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Botswana’s 10 best safari camps and lodges

Botswana . 15 Aug 2022

Part of the Botswana Safari & African Safari Collection

Botswana can justly claim to be one of the most desirable safari destinations in the world. Offering extraordinary and diverse wildlife, beautiful Botswana possesses several unique ecosystems including acacia woodlands, bushveld, grasslands, salt marshes, and Kalahari Desert area. 

Its ‘jewel in the crown’ is the remarkable Okavango Delta, one of the largest and most pristine seasonal wetlands on the planet, understandably listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site

A Botswana safari can therefore offer both land- and water-based safaris. Cruise on a luxury boat, or slip quietly over the water in a traditional mokoro canoe whilst literally having hippos, elephants, and a wealth of diverse birdlife around you – possibly even a big cat! 

Game drives, walking safaris, helicopter and light aircraft flights are all on Botswana’s impressive menu to ensure you the safari holiday of a lifetime. The kind, helpful and friendly local Batswana people will make you feel welcome, cared for and safe.

Here are ten of the very best Botswana safari lodges to choose from:  

Camp Kalahari

Safely fenced, affordable and relaxed, Camp Kalahari lies serenely in the dappled shade of mokolwane palms and acacia trees on Hyena Island. It offers guests a chance to experience the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the desert, and the Makgadikgadi salt pans. 

Guests are housed in comfort in 11 en suite Meru safari tents, and there’s a swimming pool pavilion. Inquisitive meerkats forage around the camp and might well use you as a lookout point! Elephants frequently come to drink. Guests enjoy delicious food in the elegant dining room or al fresco under the stars. There are comfortable seating areas and a well-stocked library.

Guests enjoy delicious food in the elegant dining room or al fresco under the stars. There are comfortable seating areas and a well-stocked library. A visit to one of the famous baobabs in the region, Green’s Baobab, is a must, as are scenic drives or nature walks guided by expert San trackers. Explore rolling grasslands in a 4X4, by quad bike or on horseback. Children of all ages are welcome – there’s even a dedicated family suite.

Camp Okavango

Camp Okavango is situated in the permanent wetlands of the Delta on remote Nxaragha Island. The solar-powered camp accommodates 24 guests in 11 suites, one family suite and a private thatched cottage for honeymooners. All suites have en suite bathrooms and are built on individual raised wooden platforms snuggled into the lush vegetation. Sliding doors roll away onto private viewing decks. 

Expert guides will take you on a motorboat excursion to see hippos and elephants. You can go island-hopping with your guide, or explore on foot. A leisurely mokoro canoe trip into the enchanting world of waterlilies, jewel-coloured dragonflies and birds is magical! Camp Okavango’s superb service, wonderful food and superlative natural surroundings ensure a wildlife experience you’ll treasure.  

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero lodge sits in the heart of Botswana’s ‘elephant country’. It offers sweeping views over the Chobe River, which is the dry season (June – October) refuge for Botswana’s 50,000-strong elephant population. This ensures extraordinary game viewing by boat and 4X4 safari vehicle.

Children of all ages are welcome at Chobe Chilwero. A child-minding service, games room, iPads, complimentary wi-fi, a swimming pool and various other activities will delight your kiddos. But grownups won’t be neglected – the camp’s amazing spa, excellent service and delicious food will delight you in turn. You can even arrange a day-trip to Victoria Falls as the lodge is close to the Zimbabwe border.

Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge is situated 100 km west of Victoria Falls in Chobe National Park, one of the top wildlife destinations in the world. Built in 1972, this gracious 5-star lodge can justifiably be called the ‘Grand Old Lady’ of the Chobe River. 

If you are part of a large and discerning group, this superbly appointed Lodge, with its more than 40 air-conditioned rooms, is the place for you! You’ll enjoy its relaxed ambience, superb river-setting, private game drives and exclusive outings on the river. The Lodge has a sophisticated cocktail bar, a billiard room, an indulgent in-house spa, a sparkling pool, and is renowned for its superb service and table. Besides, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton must have had a reason they chose it as a wedding venue, mustn’t they?

Khwai Bush Camp

Khwai Bush Camp sits in a sycamore and leadwood forest in a private concession next to the Moremi Game Reserve, famous for the rich diversity of its wildlife. Guests are accommodated in thatched chalets, each with its own private bathroom and enchanting views. The camp’s dazzling riverside setting means it’s unbeatable for all manner of water activities. Guided bush-walks, morning, afternoon, and night game drives likewise ensure unrivalled game viewing.  

You can confidently expect to see some of the real wildlife ‘heavyweights’ like elephants, hippos, buffalos, and giraffes on a regular basis. You will also have amazing lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog sightings. Bird-watching enthusiasts are in for a treat, and a visit to the local Khwai village will be an enriching cultural experience. 

