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Botswana Safaris

Adventure into an untamed world where famous wild animals roam thrilling landscapes and play out nature’s greatest script. Botswana safaris introduce you to many of Africa’s most iconic experiences from the oasis of the Okavango Delta to the charismatic Chobe National Reserve and the revered Big 5. Unveil the raw beauty of Botswana with a customized Zicasso safari.

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Sample Itineraries

You can have any trip tailor made for your private travel.

Best of Botswana Safari & Victoria Falls

9 Day Custom Tour

From $4,720

This journey is the ultimate getaway for the adventurous traveler. Experience some of southern Africa’s most pristine areas, from vast, unspoiled landscapes to dramatic waterfalls and sprawling lagoons. This trip covers both distance and diversity and you will encounter a wildlife paradise unlike any other. Experience the exhilaration of the bush in luxurious style in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and Victoria Falls in Zambia, and whether you seek excitement and thrills or pampering and preening, it’s all ready and waiting here in the gorgeous remoteness of Africa.
Botswana 5 Star Safari 2020-2021

9 Day Custom Tour

From $5,395

Customized for 2020-2021, your extraordinary Botswana safari uncovers unique and hidden treasures. From the breathtaking splendor of the Okavango Delta to the heart of the world’s true Eden inside the Moremi Game Reserve, the great river of Chobe to scenic flights and elegant sunset cruises will create a lifetime of memories. Interacting with wildlife, thrilling game-drives, peaceful mokoro rides, and luxurious spa treatments will immerse you in the wonders of your Botswana trip.
Exclusive Okavango Safari: Premium Lodges & Unique...

11 Day Custom Tour

From $6,595

This dreamy Okavango safari blends decadence with authentic wildlife experiences. Relax with soothing massage treatments while watching buffalos roam; lion prides reveal themselves on a nighttime safari, as elephants march across the Delta. Featuring private concessions, opulent camps, and unique activities, this 11-day adventure showcases why the Okavango is Africa’s most revered luxury safari destination. It’s a journey of indulgence through one of the world’s greatest wildernesses. 
Botswana Family Safari: Okavango Delta & Makgadikgadi...

10 Day Custom Tour

From $5,995

Surreal landscapes and endless excitement await you on your 10-day Botswana family safari. You can cross immense salt pans on quad bikes and explore the savannah with local Bushmen, cruise along waterways searching for elephants and wind beneath the forest canopy to find sleeping leopards. Your tailored family adventure will take you deep into the wilderness to unveil the depth and wonder of Botswana.
Hidden Botswana: Undiscovered Safari Delights of Okavango...

12 Day Custom Tour

From $7,195

From walking across the Makgadikgadi salt pans with San Bushmen to a treehouse above the Okavango floodplains, this 12-day journey uncovers the safari secrets of Botswana. You’ll spend three nights at a mobile tented camp in Chobe, four days exploring the Delta on land and water, and three nights on the surreal mirage of the pans. Explore by canoe, discover the wildlife world after dark, and then complete the journey by cruising along the Zambezi River and taking in the legendary Victoria Falls. 
Romantic Okavango Getaway Vacation

14 Day Custom Tour

From $8,395

Botswana’s epic landscapes compel and confound, rolling beyond horizons with their untamed authenticity. This intimate safari adventure provides the perfect getaway; there’s the freedom to be alone in the breathtaking Okavango Delta, and the romantic luxury to elevate every experience. Three inimitable stops immerse you in a secluded world of private camps and nonstop wild game. Then iconic Cape Town and idyllic Barazuto Archipelago offer the perfect contrasts to start and end the trip.
An Intimate Botswana Bushmen Experience Tour &...

8 Day Custom Tour

From $4,795

Botswana’s ancestral gathering lands are packed with mystique. Narratives are written in desolate landscapes, near extinct traditions survive in the bush, and 30,000 years of history await your arrival. This very rare experience offers a genuine and non-obtrusive immersion into the life of Zu/‘Hoasi Bushmen. Be welcomed by the elders and spend four intimate days in a fascinating traditional community. Then complete the trip with three days of spectacular big cat safari.  
Botswana: Ultimate Custom Safari

10 Day Custom Tour

From $5,245

This is a journey to one of the world’s few remaining areas of pristine and secluded oases. From the watery channels of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, to the dusty mopane forests and cool riverine woodland of the Linyanti, to climax at the thundering Victoria Falls, this trip will take you to three of Botswana’s most glorious gems. Search for lions, hunt for buffalo, or seek the elusive sitatunga; feel the mist of the “Smoke that Thunders” and watch the sunset over the Linyanti River, whilst sipping on a glass of bubbly. This Botswana safari vacation has it all, from blissful relaxation to rip-roaring adventure, and it is just waiting for you to jump aboard.
Exclusive Okavango Land & Water Safari: Jewel of...

