It is arguable that Botswana honeymoon safaris are right up there with being some of the most unique honeymoon experiences in the world. It certainly is one of, if not the most romantic and adventurous ways to kick off the dawn of a new marriage.
In truth, most of the camps lodges and locations we encourage people to go to on a Botswana safari cater very well to honeymooners so it becomes very subjective to each, and different couples as to what would make for the best Botswana honeymoon safaris.
Our general rule of thumb when considering exactly what to do is to stick to your normal travel personality traits and discuss with us the degree of adventure, luxury and relaxation you feel you may want. There are a few things that immediately elevate a trip from ordinary to honeymoon category. Private guides and vehicles where possible, remote safari camps in off the beaten track parks or reserves, touches of luxury either at the medium or opulent scale for example.
One of our top picks for honeymoon safaris would undoubtedly be Botswana as it offers some of the best wildlife in Africa and can easily be complimented with relaxation on white sandy tropical beaches in South Africa. The diversity of the national parks in this country is something to behold as is the diversity of wildlife and quality of the camps and lodges.
Botswana's Okavango Delta has a selection of camps that ooze luxury honeymoon safari with the service and standards of traditional 5-star properties worldwide. There are so many options to choose from!
So much of travel to Africa and the type of experiences that as individuals we want or need, is highly subjective to each individual person. For that reason, we do strongly recommend that at this point you get in touch for a “getting to know you” conversation with one of our team. We are absolute in our belief that this is the only way to achieve a truly Tailormade Africa Honeymoon experience….. for you.
A Botswana Safari is considered by many to be Africa's finest offering on the continent in terms of raw, unadulterated wilderness and most exhilarating experiences.
Clyde is your Botswana safari expert having spent many years working as a professional guide and also more recently countless visits to keep up to date with what is offered at the various lodges and camps across the country. If you would like honest advice contact Clyde or call him on +44 780972 6266 or email him on [email protected].
Whilst most of the country is swallowed up by the massive Kalahari Desert, the northern parts are crisscrossed by a rich network of beautiful waterways which makes for fantastic contrasts of different and varied safari adventures. The region is most famous for three things. First, its massive private concessions within safari areas where you will share your safari with very few other people. Secondly, a great variety of activities including, day and night game drives, walking safaris, boating and Makoro safaris. Finally the incredible concentration and diversity of wildlife.
There are six main areas of interest in Botswana where safari of the highest order takes place. The Okavango Delta is the primary focus of every Botswana Safari with its unique myriad of habitats, wildlife and birdlife. The Linyanti Reserve just a little north of the Okavango Delta, partly connected by the Selinda Spillway, where the larger herds of Elephant and Buffalo can be found along with extraordinary numbers of predator species and sightings. To the east of these Botswana Safari areas are the much-lauded Chobe National Park and Savute famous for insane numbers of Elephant and excellent dry season general game viewing both on land and along the Chobe River. Further south we have the Makgadikgadi which is made up of large expansive grassland plains and seasonal migrating herds of Zebra and Wildebeest.
Epic Landscapes complimented by very cool activities such as San Bushmen cultural experiences, Quad Biking over the baron salt pans and spending time with wild "too cool for school" Meerkats. Finally, we have the Central Kalahari. A region that is virtually the polar opposite of normal Botswana Safari Landscapes, being incredibly dry with little natural permanent water present. This sensational national Park provides the ultimate contrast and foil to the rich waterways of the Okavango Delta, Linyanti and Chobe National Park and affords the chance to see some unique wildlife and birdlife in a completely immersive ecosystem. Black Maned Lion, Brown Hyena, Caracal, African wildcat Bat Eared Fox, Pangolin and Honeybadgers, whilst not exactly commonplace, are much more readily spotted and available to you here.
We love Botswana for its all-out dedication to conserving and protecting its natural resources. Nowhere else in Africa will you see wildlife on top of the agenda as it is here. The original driving force behind their economy – diamonds - is set to dry up around 2026. In light of this, the government has taken the decision to truly focus on tourism as one of their main income spinners.
