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Botswana safaris are considered by many to be Africa's finest offering on the continent in terms of raw, unadulterated wilderness and most exhilarating experiences. Clyde, our resident Botswana safaris expert has 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 us or call Clyde on +44 780972 6266 or email him on [email protected].
- One of Africa’s most private and exclusive safari holiday destinations
- An extensive safari circuit, coupled with a large array of activities
- Diverse habitats ranging from the lush Okavango Delta to the harsh Kalahari
- The largest population of elephants and African wild dogs on the planet
- Amongst the most stable economic and political climates in Africa
- Easy to combine with a visit to South Africa & the Victoria Falls
How to plan a safari in Botswana?
Safaris in Botswana may look like they could be quite straightforward to plan. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just about picking one camp in the Okavango Delta to do the typical Delta activities, one in Chobe National Park to find the big herds of ellies and one in the Central Kalahari to get your desert fix - and Bob’s your uncle!
Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that easy… but don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Firstly, we need to know what you want to get from your holiday. Of course, the game viewing is a priority, but what else? The Okavango Delta is truly enormous, and each area is completely different depending on the time of year you travel, and where the water levels sit. Some camps, for example, are completely cut off from land at certain times of the year. This is ideal for those who want to have some ‘downtime’ or embark on water-based activities only, but if you’re keen to do some game drives and/or walks as well, then you’ll be a bit stuck!
The country has SO much to offer, it really is worth picking up the phone to chat with us and we can help you plan the perfect trip to this beautiful and game-rich country.
What time of year is best to safari in Botswana?
We get this question all the time! In fact, it may seem cliché, but there isn’t an overall ‘best’ time to visit Botswana – and we aren’t just doing the sales thing. It really depends on what you want to get from your trip of a lifetime! The traditional Southern Africa safari best times of year being from July through to mid November are still true here for the best and most prolific wildlife sightings.
If you’re keen to see the world’s second-largest zebra migration, then you would need to visit Botswana ideally between January and early March. The varying water levels in the Okavango Delta will impact the activities you want to enjoy (i.e. game drives may be more difficult when the water levels are at their peak in August) and then you may not be too excited about the stifling heat which Botswana experiences in October although you may be rewarded with excellent game viewing. There are also parts of the country where you’re more likely to see certain types of animals or game interactions. For example, the brown hyena can be found in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Makgadikgadi National Park but cannot be seen in the Delta or Chobe. This is the same for meerkats. Wild dog sightings most often happen in the Moremi National Park, and if you’re based toward the neck of the Delta, you may be lucky enough to find some epic action where lions hunt buffalo in the daytime. So you see, it really does depend!
What to do in Botswana besides safari?
Being out in the raw wilderness that is Botswana is a given when you visit this beautiful country. Wide-open spaces, a really rich variety of ecosystems and yes, of course, setting out on safari to see all the amazing animals the country supports. That doesn’t mean there isn’t more – in fact there is SO much more!
A photographer’s dream, we would highly recommend you take a helicopter flight over the Okavango Delta to get some amazing birds-eye-view shots of wildlife, including hippos making their way through their ready-made water channels. Jump into a mokoro (a dugout canoe propelled by stick) and get up-close to tiny and spectacularly beautiful frogs on reeds as you sit low in the water. Game walks can only be conducted in some areas, but experience some of the small stuff you’d miss in a vehicle and learn about bush medicine from your local guide. Take a boat along one of the Delta channels to look for the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl, or cast a line to see if you can catch a tasty tilapia or three. Visit a meerkat colony and witness their cheeky ways. Take a quad bike into the Makgadikgadi salt pans and take snaps of yourself alongside enormous baobab trees. Or, if you are keen for something really different and truly special, spend time with San Bushmen and learn all about their traditional lifestyle and culture. There is so much to explore, so let us help you plan the perfect trip for you and your loved ones!
What to pack for a safari in Botswana?
Botswana strives to be as responsible as possible when it comes to tourism. We, therefore, believe that no one should travel here without a reusable water bottle. The majority of camps have filtered water available for you to fill up as and when you need, and this helps to reduce plastic in the most remote parts of the country.
Given the camps are also in really unique ecosystems and have ways to reduce their impact on the environment, we’d recommend bringing some eco-friendly soaps to help minimise any impact.
Camps provide their own toiletries for you to use, however, if you think you may need more then, please do consider ‘going eco’. And, of course, you’re going on safari so one thing you simply must not forget, is a pair of good quality binoculars! With nearly 600 species of birds, 170 mammals, and 150 reptiles, you really will not want to miss having these on your person at all times.
What to wear on safari in Botswana?
You’ll be very grateful for investing in a good pair of walking boots, that’s for sure! Even if you don’t set out on walking safaris as such, the bush can be harsh on trainers and so something more sturdy will prevent your tootsies from being nailed by those massive Acacia thorns!
When it comes to clothes, lowkey colours are best and layering up is the thing to do. It may be sweltering during the day, but it often surprises us just how nippy it can get in the evenings. Also, a top tip from us is to bring an extra jacket with you for evenings around the fire! One of our favourite things about safaris is enjoying an ice-cold something and sharing stories around the firepit. That said, unfortunately, it also means you may end up being slightly smoky come the next day so a spare top may be welcome! Finally – don’t forget your sunglasses and sun cream. That African sun is hot!
How much does a safari cost in Botswana?
There is only one way to say it: safaris in Botswana are not cheap. That said, here at Tailormade Africa, we are experts in the country and have outstanding relationships with our partners on the ground, so we will always do what we can to avoid breaking the bank! It’s worth noting that much of the cost associated with a safari in Botswana has to do with the remoteness of the camps that you’ll be visiting. Getting out to the middle of the Okavango Delta or down to the Central Kalahari is only possible by light aircraft, and each leg adds an extra dollar or two to your final price tag. That said, you’re also paying for absolute exclusivity, and in most cases, you’ll only really ever see people from your camp so you can forget those scenes of hundreds of cars around one animal sighting!