9 Day Custom Tour

From $9,895

You will find the true jewel of a Botswana safari on your 9-day Okavango Delta tour over the land and water. Your exclusive luxury safari will take you on guided excursions through the canals lined with towering reeds and over captivating emerald grasslands. You can discover wildlife grazing by the waterside and bask in luxury accommodations set beneath the stars for an unparalleled experience on your Botswana safari.
An Adventurous Mobile Camping Safari in Okavango Delta...

11 Day Custom Tour

From $6,595

Experience the adventure of the ultimate mobile safari during your 11-day Botswana adventure on the Okavango Delta. The thrill of exploration will take you by foot and canoe through the natural oasis miles away from civilization. You will combine luxury and discovery as you witness wonderful diversity, from birdlife to lions, elephants to crocodiles. You will be immersed in gorgeous landscapes to view rare images of the wilderness and wildlife.
Luxury Botswana Safari for Seniors: Following the Elephants...

9 Day Custom Tour

From $9,895

Elephants have good taste. Almost 100,000 of them march around Northern Botswana, their path coinciding with some of the continent’s best accommodations and most elegant safari experiences. This unique 9-day itinerary follows the natural movement of elephants, combining unique nature with the style and comfort demanded by the most discerning traveler. And it’s not just about elephants. Get ready for big cats, hippo pods, thunderous waterfalls, and opulent river cruises.
Icons of Southern Africa: Botswana Safari, Victoria...

12 Day Custom Tour

From $5,995

Southern Africa's icons sound like myths doused in the tales of legend. A desert oasis larger than many European countries, 100,000 elephants in the forest, vertical mountains high above oceans and city, and cascades that defy notions of scale. With six days of Botswana safari as its centerpiece, this luxury itinerary envelops you in the icons of Southern Africa, unraveling the fictitious images to provide an intimate connection with the best of the continent. 
Best of Tanzania & Botswana Safaris: Ngorongoro,...

14 Day Custom Tour

From $7,345

Nature's drama unfolds in theater-like spaces across Africa, delivering raw tales sprinkled with indulgent charms. Destinations offer distinctive productions. The Serengeti's grass plains bring the perennial battle of abundant predators and migrating herds. Botswana's Okavango is a bountiful story of life along the water while Chobe and Linyanti reveal the mystique of the forests. This handcrafted safari to Tanzania and Botswana traverses these great production spaces, unraveling all the iconic stories.
The Complete Safari Adventure: Best of Botswana and...

13 Day Custom Tour

From $6,820

Africa’s surreal landscapes revel in their diversity. Each national park is unique and every stretch of wilderness offers a new experience. So combine the very best of East and Southern Africa with this ultimate safari adventure. Lose yourself in the rugged landscapes of Northern Botswana, feast your eyes on the serene beauty of the Okavango, then soak up the enchantment of Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Charming, dramatic, and always authentic, a safari doesn’t get much better than this.
5-Star African Safari with Unique Zambezi Queen River...

15 Day Custom Tour

From $9,970

Africa is a land of beauty and unparalleled wonders. Whether you are a romantic, wildlife lover or adventurer she will compel and awe you with her extraordinary charm. This 5-star private tour offers an exceptional opportunity to discover Africa at a 30% discount. Filled with special experiences, including a unique river safari, this journey of a lifetime delivers the best of Southern Africa.
Botswana Dry Season Safari

11 Day Custom Tour

From $6,595

Botswana's heart beats to nature's seasonal rhythm. From June to September, the landscape is dusty and scorched, idyllic dry season conditions for game viewing. But during this time, distant rains rumble down and flood the Okavango Delta, crafting a surreal oasis of color and migrating wildlife. So on a dry season Botswana safari, you explore two distinct yet interconnected worlds, the iconic desiccated wilderness, and the lavish waterways.
Botswana Safari Chobe National Park

