Botswana is an ideal destination for luxury safaris, if you want to have an unique experience in unmatched style. The best time to visit Botswana is during the winter months when the bush is more sparse and dry, this is generally from May to September.
The land is breathtakingly beautiful and features everything from the scorching desert of the Kalahari to the vibrant and lush waterways of the Okavango Delta.
Experience our Tailor-made Luxury Safaris in Botswana
What You Need To Know
If you’re interested in a Botswana safari – here’s our collective choices for where to find Botswana’s most beautiful places and landscapes.
Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans is located in the middle of the dry savanna of northern Botswana. The salt pans restrict anything from growing during certain seasons appear to be completely devoid of anything living. However, during the wet season, the lands become an entirely new place. The barren desert becomes lush and green as well as a vast sheet of water appear.
The wet oasis becomes a destination for thousands of animals – which trample through in search of fresh water and food – making it an ideal location for game spotting.
Okavango Delta is actually the world’s largest inland delta and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Africa. It’s oasis of island, wildlife and lush green vegetation is located in the middle of the dry unforgiving Kalahari Desert.
However, the Moremi Game Reserve is in the heart of the Okavango Delta. It is also one of the most diverse habitats in Botswana and is home to wild dogs, cheetah, lion, elephants, buffalo, hippo and the rare sitatunga. All of the classic African safari animals can be find in this reserve. Make sure you don’t miss the mokoro experience in the Okavango Delta.
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is located in the north-east of Botswana and is one of the three largest parks in Botswana. The park is also one of the most population areas for elephants.
The Chobe River is one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers and is responsible for keeping the park well-watered.
In the southern banks of the Linyanti River is the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve – arguably one of the best game viewing area in Botswana. Whether you are hoping for buffalo, zebra or elephant – you’re sure to spot your favourite here. There is also a wide variety of predators that roam through the area, making for an exciting viewing experience. This location is especially popular during the winter months when the water is scarce. However, during this season, large groups of animals can be seen congregating at the river.
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid savannah that’s both vast and beautiful. The desert covers much of Botswana and stretches into Namibia as well as South Africa. The name of the desert Kalahari means “large thirst” in the Tswana language.
The desert is home to Big Cats including cheetah, leopard and the Kalahari famous black mane lions. However, the desert is home to three parks and reserves – one of which happens to be a reserve for rare and endangered species such as lion, Africa hyena, wild dogs and cheetahs.
Camping in the Kalahari Game Reserve – you will be overwhelmed by its vastness. Listening to nothing but the sounds of roaring lions, hyenas and other wildlife is an experience that’s truly remarkable.
The Tsodilo Hills
The Tsodilo Hills is located in the north-west of Botswana near the Namibian Border and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of rock art and caves.
There are approximately over 4500 rock painting at the site as well as an estimated 500 individual sites which represent thousands of year of human habitation. However, it is believed that the San people or bushmen created the rock art.
· The local language is Setswana, a Bantu language for the Tswana people.
· Always move around with about two copies of your travel documents
· Don’t use your left hand in greeting people or pointing at them. It is regarded as disrespect. Botswana is a culture driven country.
The peak periods of August to October are the best times to go, but it should also be noted that this is considered the peak season and rates cary accordingly.
At the peak safari periods, the weather is really dry. It is advised to take items that can shield you from the elements. Apart from your main clothing, other items to pack may include a skin lotion, lip balm, hair conditional, binoculars, flashlight and a jacket or fleece to combat the early morning cold.
The dry season in Botswana is from April to October, while the rainy season is from November to March, making safaris in the dry season more enjoyable. The exception to this rule is the Kalahari ecosystem where game and safari are best during the wet seasons.
Botswana is a temperate region, meaning that the temperatures don’t fluctuate to much, this is especially true from April to September. The weather is mostly fresh and cool from May to August.
A luxury safari.
There are much standard accommodation, lodges and hotels in Botswana with some of them offering a luxurious experience. There are also locations where you can enjoy mobile camping facilities. Below are examples some of the top-rated lodges in Botswana.
