re keen on fishing, then the deeper waters of the panhandle offer bream (tilapia) from April to August, but tigerfish are more likely from late August/September.

A large buffalo in the Okavango Delta

The Kgalagadi and Central Kalahari are at their best in April – a combination of cooler weather, prolific game, and lush, leafy landscapes. Game is also still plentiful at Nxai Pan and with the rains now almost gone, the muddy tracks are drying quickly. By the end of the month road conditions are much improved across the country. It’s still best to avoid crossing the Makgadikgadi Pans, however. The transit route from Lekhubu to Gweta may not be dry for at least another month.

Botswana in May

May is the beginning of Botswana’s dry winter season and there’s usually no rain at all anywhere in the country. Average daytime temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C, and it’s generally slightly warmer in the north and cooler in the south. Evenings in the north are now regularly below 15°C and by the end of the month, nights in the Kalahari can fall close to freezing. May is one of the best all-round months for visiting Botswana, with good to excellent game viewing, mild, dry…

Botswana in May

May is the beginning of Botswana’s dry winter season and there’s usually no rain at all anywhere in the country. Average daytime temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C, and it’s generally slightly warmer in the north and cooler in the south. Evenings in the north are now regularly below 15°C and by the end of the month, nights in the Kalahari can fall close to freezing. May is one of the best all-round months for visiting Botswana, with good to excellent game viewing, mild, dry weather and relatively quiet campsites and parks that get much busier later in the season.

May is an ideal time for game viewing in Botswana

There’s good game viewing all across Botswana, but especially in the Savuti region where herds of zebra and buffalo congregate in large numbers. As surface water evaporates, elephants return to the Linyanti Chobe River System, and to the Khwai River and northern Moremi. In the northwest panhandle, the seasonal flood waters are beginning to filter into the rest of the delta although it’ll take another few months before they percolate all the way to the southeast. The gently rising water attracts numerous resident water birds, while migrant species take to the skies in numbers and begin the long journey north.

Gently rising water attracts a number of wildlife

Botswana in June

June is another excellent month to visit Botswana, although the parks get busier from around the 20th as schools in neighbouring South Africa break for winter holidays. These usually run from the last week of June to mid-July and campsites across Botswana book up quickly. Late June marks the start of the high season in Botswana and July to October is the busiest time. Make sure you book your campsites well in advance. June and July are Botswana’s coldest months and night-time…

Botswana in June

June is another excellent month to visit Botswana, although the parks get busier from around the 20th as schools in neighbouring South Africa break for winter holidays. These usually run from the last week of June to mid-July and campsites across Botswana book up quickly. Late June marks the start of the high season in Botswana and July to October is the busiest time. Make sure you book your campsites well in advance.

June and July are Botswana’s coldest months and night-time temperatures in the Kalahari can drop below freezing. In the north, it rarely freezes, but lows of 5°C are common and morning game drives can be very cold. Daytime temperatures are roughly the same across the country, averaging between 20°C and 25°C. As ever, the north is warmer and hot days may still reach 30°C.

Mobile camping is an experience to remember

By June the pans have usually dried, forcing the animals to find more permanent water sources. They begin to congregate in large numbers along the fridges of the Okavango Delta and on the northern waterways of the Savuti Channel and Chobe Linyanti River System. June is a great time to see African wild dogs, as they begin to search for dens for their pups.

Game drives in Botswana's wilderness

In the Kgalagadi and Central Kalahari, lion and other predators are never far from the permanent waterholes, and large herds of springbok and oryx – which can survive with limited water – can still be seen on the drying, golden plains.

Botswana in July

July is the start of Botswana’s busy season and camps and lodges can book out far in advance. Botswana’s parks and reserves don’t have that many public camping areas and most are small and spread far apart. This makes finding space tricky during peak times, but also means that even when the campsites are at their fullest, Botswana’s parks never feel overly crowded. July is Botswana’s coldest month and night-time temperatures can drop below freezing in the centre and south.…

Botswana in July

July is the start of Botswana’s busy season and camps and lodges can book out far in advance. Botswana’s parks and reserves don’t have that many public camping areas and most are small and spread far apart. This makes finding space tricky during peak times, but also means that even when the campsites are at their fullest, Botswana’s parks never feel overly crowded.

The black-back jackal, seen here in Botswana

July is Botswana’s coldest month and night-time temperatures can drop below freezing in the centre and south. In the north expect lows of between 0°C and 5°C, and early morning game drives can be icy with the added wind chill. Daytimes average between 20°C and 25°C across the country, with hot days in the far north occasionally touching 30°C. It’s also the driest month in Botswana with practically no rain at all anywhere in the country.

Cheetah relaxing before a big hunt

July is an excellent time to visit the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe, when the wildlife congregates in greater and greater numbers along the permanent water channels. In Moremi, the flood waters are now at their highest and there’s plenty to eat along the myriad waterways. Their bright green fringes lie in stark contrast to the parched surrounding plains, where the thinning vegetation allows for superb game viewing.

Wildlife sightings in the Kgalagadi and Central Kalahari are still good, although not at their best. The permanent waterholes become the focal points for the larger predators, while the shorter grass makes it easier to spot smaller animals such as the honey badger and Cape fox. By late July the pans are thoroughly dry and crossing from Lekhubu to Gweta should pose no problems.

Botswana in August

August remains extremely dry across Botswana, although by the end of the month there may be a brief shower somewhere in the south. Temperatures, however, are already beginning to rise and while nights in the Kalahari can still fall below freezing, sub-zero mornings are the exception not the norm. Daytime temperatures also climb rapidly during August and hot days across the country will regularly top 30°C. August is very a popular safari month in Botswana and campsites and lodges should…

Botswana in August

August remains extremely dry across Botswana, although by the end of the month there may be a brief shower somewhere in the south. Temperatures, however, are already beginning to rise and while nights in the Kalahari can still fall below freezing, sub-zero mornings are the exception not the norm. Daytime temperatures also climb rapidly during August and hot days across the country will regularly top 30°C. August is very a popular safari month in Botswana and campsites and lodges should be booked far in advance.

The Kalahari is a spectacular desert that teems with life

In the Okavango Delta, water levels are high, by now having reached as far south as Maun. Game viewing along the waterways is at its best and will remain so until the first rains fall in November. Late August marks the start of the barbell (catfish) run in the northwest panhandle. From now to November is also the best time to catch tigerfish and the panhandle’s lodges and houseboats are at their busiest.

Tiger fishing is a favorite pastime in Botswana

Away from the delta, water is extremely scarce and the animals gravitate to the few man-made waterholes. The Kgalagadi’s Kaa Gate and Nxai Pan’s South Camp both offer oases in a dry and desolate land. Kaa Gate is known for its black-maned Kalahari lions, and no stay at South Camp is complete without a thirsty elephant trundling through the campground.

Botswana in September

Northern Botswana stays completely dry during September, but the centre and south may receive a few scattered showers. Temperatures climb rapidly throughout the month and no longer drop below 0°C, even in the Kalahari. Average lows are between 10°C and 15°C, a bit cooler in the south and warmer in the north. By the end of September, the days are hot everywhere, averaging over 30°C and approaching 40°C in Maun and Kasane. September is another busy month in Botswana, and the popular…

Botswana in September

Northern Botswana stays completely dry during September, but the centre and south may receive a few scattered showers. Temperatures climb rapidly throughout the month and no longer drop below 0°C, even in the Kalahari. Average lows are between 10°C and 15°C, a bit cooler in the south and warmer in the north. By the end of September, the days are hot everywhere, averaging over 30°C and approaching 40°C in Maun and Kasane. September is another busy month in Botswana, and the popular northern camps should be booked well in advance.

September and October are particularly impressive along the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. Thousands of animals rely on these waters for survival, especially elephants, which can drink up to 200 litres of water a day. After a long, hot day foraging for food, hundreds of elephants gather along the river, often running the last few metres, trumpeting wildly in their excitement and thirst.

Houseboating on the Chobe

Moremi is also excellent in September, although by now the days are getting very hot. The dry, thin vegetation makes for excellent wildlife viewing and the cooler mornings and evenings are best for predator spotting as they come to the channels to drink. By September, the Okavango’s barbell (catfish) run is in full swing and it’s also prime time for tigerfish in the northwest panhandle.

Hippo in full view in Moremi

In September, the Kalahari and pans are almost at their driest, but the full October heat has yet to arrive. Wildlife viewing across the central and southern parks can be hit and miss, but the endless golden grasslands have a beauty all their own. And lurking in the grass are the Kalahari’s black-maned lions, stalking the large herds of springbok, oryx and red hartebeest that still roam the plains. While many visitors focus on the north, the south and central parks still have a lot to offer and can be much quieter and easier to book at this time of year.

Botswana in October

October is Botswana’s hottest month and temperatures can exceed 40°C in the north of the country. The south is a bit cooler, but not by much. Nights in the south average between 15°C and 20°C, and in the far north are often much warmer. In the south and centre the rains usually come earlier, with the first afternoon thunderstorms bringing some relief. In the north, it rarely rains until the end of the month and the rainy season doesn’t start properly until mid-November. Despite…

Botswana in October

October is Botswana’s hottest month and temperatures can exceed 40°C in the north of the country. The south is a bit cooler, but not by much. Nights in the south average between 15°C and 20°C, and in the far north are often much warmer. In the south and centre the rains usually come earlier, with the first afternoon thunderstorms bringing some relief. In the north, it rarely rains until the end of the month and the rainy season doesn’t start properly until mid-November. Despite the heat, October is a popular safari month, especially along the Chobe River which is famous for its herds of thirsty elephant.

Baobabs are a prolific feature in Botswana

In Moremi, the delta waters begin to drop, opening up the flood plains and providing much needed vegetation for the grazers. The drying pools also trap fish, which draw vultures and other scavengers in for a feast. Away from the delta, the vegetation is denuded and sparse – not at its most beautiful, but great for spotting predators. To the northwest, the panhandle’s barbell (catfish) run is still going strong and September and October are the best months to catch tigerfish.

The Chobe river is famous for its thirsty elephant sightings

By October, Botswana’s seen no rain for six months and the cloudless skies turn a pale, dusty blue – exactly the colour of Botswana’s flag! Be prepared for heat and dust and bumpy roads, but also for excellent wildlife sightings and long, warm evenings under the stars. It can be a particularly beautiful time to be on the pans, especially Baines’ Baobabs and Lekhubu Island. There may be no animals around at all and the midday heat can be intense, but the incredible dusty sunsets are worth it, as the light fades to pastel pinks and purples over the baobabs.

Botswana in November

November is the spring shoulder season in Botswana, a time of soaring thunderclouds, returning migrant birds and, once the rains arrive, fields of new-born calves. It’s still very hot, with daily highs of 35°C to 40°C across the country, and it can get even hotter in the north where nights are humid and often well over 20°C. The start of the rainy season is always hard to predict, but good years can see early November rainfall in the south and central Kalahari, while Moremi and…

Botswana in November

November is the spring shoulder season in Botswana, a time of soaring thunderclouds, returning migrant birds and, once the rains arrive, fields of new-born calves. It’s still very hot, with daily highs of 35°C to 40°C across the country, and it can get even hotter in the north where nights are humid and often well over 20°C. The start of the rainy season is always hard to predict, but good years can see early November rainfall in the south and central Kalahari, while Moremi and Chobe usually have to wait until later in the month.

Thunderstorms loom overhead in Botswana

November is all about when the rains will begin and when they do arrive it’s with a literal bang. Before the first thunderstorms, conditions are much the same as October, with increasingly desperate animals drawn to whatever permanent water sources they can find. Waters in the delta continue to recede, opening up the flood plains and providing essential, fresh grazing. The Chobe and Linyanti river banks are by now crowded with game and large numbers of elephant congregate on the waterways.

An aerial view of mighty buffalo

Once the rains do come the relief is palpable. The dust clears from the skies, the pans begin to fill, and the antelope birthing season begins. If there have been early rains, this is an excellent time to visit the Central Kalahari, where enormous herds of oryx and springbok attempt to protect their new-borns from prowling cheetah and lion. Road conditions are still reasonable at this early stage of the wet season and you can still drive confidently without worrying too much about getting stuck.