Kings Pool Camp

Kings Pool Camp is a luxury solar-powered camp in Linyanti Game Reserve has access to 125,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. Guests are accommodated in sumptuously appointed rooms and a two-bedroom suite. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, an outside shower, and overlook the stunning oxbow-shaped King’s Pool lagoon and lush riverine forest. 

There’s a convivial lounge area, bar, and dining room, and an al fresco dining area on a deck with a small pool. Massage and aromatherapy treatments are available, as is a Photo Hub studio for those keen photographers.

Guests can enjoy day and night drives, bush walks, and fishing on a catch-and-release basis from March to December. Luxury cruises on the Linyanti River offer superlative wildlife viewing, as do several hides that overlook the waterhole close to the camp. 

You’ll see elephants and a wealth of other wildlife, including waterbuck, sable antelope, lion, buffalo, leopard, and even endangered wild dogs. Helicopter flights can be arranged, and a Bush Buddy children’s programme will enthral your kids!

Linyanti Ebony

Nothing could be more ideal for family groups or friends travelling together than Linyanti Ebony. Set on a raised deck that overlooks Linyanti Marsh, this small, intimate, eco-conscious and solar-powered 4-tented camp offers a superb ‘detox’ from a busy, tech-driven life. 

It has no wi-fi, and absolutely immerses you in its splendid natural setting. It has a large lounge/dining area, a pristine plunge pool, and a convivial boma and fire circle for dinner under the stars. The roomy two-bedroom family tent has its own lounge area, private deck and en suite bathroom with bath and shower. 

Linyanti Ebony’s wealth of diverse wildlife includes a robust predator population of lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and even endangered wild dogs. Elephants, hippos, giraffes, buffalos, zebras, wildebeest, and sable antelope are regularly seen here. More elusive species like aardvark, roan antelope and pangolin also occur in the area. 

Morning and afternoon game drives and boating safaris are on offer. You can explore the unspoilt riverine ecosystem on foot, or in an expertly-guided mokoro. And your children will love the kids’ activity club!  

Meno a Kwena

Translating as ‘teeth of the crocodile’, this authentic safari camp sits on a superb vantage point of ancient rocks overlooking the beautiful Boteti flowing past below. You can literally sit in the comfort of your suite and watch animals come and go, drink, hunt and interact below you. 

Meno a Kwena camp offers nine airy and comfortable full-service en suite Meru tents. A traditional fenced boma partway encircles each tent, whilst bucket showers outside impart a real sense of authenticity! Guests can relax in the lounge area, or chill out at the bar. There’s also a library, dining area and pool. 

The ingenious floating hide is ideal for game and bird viewing and photography. In fact, the game viewing is simply unsurpassed here in the rich biodiversity where the Kalahari Desert meets the teeming wetlands of the Okavango Delta. You might even see Botswana’s own zebra and wildebeest migration! 

Sanctuary Baines’s Camp

Built on platforms elevated above the Boro River’s papyrus beds near a permanent lagoon, Sanctuary Baines camp is named after Thomas Baines, the 19th-century painter, explorer, naturalist, and author. It is part of a privately owned concession that borders on the biorich Moremi Game Reserve. Set in a beautiful grove of trees, the camp has been built of sustainably sourced wood, as well as tin cans collected by the local community in Maun.

This opulent camp offers visitors six private, luxurious suites, as well as fantastic food and wine. Each suite has a star bath and sky bed on a private deck, making it the ultimate romantic retreat! A wealth of water activities, day and night game drives and bush walks guided by experienced and knowledgeable rangers, make your stay even more unforgettable.  

Vumbura Plains

This sumptuous solar-powered safari camp sits on elevated wooden platforms in the shade of luxuriant trees and overlooks the lush Delta landscape. Both seven-roomed camps offer guests a wealth of water- and land-based activities. Vumbura Plains North Camp will suit families or groups best, while Vumbura South is ideal for honeymooners or couples. 

All the lavish rooms have their own plunge pool and sala and offer outstanding views of the landscape. The area’s unique mix of dry and wet habitats ensures a truly diverse mix of wildlife, so you can see both the water-loving lechwe and the savannah-loving sable antelope! 

Lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs frequent this area as do elephants, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and other plains game and numerous bird species. Guests enjoy day and night 4X4 game drives, nature walks, catch-and-release fishing, boat or mokoro canoe trips and visits to local villages. Helicopter or hot air balloon trips are also available. A children’s activity club and childminders keep the kiddies safe and occupied.

Botswana beckons! 

Spoilt for choice and unable to decide which single camp or lodge to stay at? Check out our fabulous Botswana tours which allow you to experience several amazing destinations in one unforgettable holiday!

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