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Helicopter safari, Botswana Safari, Helicopter Horizon

Botswana Safari

Botswana – it’s far more than bushmen and big cats. Take in everything this African country offers with a bespoke itinerary that includes horseback and hot air balloon excursions.

Botswana safaris are undoubtedly the ultimate luxury safari experience in Africa. Botswana holds about 25 per cent of Africa’s elephants and is one of the only countries where you can still find vast herds.

Many of Botswana’s lodges have raised themselves to a level of sophistication that is the envy of hotels around the world, whilst maintaining a sense of adventure and remoteness. Botswana’s unique combination of wilderness landscapes and its variety of game make a Botswana safari a holiday that you will not forget.

Photography from helicopter, Botswana Safari, Helicopter Horizon
Botswana
Heron fishing, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Orange sunrise layers clouds above misty delta grasslands, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana

What to expect on your Botswana safari holiday

You need time to enjoy your Botswana safari. Do not rush the experience. Botswana is a big country and getting around is largely done by scheduled light aircraft. As flights are frequent and easy, combining two or three areas of the country on one safari holiday is not only possible but highly recommended by our Botswana safari experts.

Male Leopard, Botswana
Botswana
Lions, Selinda, Botswana
Selinda, Botswana
Antelopes in dusky light, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Lion, Selinda Reserve, Botswana
Lion, Selinda Reserve, Botswana

Where to go on your Botswana safari

The most famous areas for wildlife are in the north – the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve, Linyanti, Selinda and Chobe National Park. These areas are home to masses of big game, as well as some of Africa’s finest safari camps.

The south is largely desert and thus a fabulous contrast to the watery north. See the San Bushmen of the Central Kalahari and experience the vast emptiness of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remains of one of the world’s largest super lakes. Here the desert isn’t always dry – when the rains arrive the area bursts into life and see the second largest zebra and wildebeest migration in the world. Ask our Botswana safari experts for more details as to when is the best time to experience this migration.

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Explore Botswana

  • Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Chobe National Park
  • Kalahari Desert
  • Okavango Delta
  • Selinda Reserve
  • Linyanti Reserve
  • Tuli Block

Experiences

Botswana offers incredible experiences that will help us to create a bespoke and memorable journey for you.

Delta by Air

Fly low over the Okavango Delta in a helicopter. With the doors removed, this is perfect for photographing this maze of channels and lagoons from above.

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Photograph Wildlife Up Close

Renowned for its excellent hides and expert guides, photographic opportunities are endless at Mashatu Tented Camp.

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Fly Camp in the Wilderness

Spend a night at a temporary fly camp, sleeping in the heart of the bush and completely disconnected from modern life.

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Get Out and Explore

Head out on an adventure safari, exploring on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback.

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Birding in the Tuli Block

Spend some time spotting some of the 350 bird species that can be found in this birdlife-rich region.

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Boat Safari on the Chobe River

Head out on a sunset cruise down the Chobe River, spotting the vast herds of elephants for which this area is famous.

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Watch the local Meerkats

Spend time watching the antics of a habituated group of meerkats at Jack’s Camp.

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Join the San Bushmen

Walk, hunt and gather with the San Bushmen of the Kalahari. Learn how they have adapted to life in this harsh desert environment.

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Birdwatching in Makgadikgadi

Discover the excellent birding, with flocks of flamingos in their thousands.

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Spot Desert Species

Head out on game drives to spot some of the desert-specific species that survive in the Kalahari. These include meerkats, oryxes and brown hyenas.