Botswana in December

December and January are Botswana’s wettest months, with afternoon thunderstorms a regular feature across the country. The rains are cooling, but daytime temperatures remain high, averaging in the low 30°C’s, but with hot days of up to 40°C or more. Nights tend to be humid and warm, often not dropping below 20°C. The clear atmosphere and thunderclouds make for excellent photographs, and you can expect a spectacular thunderstorm every few days. December is the start of the…

Botswana in December

December and January are Botswana’s wettest months, with afternoon thunderstorms a regular feature across the country. The rains are cooling, but daytime temperatures remain high, averaging in the low 30°C’s, but with hot days of up to 40°C or more. Nights tend to be humid and warm, often not dropping below 20°C. The clear atmosphere and thunderclouds make for excellent photographs, and you can expect a spectacular thunderstorm every few days.

The Savuti region is beautiful

December is the start of the summer ‘green season’ when the vegetation recovers and grazing land is plentiful. New-born calves frolic on the Kalahari plains and are often targeted by the ever-present predators. As the pans slowly fill, more and more animals are drawn to the central parks and both the Central Kalahari and Nxai Pans National Parks have abundant wildlife at this time of year. The Savuti region is also packed with game, although by now the elephants along the Chobe River are beginning to disperse as more water and vegetation becomes available inland.

Nxai Pans in Botswana is popular in December

As the rains intensify the roads around the pans deteriorate. Thick mud can make some tracks impassable and it’s a good idea to travel in convoy. The roads through and around Moremi also get worse as the rains continue. Large holes in the roads fill with water and the going can be very slow as you navigate around the deep pools and fallen tree trunks.

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Our Destination Expert

Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard

Meet the Team

Alice Lombard

Alice is Discover Africa’s Sales & Product Manager, responsible for managing the Discover Africa Sales Consultants as well as all the products and itineraries that we promote.

About Alice

What does Alice love about African travel?

The people, the culture, the diverse scenery, the wildlife and of course the food & wine.

What African countries have you travelled to?

Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Chobe), Namibia (Southern), Zanzibar, Kenya (Mombasa and Malindi), Mauritius and South Africa.

What is Alice’s favourite place in Africa?

Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington Megan Warrington

Meet the Team

Megan Warrington

Megan is an Africa Concierge Expert at Discover Africa, she is responsible for compiling travel programs for people in search of their dream safari in Africa.

About Megan

What does Megan love about African travel?

There is always a new adventure around the next corner.

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Tanzania.

What is Megan’s favourite place in Africa?

Namibia

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard Alice Lombard

Meet the Team

Alice Lombard

Alice is Discover Africa’s Sales & Product Manager, responsible for managing the Discover Africa Sales Consultants as well as all the products and itineraries that we promote.

About Alice

What does Alice love about African travel?

The people, the culture, the diverse scenery, the wildlife and of course the food & wine.

What African countries have you travelled to?

Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti, Chobe), Namibia (Southern), Zanzibar, Kenya (Mombasa and Malindi), Mauritius and South Africa.

What is Alice’s favourite place in Africa?

Victoria Falls and Cape Town.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen Matthys van Aswegen

Meet the Team

Matthys van Aswegen

Matthys is Discover Africa’s Senior Travel Consultant, with over 13 years experience in the travel industry and a keen eye for photography.

About Matthys

What does Matthys love about African travel?

Diversity and abundance of landscapes, cultures, wildlife, beaches, food and everything you can think of.

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mauritius and Tanzania.

What is Matthys’s favourite place in Africa?

Cape Town

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell Adelle Bell

Meet the Team

Adelle Bell

Adelle is Discover Africa’s Senior Travel Consultant and has been in the travel industry for the past 10 years. She is a FIT specialist and has extensive experience in planning and executing dream itineraries in luxury travel.

About Adelle

What does Adelle love about African travel?

You have not lived if you have not experienced an African Safari - the early morning safari drives with the African sun rising in the distance, the smell of morning freshness, coffee in the Bush. You have got to experience a morning in Africa!

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa (Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands and Phinda Game Reserve), Botswana and Mozambique.

What is Adelle’s favourite place in Africa?

Kruger National Park

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden Antoinette Van Heerden

Meet the Team

Antoinette Van Heerden

Antionette is a Travel Consultant at Discover Africa, with 5 + years experience in the travel and tourism industry. She specializes in luxury safari packages.

About Antoinette

What does Antoinette love about African travel?

Adventure combined leisure travel makes for the best trip!

What African countries have you travelled to?

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

What is Antoinette’s favourite place in Africa?

South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Contact Discover Africa

Send us a message, to ask any questions, or request a tailor-made safari or experience.

Call Discover Africa on +27 (0)21 422 3498

Get in touch to find out more about the tours on offer or request a personalized no-obligations quote.

Fabulous intro to South Africa!

Erica

07 Jan 2020

The trip was put together in a very seamless way.

Tony

06 Feb 2018

It was clear that we were working with a tour operator who knew what he was doing.

Steve Gardner

17 Mar 2019

Fantastic tour operator who pulled together a wonderful holiday for us at very short notice

Chris

13 Jan 2021

Mozambique was off the hook. Thank you Discover Africa

Nthabiseng Mahlase

01 Apr 2013

Matthys was professional and very helpful in presenting several options for our family Safari

Jim

14 Jun 2021

Amazing safari in Sabi sands game reserve

Flyingbee

06 May 2019

Takes care of all the details!

Jeff

26 Aug 2021

Your support and planning was amazing. We will come back

Danny Meadows-Klue

01 Dec 2013

Amazing

Karen O’Connor

24 Apr 2018

Wonderful service and great adventures!

SBH

29 Apr 2017

Our Recommended Activities in Botswana

The Historic Baobabs in Botswana

There are a number of extraordinary baobabs in the Makgadikgadi area but the ones most worth visiting are Chapman’s and Green’s baobabs in Ntwetwe Pan and Baines Baobabs in Nxai Pans National Park.

Green’s baobab can be found at Gutsha Pan on the Gweta–Orapa track, 27km south of Gweta village. In the days of early European explorers, a small pan beside this baobab was filled with perennial water, giving the great old tree special significance as a beacon of hope that signaled a…

The Historic Baobabs in Botswana

There are a number of extraordinary baobabs in the Makgadikgadi area but the ones most worth visiting are Chapman’s and Green’s baobabs in Ntwetwe Pan and Baines Baobabs in Nxai Pans National Park.

Green’s baobab can be found at Gutsha Pan on the Gweta–Orapa track, 27km south of Gweta village. In the days of early European explorers, a small pan beside this baobab was filled with perennial water, giving the great old tree special significance as a beacon of hope that signaled a spot to replenish supplies after a long trek through the saltpans. The intrepid Green brothers were one of the many early traders, hunters and explorers to carve their names here, leaving “Green’s Expedition 1858–1859” scrawled into the tree’s bark and giving the tree its name. Perhaps the most intriguing mark on this baobab though is the date 1771, which is even before Livingstone’s time and was possibly left by an early Portuguese explorer. The tree is now one of Botswana’s National Monuments. Baobab trees can live for thousands of years and this one certainly bears the battle scars to prove it, gunshot wounds included.

Green's baobab

The enormous Chapman’s baobab, six km to the north of Gutsha pan, was the first landmark to be seen by travellers crossing the lonely saltpans. The tree was noted by many early explorers, including David Livingstone (who past here with George Oswell in the 1860’s on the way to Linyanti), for its astonishing size, a circumference of 25 metres. In his journal Livingstone wrote, “About 2 miles beyond the northern bank of the pan we unyoked under a fine specimen of the baobab called in the language of the Bechuanas, Morwana; it consisted of 6 branches united into one trunk.” James Chapman, after whom the tree was named, was a South African explorer and hunter and left his name on one of the trees enormous roots when he passed by with the artist Thomas Baines in the 1860s. A hollow in the tree also served as an ancient letterbox. Unfortunately, this legendary baobab fell down in January 2006 but is still a very impressive sight in its collapsed state, and travellers should visit it sooner rather than later before the tree decays. For those who don’t want to camp, Uncharted Africa have a selection of lodges nearby that offer day trips to visit the Baobab and visitors can explore it by clambering about on the giant’s collapsed limbs.

Chapman's baobab

Located in the south of Nxai Pans National Park are the seven baobabs known as Baines Baobabs or the Sleeping sisters. This stunted cluster of Africa’s most iconic tree was immortalized by the paintings of Thomas Baines, a British landscape artist commissioned by the Royal Geographic Society. Baines camped beneath these trees in 1862 en route to the Victoria Falls. The pans at Baines Baobabs are dry and bare for much of the year, as are the branches of the baobabs themselves, but during wet season the pans are covered in sheets of water and green canopies emerge from tree’s branches.

Baines Baobabs overlook Kaudia Camp Pan on the South side of the Nxai Pan South camp. There are three allocated camping areas with very basic toilet and shower facilities requiring visitors to bring their own water.

Walking with Meerkats in Botswana

walking with meerkats is a great family safari experience

The Makgadikgadi Pans offers guests the incredible chance to spend a morning with a local meerkat colony. The meerkats respond to the non-threatening presence of people by simply carrying on with their daily activities, that consist mainly of rummaging the veld for scorpions and other tasty bites to eat. The habituation of these lively little desert mammals depends very much on the dedication of a full-time ‘Meerkat man’ who follows the family group daily and helps locate them for…

Walking with Meerkats in Botswana

walking with meerkats is a great family safari experience

The Makgadikgadi Pans offers guests the incredible chance to spend a morning with a local meerkat colony. The meerkats respond to the non-threatening presence of people by simply carrying on with their daily activities, that consist mainly of rummaging the veld for scorpions and other tasty bites to eat. The habituation of these lively little desert mammals depends very much on the dedication of a full-time ‘Meerkat man’ who follows the family group daily and helps locate them for visitors. Guests are driven to the den area in the early morning, just before the meerkats have left their burrows. As the sun rises, they cautiously peep out of little holes in a humble sandy mound, and, deeming it safe to come out, scuttle to the highest points to scout for predators and food. Sometimes these lookouts happen to be the shoulders and heads of guests! Eventually the whole colony, babies included, are joyfully chirping and tussling away while guests sit or crouch among them. It’s a truly unique and intimate experience with one of the most sociable and resourceful desert-adapted creatures on earth.

Jack's Camp in Botswana

The activity takes place at Jacks Camp, a luxury, expedition-like tented camp in a private concession in the Makgadikgadi run by Uncharted Africa, owned by Natural Selection Safaris.

Flight Over the Flamingos in Botswana

The sheets of water that cover the northeastern section of the Makgadikgadi during the first few months of wetter years attract a phenomenal marvel of water birds. The arrival of this water stimulates the birth of millions of tiny shrimps and other crustaceans otherwise lying dormant below the white salt crust. Greater and Lesser flamingos arrive, even journeying from as far off as the Great Rift Valley in East Africa to partake in one of Africa’s largest avian feasts. From a…

Flight Over the Flamingos in Botswana

The sheets of water that cover the northeastern section of the Makgadikgadi during the first few months of wetter years attract a phenomenal marvel of water birds. The arrival of this water stimulates the birth of millions of tiny shrimps and other crustaceans otherwise lying dormant below the white salt crust. Greater and Lesser flamingos arrive, even journeying from as far off as the Great Rift Valley in East Africa to partake in one of Africa’s largest avian feasts. From a helicopter, the flamingos appear as enormous pink clouds in a shimmering silver sky. Helicopter flights over the flamingos are run by Helicopter Horizons and can be organized through San Camp, Jacks Camp and other accommodation options in the area.

A spectacular aerial view of flamingos in Botswana

Another place to view the flamingos is from Nata Bird Sanctuary (north east of Sua Pan), 10km from the town of Nata. There is a basic campsite near the entrance to the park and the sanctuary is open to day visitors who can gaze at the flamingos from an elevated wooden hide during wet years. The sanctuary is run by a community trust and home to 165 bird species recorded in the area, including pelicans, spoonbills, ostriches and myriad ducks and small waders.

Walk with Bushmen in Botswana

The San bushmen of the Kalahari have long been a subject of great intrigue and fascination, admired by anthropologists, scientists, story-tellers and everyday travellers alike. Sadly, very few bushmen are able to live the same ancient nomadic lifestyle that their ancestors did, but certain elements of these traditions have been kept alive through their employment at various safari lodges. While staying at these lodges, travellers can enjoy educational bush walks, where San elders pass…

Walk with Bushmen in Botswana

The San bushmen of the Kalahari have long been a subject of great intrigue and fascination, admired by anthropologists, scientists, story-tellers and everyday travellers alike. Sadly, very few bushmen are able to live the same ancient nomadic lifestyle that their ancestors did, but certain elements of these traditions have been kept alive through their employment at various safari lodges. While staying at these lodges, travellers can enjoy educational bush walks, where San elders pass on their skills and knowledge.