Although Botswana can be quite pricey in comparison to the rest of safari Africa you will be rewarded with access to massive wilderness areas that you will share with very few other people. There are ways of getting around these exceptionally high prices and many of our clients will choose to travel in the “shoulder season” in April-June and again in November.
The concentrations of wildlife are simply staggering in the dry season but the viewing remains fantastic throughout the year, so don’t write it off in the wet season! The habitats here are some of the most pristine anywhere on the planet. You simply have to experience places like this whilst they are still around for us to enjoy.
The Okavango Delta is the crown jewel of the country and every Botswana safari should include some time here. It is a massive fan-shaped wetland which provides its inhabitants with one of the most pristine habitats on the planet. The Okavango River system which feeds it begins its journey in the highlands of Angola before it is swallowed up by the sands of the Kalahari. The area generally experiences two flood periods – the early floods (January-March) and the main floods (April-June). The first is caused by local rainfall and the second is brought on when the floodwaters arrive from Angola.
The scale and magnificence of the Delta helped it to secure a position as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Although not a reserve as such, the wetland is surrounded by massive private concessions which are each home to very few camps indeed. Because of the nature of the terrain the area is accessed almost exclusively by fly-in safaris. This all equates to one of the most private and exclusive safari experiences available in Africa today.
Through our experience, we have found that it is very important to carefully select which areas you visit here. In general, the more water there is within an area, the less big game there will be. These wet areas are incredibly beautiful and will give you a taste of the classic Okavango but they must be combined with a drier area elsewhere in the Delta or even in the Linyanti region for an injection of big game.
We especially love the area around the northern side of the Delta (Duba, Vumbura, Kwara, Shinde) because the concessions here allow for a perfect combination of wet and dry activities (approx 30/70% mix). This also equates to an exceptionally diverse habitat which plays host to an incredible array of species. Further east, the Khwai concession still offers phenomenal game viewing with a much more affordable price tag due to the fact that it is not a private area. To the south-east the drier Chitabe/Sandibe concession offers possibly the richest big game viewing of all. Moving south and west, the concessions become more heavily inundated by the flood and the game viewing here becomes less reliable.
The classic Okavango activity is a makoro safari. The locals have for centuries used these traditional dug-out canoes to travel around the Delta and they will allow you to slide quietly through the lilies in search of some of the smaller creatures which inhabit the area. You should definitely try at least one whilst you are there! The walking safaris here also tend to focus on the finer details of the ecosystem whilst game drives will allow you to cover more ground and see more big game. Finally, boating safaris will allow you to get around and explore more of the pristine waterways and channels in the shortest time possible.
This massive 220,000-acre wilderness must surely be one of our favourite areas anywhere in Africa. Situated in a remote part of the northern Okavango Delta, it is accessed exclusively by light aircraft from Maun, Kasane or other camps in Botswana. In this wonderfully healthy ecosystem, you can even drink the water straight from the swamp itself!
The unique combination of habitats means that almost every species to be found in the Delta may be seen here. For instance, it is one of the few places in the world where sable antelope and red lechwe are found together. The predator viewing can be fantastic with lion, leopard, wild dog, cheetah and hyena all making regular appearances. The larger iconic species such as elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe and zebra are also present in good numbers. This is all rounded off with an exceptionally diverse range of birds to keep anyone delighted.
Another product of this unique combination of habitats is the ideal mix of 70% dry activities and 30% wet activities. The dry activities will allow you to cover more ground in your search for big game whilst the wet activities will allow you to experience the beauty and serenity of the classic Okavango habitats. Day and night drives, walking safaris, makoros and boating safaris are all possible here, as well as fishing in season.
Because it is a private concession off-road driving is also permitted in search of special sightings. Unusually for the Delta, the game viewing is actually very consistent and reliable throughout the year. In fact, we strongly believe that this is one of the very best concessions in Botswana!
