If money is no object, Botswana is the ultimate safari destination. It is undeniably expensive, but fantastic - reserves are private and exclusive, accommodation is stylish and luxurious, wildlife and guiding are superb and the service is second to none. Following the rains, massive herds of grazers migrate from the Okavango Delta and Chobe River to the deserts of the Kalahari and the lunar landscape of the Makgadikgadi Pans, in one of the biggest animal migrations in the world. Botswana offers a stunning safari experience, for those with deep pockets!
1. Duba Plains
2. Savuti Camp
5. Kwara Camp
Thanks to its diamonds, Botswana is one of Africa's wealthiest countries. Its population of 1.6 million is centred around the main towns, especially the capital Gabarone. The tourism and hospitality industry here is extremely sophisticated, and is one of the country's top three sources of revenue. Botswana boasts three of Africa's best and most renowned safari destinations: the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and the Kalahari Desert.
Botswana’s private reserves
Botswana is famous for the exclusivity of its vast private reserves which contain some of Africa's most luxurious camps. Only camp guests may enter the reserve, which makes for a completely private and intimate safari experience. Nowhere else in Africa can consistently guarantee such exclusivity. Show me more >
Beyond the private reserves
The private reserves offer an outstanding safari experience, but they are unavoidably expensive. There are some other areas of Botswana, open to the public, which still offer a great safari, but without the high cost of the private reserves - these areas include Chobe National Park, some areas of the Okavango, Moremi, Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari.
Is it possible to do Botswana well, economically?
Botswana’s high prices scare off many people from even considering it as an option; safari here is seriously expensive. The likes of Wilderness Safaris, &Beyond, Sanctuary lodges (A&K), and Kwando Safaris are some of Africa’s finest safari operators, and it happens that their luxurious private reserves cover the majority of the best game viewing areas. Show me more >
When to go to Botswana
The beginning of the year is Botswana's green season. The rains can fall heavily and although the birding is never better, this is not the time to visit in search of big game. By way of slight exceptions to the rule, the fresh grazing in the Kalahari and Makgadikgadi do attract large herds, and concentrations of game are always high in Chobe. However the usual big game areas (Okavango, Linyanti, Selinda etc) do not guarantee good viewing during this season. As a result, there is some superb value for money to be found at this time of year. Show me more >
A brief guide to Botswana's main parks :
The Okavango is one of Africa’s most impressive wildlife areas. As famous as Tanzania's Serengeti or Kenya's Masai Mara, the Okavango is the world's only inland delta and is an area of exceptional natural beauty.
Africa's best park for elephants and a great option for a short safari, Botswana's Chobe National Park offers great game viewing at any time of the year - this is a park brimming with Africa's big wild animals.
The Makgadikgadi Pans is a dramatic, desolate lunar expanse where you can literally see the curvature of the earth. Made up from miles of shimmering white salt, the Makgadikgadi Pans evoke a sense of complete wilderness in an area seemingly untouched by humankind.
The Selinda Reserve is one of Africa’s top wildlife reserves. Part of the Great Plains Conservation project, the Selinda Reserve has some of the most luxurious accommodation in Africa.
Kwando Safaris Kwando Reserve is synonymous with high quality, serious safari. Predators are prolific and the standard of guiding here is exceptional. A magical private reserve.
Linyanti is one of Africa's finest game viewing areas and is a prime example of high-end exclusive safari. The quality of camps here is outstanding - to the extent that these are some of the the continent's best lodges - this is a seriously good area for safari.
The Moremi Game Reserve is at the heart of the Okavango Delta and covers an area of untouched wilderness including approximately twenty percent of the Okavango Delta itself. The game viewing in Moremi is arguably the very best in Africa.
Botswana featured lodges:
Many people regard Mombo as the best safari camp in the world, and we agree. The huge number of all the cats and vast concentrations of virtually everything else mean that game drives are always fulfilling and regularly explosive!
With more lion than pretty much anywhere and the fact that diurnal hunting is pretty much guaranteed at Duba, any safari connoisseur will tell you that that this camp is an exceptionally rare little gem; the lion viewing here is just outstanding and is regularly ballistic.