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 safari holidays, with the Okavango Delta being an undisputed highlight.

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Image of Ra D'Arcy Clark

Louise Fitzgerald, Ra and Charlotte are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The variation of the landscapes and safaris on offer - the contrasting vistas on the journey from the Makgadikgadi Pans to the Okavango Delta are unparalleled.
  • Silent boat safaris through the Delta waterways, known as mokoro trips, are an alternative and memorable way to spot wildlife - as are the epic riding safaris.
  • 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).

Botswana Safari Holidays: The Detail

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 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.

Did you know

  • Botswana is the world's third biggest diamond producer (behind Russia and Canada)
  • The inhabitants of Botswana are called Batswana (Motswana is the singular form in Setswana language)
  • Seswaa is the national dish of the country, a stew of boiled meat, maize meal and greens
  • The zebra is Botswana's national animal, even though there are probably many more elephants in the country

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 (one being Batswana born and bred) 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).


Top picks for Botswana

Shinde guest tent exterior in woodland

Shinde Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

On an island dotted with palm trees in the northern Okavango Delta, is the welcoming retreat of Shinde Camp. Set on the edge of a lagoon, the camp is surrounded by waterways which are home to a host of magnificent animals and bird life.

Where to stay

Botswana Camping Safaris

Botswana Camping Safaris

Botswana

Donate your roll mats to the boy scouts, forget deflating air mattresses and expect a hot shower at the end of the day. When it comes to mobile camping, boy do they know how to do it on a Botswana camping safari.

What to do

Camp fire at Lebala Camp, luxury camp in Botswana

Lebala Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Lebala means ‘wide open spaces’ in Setswana and the scenery is dominated by vast plains with scattered palms and tree clumps backed by wooded savannah.

Where to stay

Twin tent interior

Footsteps Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Footsteps Camp is located in a secluded part of the Okavango Delta. The camp’s three Meru-style tents are the perfect base from which to explore the wilderness on foot, discovering the wildlife and landscapes of Botswana.

Where to stay

Riding Safari Botswana

Riding Safari Botswana

Botswana

Botswana was the birthplace of riding safaris, with the perfect combination of terrains to tackle. Do you want to ride through savannah, desert, wetlands or salt pans? The choice is yours.

What to do

Kalahari Bushmen Safaris

Kalahari Bushmen Safaris

The Kalahari & Makgadikgadi Pans

The bushmen of the Kalahari have existed for 20,000 years, seamlessly navigating the unique ecosystem that exists here, passing along survival techniques and traditions for generations to come. While many think of a safari holiday as purely being about the game, there is so much more to discover and appreciate in the African bush, namely the culture and traditions of these local tribes.

What to do

Aerial of Delta

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Botswana

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the world’s most extraordinary wilderness areas.

Where to go

Sleeping Under the Stars

Sleeping Under the Stars

The Kalahari & Makgadikgadi Pans

Sleeping under the vast starry skies of the Makgadikgadi Pans is an experience you will never forget.

What to do

Linyanti Bush Camp, luxury camp in Botswana

Linyanti Bush Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Linyanti Bush Camp is a small and intimate tented camp besides the Linyanti marshes in a private reserve bordering the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave.

Where to stay

Camp exterior at night at Little Kwara Camp, luxury camp in Botswana

Little Kwara Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Little Kwara Camp is situated on a tree-covered island in a private concession sharing a boundary with the Moremi Game Reserve.

Where to stay

Botswana Photographic Safaris

Botswana Photographic Safaris

Botswana

Botswana is arguably one of the most photogenic destinations on the planet due in no small part to the sheer diversity of its landscapes. From the lunar-like expanses and stark beauty of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans to the lush waterways of the Okavango Delta, a photographic safari in Botswana will not disappoint.

What to do

Motswiri Camp

Motswiri Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Motswiri Camp is located in the world renowned Selinda Reserve, an area of over 120,000 acres of pristine African bush, and is a charming and comfortable base from which to explore this area.

Where to stay

Free Standing Bath at Pom Pom Camp

Pom Pom Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Located within the Matsebe concession in Botswana’s Okavango delta, Pom Pom Camp boasts a permanent lagoon surrounded by miles of reeds, where hippos are regular features.

Where to stay

Botswana Walking Safari

Botswana Walking Safari

Botswana

For those with even the slightest active inclination, walking safaris are one of the best ways to see the great wildlife of Botswana. Get up close and personal with the animals, never missing a sight. Original Travel know the best of the best guides who make the experience all the more wonderful.

What to do

The terrace at night at Mombo Camp, luxury camp in Botswana

Mombo Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Located in the heart of the Okavango Delta, within the Moremi Game Reserve, the area surrounding Mombo Camp is home to large concentrations of both plains game and predators.

Where to stay

Dining at the camp verandah at Selinda Camp, luxury camp in Botswana

Selinda Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

Selinda Camp is located along the banks of the Selinda Spillway, a wildlife haven in Botswana’s vast 320 000 acre Selinda Reserve.

Where to stay

Kubu Island Quad Biking

Kubu Island Quad Biking

The Kalahari & Makgadikgadi Pans

Quad biking is just one way to experience a Botswana safari, and by far one of the most exhilarating. Our five night departure includes two nights under the stars on Kubu Island, and we recommend combining it with three nights at either Jack’s Camp, San Camp or Camp Kalahari to make the most of a quad biking adventure.

What to do

Duba Expedition Camp

Duba Expedition Camp

The Okavango Delta & Beyond

The intimate Duba Expedition Camp sits in the heart of the Okavango Delta on a wooded island. The exclusive camp offers guests the ultimate opportunity for private wildlife sightings and provides the perfect backdrop for living in luxury in the wild.

Where to stay

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Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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