• A beautiful location in the western Okavango Delta
• 150,000 acres of private traversing and off-roading rights
• Game drives, night drives, walking and boating safaris as well as makoros and fishing
• Offering the quintessential Okavango Delta wetland experience
• Huge populations of hippos, crocodiles and red lechwe
If there is one area which particularly captures and embodies what the Okavango Delta is all about, then it must surely be the Jao Concession. The Jao Flats in the east are a wetland paradise, consisting of shallow swamps and extensive floodplains teeming with herds of red lechwe and other herbivores, followed by their predators, lion and leopard. Good numbers of hippo and crocodile make the deeper channels their home. During the floods there is water as far as the eye can see and makoros or boats become the main mode of transport.
Further to the west, a large sand tongue culminates in the form of Hunda Island. Having access to more dry land means that the game viewing here is more reliable throughout the year. Larger herds of zebra, wildebeest and impala are to be found here and this means that hyena and leopard viewing is particularly impressive.
The concession is home to six different camps, but as they are small and spread out over such a large area, the density of other guests is still very low. The full suite of safari activities is offered here and you will have a choice between game drives, night drives, walking safaris, makoros, boating and even fishing. The water levels very enormously depending on the season and this will have a large bearing on your mode of exploration.
The Duba Concession in this north-west region of the Delta is up there with one of the best wilderness areas in Africa. It is not an exaggeration to say that it simply astonishing what can occur in this beautiful but raw, even primaeval part of the Okavango. The extreme experiences one can have here is aided fully by there being only one camp offering, Duba Expedition camp as it is known now, whilst Duba Plains is rebuilt.
Wildlife filmmakers Derek and Beverly Joubert own the company that has some of Africa’s finest camps, Duba Expedition/Plains being firmly among that list. Their view and ethos of how a safari should be run is uncompromising and frankly the gold standard that everyone should follow.
At Duba, the concession is run by the Lion and Buffalo. This age old rivalry of hunter and prey comes to the fore in the most extreme of ways in this concession as the Lion here primarily only hunt Buffalo and do so in and around water. The lionesses in this region are impossibly large and powerful, stirring huge respect and a little fear in one’s heart. It is thrilling to say the least to be in amongst this raw wilderness and we would recommend to everyone that they should experience the Duba concession
The area is not just about Lion and Buffalo and in fact the rest of the traditional game viewing is surprisingly good with Birding even having a shout out for being particularly high quality. This is due mainly because both wet and dry safari are possible here for the majority of the year with a good mix of habitat and vegetation.
• Located close to Maun in the south-eastern Okavango Delta
• Almost 70,000 acres of private traversing and off-roading rights
• Activities focussed solely on game drives, night drives and walking safari
• Expanses of dry land equate to the most consistent big game viewing in Botswana
• Unusual species such as honey badger, aardwolf and bat-eared fox
When it comes to debating the best concessions in the Okavango Delta this slice of paradise must surely make the shortlist. Although it is not the largest area in the Delta, the three camps on the reserve share an area of almost 70,000 acres, so the guest density is still relatively low. With the Santandibe River forming the western boundary and the Gomoti River in the east the concession is surrounded by enough water to sustain a huge amount of life. The core of the area is however dry and this equates to consistently good game viewing throughout the year.
During previous visits we have managed to find lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and hyena in a single day. These sought-after sightings are well supported by large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe and zebra as well as a plethora of antelope and plains game species. Other rare and unusual species seem to make regular appearances as well and these may include honey badger, aardwolf and bat-eared fox.
The only downside to this area is the complete lack of water-based safari activities. Because of this we always recommend combining it with other areas such as Jao, Vumbura or Xigera to gain a full understanding of the classic Okavango Delta wetlands. We will end off by saying though, that this place offers without doubt some of the best big game viewing in Botswana and simply must be considered!
