Botswana

Botswana: Luxury & Private Safaris

Going on safari to Botswana should be on everyone’s list.

Botswana is a country of diverse beauty and excellent game-viewing, and the ideal choice for a luxury custom safari. From the channels of the Okavango (the world’s only inland delta), to the waterless salt pans, to the muddy banks of the Chobe River teeming with elephants, to the vast Central Kalahari, Botswana is filled with an array of landscapes and uniquely adapted flora and fauna. The variety of landscapes also lends itself to an array of safari activities and ways to experience this stunning country.

The most popular areas for safaris goers are the Okavango Delta, the Linyanti, Chobe National Park, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Salt Pans.

Thanks to massive tracks of game concessions providing an abundant mix of both predator and prey, visitors are assured of a memorable trip. Botswana’s exclusive safari lodges, excellent service, conservation ethos and good infrastructure make it a welcoming safari destination.

Secrets and Tips from our Botswana Safari Experts

  • Peak game viewing: June – October (October is very hot!)
  • The “best” properties in the Okavango Delta shift throughout the year depending on water levels.
  • Mix properties in two areas of the Okavango Delta to get land and water experiences.
  • If you are watching your budget stay more nights at fewer properties. Limiting internal flights will reduce your trip cost.

Is Botswana the right safari destination for you?

  • Botswana is a good choice for travelers who want remote, wild areas and great game-viewing without giving up comfort or luxury.
  • Botswana has a wealth of luxurious camps that are set in remote areas with strict limits on the number of people who can be in the concession at once. These camps offer privacy and excellent game viewing without hoards of guests disturbing the peace. These luxurious camps also come with excellent service and expert guiding.
  • Being a politically stable country, it is ideal for visitors who are concerned with security. Botswana also has a well-established infrastructure that allows for easy transfers and access to camps.
  • Regular regional flights from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe make Botswana an easy destination to combine with other countries in Southern Africa.

When to visit Botswana

For the northern areas, including the Okavango and the Linyanti, we recommend traveling from June through September when game viewing is at its best. High water levels from annual floods force wildlife to concentrate on accessible islands, yet it is the dry season so the animals congregate near water. In addition, the lack of leaves on trees and bushes due to colder weather makes animals easier to spot. October is considered the peak month for wildlife photographers but it is not uncommon for temperatures to hit 110 degrees.

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How much should I budget for a trip to Botswana?

$ $ $ $ $

Botswana: Luxury & Private Safaris

As a safari destination, Botswana offers exclusive luxury in remote areas. Naturally, this exclusivity and luxury comes at a premium.

As a rule, high season (July to October) a safari in Botswana can cost from $750 per person day at a property like Hyena Pan, to $3,000 – $3,800 per person per day at properties like Mombo or Zarafa. Low season (January to March) prices start at around $450 – $600 per person per day and peak at $2,300 per person per day at the high-end camps.

Our favorite areas

What else should I know before planning a safari to Botswana?

  • Botswana: Luxury & Private Safaris: The privacy and luxury that define a Botswana safari also means that it is a comparatively expensive destination. Although some great deals can be found at certain times of year, in general, Botswana is not best for travelers looking to save money.
  • Botswana: Flights: Transfers in and around Botswana are largely by air and in small planes so it is not ideal if you dislike flying or small planes.
  • Botswana: Travel Warnings: Although it is possible to visit properties in the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi that offer the chance to interact with members of the San Bushmen, Botswana is not the best destination for travelers who want numerous opportunities for cultural interactions.
  • Botswana: Service: Many safari camps in Botswana are part of larger property groups. While this often means smooth and friendly service, it is in contrast to the quirky, personal touch of owner-run properties you can find in a place like Zambia or Kenya.

Ways to experience Botswana

Botswana can be experienced in a number of different ways – from canvas tents, to luxury lodges, in the footsteps of an elephant, on a horse, or in a canoe or mokoro.

The country has a variety of different accommodation options such as mobile camping, lodges, and luxury canvas tents. Lodges like Chobe Game Lodge are more suited to groups while intimate camps like Little Mombo cater to families, small groups and couples.

A variety of fun and interesting activities are available:

For adrenaline seekers, quad biking and ATVs are operated during the dry season in the desert areas. Bushmen walks offer a fascinating look into the traditional and rapidly changing culture of the San people.  

Game drives are conducted in open 4 x 4 vehicles, and where water is present mokoro excursions, motor boating and fishing are provided. Many camps also do nature walks through the bush.

For the adventurous and active, consider overnight horseback safaris, or multi-night mobile camping.

We also recommend the specialist elephant interactions at Abu CampStanley’s Camp and Baines Camp. These are incredible experiences for animal lovers to get up close to and appreciate these gentle giants.

For an interaction of a smaller kind, guests at Jack’s CampSan Camp and Camp Kalahari have the chance to interact with groups of habituated meerkats.

Wildlife you will see

Botswana is home to a wide variety of species including leopard, lion, rhino, cheetah, hyena, wild dog, hippo, buffalo, duiker, aardvark, civet, serval and the jackal.

There are also many antelope species such as wildebeest, tsessebe, roan, sable, kudu, impala, and sitatunga.

The desert is famous for habituated meerkat and brown hyena.

Chobe is well known for its puku and massive herds of elephant, and Savute has a large predator population. The marshes and swamps are a birders paradise with countless interesting bird species, such as the Wattle Crane and Pel’s Fishing Owl.

Your expert guides are sure to show you the unique species of the region.

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