Affordable Chobe holiday

Travellers lucky enough to be armed with strong international currencies should be able to explore Chobe in perfect comfort (sometimes top-end comfort) for a reasonable price – but do remember this is a destination where low-volume, high-income tourism is promoted. As such, some may need to look for ways to keep costs down.

Chobe's lure lies in the authenticity of experiences and natural beauty

Most lodges and camps in Chobe Riverside, Savuti and Linyanti are all-inclusive, which means that once you’ve paid the lump sum, you theoretically won’t need to touch your wallet until it’s time to tip the staff and say goodbye. But not all seasons are equal, and this is where one can make considerable savings. Great deals can be had in shoulder season (around May and November, when the weather and animal activity is less predictable) and the “green season” (December to March, when it’s hot and humid, and wet weather can make road travel tricky – but for some fans the nicest time of the year). As an example, one high-end brand’s high-season lodge rates are $1,000 per person per night in 2019; their low-season special is $580 and shoulder season rates $750. This does not include a single supplement.

For those determined to get close enough to the wilderness to hear buffalo chewing at night in, say, Savuti, a mobile safari operator is an option. These cater for varying budgets, but the better options will take the trouble to pack good bedding and quality foods, and guests can enjoy a deluxe camping experience. Guests will sleep in large dome or walk-in tents with stretcher beds and good linens, and water will be warmed for hot showers, plus short-drop toilet facilities provided rather than a spade and a loo roll. Better mobile safaris may even have “en suite” tents. Guests usually travel in an appropriate game viewing vehicle, while a second vehicle hauls the gear and sets up camp. This has the advantage of getting one deeper into Chobe without flying, and having that authentic safari experience so many yearn for. Of course, affordable options mean travelling with a group of other people. As an example of costs, one “mini” seven day mobile safari with a top-end outfit is from $3,540 per person in low season to $6,050 per person in high season. This is based on a group of six.

The notorious buffalo are imposing creatures

For pure exclusivity, one needs to book a private guided safari, and that, unfortunately is not within everyone’s budget.

Although the private concessions of Linyanti and Selinda are generally more high-end and thus possibly only an option in green season, there are a few simple yet quality options that are easier on the budget. Check with your Discover Africa expert.

Practical advice

  • The Chobe Riverside lodges and camps can work out more reasonable than those deeper in the park, especially the concessions. The Western Chobe Riverside can be more expensive than the east. Also check accommodations over the Chobe River, in Namibia.

  • Another possible way to save is to look at newer lodges opened by the excellent safari lodge brands: these sometimes offer lower prices as they are becoming established.

  • Tipping can be an awkward subject. There is no obligation to tip for poor service, and it is always voluntary. Don’t be embarrassed to ask the manager about the camp’s policy – some lodges will have this information in the info packs in your room. As a general guide, tip only at the end of your stay. Consider first tipping your guide, who you will spend a lot of time with and who may become a friend. From $10 a day is suggested for group guides and $20 a day for private guides. Then most camps have a “staff tip box” or envelope for the general staff, from cleaners to chefs and waitrons. Here, we recommend giving a lump sum that is divided equally between the staff, based on around $5 per guest per day.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Chobe National Park - Savuti Area Safari

day 1 to 3

Welcome to the Chobe National Park

day 4

We're sad to see you leave

View Full Itinerary

Popular Chobe National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Highlights of Botswana Tour de Force (14 days)

Highlights of Botswana Tour de Force (14 days)

The ideal safari to capture Botswana's unrivalled beauty and abundance of flora and fauna through the lens...

 | Waterfalls and Wildlife: Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park Journey (7 days)

Waterfalls and Wildlife: Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park Journey (7 days)

Experience the smoke that thunders and enjoy spotting elephant, buffalo, lion and hippos on the Chobe River...

 | Botswana and Zimbabwe’s World Wonders (7 days)

Botswana and Zimbabwe's World Wonders (7 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – to the diverse game viewing at the Chobe National Park and ending at the thundering Victoria Falls...

 | Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...

Camp fire | Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | Photographic tour of Botswana (10 days)

Photographic tour of Botswana (10 days)

Let us take you one the adventure of a lifetime through the Chobe National Park, Khwai Community Area and Moremi Game Reserve. ...

 | Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Expedition to Zimbabwe and Botswana (8 days)

Explore the thundering Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the wildlife wonderland of the Okavango Delta...

 | Botswana Premium Safari Collection (8 days)

Botswana Premium Safari Collection (8 days)

Choose our Botswana premier collection and experience a traditional big game wildlife safari in one of Africa’s top destinations. ...

 | Chobe National Park - Savuti Area Safari

Elephant Kingdom: Chobe National Park Tour (3 days)

If seeing African elephants is on your travel bucket list, then the Chobe National Park should be right at the top...

 | Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...



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