Abu Camp: as far as a safari is concerned, Abu Camp is one of the best locations. You get a uniquely African perspective of the Okavango Delta in one of six canvas en-suite guest rooms with a luxurious elegance.
Camp Moremi: located in the Okavango Delta, consisting of comfortable tented accommodation. Here, you have an unparalleled experience in game viewing and birding. The staff is also very professional and accommodating.
Kalahari Plains Camp: ideally located in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, you can enjoy your safari during the day and feel at home with a thirst quenching sundowner towards the evening time.
Chobe Camp: located in Kasane, there are 46 luxury safari rooms, 22 luxury river room and 8 standard rondavels for a memorable safari experience.
Popular Luxury Safaris in Botswana
Each of our popular itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your budget as well as your specific interests.
Safari lodges have guest rooms similar to a hotel with en-suite bathrooms. They are comfortably furnished with facilities normally associated with a hotel rooms, except your rooms are normally set in beautiful wilderness settings, with nature and wildlife around.
Tented lodges have rooms which are tents on a platform and with a roof and also have en-suite facilities with showers, flush toilets and hot water. Basically all the amenities of a hotel room, except canvas walls and roof.
The boutique lodges and camps can be very stylish and smart in terms of design and decor, often with very spacious rooms and even going so far in some cases as having plunge pools for each room.
Eco-camps and smaller tented camps have insect-proof tents with en-suite facilities including a safari shower and flush toilet. They give a more authentic safari experience but the tents are comfortably furnished with proper beds and you don’t need to bring your own sleeping bag! The emphasis is usually on having excellent guides and great wildlife viewing away from the crowds. Guests often eat together and people travelling alone usually say that they found the atmosphere friendly and enjoyed meeting other like-minded travellers around the campfire in the evening or at dinner.
The Adventure Camps are a budget option with guests bringing their own sleeping bags and towels. Accommodation is in small dome tented with a mattress on the floor. Each tent has its own nearby cubicle with a flush toilet, safari shower, and wash basin. The Adventure Camps are suitable only for those who don’t mind “real camping” and can put with some degree of “roughing it”. Apart from the accommodation in simple dome tents, the meals and the guiding are the same standards as the higher quality camps and game drives are in 4x4 safari vehicles. For those on a limited budget, the Adventure Camps are a good alternative to the big tourist lodges and minibus tours for those for whom the safari experience is more important than hotel accommodation.
If you’re travelling to Botswana, you will need vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid fever, polio as well as medications for travellers diarrhea.
Malaria prophylaxis is recommended when you're travelling to the northern part of Botswana. Other immunizations may be necessary depending upon the circumstances of the trip and the medical history of the traveller.
Insect repellents are recommended, in conjunction with other measures to prevent mosquito bites.
All travellers should visit either a travel clinic or their personal physician four to eight weeks before departure. Malaria - Prophylaxis with Lariam (mefloquine), Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) or doxycycline is recommended for the northern part of the country.
January to March is the best time to witness the Makgadikgadi zebra migration as well as the wildebeest.
Botswana official currency is the Botswana Pula (BWP). Other countries using the same Botswana currency include Zimbabwe.
Botswana Banks accepts the following foreign currencies: US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, Euro and South African Rands in cash.
Credit and debit cards, including International Visa and MasterCard, are accepted at most lodges. However, Express and Diners Club are not accepted by the banks of Botswana or by the camps.
If you'd like to experience a mokoro ride (a dugout canoe) through the waters of the delta, then its best visited during the wet months of June to August. Game viewing is excellent during this period as many wildlife will migrate during this period. The dry months of September and October are also excellent months to visit the delta. Game viewing is consistent during this period, as the wildlife will congregate around water sources - ideal for budding photographers.
Southern Africa is a hot wildlife destination. There is a world of luxury bush camps, lodges and Eco-friendly tourist establishments in the heart of wildlife heaven.