With its vast, varied array of untouched landscapes and healthy populations of wildlife, Botswana is a bucket-list destination for photographers from around the world. Thanks to the country’s low-volume, high-value strategy for tourism, parks and reserves are blissfully uncrowded, allowing for excellent photographic opportunities and a true sense of exclusivity.
Join us as we take a closer look at the 10 best destinations for photographic safaris in Botswana:
Situated within the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve features diverse habitats, from floodplains and mopane woodlands to acacia forests, savannas, and lagoons. Containing a rich diversity of wildlife and birdlife, Moremi is an ideal destination for landscape photographers and wildlife photographers alike. Guided bush walks offer the perfect way to get closer to nature and snap that unforgettable shot. Because of its remote location, Moremi allows for a more authentic and intimate safari experience.
Wildlife: The Big Five and a huge variety of birdlife.
Recommended Accommodation: Camp Xakanaxa
2. Khwai River
Famous for its leopard sightings and birdlife, the Khwai River offers an incredible backdrop for wildlife and avian photography. Photographic safaris here are especially rewarding during the dry season when the wildlife flocks to the floodplains and riverbanks. Unlike many other areas, night drives are allowed here, giving photographers a chance to spot elusive nocturnal species. Take a mokoro safari if you get the chance – it’ll give you a unique perspective on the region as you explore the waterways.
Wildlife: The Big Five, hippos, crocodiles, and over 400 recorded species of birds.
Recommended Accommodation: Khwai Lediba
Situated in the northern part of Botswana, adjacent to the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, Linyanti Concession’s picture-perfect waterways and woodlands are home to a high concentration of wildlife. Its diverse ecosystems support an array of species making the region an excellent choice for wildlife photographers. You’ll be able to spot both predators and herbivores on game drives and boat safaris, with the added bonus of night drives. Some lodges offer interactive cultural experiences with local communities.
Wildlife: Wild dogs, elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, and hippos.
Recommended Accommodation: African Bush Camps Linyanti Ebony
Renowned for its massive elephant herds and riverfront teeming with wildlife, Chobe National Park is an ideal location for wildlife photographers. Easily accessible from the town of Kasane, the park features a variety of ecosystems, such as the Chobe River floodplains, woodlands, and the Savuti Marsh. Game drives are conducted in open-sided safari vehicles for unobstructed views of the animals and landscapes. Boat safaris, night drives, and sunset cruises are all unique highlights for visiting photographers.
Wildlife: Elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, hippos, and over 450 bird species.
Recommended Accommodation: Chobe Game Lodge
With its ever-changing waterways, lush landscapes, and diverse ecosystems, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a dream come true for wildlife and avian photographers. Situated in northern Botswana, the Delta is shaped by the Okavango River. Permanent wetlands, seasonal floodplains, and dense riverine woodlands form habitats that support an astonishing array of wildlife. You’ll easily spot the Big Five, as well as over 500 bird species. Scenic flights provide ample opportunities for aerial photography, too.
Wildlife: Elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, and hippos.
Recommended Accommodation: Shinde
Famous for its predator-prey interactions, the Savuti’s open grasslands make for dramatic photos, especially during the golden hours. Watching the big cats interact and hunt in this location offers rewarding encounters for wildlife photographers, while landscape photographers will love the area’s fascinating geological features. Savuti is one of the few places in Africa where lions can be found hunting elephants, a bizarre scenario that’s definitely worth seeing. Night drives, birdwatching (over 450 recorded species) and ancient Rock Art are other highlights on a photographic safari in Savuti.
Wildlife: Elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, wildebeest, and buffalo.
Recommended Accommodation: Savuti Safari Lodge
The vast salt pans of the Makgadikgadi provide surreal scenery that will delight both landscape and wildlife photographers. A major drawcard is the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest. This area in northeastern Botswana is made up of a number of individual salt pans, including Sua Pan, Nwetwe Pan, and Nxai Pan. In the rainy season, the pans are transformed into shallow lakes that attract a variety of wildlife. Birdwatchers will appreciate this part of the year in particular for the flamingos.
Wildlife: Flamingos, zebras, wildebeest, springboks, ostriches, and meerkats.
Recommended Accommodation: Jack’s Camp
Situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana, Chief’s Island is the largest island in the delta, offering visitors excellent opportunities for unmissable shots. The island’s central location means a diversity of ecosystems can be easily explored, along with their unique wildlife. These varied habitats are as rewarding for landscape photographers as they are for wildlife photographers. Highlights on Chief’s Island include immersive walking safaris, predator-prey interactions, and night drives.
Wildlife: Big Five, cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, wild dogs, and a huge variety of birdlife.
Recommended Accommodation: Sanctuary Chief’s Camp
9. Kubu Island
Situated within the Makgadikgadi Pans, Kubu Island is renowned for its ancient baobabs and dramatic landscapes. A geological wonder, the island itself is an isolated rocky outcrop that seems to grow out of the salt flats. The baobabs on Kubu Island are some of the oldest in Africa and make for excellent subjects for landscape photography. Kubu Island’s remote location is far away from light pollution, so you’ll be able to capture mesmerizing shots of the clear and starry night sky.
Wildlife: The occasional springbok or family of meerkats.
Situated in the central part of Botswana, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the largest reserve in the country. This vast and remote wilderness offers a one-of-a-kind photographic safari experience, with diverse habitats that are home to a surprising array of animals. Herbivores, predators, and over 200 species of birds all occupy the pristine game reserve covering an area of approximately 20,400 square miles. The San people have lived here for thousands of years, and some lodges offer cultural interactions.
Wildlife: Lions, giraffes, cheetahs, leopards, wildebeest, and desert-adapted species.
Recommended Accommodation: Dinaka
Hopefully, this list of incredible photographic safari destinations has inspired you to dust off your passport and plan a trip to Botswana. Speak to a safari expert at Discover Africa today about planning an unforgettable photographic safari experience.