Okavango Delta on a budget

enter image description here Credit: Unfamiliar Destinations

Most of the lodges in the Okavango Delta fall somewhere between mid-range and ultra-high-end luxury. It’s a deliberate strategy by the Botswanan authorities to maximise conservation revenue while keeping visitor numbers low. It’s easy to be cynical about this kind of approach, but funds do seem to go where they’re needed and local communities get to see the value of their resource. The results have been impressive, with very low poaching levels and issues around human-wildlife conflict are far more manageable than in other parts of the continent. All this is to say that a safari to the Okavango is not cheap, but there is some comfort knowing that funds are being used wisely. And while the central Delta is largely off limits to budget travellers, there are still wonderful, affordable campsites in Moremi Game Reserve, along the Khwai River and the Panhandle.

Highlights

Most of the lodges in the Okavango Delta fall somewhere between mid-range and ultra-high-end luxury. It’s a deliberate strategy by the Botswanan authorities to maximise conservation revenue while keeping visitor numbers low. It’s easy to be cynical about this kind of approach, but funds do seem to go where they’re needed and local communities get to see the value of their resource. The results have been impressive, with very low poaching levels and issues around human-wildlife conflict are far more manageable than in other parts of the continent. All this is to say that a safari to the Okavango is not cheap, but there is some comfort knowing that funds are being used wisely. And while the central Delta is largely off limits to budget travellers, there are still wonderful, affordable campsites in Moremi Game Reserve, along the Khwai River and the Panhandle.

Travel tips

If you don’t have a 4x4 then hiring can be expensive, but it’s often still the most affordable route if you can share with a few people. For solos, a budget group tour is another reasonable option and these can be booked with a reputable company in advance, or head to Maun, and play it by ear. Maun has a couple of low-key camps and a backpackers, a good place to meet fellow travellers and make plans together. Even the tightest budget should find space for a flight over the Delta and these are much more affordable if you can find other people to share costs.


Popular Okavango Delta Safaris

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

 | Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

From the Okavango Delta to the Chobe, this one-week journey is the perfect balance of wildlife and wilderness wonders...

 | Enchanting Moremi Mobile Camping Experience (7 days)

Enchanting Moremi Mobile Camping Experience (7 days)

Moremi Game Reserve in the beautiful Okavango Delta is well-known for self-drive camper vanning. Explore this exciting way of travel with us ...

 | Affordable Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls Journey (8 days)

Affordable Okavango Delta, Chobe and Victoria Falls Journey (8 days)

Spent three nights at Chobe safari Lodge, two nights at Rra Dinare, two nights Moremi Crossing, as well as a full day visit to Victoria Falls...

 | Highlights of Northern Botswana (8 days)

Highlights of Northern Botswana (8 days)

Experience two of Botswana's best safari destinations; the Savute region and Okavango Delta ...

Wildlife  | Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

Best of the Okavango Delta Safari (6 days)

Explore Botswana's Moremi and Selinda reserves on foot, in a safari vehicle or a mokoro for unforgettable wildlife encounters with big game and rare birds...

 | Classic Botswana Family Safari (9 days)

Classic Botswana Family Safari (9 days)

Connect as a family while tracking wildlife and incredible landscapes through some of the most remote stretches of Botswana....

Family | Passage Through Southern Africa in a Luxury Train (10 days)

Passage Through Southern Africa in a Luxury Train (10 days)

Weave your way through a safari medley that introduces you to the mighty Victoria Falls, a remote slice of the Okavango Delta and the African gems in between....

 | Mobile Camping Safari in Botswana (7 days)

Mobile Camping Safari in Botswana (7 days)

One week of wild camping in Botswana's Moremi Game Reserve, arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the Okavango Delta...

 | 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...

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...

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