Elders pass down traditions in the San culture

As the oldest living inhabitants of Africa, the secret of the San’s survival was their total dependence on the natural provisions of the land. To the untrained eye, however, the barren shrubs and grasslands surrounding the Makgadikgadi pans seem anything other than a suitable pantry of resources to live on. This common assumption makes walking with the San a deeply fascinating experience, a time to delve deeply into some of mankind’s most cunning tricks of survival. The walk is a tactile exploration, involving the tasting of a variety of foods including berries and fire-roasted beetles and demonstrations in fire-making, dancing, hunting and medicine-making.

There are a number of camps in the Makgadikgadi region that offer a bushmen walking activity including Meno a Kwena, Jack’s Camp and San Camp.


See Botswana in Your Comfort

A Budget Botswana Safari

Budget holiday options for Botswana include self-driving or overland safari tours. These are two exciting and adventurous ways to travel through the country and give visitors the chance be exposed to the country on a more intimate level, in comparison to fly-in safaris, which are also far more expensive. Travelling by road saves on cost, but not on time, so budget-minded travellers will have to account for this factor.

Sundowners in Makgadikgadi (credit Rachel Lang)

Self-drive safaris involve a fair amount of preparation with…

A Budget Botswana Safari

Budget holiday options for Botswana include self-driving or overland safari tours. These are two exciting and adventurous ways to travel through the country and give visitors the chance be exposed to the country on a more intimate level, in comparison to fly-in safaris, which are also far more expensive. Travelling by road saves on cost, but not on time, so budget-minded travellers will have to account for this factor.

Sundowners in Makgadikgadi (credit Rachel Lang)

Self-drive safaris involve a fair amount of preparation with regards to route planning, taking into consideration the time of year it is and whether rainfall might have affected accessibility of some areas. There are not many self-catering options within the national parks and the Delta, and if one is planning to stay at a lodge in an area such as Savuti or Moremi, a reservation would come at a fully inclusive price. Camping keeps costs down, and is ideal for travelling on a budget through Botswana. The public campsites are located within the national parks and are unfenced, quiet, equipped with the basics, and they come in at a good price. Costs for a self-drive holiday would include fuel, park and vehicle fees, food and beverages, and any activities that might be of interest; for example, a boat cruise of Chobe River.

Travelling as a couple (credit Rachel Lang)

Overland safari tours are perhaps the most affordable way to get as much out of Botswana as possible, without having to shoulder any of the pressure of handling the route, the vehicle, the fees and payments, activities, food shopping or meal planning. These pre-planned holidays have a tried and trusted route in place and are led by a professional guide who knows the country well. An overland tour would include visiting all of Botswana’s prime destinations over about a 2-week period, and the price one pays for the tour includes all transport within the country, three meals a day unless otherwise specified, park fees, accommodation at campsites and lodges (depending on itinerary), and all standard activities. The overland trucks are equipped with tents and stretchers, fold-up camping chairs, a fully equipped kitchen with gas stoves, providing everything one needs to be accommodated for in Botswana. Prices for these overland tours vary depending on itinerary, but a fully inclusive 16-day holiday could come in at around US$4000-5000 per person.

An Affordable Botswana Safari

Advice for achieving a value-for-money holiday in Botswana would be to plan ahead and book accommodation in the best wildlife areas at the best time of year, so that one can get the most out of the safari experience and money spent. It pays to do some research about the lodges in the country to compare prices and find out what the affordable options are in hotspot areas like the Delta, Chobe River, Savuti, and Moremi Game Reserve, so that one can be accommodated in top locations without…

An Affordable Botswana Safari

Advice for achieving a value-for-money holiday in Botswana would be to plan ahead and book accommodation in the best wildlife areas at the best time of year, so that one can get the most out of the safari experience and money spent. It pays to do some research about the lodges in the country to compare prices and find out what the affordable options are in hotspot areas like the Delta, Chobe River, Savuti, and Moremi Game Reserve, so that one can be accommodated in top locations without paying a prime rate. Classic safari camps without “all the frills” are often the best choices for feeling a true connection with the natural surroundings, indulging the senses, and creating a multi dimensional experience, so if one can forgo luxuries such as air conditioning, electricity, and king-size beds with percale cotton, the reward in terms of value will be far greater. It is vital to book accommodation a year in advance to ensure this availability of lodges during the best season for game viewing.

Elephant are prevelant in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

On the other hand, peak season for some might not be others’ idea of fun, as the popular time to travel will result in a high density of tourists, vehicle traffic, and high prices, which could detract from the experience if one is out to seek solitude and exclusivity. For some, the “off season” is the best time to go, as the prices of safari lodges are reduced by about a third, the parks are much quieter, and there is more freedom to roam.

During summer, Central Kalahari Game Reserve is awash with greenery and plenty of grass and water, and baby animals are born, which piques he predators’ interest. Birds are abundant and the bush is invigorated and nourished. The rainy season in Botswana can offer enormous value for money for those travellers who have been on safari before and who are back for something more, something different, and who know what to expect in terms of terrain and climate.

A Luxury Botswana Safari

With extensive protected areas and landscapes designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, the ecosystem on a Botswana Safari is pristine, and Botswana luxury safaris prevail throughout the region.

duma tau camp botswana safari

Unlimited extravagance has been achieved in several globally acclaimed private tented camps and Botswana luxury safari villas, which provide no holds barred treatment to their guests to showcase this one-of-a-kind countryside to the planet’s custodians..

Delta island camp view | Luxury Botswana Safari (credit Rachel Lang)

Airstrips service some of the…

A Luxury Botswana Safari

With extensive protected areas and landscapes designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, the ecosystem on a Botswana Safari is pristine, and Botswana luxury safaris prevail throughout the region.

duma tau camp botswana safari

Unlimited extravagance has been achieved in several globally acclaimed private tented camps and Botswana luxury safari villas, which provide no holds barred treatment to their guests to showcase this one-of-a-kind countryside to the planet’s custodians..

Delta island camp view | Luxury Botswana Safari (credit Rachel Lang)

Airstrips service some of the most remote destinations of Botswana, bridging the far distances between the popular luxury Botswana safari spots and cutting travel time down by hours while offering scenic aerial views of the country and world-renowned piloting.

Flying between Chobe River,Moremi Game Reserve, the Kalahari, and the

The most luxurious holidays in Botswana can be found in the private concessions of the Okavango Delta, where safari activities are exclusive and personalised, while the accommodation and lodge services are elite.

These luxury camps are spaciously built, incorporating the natural arena with style and elegance. Only a handful of guests are hosted at a time, keeping the experience intimate. Activities are flexible, and there is no vehicle traffic in sightings making the experience unique.

Luxury accommodation in Botswana

Activities that may tempt the Botswana Luxury Safari seekers and those with a higher budget include a rhino tracking experience, which takes guests on an exclusive walking safari among the reintroduced rhino population in Botswana.

Or a hot-air balloon cruise above the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta, seeing hippo and herds of lechwe from above while champagne twinkles away in a sunset-lit flute; and a desert sleep-out on the inimitable Makgadikgadi salt pans, which will be nothing less than breathtaking.

Five of the Best Luxury Lodges in Botswana

Camp Okavango

African elegance is what comes to mind. The Camp had a recent revamp, and the tents have all the creature comforts that one can ask for with soft decorations and large his and hers showers and basins.

 Camp Okavango | Botswana luxury Safari

The Camp knows how to spoil you with exceptional service to match the Camp, the perfect way to start or end your Botswana safari.

The theme continues through to the food, staff, vehicles, and the guides being top class. You can be sure to be entertained and looked after by friendly staff and knowledgeable guides.

The Camp can be reached by light aircraft or by helicopter and also offers game viewing by helicopter at an additional charge.

Little Mombo

This little gem is situated in a private concession next to its bigger sibling, Mombo Camp, but Little Mombo only consists of four tented suits.

The Camp has a private swimming pool, kitchen, dining area, and boma, and lounge area, offering you a pure exclusive luxury Botswana Safari.

You have access to the typical 4x4 game drives and have access to a photography hide, game viewing from a helicopter, and spa treatments.

Savute Safari Lodge

Savuti Safari Lodge is situated in one of my favourite areas in Botswana. The lodge is located on the dried-out Suvati River channel banks and has a waterhole right in front of the tented suites. Each suite has a private seating area in front of the room overlooking the waterhole, which attracts many animals in the region.

 Savute Safari Lodge| Botswana luxury Safari

Savuti Safari Lodge offers you an “armchair” Botswana Safari experience from the comfort of the lodge. The suits are large and offer you all the amenities that you can expect in the bush and more. The game viewing is incredible in this region of Botswana, and the game vehicles are in great shape and extremely comfortable considering the terrain you will be traversing.

Chobe Safari Lodge

There are quite a few factors that add to the experience you will get at Chobe Safari Lodge, which makes this a luxury lodge in more than one way. The lodge is situated inside the Chobe National Park with no other lodges or camps nearby.

Chobe Safari Lodge | Botswana luxury Safari

You get the opportunity to start your game viewing a little bit earlier than the rest of the normal day-visitor and end your game viewing a little bit later, and this makes sure that you get the best that this National Park has to offer without the most of the crowd. The lodge has an African Moroccan theme and decorated in elegant taste with just the right amount of ingredients.

The rooms, food, service, vehicles, staff, and guides are all fantastic. The boats and the 4x4 vehicles are electrically powered, which gives you the unique opportunity to experience game viewing without any engine noise.

Chief’s Camp

I don’t think that this Camp can be skipped in a top-five luxury Botswana Safari, Chief’s Camp epitomizes everything one would consider a luxury Botswana safari to be.

Botswana luxury Safari

The Camp’s decoration is elegant with an incredible view of the Piajio floodplain. Once again, you can expect the food, rooms, staff, guides, and vehicles to be top-class and you will have the time of your life! You might also get the opportunity to spot black as well as white rhinos, game viewing from a helicopter, dugout canoe “mokoro” trips and 4x4 game drives. The area is also renowned for predator action.

For more luxury safari options in Africa have a look at our other options.


Holiday Styles and Options in Botswana

The Zebra Migration in Botswana

The zebra migration in Botswana is the second largest migration in the world

Each year, Botswana’s zebra journey between Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans in search of fresh grazing in what is known as the second largest zebra migration in the world. Scattered herds of Botswana’s national animal can be seen throughout the Makgadikgadi palm belt and near the salt pans where the mineral content of grasses is highest. The nomadic habits of the Burchell’s Zebra in Botswana weren’t properly understood until tracking devices were used in a study done by…

The Zebra Migration in Botswana

The zebra migration in Botswana is the second largest migration in the world

Each year, Botswana’s zebra journey between Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans in search of fresh grazing in what is known as the second largest zebra migration in the world. Scattered herds of Botswana’s national animal can be seen throughout the Makgadikgadi palm belt and near the salt pans where the mineral content of grasses is highest. The nomadic habits of the Burchell’s Zebra in Botswana weren’t properly understood until tracking devices were used in a study done by the conservation group Elephants Without Borders in 2012. The scientists were amazed to discover that some zebras were trekking from as far away as the floodplains of Chobe near the Namibia–Botswana border, arriving in the Makgadikgadi area via Savute. This is a round trip of 500km, the longest of all recorded large mammal migrations in Africa. The most popular and well known location for viewing this beautiful spectacle is from Meno a Kwena camp situated along the Boteti River on the western boundary of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Romantic Holiday in Botswana

All regions of Botswana are ideal for couples travel, particularly the regions that are accessed by road. Travelling as a couple might get expensive when destinations require flights - i.e. some islands in the Okavango Delta during high water season. Self-drive spots, such as Chobe, Moremi, and the Kalahari are ideal for couples, as they offer both camping and lodging as accommodation options.

Couples will love the highlights Botswana has to offer

Highlights

The great thing about travelling as a couple, is there are very few…

Romantic Holiday in Botswana

All regions of Botswana are ideal for couples travel, particularly the regions that are accessed by road. Travelling as a couple might get expensive when destinations require flights - i.e. some islands in the Okavango Delta during high water season. Self-drive spots, such as Chobe, Moremi, and the Kalahari are ideal for couples, as they offer both camping and lodging as accommodation options.

