Safari Holidays in Botswana

One of the most sparsely populated countries on earth, Botswana is a largely road-less wilderness of savannahs, deserts, wetlands and saltpans. This makes it ideal for luxury safari holidays, with the Okavango Delta being an undisputed highlight.

Botswana is great for those looking for an African adventure, think minimal people viewing and a tonne of game viewing through the variations of landscapes and safaris. The beauty of doing a luxury safari holiday in Botswana is that it doesn't even have to be enjoyed by 4x4, the destination is popular for horse riding, quad biking, mokoro (traditional dug-out canoes) and walking safaris.

The highlight is undoubtedly the Okavango Delta - one of the primary wildlife hotspots in all of Africa. This is where the traditional mokoro canoe safaris really come into play; you'll be up close and personal with an incredible array of wildlife while gently floating down a beautiful river… perfection. While we know and rate the superb lodges in the Delta offering the most exclusive safari experience imaginable, the Original Travel team also know good value lodges where you can still enjoy this incredible destination to the full.

Delta aside, there is so much more to Botswana safari holidays. The parts of the Kalahari that the waters of the Okavango River fail to refresh remain semi-arid but this is still the most species-rich desert in the world. In just as stark and rewarding a contrast are the Makgadikgadi Pans that are the size of Switzerland. We can arrange quad bike safaris across vast salt pans in the dry season, and in the rainy season there is an annual zebra and wildebeest migration to follow (with expert guides, of course), and huge flocks of flamingo congregate in the shallow water.

Conservation is serious stuff in Botswana. The country pioneered the high yield low impact tourism model, which means the level of exclusivity on offer in this unspoilt landscape is remarkable. It comes with a higher price tag, but it is definitely one worth paying in our humble opinion, because the most remarkable Botswana attribute is how truly wild it is. A variety of different game species roam completely unrestricted across the country, from the lunar landscapes of the vast salt pans to the rich floodplains of the Okavango. Botswana is a great destination on its own or it can be combined for a bush and beach experience with the sandy beaches of Mozambique.

Our Africa specialists are passionate about the places they sell and are on hand to recommend the best mobile camps or a location where you can offer your head as a lookout platform to a wild meerkat (Makgadikgadi Pans in case you were wondering).

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Mokoro canoe safari
If You Do Three Things
Traditional Mokoro Canoe Safari

Experience the Okavango Delta's vast ecosystem on a traditional Mokoro dugout canoe safari with a highly knowledgeable guide. The motorless canoe avoids the risk of scaring off animals, allowing you to get up close to a huge array of brightly coloured frogs, bird species and thirsty game as you drift peacefully through the reeds.

Bird watching
If You Do Three Things
Bird Watching on the Linyanti River

On the north-east border between Botswana and Namibia, the Linyanti River is a haven of marshes, lagoons and riverine forests, home to over 450 resident and migratory bird species in the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. The exclusivity of the reserve allows for an intimate birding experience, with excellent year-round opportunities to see Western Banded Snake Eagles and African Skimmers, as well as migratory Southern Carmine Bee Eaters (November to March).

If You Do Three Things
Meerkats in the Makgadikgadi Pans

Make friends with a habituated meerkat colony in the heart of the Makgadikgadi Pans, getting up close with these loveable and extremely social animals. With the help of an expert guide, inspect and interpret the animals' behaviour without impacting their daily routine. This is one of the only places you can enjoy this unique experience in southern Africa.

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When to go

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Tuli Block
The Okavango Delta & Beyond
The Kalahari & Makgadikgadi Pans
Tuli Block
The Okavango Delta & Beyond
The Kalahari & Makgadikgadi Pans
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Low season
Off season
Mokoro canoe safari
Deeper Cuts
Head off the beaten track and uncover the little-known gems of a destination
Mokoro Canoe Safari

Explore the secrets of the Okavango Delta in a traditional dug-out mokoro canoe, with one of our specialist canoe guides. They will take you to pristine areas, away from the crowds, where you have the ability to truly connect with your surroundings and spot smaller creatures that can easily be missed when on a game drive, such as the Delta's fantastic birdlife.

Map of Botswana

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A Note on Price

Skinted: Three nights in the Makigadikgadi Pans and three in the Delta (low season), plus international flights, will cost you around £6,000. Minted: a ten-day luxury Botswana safari holiday consisting of three nights in the Pans, three nights in the Delta and three nights further north, in the Linyanti, will cost more like £12,000.

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