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Helicopter landing, Heli safari, Botswana Safari, Helicopter Horizon
Botswana
Traditional Mokoro, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Mokoro, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Herd of Elephants, Selinda, Botswana
Selinda Reserve, Botswana
Blacked Maned Lion, Kalahari, Botswana
Botswana
Hippopotamus in Okavango Delta Moremi National Park, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Horse Riding Activity, Motswiri Camp, Selinda Reserve, Botswana
Botswana

What to do in Botswana

  • Spend a few days in the Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta with a myriad of waterways, channels and islands and home to an abundance of game.
  • Take a luxury mobile safari in the Moremi, moving with the animals.
  • Quad bike across the flat empty expanse of the Makgadikgadi Pans camping out under the stars – a very different type of safari holiday.
  • A safari by boat is a great way to see the huge elephant herds of Chobe National Park.
  • Spend time watching the antics of a habituated group of meerkats at Jack’s Camp.
  • Walk with the San bushmen and learn how they have adapted to life in the harsh desert environment.
  • See the black-maned lions of the Kalahari and search for the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
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  • 1 855 2037885

Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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  • 1 855 2037885

Frequently asked questions about Botswana

Is Botswana suitable for families with young children?

Not all camps in Botswana accept young children, but an increasing number now have family rooms and more flexible child policies. As the safari experience in Botswana is exceptionally wild and camps are largely unfenced, we would always recommend that you stay at a camp that is used to hosting families. Game drives are the staple of a safari Botswana and younger children may struggle with the length of these; therefore, camps with more activities for kids are also recommended.

Away from the Okavango Delta, there are great options in the Kalahari Desert and Magkadigkadi Pans, where fewer big animals and more activities make for a very different experience.

Will I be able to see the Big Five on safari in Botswana?

Nothing is ever guaranteed in nature, but the chances are that on a week-long safari in the Okavango Delta you will see four of the Big Five. Elephants, buffaloes and lions are spotted by all but the unluckiest in the Okavango Delta. Leopards are elusive across Africa, but with a bit of luck and patience, there is a good chance of spotting one in the delta.

It used to be that your chances of seeing a rhino in Botswana were nonexistent. However, thanks to a successful reintroduction program, sightings have started to become more common over the past few years. In spite of this, the secrecy surrounding rhinos’ numbers and locations means that it is almost impossible to make any predictions. All we can say is that your chances of seeing a rhino now are far better than a decade ago.

A lot of camps make reference to a mokoro - what is it?

A mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe that is propelled by poling, in a similar way to an English punt. Due to this, they are limited to the shallower parts of the Okavango Delta, but they are an excellent way to explore thanks to their shallow draft and lack of a noisy motor. Many camps offer mokoro trips, although this is usually dependent on water levels.

How do you get from camp to camp in Botswana?

Most camps in the Okavango Delta can only be accessed by air, meaning you will fly in on a light aircraft or even helicopter. However, there are some options in the southern part of the delta that can be accessed by road from Maun – these are good options for those who have a fear of small planes. Similarly, there are also mobile safaris available that combine walking, boats and 4×4 vehicles.

Elsewhere in Botswana, such as Chobe National Park or the Kalahari, camps can typically be accessed by air or land. However, the size of Botswana means that flying is almost always recommended.

When is the Okavango Delta in full flood?

The floodwaters from Angola start to return in May and remain fairly full to July/August. However, the course of the flood can be affected by shifting tectonic plates, meaning that flood levels vary across the delta from year to year.

What should I take on safari?

Cotton layers such as T-shirts, a light fleece, shorts and a pair of long trousers are the key items. The temperature can vary quite a bit from the early morning game drive to the heat of the day. Sun screen, a hat and a swimming costume are the other necessities. It is best to avoid bright colours for a safari. Footwear should include a pair of sandals or flip flops and some walking shoes (trainers would usually be fine).

What can I expect to see in the Okavango Delta?

Bear in mind that you will be navigating through the waterways between islands, some of which are actually floating themselves. The vegetation is characterised by tall papyrus plants, which can obscure your view, so it is unwise to expect to see all of the Big Five whilst staying at a water-based lodge.

The birdlife is magnificent and as you glide along in a mokoro canoe, your guide will be able to point out some of the smaller amphibious creatures that make the delta their home. Most lodges in the delta will offer a guided walk on the islands, and you can expect to see everything from antelope and warthog through to lions and elephants.

At lodges that offer game drives, the chances of seeing wildlife are often better. However, these are more commonly located on the fringes of the delta. For the perfect delta experience, we always recommend combing a water-focussed camp with a land-focussed one.

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