Couples will love the highlights Botswana has to offer

Highlights

The great thing about travelling as a couple, is there are very few limitations. Most lodges are designed to sleep two people in a room, so accommodation is geared towards couples sharing a bedroom and bathroom facilities, while verandahs and lounges are made up with two chairs, two bath robes, two sets of towels, etc. It is easy to enjoy a romantic safari in Botswana given the rooming environment. Some of the best couples activities include mokoro cruises (two to a mokoro), horse riding, private bush dinners, and couples’ spa treatments.

A beautiful sunset overlooks the Botswana bush

Travel Tips

Travelling as a couple through Botswana can be a bonding and challenging experience for those who choose to self-drive. There is room for a pilot and co-pilot, a navigator and a music maestro, a relief driver for long distances, and two people to set up camp, cook, and clean. Travelling as a couple can be romantic, but it can also be remote, so it is important to ensure that each person is informed about the destination with regards to navigation, emergency details, knowledge of the animals and possible risks, so that if one person falls ill, the other can take control.

Active Adventure Holiday in Botswana

Self drive adventures are epic

The most adventurous experience you can have in Botswana is to do it by road. There are good road networks to cater for self-drivers, car rental is available in well-equipped 4x4, and border crossings are mostly efficient. Campsites in Botswana are basic, and they are designed to keep the element of the wild present, so sleeping in a tent while lion, hyena, elephant, or hippo walks by at night is a likely possibility.

A beautiful shot of a hippo in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

The best adventurous self-drive itineraries include Moremi and…

Active Adventure Holiday in Botswana

Self drive adventures are epic

The most adventurous experience you can have in Botswana is to do it by road. There are good road networks to cater for self-drivers, car rental is available in well-equipped 4x4, and border crossings are mostly efficient. Campsites in Botswana are basic, and they are designed to keep the element of the wild present, so sleeping in a tent while lion, hyena, elephant, or hippo walks by at night is a likely possibility.

A beautiful shot of a hippo in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

The best adventurous self-drive itineraries include Moremi and Savuti, where wildlife is abundant and public campsites have ablution blocks with running water. There is no electricity for refrigeration or charging, and there are no cooking facilities, so it is essential to pack a gas cooker, or use the fireplace provided. It is important to bring firewood from outside the park as it is forbidden to gather wood inside the park. Pack light, breathable clothing, sunglasses and sunblock, binoculars and a camera, and always have a map of game drive routes. Fuel is not available in the parks, so make sure to refuel before entering or bring extra fuel in jerry cans. Hiking is another adventure attractor

Walking Safari in Botswana

Walking safaris in Botswana are geared towards the adventurous travellers looking to augment their safari experience by immersing themselves in nature.

If you consider yourself adventurous, and would like to appreciate some of Botswana’s most pristine places on foot, then consider a walking holiday in this beautiful Southern African nation.

Get up close and personal with big and small wildlife

Botswana is mostly flat, which means the walking need not be very taxing, but an adventurous mind is key to making the most of the…

Walking Safari in Botswana

Walking safaris in Botswana are geared towards the adventurous travellers looking to augment their safari experience by immersing themselves in nature.

If you consider yourself adventurous, and would like to appreciate some of Botswana’s most pristine places on foot, then consider a walking holiday in this beautiful Southern African nation.

Get up close and personal with big and small wildlife

Botswana is mostly flat, which means the walking need not be very taxing, but an adventurous mind is key to making the most of the experience.

Walking safaris means that there is a possibility to meet some of the larger wildlife, in their natural habitat, and see Botswana through a different lens.

Walking is guided by an experienced guide and done in a slow, secure manner, to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Malaria Free Safari in Botswana

There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Although Botswana’s malaria-risk is lower than some other African nations, there is still a certain risk associated with travel through the beautiful Botswana bush.

Giraffe running across the path in Botswana

It’s therefore advised that you practice precautions before you travel to Botswana. Anti-malaria medication is a must - and you should consult your doctor in this regard. Further precautions such as long-sleeved shirts and jeans in the evenings will reduce your chances of…

Malaria Free Safari in Botswana

There is no clear-cut answer to this question. Although Botswana’s malaria-risk is lower than some other African nations, there is still a certain risk associated with travel through the beautiful Botswana bush.

Giraffe running across the path in Botswana

It’s therefore advised that you practice precautions before you travel to Botswana. Anti-malaria medication is a must - and you should consult your doctor in this regard. Further precautions such as long-sleeved shirts and jeans in the evenings will reduce your chances of mosquito bites. Pack some mosquito repellent, cream or spray, for applying to your hands, face and neck. This will also help keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Lion are prevalant in Botswana

The colder dry winter months have less mosquito activity. May through to October is best. Additionally, areas with less people have less risk of transmission, even if there is water – Kalahari, Okavango and Moremi concessions and the Makgadikgadi Pans are low risk areas.

Big Five Safari in Botswana

Botswana is arguably one of the world’s prime wildlife viewing destinations and while the Big Five needs no formal introductions, it is fitting to add that Botswana is one of the best countries to see these magnificent animals in one trip.

Leopard are elusive and not easily sighted

Quick Guide to Spotting the Big Five in Botswana:

  • Chobe National Park for the highest concentration of elephants.
  • Savuti region for lion spotting.
  • Northern Okavango to see the large Cape buffalo.
  • Moremi Game Reserve will offer excellent views of…

Big Five Safari in Botswana

Botswana is arguably one of the world’s prime wildlife viewing destinations and while the Big Five needs no formal introductions, it is fitting to add that Botswana is one of the best countries to see these magnificent animals in one trip.

Leopard are elusive and not easily sighted

Quick Guide to Spotting the Big Five in Botswana:

  • Chobe National Park for the highest concentration of elephants.
  • Savuti region for lion spotting.
  • Northern Okavango to see the large Cape buffalo.
  • Moremi Game Reserve will offer excellent views of rhino.
  • Mashatu Game Reserve plays host to the elusive leopard.

lioness

Birding Safari in Botswana

Even though Botswana doesn’t have endemic bird species, it is regarded as a premier birding destination because of its protection of a number of threatened and endangered species. Coupled with an excellent seasonal variation in birding, Botswana is a good choice for bird lovers.

The summer months from October to February tend to be the best months for viewing migrant species, while the dry winter months see many birds flock to the waterholes.

The Lesser jacana (credit Rachel Lang)

The call of the Woodland kingfisher is…

Birding Safari in Botswana

Even though Botswana doesn’t have endemic bird species, it is regarded as a premier birding destination because of its protection of a number of threatened and endangered species. Coupled with an excellent seasonal variation in birding, Botswana is a good choice for bird lovers.

The summer months from October to February tend to be the best months for viewing migrant species, while the dry winter months see many birds flock to the waterholes.

The Lesser jacana (credit Rachel Lang)

The call of the Woodland kingfisher is one of the most noteworthy calls in Botswana’s northern region and heralds the summer birding season. Wattled cranes, storks, herons and egrets are also indications that the flood season in the Okavango is not far off.

Wattled cranes are rare

The Okavango Delta in particular is the greatest stronghold in Africa for Wattled cranes, as well as Slaty Egrets. Other notorious species include the Pel’s fishing owl, the African skimmer and the White-backed night heron.

Pels fishing owl

Botswana also has the most renowned Greater Flamingo and Lesser Flamingo breeding sites in southern Africa.

Photographic Safari in Botswana

Juvenile Fish eagle in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

Photographic safaris are very popular in Botswana due to the wildlife density and the relaxed attitude animals have around vehicles and boats. The best way to get the most out photography on safari is to book the experience with a specialised photographic safari operator. These companies have game viewing vehicles kitted out with camera mounts, swivelling seats, and equipment that will enhance a photographer’s experience. Boat cruises on the Chobe River often bring guests right up…

Photographic Safari in Botswana

Juvenile Fish eagle in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

Photographic safaris are very popular in Botswana due to the wildlife density and the relaxed attitude animals have around vehicles and boats. The best way to get the most out photography on safari is to book the experience with a specialised photographic safari operator. These companies have game viewing vehicles kitted out with camera mounts, swivelling seats, and equipment that will enhance a photographer’s experience. Boat cruises on the Chobe River often bring guests right up close to elephant, hippo, and buffalo, in addition to highly sought after bird species, such as the African skimmer. A photographic safari operator will have a trained guide who knows how to manage a sighting for the best photographic results. Photography can take time and patience, so it is best to hire a private guide and to book with a group aiming for the same experience.


Who is Travelling to Botswana with you?

Solo Holiday in Botswana

Botswana can be an invigorating, eye-opening, relaxing, and a somewhat spiritual experience for solo travellers; although most activities are conducted in a group, so one is never really alone. The Okavango Delta has a number of very small camps, which would create the peaceful and intimate experience a solo traveller might prefer, particularly if it is water-based and offers the serene activity of a mokoro excursion. Alternatively, solo travellers looking to join a group would benefit…

Solo Holiday in Botswana

Botswana can be an invigorating, eye-opening, relaxing, and a somewhat spiritual experience for solo travellers; although most activities are conducted in a group, so one is never really alone. The Okavango Delta has a number of very small camps, which would create the peaceful and intimate experience a solo traveller might prefer, particularly if it is water-based and offers the serene activity of a mokoro excursion. Alternatively, solo travellers looking to join a group would benefit greatly from an overland safari tour, which covers most of Botswana’s prime destinations.

Solo traveller in Botswana

Highlights

Travelling solo allows the opportunity to meet new people and create lasting relationships with like-minded individuals; particularly on longer lasting tours or itineraries, such as an overland trip, when a group stays together throughout. It is incredibly rewarding to explore a destination as untamed as Botswana on a journey of discovery, contemplation, peace-seeking, or renewal if the purpose of one’s solo trip is indeed to enjoy it alone.

mokoro excursion on a botswana safari

Travel Tips

Guests travelling alone but not necessarily looking to be alone will be right at home in the Okavango Delta, Moremi, or Chobe National Park where safari lodges offer anywhere between three and 15 bedrooms and cater for guests travelling as a single or a group. Meal times and activities are shared and take place at set times, so the experience is enjoyed as a group and individuals are not likely to get a unique experience at a lodge.

expert advice for a botswana safari

Family Safari in Botswana

Botswana is a fascinating and stimulating country to explore for a family of wildlife and nature enthusiasts, but it is important to note which areas and which lodges offer the most in terms of family value. Activities designed for younger children are important, because game drives, walks, and mokoro cruises do have age restrictions. The best regions for a family safari, particularly when younger children are involved, include the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi, and Chobe River.

kids fun

Family Safari in Botswana

Botswana is a fascinating and stimulating country to explore for a family of wildlife and nature enthusiasts, but it is important to note which areas and which lodges offer the most in terms of family value. Activities designed for younger children are important, because game drives, walks, and mokoro cruises do have age restrictions. The best regions for a family safari, particularly when younger children are involved, include the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi, and Chobe River.

kids fun

Highlights

In the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans, children will benefit from the demonstrative Bushman walks, which focus on animal tracking, spoor, insects, fire-making, and traditional uses of plants, and making arrows out of stones. Chobe River is ideal for families because boat cruises are a safe and comfortable way to get up close to animals like elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. For a family with older children, game drives in Moremi and Chobe can be incredibly exciting due to the plentiful animal encounters that are sure to be unforgettable.

Families can enjoy safaris in Botswana

Travel Tips

It is best to travel Botswana as a family when the children are a bit older, so that they can get the most out of the experience. Children have to be older than 8 to go on a game drive, while walking safaris require children to be at least 12 years old. Wildlife is abundant in Botswana, but terrain can be challenging and sometimes one might endure a long, bumpy ride to get the results, which children might not tolerate well. For families travelling from abroad, it is advisable to seek out lodges that cater specifically for children in family-sized tents with special child-minding services, or kid-friendly bush walks and activities.

Guided safaris are ideal for families

Botswana Honeymoon Safari

After months of planning, your big day has finally arrived and now you are newlyweds. Time to enjoy your honeymoon together. Yes, there are romantic cities, but what better way to celebrate love than on a Botswana honeymoon safari? Just the two of you in the African bush with a private candlelit dinner on your veranda with wildlife passing by. Sunsets of red and orange fill the sky as you end another day on your African Safari!

When to Visit

A Botswana honeymoon Safari can be done all…

Botswana Honeymoon Safari

After months of planning, your big day has finally arrived and now you are newlyweds. Time to enjoy your honeymoon together. Yes, there are romantic cities, but what better way to celebrate love than on a Botswana honeymoon safari? Just the two of you in the African bush with a private candlelit dinner on your veranda with wildlife passing by. Sunsets of red and orange fill the sky as you end another day on your African Safari!

