Described as “one of africa’s last wild and open frontiers”, Botswana is the gateway to the safari adventure of a lifetime.
The landlocked country of Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world – which is just as well if you’re looking for one of the best safari destinations that money can buy with thinner crowds than in other parts of Africa.
With abundant wildlife overflowing in all directions, vast elephant herds, lion prides and more birds than you can ever hope to spot with your binoculars on a single trip, Botswana has long been established as a mecca for African wildlife and one of the best places on the continent for a luxury safari tour.
Botswana Safari Highlights
From the remote imposing Kalahari Desert to the spectacular swamps of the Okavango Delta where water travels over 1,000 km from Central Africa and disappears into the sand, never reaching the ocean, this is one country that grabs you once and never lets go.
At the centre of Botswana lies the famed Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the ancient Makgadikgadi Pans. The Kalahari reserve is the second-largest game reserve in the world and stretches to a mammoth 52,800 square kilometres (20,400 sq mi) – making it larger than the Netherlands.
Here you’ll find just about every African animal you can imagine, all in an area that covers 10% of Botswana’s total landmass. If you’re looking for the Botswana safari tour, then this is exactly the place to come.
Further north we come to the watery paradise that is the Okavango Delta to the west and Botswana’s Chobe National Park to the east.
With its vast interconnected waterways, the Okavango Delta is widely considered one of Africa’s best wilderness sanctuaries that offers a greedy array of wild animals, including many endangered species. Its seasonal flooding means that it attracts visitors from far and wide – and both two-legged and four. The Okavango Delta’s Moremi Game Reserve, the main reserve in the region, provides a spectacular and pristine wilderness that rivals anything else on the African continent making it perfect for walking safaris.
In the northeast, we find yet another location that is guaranteed to give you that safari bucket list feeling in the pit of your stomach. The Chobe National Park, set beside the Chobe River, is the place to be if you want to see vast herds of elephants. With an estimated 120,000 roaming the area, this is the park of many an African dream.
South & The Kalahari Desert
Close to the border with South Africa lies Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, a city with a population of just under 300,000 that is charmingly surrounded by national parks or game reserves on all sides – as all cities should be if you ask us.
But if Gaborone provides Botswana’s modern face, it is the vast tract of land in the southwest where its ancient secrets lie. The Kalahari Desert is not only one of the oldest deserts in the world, but it is a name that has captured the imagination of explorers and travellers for centuries. An intoxicating land of stark emptiness, this semi-desert savannah is still home to an astonishing array of wildlife, such as elephants, antelopes and giraffes, making it an unforgettable location for Botswana safaris.
Botswana Luxury Safaris
The nation is world-famous for its luxury safari lodges and is one of the most sought-after destinations in Africa for higher-end safaris. A Botswana luxury safari is world-class and is hard to beat elsewhere in Africa, as most of the top luxury lodges in Botswana come with their own exclusive private concessions.
Those travelling in style have the combination of a small-sized luxury lodge mixed with exclusive access to some of the most incredible wildlife areas on the continent. It’s this intimacy, privacy, luxury and wilderness combined that make this the ultimate destination for a luxury safari.
As a result, Botswana has adopted a ‘low volume, high cost’ model which sees these luxury lodges come with a sizeable price tag. They may not be cheap, but if you want exclusivity, luxury and the best-of-the-best, then a Botswana luxury safari is perfect for you.
Botswana Mobile Safaris
Aside from luxury safaris, Botswana is also a great place for adventure safaris and our favourite means for this is a Mobile Safari. This involves you exploring some of the most iconic wildlife areas with your own private tented camp and crew that does all the heavy lifting of setting up, cooking delicious meals and moving the camp for you. Leaving you to relax and learn from your expert guides on extended game drives and unparalleled game viewing.
- Population 2 million – highest GDP per capita in Africa
- 950 meters above sea level, 600 km from the nearest coast
- 70% of the country is Kalahari desert – flat and arid
- 40% of the country is dedicated to wildlife areas
- Ranked 28 out of 163 on the 2016 Global Peace Index, the region has a safe, stable and friendly environment
Why we like it
- Globally unique natural wonders
- Prolific wildlife and birds
- Open environment through which animals largely roam free
- Off the beaten track, it has a low number of visitors
- Strong political support for conservation
- Adventure is around every corner!
Locations in Botswana
Central KalahariView location
Makgadikgadi PansView location
Northern BotswanaView location
Northern Tuli Mashatu Game ReserveView location
Okavango DeltaView location
Best time to visit Botswana for a safari
Botswana has something to offer all year round, with each season delivering extraordinary adventure and unique wildlife experiences. When planning your trip, it’s best to first consider what you hope to get out of your Botswana Safari. If you’re a bird watcher, the wet season would be best for you, however, if you’re looking for large herds of buffalo and elephants, then the dry season would be the ideal time to visit.
Wet Season (November to April)
Rains are short-lived but very heavy, with temperatures soaring at the beginning of the wet season before petering out towards the end to maintain warm evenings towards the end of the season.
Thunderstorms move through the region quickly, lighting up the landscape in spectacular fashion and revealing a lush landscape, rich with wildlife and greenery.
Dry season (May to October)
During the dry season, the rainwater that has fallen in the Angola highlands starts to flood down through the Okavango Delta, creating an oasis of wetlands and forests which attracts one of the largest concentrations of animals anywhere on the planet.
The season starts with warm days and cold nights (May to August), which leads into the hottest and driest month in October.
In Botswana, you are spoilt for choice. From the flooded plains of the Okavango Delta Moremi Game Reserve and its exuberant animal life to the Chobe National Park and its vast trains of elephants, a Botswana safari is difficult to match.
If you’re looking for luxury, then Botswana safari tours have long established themselves as world leaders. With tented camps that will stir the Out of Africa in us all, private concessions and unparalleled service and guiding, it won’t take you long to understand why Botswana is the luxury safari capital of the world.
Read more about best seasons to travel to different regions in Africa.
|Northern Tuli Mashatu Game Reserve|
High Season in Botswana is from mid June to mid October. If you are able to travel outside of this period, it may be more cost effective and more rewarding with fewer travellers.
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