For pristine wilderness, high quality camps and superb rangers, Botswana is the ideal destination. Around 40% of the country is dedicated to national parks and private game reserves, and these are unfenced – so wildlife is able to roam freely through their natural habitats, offering superb game viewing. There are good chances of spotting endangered wild dogs, as well as big cats and large numbers of elephants, as more live in Botswana than anywhere else.
Stretching from the Kalahari to the Okavango, from Chobe national park to Makgadikgadi and Nxai pans, a range of experiences are available in Botswana. Discover the Okavango delta and its wildlife in a mokoro canoe, seek out wild dogs in the Linyanti reserve, walk with Bushmen in the Kalahari Game Reserve or perform sentry duty with meerkats in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. And when it’s time to relax, stay in luxurious boutique camps which blend perfectly into their surroundings – many offer game viewing from the comfort of their terraces.
As the country is focused on preserving its pristine environment, camps and lodges are exclusive, and often only accessible by light aircraft that fly low over this magical landscape. Once in camp, you are likely to go wildlife viewing in a small group, in an open-top 4×4 safari vehicle, well away from the crowds.
This is just a taste of what makes Botswana one of Africa’s best and most exclusive safari destinations.
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Flying time from London: 15 hours
Official language(s): English and Setswana.
Time difference: +2 GMT
Visa requirements: Visa not required for UK passport holders.
The Botswana Experts
Our experts will be delighted to tailor a completely personalised itinerary to suit your interests, dates and budget.
Experience the thrill of an African safari from the deck of your own private suite on the Chobe river, spotting huge herds of elephant, buffalo, lion and prolific birdlife. View the wildlife on board the new luxury floating lodge, the Zambezi Queen, which offers itineraries of 2- to 3-nights on fixed dates. Alternatively, the Pride of the Zambezi can be booked on a nightly basis. Both boats offer wildlife viewing from small tender boats, as well as birding, fishing and cultural tours.
Visit the ‘predator capital of Africa’
Chief’s Island, sitting in the middle of the Okavango delta, and part of the Moremi game reserve, is nearly 1000 sq kms in size. As it sits higher than the rest of the delta, it never floods – and is famous for its prides of lions and leopard. Two luxurious camps, Mombo and Little Mombo, provide the opportunity to watch the big cats stalk their prey.
Stay in mobile camping safaris
Before the days of permanent camps and lodges, the first African explorers used mobile camps. It was, and still is, an excellent way to immerse yourself in some of Africa’s most spectacular wilderness. Accompanied by the same guide throughout, the tour travels overland in a 4x4 safari vehicle, reaching remote areas where there are no permanent camps.
Watch the longest migration in Africa
Although the most famous migration in Africa occurs between the Serengeti and Masai Mara, the longest, in fact, travels across Namibia and Botswana. Over 25,000 zebra move from the north to the south, over 3000 miles, to find food and water sources. One of the best places to view this migration is across the Nxai Pan; as the landscape is flat and vegetation relatively scarce, the zebra are easy targets – and their predators are easy to spot.
Explore the delta in a myriad of ways
Don’t miss being punted by traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) through the Okavango Delta, one of the world's largest inland water systems packed with Africa’s finest wildlife. For added luxury, book a champagne mokoro experience. Otherwise, head out on foot with daily walks to get under the skin of this stunning area, or track animals on horseback – walk slowly to stalk wildlife and admire birdlife, or canter alongside giraffes and lechwe antelopes. Alternatively, follow the canoe trail along the Selinda Spillway, which links the delta to Linyanti.
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