When to Visit

A Botswana honeymoon Safari can be done all year round. The most popular time to visit would be during the dry season from about May to October. Days are warmer with clear skies. With less rain, the vegetation is not as lush and it is easier to spot wildlife. They tend to concentrate around the water sources and this tends to become an action-packed area. However, with the popular season, the number of visitors increase and camps can be full and some sections of the park can feel a little crowded.

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Travelling during the wet season, or green season as it is known is a great time to travel if you don’t mind a rain shower or two. The parks tend to be a little quieter and lodges offer great prices and value adds. Showers are mostly in the afternoon and therefore would have little impact on your safari. The bush is lush and green. With water comes new life and you would get to see plenty of newborns and this would also be the time for migrating birds to visit.

Where to travel to

The most popular route travelled in Botswana would include a visit to the Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari. The Chobe National Park is known for its large herds of Elephants and cruising along the Chobe River while spotting hippos and crocodiles. The Victoria Falls is also only a short 2-hour drive from the Chobe National Park and is a great day visit should you be staying a little longer.

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The sparkling waterways of the Okavango Delta is a must-see when on a Botswana honeymoon safari. The channels create mazes and paths through the wet bush, forming small islands. These channels are great for exploring while in a mokoro and the islands are ideal for bush walks. The destination often forgotten is the Kalahari. Magical red sand is the home to many desert-adapted animals including the Black Maned Lions.

Accommodation

Botswana has you spoiled for choice when choosing your accommodation for your honeymoon safari in Botswana. Except for the different options regarding your budget, you would also have so many types of accommodation. There would be your standard lodge type accommodation, but to add a little extra special to your honeymoon safari, why not opt for a tented camp.

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A Botswana honeymoon safari offers you the option of luxury tents that are built on raised wooden walkways with canvas walls, but all the bells and whistles. White linen and mosquito nets draping the beds. Some even have an outdoor bath to enjoy after an early morning activity and watch the wildlife pass by as you unwind. There is also an option of sleeping under the African skies where you can wheel your bed out onto your deck. Fall asleep with the night sounds of the African bush and the stars shining bright.

Which activities to include

Just as you are spoilt on the different accommodation options, you would also have a variety of activities to choose from while honeymooning in Botswana. Game drives, either early morning or in the afternoon, would be available in most areas throughout Botswana. You drive out as the sun rises, catching the wildlife as they start their day.

Some of the more unique ways of exploring Botswana would be cruising the Chobe River or exploring the waterways of the Okavango Delta in a mokoro. Cruise the Chobe river on your Botswana honeymoon as the cool breeze offers relief from the hot African Sun. Here you get to enjoy each other’s peaceful company as you watch elephants enjoy the refreshing waters and crocodiles lurking around.

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While in your mokoro, just the two of you with your guide, enjoy getting to know the smaller wildlife while on safari. Red frogs and dragonflies would be among the more popular creatures. Nothing more tranquil than a mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta on a romantic holiday. You can even ask your guide to help you surprise your loved one with a traditional waterlily necklace.

There is just something romantic about flying. Why not take to the sky, while in Botswana. Not only can you view the beautiful landscapes below as you board your scheduled flight between camps, but you can also spoil your loved one with a romantic early morning hot air balloon safari. Wake up before the sun rises as you are transported to the launch site. Here you get to see the beautiful colourful balloon get filled with hot air as you sip on your coffee before you jump aboard. With the sun rising over the landscapes and the wildlife stretching as their day begins, this would be an amazing start to yours.

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When planning your honeymoon, the bright city lights might sound romantic. But imagine lanterns leading the way to your candlelit dinner around a bush fire with wildlife roaring in the background… This would be hard to beat when creating your honeymoon. No traffic jams or queues to visit that famous attraction. Just the African bush and natural beauty! You would surely fall in love all over again, not just with each other but with Africa as well on this Botswana honeymoon safari


What You Need To Know

Why Go to Botswana?

Botswana’s primary attraction is its vast wilderness. From the endless palm-covered islands of the Okavango Delta, to the moonscape saltpans of the Makgadikgadi region, it’s the perfect destination for anyone seeking pristine, unfenced surroundings.

The Okavango Delta is a marvel of epic natural proportions

Botswana’s commitment to safeguarding its wildlife heritage is unparalleled in Africa. The country covers a total area of 581,730 sq km, and approximately 40% of this land falls within a wildlife-protected area. These areas are a…

Why Go to Botswana?

Botswana’s primary attraction is its vast wilderness. From the endless palm-covered islands of the Okavango Delta, to the moonscape saltpans of the Makgadikgadi region, it’s the perfect destination for anyone seeking pristine, unfenced surroundings.

The Okavango Delta is a marvel of epic natural proportions

Botswana’s commitment to safeguarding its wildlife heritage is unparalleled in Africa. The country covers a total area of 581,730 sq km, and approximately 40% of this land falls within a wildlife-protected area. These areas are a sanctuary for the world’s largest concentration of elephant, and a stronghold for other endangered large mammals such as the black rhinoceros, African wild dog, cheetah and lion. For avian enthusiasts, there exists no better place in the world to view the Slaty Egret and Wattled Crane, and seeing the illusive Pels Fishing Owl for the first time has been known to bring bird-watchers to tears! In 2014, Botswana consolidated its position as a conservation leader by banning commercial hunting, paving the way for former hunting areas to be transformed into photographic safari destinations. The government’s decision to opt for a high-quality, low-impact tourism model means that safari-goers can generally avoid congested game drives, especially when staying in one of the many privately operated concessions, which commonly have their visitor density limited to around one guest per 50 sq km. These concessions, licensed out to top safari companies, boast some of the most luxurious yet eco-conscious lodges and camps in Africa. In order to lease the land, lodge owners must show commitment to uplifting local communities by providing jobs for people in close proximity to concession boundaries. Today wildlife and tourism employs around 45% of adults in Botswana, making it the country’s’ second largest income earner after diamonds.

The Grey go-away bird, as seen in Botswana

Travellers can feel secure in the knowledge that Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable and peaceful nations, with the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy and a steady economy.

Botswana is a safari destination that boasts outstanding wildlife density and variety, and it is wild and organic without fences and developed tourist facilities. In this sense, it attracts adventurous travellers who are passionate about nature and wildlife experiences and who are not nervous in the presence of wild animals. Keen photographers would benefit greatly from a Botswana holiday at different times of the year, as varying locations offer unique and interesting natural scenery, not to mention superb wildlife activity to capture.

Wildlife is a major attraction in Botswana

The terrain in Botswana is rough with plenty of dust, thick sand, and seasonal flooding, so exploring the country by road – which includes long morning game drives in areas like Savuti – means packing an adventurous spirit and tolerance for the natural elements. On the other hand, Botswana has some impeccable luxury options, with exclusive airstrips, seamless service, world-class food, and supreme comfort, which bring extreme comfort to visitors willing to pay. Botswana is easily sewn into an itinerary including Victoria Falls and the Kruger National Park, Zimbabwe’s Hwange and Mana Pools, Zambia’s South Luangwa, and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip; so travellers planning a southern Africa trip should consider including Botswana.

Luxury accommodation is never far away in Botswana

Highlights of Botswana

People who return to Botswana over and over again give many reasons for their preference but high on the list is the warmth and peace-loving nature of the local Setswana-speaking people, the incredible diversity of wildlife, exclusivity, and the large variation of safari activities on offer.

The San people of Botswana still treasure traditional ways of life

People of Botswana, known collectively as Batswana (singular: Motswana), generally live with a deep appreciation of their natural heritage and have a characteristic laid-back attitude. The staff…

Highlights of Botswana

People who return to Botswana over and over again give many reasons for their preference but high on the list is the warmth and peace-loving nature of the local Setswana-speaking people, the incredible diversity of wildlife, exclusivity, and the large variation of safari activities on offer.

The San people of Botswana still treasure traditional ways of life

People of Botswana, known collectively as Batswana (singular: Motswana), generally live with a deep appreciation of their natural heritage and have a characteristic laid-back attitude. The staff in safari camps are warm and welcoming and it’s not unusual to be serenaded by beautiful singing on a guest’s first arrival. Guiding in Botswana is of a very high standard and the tradition of story telling is often carried out with gusto around a campfire in the evening.

San men demonstrate traditioal techniques to start fire

For a small country dominated by dusty Kalahari Desert, Botswana is truly unique in the variety of safari activities it has available. These activities differ between seasons when landscapes alter dramatically, determined largely by the natural flooding of rivers and annual rainfall. A Botswana safari is simultaneously tranquil and unpredictable, giving guests a propelling sense of wonder that comes from knowing that around every corner, there is the chance to see something new.

The Kalahari is a mystical attraction filled with life

The Okavango Delta, in the northern reaches of Botswana, is perhaps where the biggest seasonal changes can be observed. Each year, floodwaters reach the uppermost section of the delta in February/ March and fan out into a vast network of channels and marshes, reaching a peak level in dry midwinter. The high concentration of wildlife around these temporarily inundated floodplains is astonishing, making this the most popular time of year for safari-goers to visit. Summertime brings its own unique allure, turning the russet veld a verdant green, to be gorged upon by grazers like zebra, wildebeest and impala antelope with their newborns tottering alongside them on unsteady legs. It may be more challenging to spot predators in the newly sprouted grass, but the spectacular display of migrant bird species makes up for this, filling the air with brilliant trills and hues.

The Okavango Delta is one of Africa's marvels

Botswana’s Chobe region, another system of lagoons, marshes and rivers, is just as complex and interesting as the Okavango Delta. The Chobe River is a popular hot spot for tourist activities with safari operators offering fishing trips, specialized photographic boat cruises, game drives and beautiful riverside camping. The best way to explore the Chobe waterfront is undoubtedly by boat, reclining with a camera or a cool gin and tonic to watch the drama of Africa as it unfolds at eye level. Chobe Game Lodge, the only lodge inside the Chobe Game Reserve, now boasts several electric and solar-powered safari boats, adding a new element of interest for the modern eco-conscious traveller. Savuti, to the west of the Chobe region, is famous for its mysterious and fascinating channel that has a history of drying up unpredictably, influenced primarily by a series of shifting fault lines that lie deep below the earth, a continuance of the Great Rift Valley. Game drives are the most popular way to experience Savuti, where roads meander through an interesting dynamic of open grassy plains and mopane woodland where the chances of coming upon large lion prides are as good as they get.

Savuti is nestled in a remote region of Chobe

The Makgadikgadi saltpans also offer a wide range of exciting activities that keep guests returning again and again. In dry season adventurous travellers can quad bike across the pans and sleep out under the Milky Way, which the Kalahari Bushmen call ‘the backbone of the sky’. In green season Africa’s second largest wildebeest migration unfolds alongside the Boteti River and is a magnificent spectacle, especially when viewed in dusty twilight hues. This is also the perfect time of year to enjoy a helicopter flight over thousands of pink flamingos feasting on algae and brine shrimp, gathered to breed at Sua Pan. Activities to be enjoyed year-round are walking with the Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, 4x4 explorations to Kubu Island, horse riding trails and close encounters with the habituated meerkats at Jack’s Camp.

The Makgadikgadi saltpans are mysterious and arid

The pristine, wild locations of Botswana’s camps and lodges make for an exhilarating safari, a perfect choice for those who treasure wild places. Safari-lovers speak of feeling a profound sense of freedom in Botswana’s wilderness that deepens with regular visits.

okavango delta travel tips

Botswana vs South Africa

South Africa and Botswana are neighboring countries that both offer superb wildlife sightings and top class camps and lodges, but there are a number of differences to keep in mind when choosing one over the other. South Africa lacks the rugged remoteness of Botswana, but for those eager to see a maximum amount of wildlife in a short amount of time, private concessions like those in South Africa’s Sabi Sands are a reliable option. Unlike Botswana, South Africa’s game reserves are all…

Botswana vs South Africa

South Africa and Botswana are neighboring countries that both offer superb wildlife sightings and top class camps and lodges, but there are a number of differences to keep in mind when choosing one over the other. South Africa lacks the rugged remoteness of Botswana, but for those eager to see a maximum amount of wildlife in a short amount of time, private concessions like those in South Africa’s Sabi Sands are a reliable option. Unlike Botswana, South Africa’s game reserves are all fenced. This has the effect of limiting the natural migration of animals within the ecosystem but results in a higher concentration of game, especially big cats.