11 Day Custom Tour

From $5,770

Chobe symbolizes the raw beauty of Africa, its hypnotic landscapes revealing both drama and charm. It also epitomizes the wonders of African safari, an incredible abundance of wildlife explored in many different ways. Welcome to a world of almost 100,000 elephants, spectacular big cat action, countless hippos, and a full supporting cast. Combining adventure with tranquility, this unique 8-eight day itinerary immerses you in Chobe, before culminating at the stunning Victoria Falls.
Botswana Okavango Delta Luxury Safari

7 Day Custom Tour

From $4,195

Immerse yourself in a true Okavango Delta experience in Botswana. This trip takes you to two of the most beautiful spots in the Delta, in the Lebala and Kwara Concessions, and invites you to experience the perfect mix of rustic African bush and luxurious comfort. Head out and explore one of the world’s most pristine wetland areas on game drives, boating trips and bush walks, before returning to camp for cozy drinks around the fire, delicious meals and gorgeous rooms with private decks for ideal relaxation. Search for lion, leopard and cheetah; be amazed by the stunning variety of birdlife and botany, before returning for a shower under the stars and that famed Botswana hospitality. 
Signature Okavango Wetland Safari: June to September...

13 Day Custom Tour

From $7,795

Few natural spectacles can rival the Okavango Delta; big cats prowling on evocative floodplains, hippos yawning along lush watery channels, and elephants using their trunks as snorkels. Celebrating the very best of the 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site, this signature safari is handcrafted for travel from June to September, when the lush waterways provide a dreamy journey through authentic Africa. Expect mokoro canoes, exceptional accommodations, and inspiring wildlife encounters.
Getting Lost in Botswana's Wilderness Tour: Makgadikgadi,...

10 Day Custom Tour

From $5,995

Botswana's immense wilderness seems to stretch on forever. There are no roads, no people, and no settlements. There are just untamed landscapes and abundant wildlife, evocative paintings and the calls of the wild. Lose yourself in Botswana's beauty and gently slip into its inimitable rhythm. Suitably relaxed? Now watch as nature's beguiling spell slowly unfolds before your eyes. 
Ultimate Camping Safari in Botswana & Namibia

14 Day Custom Tour

From $7,345

Hypnotic landscapes deserve complete immersion. Travel to the heart of one of the planet’s most evocative wildernesses with this unique camping safari. Few people have ever set foot where you’re going, so lose yourself in shimmering salt pans, stunning savannah, immense water worlds, rugged African plains, and baffling rock formations. There won’t be other people. But a full assortment of Africa’s great mammals continually drenches the experience in enchantment and excitement. 
The Great Zebra Migration Across the Kalahari

10 Day Custom Tour

From $5,995

Experience Africa's greatest secret with this unique immersion in Botswana's zebra migration. Approximately 30,000 sets of hooves kick up dust and splash through the floodplains as they journey south in the early months of the year. Watch the action unfold from private verandahs, get up close with walking safaris, game drive past galloping herds, and discover the chaperoning big cats. But don't go telling everyone. This surreal phenomenon is blissfully devoid of other tourists. 
Botswana Safari Honeymoon

9 Day Custom Tour

From $5,395

Elevate a romantic getaway with this idyllic 9-day safari honeymoon. Be alone in Africa’s most beautiful wilderness, indulge in the continent’s finest secluded camps, and only share the experience with the inimitable wildlife. This itinerary offers the privacy and charm demanded by every honeymooning couple, yet it’s wonderfully blended with unforgettable experiences and an unadulterated immersion in the wild. 
Botswana Mobile Tented Safari & Exclusive Lodge...

