“How much does it cost to go to Botswana” is a question that doesn’t have a simple and straightforward answer, like most things in life. There are just too many different factors that come into play. Still, I thought it wise to write this article to give you a better understanding of what goes into a Safari experience in Botswana as well as the different options that one can explore to try and make your budget work!
Are you flexible in terms of travel dates?
Travel date flexibility is probably the most significant way to get the best deal possible. There are three different seasons in Botswana, High Season, Shoulder Season as well as Low Season. You could save up to nearly 50 per cent in cost by visiting Botswana in the Low season if budget is a problem. High season brings higher rates but better game viewing in terms of landscapes and weather, and for that, you will pay the premium price. I’ve been to Botswana at the beginning of the rainy season and was very fortunate with the sightings and the weather, but there are no guarantees. Some of the positives for me travelling in the low season is that there are even fewer people around, and you get the beautiful vibrant summer colours when taking photos.
Land vs. Air Travel
Light Aircraft flights are often the way to travel between camps and destinations in Botswana. You could generally reach your camp within an hour from either Maun or Kasane Airport, which are the two main hubs in Botswana. Still, Light Aircraft transfers are more expensive than doing a road transfer, which is most often done is small scheduled group safaris, which takes a bit longer. If you aren’t in a hurry and don’t mind some bumpy roads, then this will allow you to experience Botswana.
What would suit your budget the best?
Semi-Private & Private Safaris
Semi-private Safari will be the most expensive option to choose from but will give you the most in terms of choice, flexibility, and can range from comfort to mid-range accommodation. You will also find that Light Aircraft Transfers will be the method of transport. Private safaris will include your private game vehicle and often the choice of photographers. You will pay a premium for this service, which could be over USD 500.00 for a day.
Small scheduled groups
Small scheduled group safaris will be best for people that have flexibility in terms of travel dates and would like to share the experience with other like-minded people. The accommodation can range from luxury semi-permanent camps to campsites, and ground transportation will often be the mode of transportation. Some options include flights, but that will increase the package rate. Small scheduled group safaris will be the best in terms of value for money for people that don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable enough driving around themselves and would like to get the experience of guide to make the most of their time.
Self-drive adventures are for the person who wants to do it themselves and feel comfortable enough exploring Botswana by themselves. You can opt for accommodation in lodges from mid-range to luxury-range or even camp along the way, preparing your own meals as you go along. In terms of value for money, you won’t get any better. The vehicles come fully equipped with everything that you might need, and you could even rent a satellite phone. If you are on a tight budget, then this is the way to go.
The cost of a Botswana safari will all depend on a few factors, and as mentioned above, there is no straight forward answer, you are welcome to contact me, and I would be happy to consult with you and help you plan your dream safari!