Wildlife is prolific throughout both South Africa and Botswana

Botswana’s game viewing, while excellent, can be unpredictable at times, as animals migrate according to the seasons. South Africa has a number of private concessions that offer a very exclusive, intimate safari experience on par with Botswana, but these areas are much smaller so guests do not get exposed to the same variety of habitats in Botswana. South Africa has very few unfenced camping areas, making it safer for families camping with children, but disappointing for those seeking a wilder camping experience. South African campsites, such as those in the Kruger National Park tend to be crowded, especially during school holidays. South African game reserves are mostly accessible by car and few require a 4x4 vehicle, while a 4x4 is absolutely necessary to negotiate the thick Kalahari sand tracks in many of Botswana’s wild areas. Because Botswana has a no fences between its national parks and outlying areas, it is completely normal to see elephants, buffalo, lions, giraffes, or even a pack of wild dogs padding along the country’s main highways.

The intrepid leopard botswana wildlife safari

Botswana, with its simpler infrastructure and small remote towns, has a charming ‘real African’ feel while the plentiful shops in South Africa, even within the Kruger National Park, make stocking up on supplies very convenient. A South African safari is generally the cheaper route with more choice when it comes to mid-range accommodation options. Botswana, on the other hand, only offers two options – camp or stay in a luxury lodge, and most luxury lodges are only reachable by light aircraft so it is important to pack light. Booking for a camping safari in Botswana needs to be done at least a year in advance as campsites are limited, whereas you are far more likely to get away with a last minute bookings in South Africa, although booking ahead is always the wiser option.

Botswana vs Namibia

Namibia is Botswana’s western neighbour, and the two countries share a large portion of the Kalahari Desert although Namibia does not have the water supply that Botswana has, making the latter far superior in wildlife density. The only small exception to this is a narrow stretch of land that protrudes from Namibia’s northeast corner known as the Caprivi Strip. Being mainly desert, Namibia is not the right choice for those wanting to see the “big 5” on their first safari…

Botswana vs Namibia

Namibia is Botswana’s western neighbour, and the two countries share a large portion of the Kalahari Desert although Namibia does not have the water supply that Botswana has, making the latter far superior in wildlife density. The only small exception to this is a narrow stretch of land that protrudes from Namibia’s northeast corner known as the Caprivi Strip. Being mainly desert, Namibia is not the right choice for those wanting to see the “big 5” on their first safari experience, yet it does offer the chance to see some unusual desert–adapted creatures like oryx, brown hyena, black rhino and the famed desert elephants and desert lions.

Both countries are equally rugged and remote with a low population density and a rich cultural heritage, but when it comes to spectacular landscapes, the immensity of Namibia’s panoramic views are hard to beat.

Wildlife in Botswana

The wilds of Northern Botswana safeguard the largest elephant population in the world. Huge breeding herds and large solitary bulls traverse the landscapes of Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve. Chobe’s broad-leaved woodlands and riparian forests are home to the endemic Chobe bushbuck and other lesser-known antelope species like puku, sable and roan. Chobe also boasts the highest bird species diversity in Botswana (468 species), including birds found nowhere else in the…

Wildlife in Botswana

The wilds of Northern Botswana safeguard the largest elephant population in the world. Huge breeding herds and large solitary bulls traverse the landscapes of Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve. Chobe’s broad-leaved woodlands and riparian forests are home to the endemic Chobe bushbuck and other lesser-known antelope species like puku, sable and roan. Chobe also boasts the highest bird species diversity in Botswana (468 species), including birds found nowhere else in the country like the Schalow’s and Purple-crested turacos, Trumpeter and Crowned hornbills and the Crested guinea fowl.

Botswana's Chobe region is home to the world's largest herds of elephant and prolific birds

Savute, in the western Chobe region is notorious for its large lion prides, historically numbering up to 30-odd individuals. The unpredictability of Savuti’s water supply has been known to set the scene for dramatic feats of survival, including hibernating crocodiles and bold lions preying on adult elephants. Savuti’s vast savanna plains are perfect for enjoying sightings of Burchell’s zebra, tsessebe, giraffe, and impala.

Savute is reknowned for its lion prides

Red lechwe splashing through the swamplands, hippopotamuses trodding confidently out of water at midday and lions swimming across water channels are just a few of the spectacular wildlife sightings awaiting visitors to the Okavango Delta. The Okavango comes into its own during winter months when rainwater from the highlands of Angola fans out over temporary floodplains that teem with wildlife. You could get lucky and spot a semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope from a mokoro, lurking in the papyrus – or a Pels Fishing Owls. These beautiful owls replace their daylight rivals, fish eagles, on perches overlooking deep lagoons where they fish for large bream. The Delta is also the best place to see the near-endemic Slaty Egret, Wattled Crane, and special waterbirds such as the Lesser Jacana, White-backed night heron and African skimmer.

The Pels fishing owl is a beautiful bird, found in the Okavango

The cracked and dry Makgadikgadi Salt Pans may not look like the kind of environment that would attract a large population of wildlife, but appearances can be deceiving. Come summertime, these desolate dry expanses sprout juicy patches of grass attracting springbok, wildebeest and zebra followed closely by lion and cheetah. Shallow waters flood over seemingly endless pans, attracting thousands of flamingos. Along the Boteti River you can watch Southern Africa’s largest zebra migration, and come night time shine a spotlight into the secret lives of playful bat-eared foxes and shy brown hyenas.

travel advice for a safari in the chobe

The Elephants of Botswana

A far cry from the photographic safari-enthusiasts that visit Chobe National Park now, the park was once the haunt of large-scale ivory hunters. It’s hard to imagine that by the second half of the 19th-century ivory hunting was so rife that elephant deaths in Botswana lead to elephants almost being extinct in the Chobe area.

Today, “thlou” (the local Setswana term for elephant) are safe in Chobe National Park and during dry season make up the largest density of elephant population…

The Elephants of Botswana

A far cry from the photographic safari-enthusiasts that visit Chobe National Park now, the park was once the haunt of large-scale ivory hunters. It’s hard to imagine that by the second half of the 19th-century ivory hunting was so rife that elephant deaths in Botswana lead to elephants almost being extinct in the Chobe area.

Today, “thlou” (the local Setswana term for elephant) are safe in Chobe National Park and during dry season make up the largest density of elephant population in the world (60 000 – 70 000) a number that has continued to rise in recent years due to poaching pressure in Botswana’s neighboring counties.

elephant in the chobe national park wildlife safari

In essence, Botswana has become a safehouse for an increasing number of Southern Africa’s refugee elephants who no longer feel protected traversing through the borders of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia.

Despite this, research by Elephants without Borders has shown that the elephants of northern Botswana still have the largest home ranges (24,828km2) recorded for African elephants and herds continue to move between western Zimbabwe, the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, southeast Angola and southwest Zambia.

However, Botswana’s elephant range has grown by 53% in the past 20 years and scientists worry about how this will affect the safety and livelihoods of local people living on the outskirts of wildlife and national park areas. Initiatives like the Elephant and Bee Project

that are building beehive fences to naturally repel elephants from raiding local farmer’s crops, are invaluable in protecting both humans and elephants.

Elephant are majestic creatures

As the largest terrestrial animal on earth, elephants eat up to 300kg of food a day and play a fundamental role in shaping their environment. The large herds of Chobe have put enormous pressure on the riverine forests lining the banks of the river, and it is common to see fallen tree trunks and battered broken branches tossed about the ground.

This would be devastating if it weren’t for the arrival of the summer rains when the elephants disperse, allowing the land much-needed time to recover. Elephant’s destructive habits have equally positive effects and are responsible for creating hideaways for smaller creatures and helping browsers, like kudu and bushbuck, to reach nutritious leaves.

Predators like lions and leopards often choose to hide their cubs in the safety of fallen logs, and elephant’s well-worn paths through the bush are used by many speciesDuring drought, elephant’s dig for water in dry pans, helping to form waterholes that other animals can drink from.

Elephant herds are plentiful in Botswana

While Chobe’s waterfront is the place to see large family herds, Savute is known as the domain of the large elephant bull.

These lonely tusked giants float over the horizon or swagger around the dusty peripheries of small waterholes, drinking and moving off again. Chobe really is a “Land of Giants’ ‘, an ultimate destination for elephant-lovers.

The Marsh Lion Pride of Botswana

An aerial view of a pride of lion

Throughout Africa, elephants are not thought of as lion prey, with only three exceptions; the pride manages to separate a small calf from its mother (a rare occurrence), an elephant is very sick and weak, or the lion belongs to Savuti’s notorious Marsh Pride. This fearless pride of lions, which once numbered 30 +, killed 74 elephants during a three year period (1993 – 1996), a phenomenon recorded by filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. The Joubert’s film, Ultimate Enemies…

The Marsh Lion Pride of Botswana

An aerial view of a pride of lion

Throughout Africa, elephants are not thought of as lion prey, with only three exceptions; the pride manages to separate a small calf from its mother (a rare occurrence), an elephant is very sick and weak, or the lion belongs to Savuti’s notorious Marsh Pride. This fearless pride of lions, which once numbered 30 +, killed 74 elephants during a three year period (1993 – 1996), a phenomenon recorded by filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. The Joubert’s film, Ultimate Enemies (National Geographic) tells the story, as well as the more recent Planet Earth Series: Great Plains (BBC). This outrageously risqué behavior on the part of the lions happens mainly between August and November, peaking in October. According to scientist Richard John Powder, the lions may be reverting to a role they once had during the Pleistocene era as hunters of megaherbivores. The behavior could also be rooted in Savuti’s long history of drought periods where near-starved elephants were easy to bring down, helping the lions hone their elephant-killing tactics. The introduction of artificial waterholes could have also played a role by encouraging elephants to become permanent residents (rather than migrating to other regions), and so readily available to feed unusually large lion prides. Today, the lion prides of Chobe are more fragmented and lions prey on elephant less frequently, but the legacy remains.

Lion basking in the sun

Botswana Travel Advice

It is good to know that Botswana’s wildlife reserves and national parks is not fenced, so it is possible that wandering wildlife in botswana, as well as domestic animals will wander onto the main roads and in and around towns.

Important Botswana travel advice to note is that public bathrooms on a Botswana Safari are mostly basic and might lack items such as toilet paper and hand soap, so if one is travelling through the country by road and exploring the parks on a self-drive basis,…

Botswana Travel Advice

It is good to know that Botswana’s wildlife reserves and national parks is not fenced, so it is possible that wandering wildlife in botswana, as well as domestic animals will wander onto the main roads and in and around towns.

Important Botswana travel advice to note is that public bathrooms on a Botswana Safari are mostly basic and might lack items such as toilet paper and hand soap, so if one is travelling through the country by road and exploring the parks on a self-drive basis, some advice is to pack bathroom essentials for Botswana.

Having said that, it is not permitted to disembark one’s vehicle inside the parks unless at a designated stretch point or picnic spot; and it is important to note that even those areas are not protected from roaming wildlife, so travellers must remain vigilant when walking around campsites, stretch points, and ablution blocks.

Botswana's national parks and reserves aren't fenced

When entering a national park as an independent traveller (i.e. without a guide), some advice for travelling in Botswana would be to have adequate cash to pay for park fees, which include entrance fees per person and vehicle fees per day, in addition to a printed voucher indicating that accommodation/campsite has been booked in your name.

If planning a self-drive holiday in Botswana, it is advised to book accommodation in the parks beforehand.

Wildlife in Botswana

Part of the beauty of Botswana’s wild areas is that they remain that way and have not been tampered with. Lodges and camps are environmentally friendly and have a low impact on the surroundings; some of them are so lightweight that they can pack up and close during seasonal floods in the Delta, and then reopen in April until October.

It is important to note that electricity and water are often solar-powered and gas heated, and the plumbing systems are ecologically sensitive, so some Botswana travel advice would be to treat the systems and facilities with care.

Campsites in the parks are remote and can be the best part of a day’s drive away from a town, so packing camping essentials such as fuel, water, food, ice, and firewood must be considered before embarking on the journey.

Visa Requirements for Botswana

There are only a handful of countries whose residents require tourist visas to enter Botswana (this list can be found here), while every traveller must ensure that they hold valid, permanent passports with at least 3 blank pages remaining. Most tourists in Botswana come from the United States, second-most is the United Kingdom, and third is Germany. Visitors from these countries do not need visas for 90 days and then can get an extension from immigration. Emergency or temporary…

Visa Requirements for Botswana

There are only a handful of countries whose residents require tourist visas to enter Botswana (this list can be found here), while every traveller must ensure that they hold valid, permanent passports with at least 3 blank pages remaining. Most tourists in Botswana come from the United States, second-most is the United Kingdom, and third is Germany. Visitors from these countries do not need visas for 90 days and then can get an extension from immigration. Emergency or temporary passports are not accepted without an accompanying visa. Those travelling with minors (children under 18) are required to provide a certified copy of the minor’s unabridged birth certificate in addition to their valid, permanent passport in order to gain access into Botswana. In the instance that the minor is travelling without one or both of his/her parents, an affidavit from absent parent/s consenting to their child’s travel.