The Moremi Central National Park is a vast landmass at around 198,000 hectares running through the centre of the Okavango Delta that is home to some of the most amazing wildlife sightings and experiences in Africa. The park has 2 distinct regions. The Mopane Tongue which is generally a very busy sector of visitors given its ease of access and Chiefs Island, far from the reaches of the general public accessible only by light aircraft.
For this giant area there are just 4 camps, all of which are quite special and offer very different experiences. The extremely famous Mombo and Little Mombo which are the 2 flagship camps of this area, the all luxury pampering Chiefs Camp and the more understated but beautiful Xigera.
It is the wildlife viewing that commands such respect and fervor to clamber over one another to stay at these camps, mostly true with the Mombo camps. Lion and Leopard and just about common place with good herds of Elephant and buffalo and a dizzying array of woodland and pains game to back up this wonderful card of wildlife. Cheifs camp and Xigera are the only two camps that offer wet and dry safari, with the Mombo camps only offering vehicle safaris.
Another great allure of this region is how few people there are here. In fact other than the few other visitors from camp you will not see another soul whilst out on safari.
This private concession of the Okavango Delta lies in the Southwest region and is approximately 180,000 Hectares in size with just 3 camps. Visitor numbers are restricted to just 48 at any one time between those camps giving a very favourable visitor density ratio. This epitomizes why safari in Botswana is sought after, for these exclusive free roaming areas of pristine wilderness.
Being this far south means that even in the full flood of the Delta all 3 camps are able to offer a great mix of land and water based activities which we feel is hugely important to the overall experience of safari in the Okavango. It does however mean that once the flood water recedes, there can be a reduction in the quality of the wet safari activities namely Mokoro and motor boat safari.
The game viewing is pretty reliable all year round though as with everywhere there are peaks and troughs. The 3 camps of Abu, Macatoo and Seba all have very particular focusses which dramatically help with any shortfall in traditional game viewing expectations. General plains game and woodland or forest species remain good all year round with predator numbers perhaps being more prolific in the concession further north and east of Abu. We therefore recommend the Abu concession be combined with another location in Botswana to balance the experience.
This massive region lies just north of the Okavango Delta and consists of 3 enormous private concessions – the Kwando, Selinda and Linyanti concession itself. The area is famous for the massive herds of elephants and buffalo which roam through here on their path between Botswana and Namibia. The concentration of predators is also exceptionally high and interactions between lions, leopards and hyenas are fairly commonplace. Perhaps the most special sighting to be had here though is that of the African Wild Dog. As this is Africa’s second most endangered carnivore, many people come here in search of this species alone.
We truly believe that this area competes with the Okavango Delta in terms of game viewing and at some times of the year even surpasses it! It is a place which has really captured our hearts. Few of the camps here are affordable but the high price tag will reward you with one of Africa’s most exciting and exclusive safaris. The one downside to the Linyanti is that it is dominated by mopane woodlands. In the wet season, these low bushes flush with fresh green leaves and this can make visibility a little more challenging from January to April.
The first concession to mention is Kwando, which is the largest in the area, measuring an impressive 550,000 acres. Only two camps share this enormous tract of land – Lagoon and Lebala, both operated by Kwando Safaris. These camps are certainly very comfortable but this company focusses on the safari experience itself above luxury. There is very little in it but we slightly prefer the style of Lebala, whilst Lagoon offers more varied activities.
Next is the Selinda concession, coming in at 320,000 acres. It is home to three main camps owned and operated by Derek and Beverly Joubert – world renowned National Geographic filmmakers. Under the Great Plains Conservation banner you will find Selinda Explorers (one of the most authentic camps around), Selinda Camp (a more classic style of safari) and Zarafa (which easily competes for the best camp in Botswana). Much further south Motswiri offers a great value for this area, where horse riders and more adventurous guests will feel right at home.