7 Day Custom Tour

From $7,695

This trip is a unique journey to see the bush from a remarkable perspective; a mobile camping safari allows you to get to grips with nature at its best, and in a paradise such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana, what could be better? With stunning lodges to book-end your trip, beginning and ending in luxury, immerse yourself in a Botswana vacation adventure across Moremi and Khwai, and grow accustomed to the gentle roaring of lions at night, the soft padding of the great giants of the bush, the elephants, and the distant grunting of hippo, as you fall softly asleep in your tent under the stars. Enjoy thrilling game drives, gentle boat-trips and even breath-taking bush walks, taking in the smaller, more intricate details of one of the most beautiful areas on earth.
Safari in Botswana and Zambia

14 Day Custom Tour

From$7,345

From Bushmen to Victoria Falls and many unique experiences in between, this safari in Botswana and Zambia covers a spectrum of adventures. Beginning in the Kalahari Desert, you will camp amongst the San Bushmen, before heading onwards to the beautiful mystique of the Okavango Delta where you will explore the wonders of the Moremi Game Reserve. After splashing about in the swamps you will head to the Chobe River, before experiencing the jaw-dropping views at Victoria Falls. Finally, head to the wide open spaces once more, at the Makgadikgadi Pans, and to one last night of camping along the banks of the Limpopo River. Such an all-encompassing trip is hard to miss, and impossible to forget!

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African Bush Skills & Safari Adventure for Families

10 Day Custom Tour

From$5,995

Botswana's ancient land radiates secrets. Indigenous tribes preserve traditions while wildlife perennially migrates with nature's cycles. Mystique fills these wild lands, and most can only glimpse at its complexities. This unique itinerary has been tailored to take your family closer, inspiring everyone with a mix of safari activities and bush skills. You'll learn about living life in the wilderness while also intimately discovering the iconic big game of Botswana. 

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The Ultimate Southern Africa Safari: Botswana and Kruger

12 Day Custom Tour

From$7,195

Southern Africa’s mythical landscapes are filled with secrets and stories. A stunning collection of wildlife provides the poetic narration, but which tale do you follow? This itinerary combines Southern Africa's three most abundant national parks, offering the ultimate safari experience and ensuring you experience everything. Kruger, Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and Victoria Falls; this is Southern Africa’s finest wonders in 12 days of nonstop action. 

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One-Week Luxury Botswana Safari: Okavango, Kwando, Chobe

8 Day Custom Tour

From$8,795

Hippos barrel down river channels, elephants march through dense forest, predators gather on floodplains, and wildlife the theater fills every moment. Welcome to Botswana and one week of iconic highlights in a wildlife Mecca. Safari on land and water in the great oasis, spending three days in the Okavango Delta. Feast on intimacy and authenticity during two days in the private Kwando Concession. Then, cross Chobe, meeting the elephants on the way to your final day in Victoria Falls.

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A Grand Kalahari Safari: An Immersive Journey Through Nature's Mystique

11 Day Custom Tour

From$6,595

The Kalahari is an epic wilderness draped across Southern Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Amidst this desert, you will find abundant lion prides, migrating zebra, iconic oases, shimmering salt pans, and the Okavango Delta, for this is no ordinary desert. It's a clash of nature's forces, a complex cycle of life that baffles scientists and safari-goers alike. The Kalahari is an icon of our world, a fable of mystique that offers some of Africa's finest and most intimate safari experiences. 

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Botswana Vacation: Okavango Delta, Wildlife, Bushmen & Victoria Falls

17 Day Custom Tour

From$8,495

Botswana is as diverse as it is unique in its majestic and wild beauty, and this safari covers the absolute best that the country has to offer. In gorgeous accommodation within areas of pristine wilderness, explore this beautiful land and encounter its hidden gems, from its wildlife to its people. Extend your trip to include Victoria Falls for a truly dynamic end to an unforgettable trip.

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Family African Safari Package: Victoria Falls, Kruger Park & Sabi Sabi

13 Day Custom Tour

From$6,053

Take a journey through Southern Africa like no other, encompassing the scenic wonders of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the majesty of the Panorama Route in South Africa and the incomparable wildlife areas of northern Botswana and the Kruger Park region of South Africa. Combining incredible landscapes and thrilling Big Five wildlife encounters by safari vehicle and on foot, while staying at world-class luxury lodges, this is a family adventure that will create memories to last a lifetime.

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Botswana Safaris

How to Book a Botswana Safari

Botswana is the country for safari connoisseurs as the country creates an effortless immersion in the African bush with all the magical sounds, smells, and wildlife that you could imagine. Home to some of the world’s most extravagant natural landscapes, Botswana is a country that requires time to explore. You cannot do a one-day safari here. If you have a week or more, there is nowhere like Botswana, especially for a luxury safari. From delta to desert and from elephant-packed forest to hippo-filled lagoon, Zicasso is here to assist you.