Travelling to Botswana

The easiest and fastest way to travel to Botswana is a connecting flight from Johannesburg International Airport (O.R Tambo) in South Africa, although there are also connecting flights from Cape Town and Windhoek (Namibia) available. Currently there are no international carriers that fly directly to Maun Airport.

Transport in Botswana is relatively efficient. Getting to your lodge or destination is as easy as jumping on an air shuttle service or a safari vehicle, this is where the…

Travelling to Botswana

The easiest and fastest way to travel to Botswana is a connecting flight from Johannesburg International Airport (O.R Tambo) in South Africa, although there are also connecting flights from Cape Town and Windhoek (Namibia) available. Currently there are no international carriers that fly directly to Maun Airport.

Transport in Botswana is relatively efficient. Getting to your lodge or destination is as easy as jumping on an air shuttle service or a safari vehicle, this is where the choice is really up to you based on your requirements, time and budget.

Fly or be driven, with each one of these options comes a cost, private air charters being the most expensive while the most viable option would be a guided road transfer. It is also worth noting that some of the more remote camps and lodges are only accessible via aircraft or boat.

The best way to get to Botswana is to fly to Maun or Kasane. These two towns have international airports and are located in northern Botswana, close to popular national parks and main roads, and these airports facilitate the arrivals and departures of domestic flights to airstrips in the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, and Central Kalahari. Self-driving travellers can easily access Botswana through the border posts from neighbouring countries, so it can be incorporated into a road trip holiday, but time allowances must be made for the length of time spent on the road.

Maun Airport

A charter flight from Maun International Airport

Maun International Airport is the main hub for all flights entering Botswana as a safari destination; the airport is located within the town itself.

Gaborone Airport

Sir Seretse Khama International Airport is located just 10 kilometres north of Gaborone, offering daily one hour flights from Johannesburg and three weekly two hour flights from Harare.

Kasane Airport

Kasane International Airport

Kasane International Airport is located around four kilometres south of the town of Kasane and lies just a few kilometres away from the Chobe National Park.

Public Transport in Botswana

Paved highways connect Botswana’s major towns and while most are in good condition, some sections are badly potholed. You’ll need to keep an eye out for these, as well as for both wild and domesticated animals. Stray cattle and donkeys are common near villages and the donkeys can be particularly dangerous. They have a tendency to stand in the middle of the road, refusing to move and forcing cars to stop and drive around them.

Botswana’s traffic police are active on the highways…

Public Transport in Botswana

Paved highways connect Botswana’s major towns and while most are in good condition, some sections are badly potholed. You’ll need to keep an eye out for these, as well as for both wild and domesticated animals. Stray cattle and donkeys are common near villages and the donkeys can be particularly dangerous. They have a tendency to stand in the middle of the road, refusing to move and forcing cars to stop and drive around them.

Botswana’s traffic police are active on the highways and often set up radar speed traps after villages and vet fences. Don’t be tempted to accelerate back to highway speeds until you see the appropriate signage.

Obey the traffic signs in Botswana

Away from the highways, the road conditions deteriorate rapidly. There’s not much in the way of secondary roads and you can go from tarmac to thick sand in a few hundred metres. Particularly sandy sections include the access roads around Mabuasehube Game Reserve and the Kgalagadi, the Xade Gate road into the Central Kalahari, the main entrance road into Nxai Pan National Park, the road north of Maun to Moremi, and pretty much everything from the Savuti region to the Chobe River. An unusual route, and perhaps the sandiest of all, is the north-south track between Khutse Game Reserve and the Central Kalahari. It’s about 230km of deep sand from Khutse to Xade Gate and shouldn’t be attempted lightly.

Some sections of road are particularly sandy

Botswana is well equipped for self-drivers, but there are long distances between parks, lodges, campsites, and towns, so travelling by road can be time consuming. Fortunately, much of northern Botswana is land dedicated to conservation and even when driving outside of the national parks, wildlife roams free, so the opportunities to see animals en route between locations are abundant.

Fly-in safari goers will save plenty of time as they make use of Botswana’s many scheduled flights and air-transfers, but this method of travel is obviously more expensive. There are road transfers available from the major towns, which offer a more affordable way to get from A to B, and although more time consuming, allow more time for game spotting.

Cash and Payments in Botswana

botswana pula Botswana’s pula

The currency in Botswana is Pula, which is a Tswana word meaning “rain”. Rain is cherished and welcomed because it brings life to the Kalahari. Pula is used throughout the country and is the accepted form of payment in restaurants, shops, and at hotels or lodges; however, most places in Maun, Kasane, Francistown, Gaborone, and other major towns accept international bank cards. ATMs are located in the above mentioned towns and one can withdraw cash before heading…

Cash and Payments in Botswana

botswana pula Botswana’s pula

The currency in Botswana is Pula, which is a Tswana word meaning “rain”. Rain is cherished and welcomed because it brings life to the Kalahari. Pula is used throughout the country and is the accepted form of payment in restaurants, shops, and at hotels or lodges; however, most places in Maun, Kasane, Francistown, Gaborone, and other major towns accept international bank cards. ATMs are located in the above mentioned towns and one can withdraw cash before heading into the parks and reserves where there are unlikely to be card facilities. Foreign currency is often accepted as a tip or gratuity to helpful staff and safari guides, but not as payment for something in commercial facilities. The current exchange rate is 1 BP = 0,10 USD.

Is Botswana safe?

Gabarone is the heart of Botswana's business district

Botswana is considered one of the safest countries in Africa to travel in; in fact, tourism is welcomed and valued by the local people in general, as it brings opportunities and income. There is no reason for tourists to feel unsafe anywhere in Botswana in terms of crime, as there have been very few reported incidents of petty theft, or other opportunistic crimes, especially against tourists. Having said that, it is always a good idea for travellers to be aware of where their valuable…

Is Botswana safe?

Gabarone is the heart of Botswana's business district

Botswana is considered one of the safest countries in Africa to travel in; in fact, tourism is welcomed and valued by the local people in general, as it brings opportunities and income. There is no reason for tourists to feel unsafe anywhere in Botswana in terms of crime, as there have been very few reported incidents of petty theft, or other opportunistic crimes, especially against tourists. Having said that, it is always a good idea for travellers to be aware of where their valuable items are stored while travelling and not to neglect common sense when it comes to safeguarding one’s possessions. The most likely place an incident would take place would be near a town and not out in the national parks, so the places to remain vigilant would be at petrol stations, or parking lots where opportunists might linger.

At Your Lodge in Botswana

Visitors to Botswana should always bear in mind that they are travelling to a country that cherishes its natural surroundings and pays enormous attention to conservation and the health of the environment. Botswana’s land is primarily dedicated to wildlife and sustaining a small population of people, so environmental impact is low. It is important to respect the effort gone to to protect the wild areas and to maintain a sustainable tourism infrastructure, and be reminded that waste…

At Your Lodge in Botswana

Visitors to Botswana should always bear in mind that they are travelling to a country that cherishes its natural surroundings and pays enormous attention to conservation and the health of the environment. Botswana’s land is primarily dedicated to wildlife and sustaining a small population of people, so environmental impact is low. It is important to respect the effort gone to to protect the wild areas and to maintain a sustainable tourism infrastructure, and be reminded that waste disposal, water and electricity usage, and sewage systems are likely to be sensitive. A good rule when staying in lodges is to conserve water, e.g. short showers, reusing towels and sheets.

Friendly lodge staff - photo credit Rachel Lang

A great idea when visiting Botswana is to learn a few words or greeting terms in the local language, Setswana. To be able to greet your guide, cashier, or driver in their local language is an easy and effortless way to show interest and appreciation for Botswana’s culture and custom.

Botswana Food and Tipping Practices

Safari lodges and camps in Botswana serve an array of internationally recognised food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and dietary requirements can be catered for with ease when given prior notice. Beef and chicken are popular meats eaten locally and served many ways in restaurants and in the dining rooms at lodges, so travellers can expect to enjoy food they know when being catered for in the country.

A traditional dish in Botswana

Local dishes include beef seswaa, bogobe (pap), and morogo, which are eaten…

Botswana Food and Tipping Practices

Safari lodges and camps in Botswana serve an array of internationally recognised food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and dietary requirements can be catered for with ease when given prior notice. Beef and chicken are popular meats eaten locally and served many ways in restaurants and in the dining rooms at lodges, so travellers can expect to enjoy food they know when being catered for in the country.

A traditional dish in Botswana

Local dishes include beef seswaa, bogobe (pap), and morogo, which are eaten throughout Botswana and surrounding countries. Beef seswaa is slow cooked beef (usually fillet), which is then shredded and cooked as a pot stew with an onion and pepper gravy. Bogobe, is ground cornmeal boiled with water and salt until it becomes a porridge-like consistency and is then served as the starch with meat and veg. Bogobe is often accompanied by a tomato and onion relish, or cooked spinach in a dish known as morogo. Meat is also traditionally grilled on open coals, as are large, white mielies (corn on the cob), which are farmed on a small, subsistence level. These are seen often on the roadside where vendors are set up with their grills serving the passing local public. The local beer is a St. Louis, and it goes down a treat!

White mielies (corn) are a Botswana staple

Tipping practice in Botswana can be compared to anywhere else in Africa. A general guideline for tipping servers at restaurants is to add 10% of one’s bill as a gratuity if one feels they received a good standard of service; however, as always, this amount is at the client’s discretion. When it comes to tipping one’s safari guide, a standardised approach is to tip an amount of 10% of the daily rate per person per day, and to pay it directly to one’s guide at the end of the stay. It is encouraged to show gratitude after an excellent safari experience by tipping well in either Pula, or the guest’s home currency. Housekeeping and kitchen staff, as well as back up guides, mokoro pollers, and boat drivers are also eligible for tips and there is often a deposit box for staff tips, while individual tips should be paid to the individuals themselves.

The Cultures of Botswana

Travellers greeting local Batswana will notice that the spoken “dumela rra/mma” (man/woman) is accompanied by a handshake with the right hand while the left hand moves to gently grasp one’s own right forearm. This greeting is commonly shared between local people, and tourists are welcome to take part in the tradition.

The people of Botswana are friendly and vibrant

A large number of people from Botswana and indeed southern Africa belong to a religion called Zionism, which is based on a fusion of African traditions and the…

The Cultures of Botswana

Travellers greeting local Batswana will notice that the spoken “dumela rra/mma” (man/woman) is accompanied by a handshake with the right hand while the left hand moves to gently grasp one’s own right forearm. This greeting is commonly shared between local people, and tourists are welcome to take part in the tradition.

The people of Botswana are friendly and vibrant

A large number of people from Botswana and indeed southern Africa belong to a religion called Zionism, which is based on a fusion of African traditions and the Christian faith. Members of the ZCC (Zion Christian Church), by religious guidance, do not eat pork, drink alcohol, or consume drugs, while some solely consume the white meat of chicken and fish, eradicating red meat from their diets altogether. Zionists can be recognised by some items of clothing, which on days of worship consist mostly of yellow and green, while most members often wear a lapel or badge of green cloth adorned with a metal badge indicating which branch of the church they belong to. Men also wear hats to indicate their religious affiliation.

Furthermore, it is not alignment with the Batswana custom to wash other peoples’ undergarments, and guests at lodges will notice that a laundry service is provided for all items of clothing with the exclusion of personal underwear.

Shopping and Markets in Botswana

Son of Soil is a particularly fun festival in Botswana

Every major town in Botswana has at least one shopping centre or mall, which includes major supermarkets, liquor stores, clothing, furniture, homeware, and electronic shops, in addition to local banks and ATMs. In terms of gift stores and curio shops, some safari lodges stock their own locally made woven baskets, jewellery, wooden carvings and bowls, and these items are usually sourced from communities in the area. A number of safari operators and lodges offer village visits as an…

Shopping and Markets in Botswana

Son of Soil is a particularly fun festival in Botswana

Every major town in Botswana has at least one shopping centre or mall, which includes major supermarkets, liquor stores, clothing, furniture, homeware, and electronic shops, in addition to local banks and ATMs. In terms of gift stores and curio shops, some safari lodges stock their own locally made woven baskets, jewellery, wooden carvings and bowls, and these items are usually sourced from communities in the area. A number of safari operators and lodges offer village visits as an opportunity to meet local people, learn about their culture, and understand their way of life, and these are often opportunities for travellers to purchase some locally crafted items. Be warned, these local markets are expensive and it is likely that similar items can be sourced in gift shops in Maun or Kasane at a cheaper price.