The Linyanti concession itself is operated by Wilderness Safaris, who have built a great reputation for themselves as one of Botswana’s leading safari companies. Kings Pool sits at the throne as the most luxurious premier camp, whilst Duma Tau and Savute camp are set at a more classic level. We love DumaTau in particular for its modern and dynamic design. There is just a very special atmosphere to be experienced here.
It is also worth mentioning an area which is actually part of the Chobe Forest Reserve but lies on the Linyanti River and has been partitioned off for the exclusive use of African Bush Camps. The Linyanti Bush and Ebony Camps here can also offer fantastic game viewing in the dry season and come in at a much lower price than the other camps in this area.
Within the Kalahari ecosystem lies a series of expansive salt flats protected predominantly by the Makgadigadi Pan and Nxai Pan National Parks. This area is exceptionally dry and arid, so game is usually sparse and difficult to find in the dry season (May – November). At this time of the year it is the smaller things which will fascinate you. Meerkats, aardwolfs, brown hyenas and aardvarks take centre stage whilst walking with the San Bushmen give you a real cultural injection. Some parts of this area are dotted with grass islands and salt-resistant palm trees but there are also places here which are so barren you may feel as though you have landed on the moon. In these parts there is an eerie silence. No insects chirp, there is no sound and if you look far enough you can even see the curvature of the earth.
During the late rainy season (March-April) up to 25,000 zebras migrate into the pans from the Okavango Delta – a round trip of some 360 miles . This well-kept secret represents the second largest movement of zebras on the continent which are also followed closely by their predators. Whilst the numbers of game are undoubtedly greater in the wet season, there is an argument to say that the dry season is the best time to experience the real essence of the pans.
The three most luxurious offerings in this area are operated by Uncharted Africa in a private concession to the east of the national park. Owner Ralph Bousfeld is one of Africa’s most renowned private guides and he personally ensures that his guides receive exceptional training. His father was a pioneer of safaris in Botswana and the flagship Jack’s Camp is named in his honour but we personally prefer the equally luxurious San Camp for its more light and airy feel. The comparatively simple Camp Kalahari offers a more affordable way to experience the unique activities on offer here.
The Boteti River forms the western boundary of the park and draws wildlife in from miles around. It is at its best from June – November when the river becomes a series of pools and animals are forced to concentrate around it. There are two options for exploring this area. Meno A Kwena is another adventurous camp with a decidedly quirky flair and is run by another old safari hand, David Dugmore. Leroo La Tau is a more luxurious lodge with a beautiful situation on the Boteti.
To the north, Nxai Pan National Park is a somewhat more subtle safari experience as the salt pans in this area are not quite as stark or expansive as Makgadigadi. The only camp here is operated by Kwando Safaris and can make for a great combination with the Delta or Kwando camps in the green season.
Located in the remote far eastern corner of Botswana where the Limpopo and Shashe rivers meet, Mashatu Game Reserve lies in a vast landscape of open plains, grassland, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshland and majestic sandstone ridges. The reserve comprises 29,000 hectares (72,000 acres) of privately owned land in the conserved wilderness area known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve and is where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa meet.
Mashatu, translated as "Land of Giants”, takes its name from the locally-sacrosanct Mashatu or Nyala berry tree (Xanthrocercis Zambesiaca). These magnificent dark green trees, which are found along the rivers in the reserve, provide refuge, shade and food to a vast array of wildlife. Mashatu, which is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in southern Africa, is home to one of the largest herds of elephant on the continent and provides excellent sitings of Africa's big seven giants including the giraffe, eland, ostrich, the kori bustard, the iconic baobab tree and the king of beasts: the lion.
The Mashatu Game Reserve enjoys ecological biodiversity uncommon in other game reserves due to the diversity of the landscapes. Three members of the Big Five : leopard, lion and elephant are complimented by some lesser well-known, species, including the aardwolf (or “earth wolf”), the bat-eared fox, the African wildcat, the honey badger, the spotted hyena and the black-backed jackal. Mashatu is also home to more than 350 bird species, ensuring it is an alluring spot for those interested in bird life and bird photography.