There are three ways to plan and book a trip:

1. Get a customized safari tour planned and booked by a travel professional. Travel independently on your own schedule.

2. Book a group safari tour. Join an escorted group tour with a fixed departure date.

3. Plan and book a safari yourself.

Zicasso offers the best solution for a customized tour by matching you with top travel specialists who plan and book the trip for you. Our travel agency division, Marageti, specializes in helping you book an escorted group tour. There is no extra cost to you for either service.

Custom Safari Tours

A customized tour is one that is planned by a travel specialist according to your specific interests, preferences, and schedule. Whether you desire a family-friendly adventure or a romantic getaway, each of the accommodations, activities, and destinations is tailored to your preferences.

The knowledge and experience of your travel specialist make a big difference. Zicasso has spent thousands of hours vetting the best travel partners. We act as a referral service, matching you with specialists that best meet your goals and priorities.

Escorted Group Safari Tours

A group tour offers the advantage of convenience at a great value. The schedule is fixed, the itinerary is pre-planned, and a dedicated tour director travels with the group throughout the trip. A group tour can be 30 - 50% less expensive than an equivalent customized tour.

Out of the many hundreds of group tours, how do you select the right one for you? Our travel agency division, Marageti, has sales agents who specialize in helping travelers weigh the pros and cons of each group tour. We give you personalized recommendations to find the best tour for you.

Goals and Priorities

What are your goals and priorities for the trip? These should drive your decision for either a customized tour or a fixed departure group tour. We are here to help you make the right decisions to make your dream trip a reality.

Must-See Destinations in Botswana

We have worked alongside our Botswana travel specialists to provide you with recommendations for any trip length. A custom Zicasso tour organizes your time around your needs and desires, but the following suggestions act as great guidelines.

The majority of travelers from the United States spend 7 to 9 nights in Botswana. At least seven nights is needed to really experience different ecosystems and destinations. Some visitors do spend less time in Botswana but combine their safari with neighboring destinations, such as Namibia, South Africa, or Victoria Falls.

How and where you travel depends on your goals in Botswana. It’s not just about one camp; travelers should move camps to witness different species and wildlife. We suggest moving camp every two to three days.

7 to 10 Day Trips

If you have between seven to nine days in Botswana, we suggest that you visit at least two different ecosystems.

The Okavango Delta is Botswana’s ultimate destination. The ecosystem changes during the year. Parts of the delta are very dry most of the year, but some parts are always wet. It’s recommended to try both land and water based activities so that you can experience both sides of the Okavango. This will probably mean you must stay at camps in different sections of the Okavango.

Chobe is another must-see destination. It is a vast wilderness that is dominated by forest and home to the world’s largest elephant population.

Savute and Linyanti are two outstanding private concessions in Northern Botswana. The landscape is a mix of delta, plains, and forest. These multiple ecosystems help attract an incredible abundance and diversity of wildlife. Botswana is known for having the largest and best concessions in Africa.

The Kalahari Desert has very little wildlife but some interesting experiences, such as the Makgadikgadi salt pans, San bushman communities, and meerkats (great fun for kids). You should also consider tiger fishing in the panhandle.

Victoria Falls is located in Zimbabwe and Zambia, which is less than one hour from Botswana’s northeastern border. It is a popular place to start or end a safari.

7 Days

Days 1 - 3: Okavango

Days 4 - 5: Chobe

Days 6 - 7: Linyanti

7 Days

Days 1 - 2: Okavango (dry)

Days 3 - 4: Okavango (wet)

Days 5 - 7: Savute

8 Days

Days 1 - 2: Victoria Falls

Days 3 - 4: Private concession or Chobe

Days 5 - 8: Okavango (wet and dry)

10 Days

Days 1 - 2: Moremi Game Reserve (Okavango)

Days 3 - 5: Okavango (private concession)

Days 6 - 7: Linyanti (or other northern concession)

Day 8: Chobe

Days 9 - 10: Victoria Falls

How many days is enough to see Botswana?

Ten days is the perfect amount of time for a Botswana safari. It will give you enough time to experience different areas and wildlife. It’s also a nice amount of time for disconnecting from the everyday world and feeling an immersion in the African bush.

Essential Botswana Safari Experiences

During your Botswana tour, you can experience wildlife from many perspectives. This is one of Botswana’s advantages over other African safari countries.