People come together at festivals and markets around Botswana

Languages in Botswana

The national language of Botswana is SeTswana, spoken by the Tswana people in the region, while English is recognised as a second official language and is spoken widely throughout the country. People in remote and rural areas that are not frequently visited by tourists are not likely to speak English well, so some basic SeTswana will go a long way in terms of communicating here. There are also about 20 unofficial dialects spoken by people belonging to less dominant tribal groups, such…

Languages in Botswana

The national language of Botswana is SeTswana, spoken by the Tswana people in the region, while English is recognised as a second official language and is spoken widely throughout the country. People in remote and rural areas that are not frequently visited by tourists are not likely to speak English well, so some basic SeTswana will go a long way in terms of communicating here. There are also about 20 unofficial dialects spoken by people belonging to less dominant tribal groups, such as Hambukushu, Seyei, Herero, and Kalanga, while only about five of the original 13 Bushman dialects remain, known collectively as SeSarwa.

People of Botswana

“Pula” is a word that is revered in Botswana, not only does it appear on the national coat of arms, but it embraces other meanings too. In its literal sense it means ‘let there be rain’ - in a country that is mostly semi-arid, rainfall is precious and appreciated as a blessed event.

The local currency is pula and it is also the country’s motto and rallying cry (in this context it means ‘shield’), and is shouted out by crowds at football matches whenever the national team, ‘The Zebras’, scores a goal.

Packing List for Botswana

A holiday in Botswana means being exposed to the elements on a daily basis, as game drives, bush walks, mokoro cruises, horseback safaris, and other outdoor activities take guests into the wild. No matter the time of year, it is important to pack lightweight, neutral coloured clothing, closed shoes, sun block, and other sun protection. During summer when it rains and is very warm, it is essential to take precautions against mosquitoes, whether that means being on prescribed malaria…

Packing List for Botswana

A holiday in Botswana means being exposed to the elements on a daily basis, as game drives, bush walks, mokoro cruises, horseback safaris, and other outdoor activities take guests into the wild. No matter the time of year, it is important to pack lightweight, neutral coloured clothing, closed shoes, sun block, and other sun protection. During summer when it rains and is very warm, it is essential to take precautions against mosquitoes, whether that means being on prescribed malaria prophylaxis or merely using mosquito repellent every day.

Camping is a great option in Botswana

During the rainy season, it is also advised to bring waterproof gear, such as a raincoat, or poncho, or a water-resistant jacket. A water-resistant bag for camera gear and other equipment will be handy in the rain, but most safari lodges utilise game viewers with canvas roofs and drop down sides to protect guests against unexpected rainfall. Waterproof ponchos are also provided by most lodges.

In winter, temperatures can drop to under 10 degrees Celsius, making morning game drives quite chilly, so packing a warm jacket, scarf, and a beanie is highly recommended for these occasions. In places like the Kalahari, desert temperatures are extreme, and in winter it can get very cold indeed, so travellers should make sure they prepare accordingly.

Suggested items to pack in general include basic medical aid; such as antihistamine and pain killers, in case of insect bites or allergic reactions to pollen or grass, in addition to any prescribed medication individuals may require. Outdoor gadgets that come in handy include a head torch or handheld torch, and a power bank or solar charger for mobile phones and camera batteries.

Vaccinations for Botswana

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for entering Botswana, but it is important to consider the surrounding countries that might require vaccinations if travellers will be crossing borders during their stay, e.g. Victoria Falls. Zambia requires a vaccination against Yellow Fever. Regarding hepatitis and tetanus; vaccinations are not required, but travellers are encouraged to consult their medical doctors for advice in these areas.

The same applies for malaria prophylaxis: it is…

Vaccinations for Botswana

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for entering Botswana, but it is important to consider the surrounding countries that might require vaccinations if travellers will be crossing borders during their stay, e.g. Victoria Falls. Zambia requires a vaccination against Yellow Fever. Regarding hepatitis and tetanus; vaccinations are not required, but travellers are encouraged to consult their medical doctors for advice in these areas.

The same applies for malaria prophylaxis: it is not essential, but it is advised that visitors get an opinion from their doctors. It is suggested that travellers spending time in high risk areas (towns and areas where a high human density can be found) consult their doctors for a prescription of Coartem to use for the treatment of malaria. It is not a preventative, but if malaria is diagnosed, it can be treated within 5 days to a week using Coartem. The disadvantage of taking malaria prophylaxis to prevent contracting malaria altogether is that it can have negative side effects, which can last for the entirety of the dose and have an unwelcome impact on a long awaited and expensive holiday.

Medical Emergencies in Botswana

Botswana has some remote and far-away places, and many of these places are likely to be where tourists are headed because they contain some of the best wildlife and most pristine natural areas in the country. There are a couple of highly rated emergency response teams that are equipped for both land and air rescue in Botswana, which should put tourists’ minds at ease when travelling through a wild and harsh country. If travellers are on a guided safari, they will have their local…

Medical Emergencies in Botswana

Botswana has some remote and far-away places, and many of these places are likely to be where tourists are headed because they contain some of the best wildlife and most pristine natural areas in the country. There are a couple of highly rated emergency response teams that are equipped for both land and air rescue in Botswana, which should put tourists’ minds at ease when travelling through a wild and harsh country. If travellers are on a guided safari, they will have their local guide to rely on who will have first aid qualifications and a medical response protocol to follow in an emergency. Safari lodges and camps are equipped with satellite telephones, Wi-Fi, or an accessible mobile phone network in order to be able to contact necessary medical facilities in an emergency.

If travellers have opted for the self-drive route, it is advisable to have purchased a SIM card for one of Botswana’s mobile networks, or to use international roaming in order to make calls domestically. In an emergency, Medical Emergency International (MRI) is one of the country’s leading ground and aerial ambulance response services and is available all day every day and can be contacted on the following numbers: 992 (toll free from any local network), or +267 3901601 (international). Patients can request to be flown to Millpark Trauma Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in the instance that the patient, nor anyone else in the party, can not speak, the MRI responders will transfer the patient to the hospital appropriate for his/her medical condition. Millpark Trauma Hospital is the best and most-frequently used hospital in the region.

The Healthcare System in Botswana

The public sector dominates the healthcare system in Botswana - operating most of the care facilities. However, there is a huge gap between public and private medical provisions, and tourists are recommended to purchase private health insurance for the trip duration to Botswana.

People using different modes of transport

As in much of the rest of Africa, the public healthcare system mainly serves a lower-income bracket, while expats and those who can afford it use the private healthcare system.

A night sky view of Botswana

It is always recommended…

The Healthcare System in Botswana

The public sector dominates the healthcare system in Botswana - operating most of the care facilities. However, there is a huge gap between public and private medical provisions, and tourists are recommended to purchase private health insurance for the trip duration to Botswana.

People using different modes of transport

As in much of the rest of Africa, the public healthcare system mainly serves a lower-income bracket, while expats and those who can afford it use the private healthcare system.

A night sky view of Botswana

It is always recommended that visitors make use of travel insurance and medical aid services supplied by their providers at home, which will ensure that they can benefit from treatment in the private healthcare facilities in Botswana. Citizens of Botswana pay a very small fee for healthcare in public hospitals and mobile clinics, as the healthcare they receive is mostly subsidised. Private healthcare providers are geared towards catering for tourism, and provide a good service. Recommended medical services for tourists in Botswana are Medical Rescue International, and Okavango Air Rescue.

Travel Insurance for Botswana

Comprehensive insurance is encouraged for anyone travelling through Botswana or any other African country for that matter. It is no secret that these adventures of a lifetime come with their associated risks, i.e. wild animals, challenging terrain and road conditions, and poor public health services, so taking out travel and medical insurance that will cover specific area-related medical emergencies or unexpected incidents is the safest and most recommended way to go.

A lodge in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

Before…

Travel Insurance for Botswana

Comprehensive insurance is encouraged for anyone travelling through Botswana or any other African country for that matter. It is no secret that these adventures of a lifetime come with their associated risks, i.e. wild animals, challenging terrain and road conditions, and poor public health services, so taking out travel and medical insurance that will cover specific area-related medical emergencies or unexpected incidents is the safest and most recommended way to go.

A lodge in Botswana (credit Rachel Lang)

Before embarking on a trip to Botswana, travellers should make sure they have comprehensive medical cover for specific activities they might like to partake in while on holiday. For example, bush walking, game viewing, horse back riding, bungee jumping, etc. One should be covered for any incidents relating to wild animals and should have authorisation for a medical evacuation, so that the necessary measures can be taken in an emergency in a remote area. Taking out insurance to protect cash, camera equipment, and baggage is also advisable, and should fall under comprehensive cover. It is recommended that prior to departure, travellers have a copy of their medical and travel insurance policies and an emergency phone number to call so that this information is available when fellow travellers, guides, lodge staff, or emergency personnel might need it.

Travel insurance should also be taken out to cover the traveller in case of an unexpected change in holiday itinerary or an unforeseen cancellation. One should also ensure they have access to money via credit card or an electronic funds transfer, as it is likely that payment for medical treatment will have to be paid up front and then claimed back from the insurance company later.

A Botswana Safari Cost

Botswana is an expensive holiday destination in comparison to neighbouring safari country, South Africa. Lodges and camps charge high prices, and additional activities, private guides, exclusive use of lodges or game viewers come at a fair price too. Domestic flights and national park fees add to costs. That being said, the value of the experience is superior given the pristine wilderness that Botswana possesses and the level of expertise with which staff run the lodge operations.

Elephants in Moremi (credit Rachel Lang)

A…

A Botswana Safari Cost

Botswana is an expensive holiday destination in comparison to neighbouring safari country, South Africa. Lodges and camps charge high prices, and additional activities, private guides, exclusive use of lodges or game viewers come at a fair price too. Domestic flights and national park fees add to costs. That being said, the value of the experience is superior given the pristine wilderness that Botswana possesses and the level of expertise with which staff run the lodge operations.

Elephants in Moremi (credit Rachel Lang)

A great holiday in Botswana would last about a week to ten days, giving travellers enough time to see at least two of the country’s best natural areas; perhaps the Okavango Delta, Savuti Marsh, and Chobe River. Booking to visit during peak season would also ensure the best wildlife experience, and the most comfortable weather conditions; however, this would also up the price of the visit. A week-long holiday visiting the three destinations mentioned here during peak season in Botswana could cost about US$8000 per person.

The People and Culture of the Okavango

Another highlight of Botswana is its people. Botswana is a mesh of many different tribes with unique origins and beliefs. The dominant group is Tswana (79%) whose language Setswana (or Tswana) is the spoken by 90 % of Batswana. The Tswana have a deeply entrenched system of chieftainship and a rich cultural heritage rooted in deep traditional values, reflected in proverbs such as “we are people because of other people”.

The San Bushmen have a rich heritage in Botswana

The first inhabitants of Botswana were the Basarwa (3%)…

The People and Culture of the Okavango

Another highlight of Botswana is its people. Botswana is a mesh of many different tribes with unique origins and beliefs. The dominant group is Tswana (79%) whose language Setswana (or Tswana) is the spoken by 90 % of Batswana. The Tswana have a deeply entrenched system of chieftainship and a rich cultural heritage rooted in deep traditional values, reflected in proverbs such as “we are people because of other people”.

The San Bushmen have a rich heritage in Botswana

The first inhabitants of Botswana were the Basarwa (3%) (Often know as San Bushmen). The traditional Basarwa lifestyle of hunter gathering has sadly diminished over the years with the historic homelands of the Basarwa replaced by National Parks and towns. Basarwa people, who can further be divided into several groups with distinct ‘click’ languages, are no longer able to live the traditional nomadic life of their ancestors. Walking with bushmen is a fascinating activity that attracts visitors over and again to regions like the Central Kalahari and the Makgadikgadi salt pans. The baYei are another very interesting tribal group who arrived in the Okavango region from the Barostse floodlands of the Zambezi and lived in harmony with the Basarwa (known as Bukakhwe in the area). The baYei introduced the ‘mokoro’ dugout canoe, still used widely today as a way of transport and for fishing along the delta channels from village to village.