Due to conservation efforts, there are limits to how many people can physically be in one area, particularly in the Delta. Given the geography, logistics in Botswana are highly complicated. Camps have huge overheads to ensure they minimise their impact on the local environment at the same time as catering to their valuable guests.
As a price guideline for the Okavango Delta or Linyanti, you won't get much change for USD$1000 per person per night at a minimum whilst the lower cost areas of Chobe, Savuti and Central Kalahari start at around USD$700 per person per night.
Ultimately, you’re paying for untouched wilderness and a premium safari experience – and you won’t regret it!
Botswana Safaris Special Offers
Botswana Safari Parks & Highlights
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 Salt Pans 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.
- Mashatu Game Reserve, located in the remote far eastern corner of Botswana where the Limpopo and Shashe rivers meet. 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 sightings 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.
- 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.
Explore the regions below
The mere mention of the name Kalahari Desert conjures up images of romance and adventure. It is derived from the word “Kgalagadi” which means “The Great Thirst” or “Waterless Place”. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve itself lies right in the middle of the country and is Botswana’s largest national park.
Linyanti is a massive region and lies just north of the Okavango Delta consisting of three enormous private concessions – the Kwando, Selinda and Linyanti concession. The area is famous for the massive herds of elephants and buffalo which roam through here on their path between Botswana and Namibia.
Many years ago when safari was a true pioneering venture of either the brave or the misguided, adventurers would explore Africa’s wilderness areas in mobile safari camps that moved every 3 or 4 days taking in as much as possible and being as close to nature as one could possibly get. A tented camp with a difference!
Why Tailormade Africa?
Botswana Safari Experts
Clyde & Rob are two of the most knowledgeable experts on Botswana safaris in the world and have travelled extensively to all of Botswana’s National Parks, and to the majority of camps and lodges.
With our well established, strong personal relationships with all of our ground operators, National Park Authorities and Conservation Management teams in Botswana, we are always kept up to date on the most recent information of wildlife & conservation projects, ensuring you get to see wildlife viewings like never before.
Bespoke Botswana Safaris
With Tailormade Africa, no two safari holiday itineraries are ever the same. The combination of our in-depth knowledge of the country and taking the time to get to know all of our clients' travel personalities ensures truly bespoke itineraries and a trip specifically tailored to you.
Botswana Luxury Safari
At Tailormade Africa we pride ourselves on being Botswana luxury safari experts. Who are we to say so? Have a look at our independent reviews from Safari Bookings.
Botswana is one of the kings of the luxury safari world where opulent accommodations, food, wine and service are concerned. Botswana, manages to combine these with experiential safari and remoteness of the location, rather gloriously too, giving you everything you could imagine and then some.
Time, isolation and uniqueness of experience should all be major focal points when considering a Botswana luxury safari as all 3 of those elements of luxury have become synonymous with modern safari travel in Botswana and Africa.
Our Top Botswana Safaris Lodges
Book your Botswana safari holiday today!
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. We create bespoke Botswana safari holidays to travellers all over the world. Unlike most safari operators, we specialise in bespoke trips based on a combination of your desires and our team’s expertise. They’ve travelled all over Africa, and know from experience how to craft the best safari experience for you. Contact Rob or Clyde today to start planning your next adventure in Africa!
Clyde and his team at Tailormade Africa were amazing, and provided the exact trip we wanted!
Excellent communication from start to finish. We never felt pressured during the booking process and all contact was on our terms... Read more
What an Amazing Nine Week Trip!!
Right from the beginning, we were very impressed with their wealth of knowledge for our destinations (Madagascar, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia) and how quickly they identified our needs and designed an itinerary that was within our budget.... Read more
Truly the Holiday of a Lifetime
It was a great pleasure planning our holiday to Zimbabwe & Botswana with Clyde as he has a huge amount of expertise and an in-depth knowledge of the countries which we lacked and needed advice about and he was extremely eager to help us get things right ... Read more
I found them willing to discuss which trips are suitable for my requirements.
They are very aware of costs and the type of experience you want, I was looked after very well met off the plane, directed to my small aircraft, looked after in every camp ... Read more
We were completely satisfied with everything.
Clyde was informative, knowledgable, personable and even called us at home in the US to discuss our requirements ... Read more
Incredible experience and our best trip to date!
This was our fourth trip to Africa and certainly our best to date. We started planning nearly two years in advance and Clyde was with us every step of the way sharing his personal experiences and ideas ... Read more
Excellent service, demonstrating a high level of knowledge and experience, delivering top quality.
Our experience throughout with Tailormade Africa was excellent. We felt that Clyde understood our requirements ... Read more
Tailormade Africa perfectly crafted every single amazing detail of our return trip to Botswana!
We trust, respect and adore our friend Clyde Beaty, co-founder of Tailormade Africa ... Read more
Exceptional service with unparalleled level of attention to detail.
Clyde at Tailormade Africa really takes the time to get to know you on personal level. Only once he's done that, he's able to recommend the right trip with the right budget. I highly recommend him ... Read more
A memorable trip!
We were delighted with the tailor made itinerary Clyde arranged to fulfil our long held wish to combine a journey on the Rovos Rail to Victoria Falls with a safari experience in Botswana ... Read more
A holiday of a lifetime!
From the outset, Clyde has been fantastic. He tried very hard to understand our brief and came up with suggestions that we would never have considered on our own. He was flexible and willing to make changes ... Read more