How will I experience wildlife?

It is ideal to experience the Okavango Delta via its many channels. Motorized boats can take you to deeper channels and provide a better view of the terrain. Usually 20-foot metal boats that can cut through shallow water, you can cover a lot of distance and see a lot of wildlife this way.

A makoro is a traditional dugout canoe that is good for a two-hour activity on the water. They travel down shallow channels, and a local gondolier drives them. While they are slow, they offer a close-up perspective of wildlife and local flora.

Game drives are the standard activity on land. It’s the best way to see the most wildlife, especially large and dangerous animals that cannot be approached. Some private concessions offer game drives at night, which is a completely different experience. You can’t see as much in the dark, but wildlife is more active, so there is more going on in your vicinity.

At some Botswana camps, it’s also possible to participate in short game walks and walking safaris. Like a makoro, you travel slowly and focus on smaller, less dangerous animals.

You should also consider a helicopter flight over the Okavango Delta when it is floodeed. Hot air ballooning over the Delta is another option.

How can I ensure I see my favorite animal?

Wildlife encounters are never guaranteed. You can maximize your chances by planning a safari around the animals in which you are most interested. For example, Chobe is home to more elephants than anywhere else on the planet but is not ideal for viewing big cats. This is where a top Botswana travel specialist is invaluable for planning a safari that suits your safari dreams.

Private activities will also increase your chance of spotting your favorite animals. Some camps only offer game drives, whereas others offer more. Camps within three miles of each other can be very different in price, e.g.,$300 versus $1000 a night. More expensive camps tend to offer more in terms of terrain, wildlife, and activities.

What is a day on Safari like?

Every day on a Botswana safari can vary. That’s why it’s such an interesting destination that is deserving of at least a week. Camps have different activities, so what you do exactly will change at each destination.

A typical day on safari involves a pre-dawn alarm followed by a light breakfast. You will participate in a safari activity in the cool early-morning hours when wildlife is most active. After returning to the camp for brunch or lunch, there will have time to relax during the hottest part of the day. Then, you will partake in a second activity from mid to late-afternoon onwards. Usually, it’s early to bed after such an early start and exciting day.

What Choice Do I Have With Accommodation on a Botswana Safari?

The Botswana safari experience is highly dependent on the places you stay. Each camp or lodge is located in its own wildlife area. Some may see a lot of animals, and others may not see very many; it all depends on the season. Each season offers different activities as well.

What is the difference between a Camp and a Lodge in Botswana?

A lodge is a more permanent structure than a camp. The Botswana government does not allow big concrete lodges because they want to minimize the impact on wildlife and the natural area. There are less than ten concrete lodges in the entire country. Most of these are in Chobe National Park. They have 80 or more rooms, which means the area is overrun with mass tourism, mostly accommodating short-stay visitors coming from Victoria Falls nearby.

Lodges in the Okavango and elsewhere tend to be much smaller and ecological. Most of these are known as tented lodges that are made from wood and canvas. The overall lodge infrastructure is larger and more permanent than the camps.

Safari camps can be just as luxurious and spacious as lodges. High-end safari camps are nothing like camping or glamping. They are hotel rooms in the wilderness with canvas walls that help connect you with the bush. Mid-range camps are more basic, and their price tag may reflect the location rather than the facilities.

How many days should I stay at each Camp or Lodge?

A successful safari involves moving around Botswana and different camps. During the shoulder and low season, it’s common to spend longer at each camp, usually three nights but maybe four. This is often because the price per night is lower than the high season.

In peak season there is less camp availability. Visitors tend to stay a little shorter, usually two to three nights. It’s not recommended to spend just one night at a camp or lodge due to the long travel distances involved.

How much is a Botswana Safari?

The starting price of a custom-tailored private Botswana safari is approximately $600 per person, per day. For an escorted group tour, the starting price can be approximately $300 per person, per day.

The cost of a Botswana safari is dependent on many factors, such as the:

  • Length of your trip
  • Season (month) of travel
  • Class of camp/lodge
  • Number of destinations and the use of safari flights to get around
  • Staying in private concessions vs national parks

A vacation such as this is often the biggest purchase of the year. It will also likely be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. To get the most out of your trip, we highly recommend using an expert travel specialist to plan a customized tour that is tailored to your specific interests and budget.

