Zambia vs Botswana
So, should you go to Zambia or Botswana? The choice depends entirely on the type of holiday you prefer. Both countries are extremely safe and have excellent wildlife and national parks, but each is suited to a slightly different type of traveller.
Botswana is perhaps the best self-drive safari destination in Southern Africa, with good connecting roads, abundant wildlife, plenty of affordable campsites and an efficient bureaucracy that – with a bit of practice – makes camp and national park bookings relatively easy. It can also be one of Africa’s most luxurious places to safari, with a number of first-rate luxury lodges, most notably in and around the Okavango Delta.
While Botswana caters for confident, self-drive 4x4 adventurers and well-heeled safari-goers alike, quality mid-range and more affordable luxury accommodation can be harder to find. Zambia has much more to offer in this area, with exceptional luxury experiences sometimes half the price of similar lodges in Botswana and private, exclusive-use houses and smaller eco-lodges that offer great value, especially for families and larger groups.
Zambia’s poorer-quality roads and harder-to-access wilderness areas make it far more challenging for self-drive visitors. Those who embrace the conditions are rewarded with some of Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness experiences, but on the whole, self-drive visitor numbers are low. It’s this low-density exclusivity that makes a Zambian safari so special – the perfect place for a quality safari experience that won’t break the bank.