What Are the Key Differences Between a 3-Star, 4-Star and 5-Star Property in Botswana?

Just about every camp outside of Chobe is eco-friendly and located in a great wildlife area. Camps that do the most to preserve the natural area are the four and five-star camps. All four and five-star accommodation are small, and never accommodate more than 80 guests. Typically, these properties only have about 20 to 30 guests.

Most four-star and all five-star camps are located in private concessions. Some of these start at $900 - $2,000 per person per night.

A 5-star, tailor-made Botswana tour, where most services are upgraded and extra unique experiences are included, typically starts at $1,100 per person per day.

Best Time to Visit Botswana

Updated: February 10, 2020

The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season (May to September). This is the best time for wildlife viewing. It is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit.

How Does the Safari Experience Change During Different Seasons of the Year?

Botswana is truly a seasonal destination with clearly defined high and low seasons. Prices for camps can double during the high season.

Early May to September are the best months to see wildlife. These months represent the winter or dry season. During this time, water levels recede and the guides know where to find wildlife. Vegetation also isn’t overgrown, so it’s easier to spot animals.

Botswana is unusual because the dry season coincides with the Okavango Delta flooding. Other countries have clearly defined dry and wet seasons. Ironically, Botswana’s dry season occurs at the same time the desert floods. Water flows down rivers from the Angolan Highlands and takes around four months to reach the Kalahari Desert. This attracts a variety of migratory wildlife from drier desert plains. Winter is also a cooler time of year, so it’s more comfortable for visitors and has less insects.

October

October is very hot and dry. During this time temperatures can reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Animals stick around the very little water that remains. While the heat is harsh for many visitors, this is a good out-of-season month for a cheaper safari.

November and December

November and December start to see rain. This is the beginning of the green season, which is another fantastic time to visit Botswana. Most species time their reproduction cycles with this green season. Young animals can grow fat on all the lush greenery, and predators enjoy easy meals.

January and February

January and February are the summer months in Botswana. During this time, it is hot and tropical. The heat and humidity are challenging for some visitors. After three months of rain, some of the grass grows so high that it obstructs the line of sight from vehicles, making wildlife harder to see. Thus, January and February represent the low, green season.

March

In March, the rain subsides. Botswana is left with tall grass, wildlife on the move, and slightly cooler temperatures. March is not the best month for a safari.

April and May

From April to May, there is a cold wave that brings very low temperatures at night. Leaves begin to die, and grass is grazed by animals. During this time, you can see the landscape and wildlife more clearly. Elephants, zebras, wildebeest, and impalas begin to gather in large numbers. This is also an excellent shoulder season.

Cost of a Safari vs the Season

Doing a safari during the green (low) or shoulder season is more affordable. Sometimes it is less than half the price of a July safari. Most camps are booked a year in advance for the peak months (June to August).

How long in advance do you need to book for your choice of accommodations and safari?

You really need to book around one year in advance for peak season and staying in the top lodges. Much of this depends on the combination of camps you want to visit and the size of your group.

Modes of Transportation in Botswana

Botswana is an enormous country. How you get around will depend on the destinations you wish to visit. There are very few roads here, and most safari areas are not located along any major road.

Best Flights and Airports

Botswana has very few international airports and connections. There are currently no direct flights to Botswana from Europe or the US. This inaccessibility is part of the appeal of a Botswana safari.

Maun (MUB) is the easiest way into the Okavango Delta. Flights here typically make a stop in Johannesburg before continuing north to Maun. It is about a two-hour flight from Johannesburg.

Kasane (BBK) is next to Chobe and also has flight connections with Johannesburg.

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) airports have flight connections to various destinations in eastern and southern Africa. Many visitors use these airports and add one or two nights to their safari to see the falls.

Domestic Flights

An excellent network of safari flights takes visitors around Botswana. Many camps are completely inaccessible without taking a plane. Every year, the Delta wipes out even the most basic four-wheel drive tracks. Distances to cover are large, and a 90-minute flight is often the best alternative to a two-day desert and swamp journey.

Maun (MUB) and Kasane (BBK) are the southern and northern hubs for these flights. Most planes that fly in and out of the Delta go through one of these airports. Many high-end camps and lodges operate their own airstrips in addition to those used for national parks. Flight schedules are flexible and depend on where passengers are going. Your plane may touch down at one airstrip to drop off four passengers before continuing to your concession.

It is not recommended to fly from Victoria Falls to Kasane. A road transfer takes the same amount of time and is significantly cheaper.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Overland Travel

Some visitors choose to do a self-guided four-wheel drive camping safari in Botswana. This is an adventurous option that is not for the faint of heart. Some safari camps are connected by small roads, and this may be part of your itinerary. Traveling between them is like a game drive and is another part of the overland safari experience.

What to Consider When Traveling in Botswana

When traveling on a Botswana tour, you must consider safety, travel logistics, and accessibility. The following information covers important travel considerations so that you can have a stress-free travel experience.

Is Botswana safe for travel?

Botswana is very safe for travelers. Petty theft is never an issue at camps or in communities. The country is governed at a first-world standard and is considered one of the most advanced and stable countries in Africa. Travelers should be more on guard in towns and cities; however, Botswana only has one city, and it is rare that travelers ever make stops in places outside the wildlife areas (except Maun).

A Botswana safari is safe, although all wild animals can pose a risk. Camps are designed with accommodation and walkways that are lifted above the ground, so they cannot be accessed by wildlife. There are no gated or fenced camps either. Wildlife moves freely around these authentic camps, and you can hear buffaloes and baboons as they run. It is usually very safe for well-behaved children, however, parents should consider the responsiveness of their children to directions.

Local people have been walking and living alongside large wildlife for many millennia. They continue to use traditional practices to keep themselves and their visitors safe. Guides also know how to handle dangerous wildlife situations. All camps will provide a safety briefing so that you understand where you can go without a guide or tracker.

Mobility and Accessibility

Some of Botswana’s camps and lodges are adapted for guests with mobility issues. Although the country has some of the wildest places on Earth, accessibility can be arranged for virtually everyone. This will require careful planning and some places or activities may not be possible, but so many are!

Health Questions

Typhoid and yellow fever are not prevalent in Botswana. Southern Botswana is considered to be malaria-free. Central Botswana, including most of the Delta, is a low-risk Malaria area. Antimalarials are usually advised when traveling to the north of Botswana. There are very few mosquitoes during the dry season (May to October), and this significantly reduces the risk of malaria.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

Packing

Most domestic flights in Botswana have a strict 33lb per person luggage limit. It’s more comfortable to pack light anyway, and the animals don’t care what you wear. Muted colors are best because they don’t show the dust or aggravate certain animals. Lightweight clothes are also very advantageous when traveling in the hot and humid conditions.

You should note that there is no need to bring walking boots unless you are actually going on a walking safari. With so much wildlife everywhere, the most you will probably walk is from the camp to your safari vehicle. Don’t underestimate how cold it can get at night or how intense the sun can be either. You should pack high-SPF sunscreen, a wide-brimmed sun hat, and at least one warm sweater or jacket.

For Families

Going from airport to airport and traveling between camps can be hard with kids, but most find the experience of safari to be incredible and worth every effort. Much of the country is malaria-free, and it is a really inspiring destination for teenagers and older children to experience this sort of adventure.

For Seniors

Heat and humidity can be unbearable during the summer, and this is often an issue for senior travelers. Travel during the shoulder season is advised, as is planning with a African Safari travel specialist.  As safari is inherently bespoke, issues of accessibility and mobility are often easily managed.

For Couples

A travel specialist understands the best camps and experiences for couples who are seeking something extra special. Wherever you go in Botswana you will be cut off from the everyday world. This is one of the world’s least-populated countries, and your neighbors will have four legs rather than two.

Recommendations for the Return Traveler

Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a timeless destination that crosses the borders of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. The desert also represents the vast stretch of scorched landscape that borders the oasis of the Okavango Delta. The majestic scenery consists of lush fields, gushing waterfalls, and secluded vineyards in the wet months that juxtapose the crimson sands and thorn trees that edge the dry riverbeds of the dry season.

Wildlife consists of black-maned lions, howling hyenas, cheetahs, and skies that shimmer with endless stars. Meerkats populate the rocky landscape, and San Bushmen communities offer a glimpse into the nomadic lifestyles. These tribes have acted as hunter-gatherers for more than 20,000 years.

Related Botswana Tours by Zicasso

Here is our list of other Botswana Tours we offer:

Themed:

Multi-Country Botswana Vacations:

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