Botswana Safaris

Gregory Fox, Botswana

In my opinion Botswana is the premier safari destination in Africa. A safari in Botswana offers a diverse experience comprising an exciting array of different land and water based safaris. From the largest concentration of Elephant in Africa within the Chobe to the wetland paradise of the Okavango Delta you will be amazed at the variety of experiences Botswana has to offer.

  • Gregory Fox

Please take your time to read what Botswana can offer. If you are considering a safari in Botswana we would strongly advise you to contact one of our experts at Mahlatini to help you plan and get the most from your holiday.

Sample Botswana Safaris

Below are a set of sample itineraries to give you a flavour of each destinations highlights in terms of properties and attractions. Our travel specialists will listen to your requirements and tailor a bespoke itinerary to match your specific preferences and budget.

Desert & Okavango Explorer image 1 Desert & Okavango Explorer image 2

for 9 nightsfrom £2,405 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • Botswana

This sample holiday is a combination of the diverse regions of Botswana, not only taking in the game rich areas of the Linyanti, Savute and Okavango Delta but also incorporating a desert experience in the Nxai Pan.

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Kalahari
3 nights
Okavango Delta
3 nights
Linyanti & Savute
Okavango & Victoria Falls Explorer  image 1 Okavango & Victoria Falls Explorer  image 2

for 8 nightsfrom £1,595 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • Zambia
  • Botswana

This 8 night sample itinerary encompasses a two night stay at Victoria Falls followed by an exciting safari in the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta.  If you like you can also add on a desert experience in the Kalahari or Makagadikgadi.

 

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
2 nights
Livingstone
3 nights
Chobe National Park
3 nights
Okavango Delta
Mashatu Safari  image 1 Mashatu Safari  image 2

for 5 nightsfrom £1,495 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • Botswana

This sample holiday is a 5 night safari in Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. Explore the unspoilt African landscapes either in 4-wheel drive vehicles, on a walking safari, via mountain bike or horseback, all guided by expert rangers and experienced trackers.

 

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
5 nights
Mashatu & Tuli Block
Ultimate Luxury Botswana Holiday  image 1 Ultimate Luxury Botswana Holiday  image 2

for 6 nightsfrom £4,195 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • Botswana

This ultimate luxury fly-in safari includes a stay in the Okavango Delta and the Linyanti / Savute regions with an optional add on to visit the Victoria Falls in Zambia.  

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Linyanti & Savute
3 nights
Okavango Delta
Victoria Falls, Chobe & Okavango Safari  image 1 Victoria Falls, Chobe & Okavango Safari  image 2

for 9 nightsfrom £1,970 pp sharing

Excludes international flights

countries visited:

  • Zimbabwe
  • Botswana

The following sample Botswana holiday combines a visit to the Zimbabwean side of the Victoria Falls with a safari in the 2 best wildlife regions of Botswana, the Chobe region and the Okavango Delta. 

 

Nights
Location
Recommended Accommodation
3 nights
Victoria Falls
3 nights
Chobe National Park
3 nights
Okavango Delta

Contact Mahlatini for your personalised holiday to Botswana

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Botswana Honeymoons

Botswana provides intimate settings and stunning views for a romantic honeymoon, visit our Botswana Honeymoon section to see sample itineraries and suggested activities. You may also like to combine your Safari with other activities, the twin centre options such as Botswana & Mozambique, Botswana & Seychelles and Botswana & South Africa are designed with honeymoons in mind.

Contact Mahlatini for your personalised holiday to Botswana

Botswana Family Holidays

A Safari in Botswana can be a breath-taking experience no matter what age you are, for more information visit the Botswana Family Holiday section.

Contact Mahlatini for your personalised holiday to Botswana

Overview of Botswana

Imagine flying on a light aircraft into the heart of one of the world's last remaining great wilderness areas, hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest civilization. A land where the staggering abundance of wildlife still roam free, unfenced and untouched by modern civilization. This is Botswana!

Botswana is arguably the best safari destination in Africa. The Botswana government have engineered a tourist policy of “high yield, low volume”; bluntly this translates to “Expensive and Exclusive”. Recognising the importance of tourism but also the negative effect it can have on sensitive environments the government has cleverly promoted small lodges with strict environmental criteria built in areas of outstanding beauty and wildlife.

Botswana is probably most famous for the world's largest inland Delta – the Okavango Delta. This lush wilderness of papyrus swamps and shallow reed beds make it a world class destination for safari and birding. It is also famous for being THE place for witnessing lion and buffalo interactions. Gliding through the channels in a mokoro (dug out canoe) gives a unique perspective and it's a great way to observe wildlife in the silence of an African dawn.

It is in Botswana's Chobe National Park while floating on a boat down the Chobe River that you will find the largest concentrations of elephants on the continent of Africa. Spend hours watching these magnificent creatures bathing and playing in the muddy waters or crossing the rivers using their trunks as snorkels.

Between the Okavango Delta and the Chobe River lie the Linyanti and Savute marshes which boast staggering concentrations of animals. Famous for its big game the region is home to enormous herds of elephant and buffalo, prides of lion up to 30 strong, leopard and even the elusive African Wild Dog. Enjoy both day and night game drives and in some areas guided walks as you take in the fantastic display of wildlife on offer in this unique destination.

Forming almost two thirds of Botswana is the vast landscape of the Kalahari. This unique semi desert ecosystem of open plains, saltpans, and ancient riverbeds is surprisingly rich with wildlife including the chance to see springbok, kudu, wild dog and the famous black-mane Kalahari lions. The unimaginable vastness of this desert is mirrored in the infinite star-filled skies, making the Kalahari a place to contemplate existence and marvel at nature. Similar tranquil scenery is found in the uninhabited Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan where the great grasslands give way to shimmering saltpans and endless shimmering horizons.

In the South of Botswana in what is know as the Tuli Block lies the Mashatu Game Reserve. Known as the land of giants, its landscape is dotted with magnificent baobab trees and towering rock formations. Its huge population of elephants and abundant wildlife can be viewed from variety activities ranging from 4x4 safaris, Horseback Safaris, Guided Walking Safaris and the newly introduced Mountain Biking Safaris.

The Landscapes of Botswana provide breath-taking visual backdrops that can be captured by memory, on canvas or in picture and become memories of a lifetime. The country's tourism policy is one of 'low impact, high revenue'. This means that in most parts of the country mass tourism in not a feature, allowing for a truly intimate experience in luxury camps. Whether you are a seasoned traveller, it is your honeymoon or family holiday Botswana can offer you one of the most exciting and memorable journeys of your life!

When to travel

Botswana has a varying climate in terms of precipitation and dry periods however one aspect which remains the same is the strength of the sunlight. During the wet season otherwise known as ‘green season’ it is typical for rain & thunder storms to last for a number of hours and once the storm passes the sun breaks through once more making Botswana ideal for visitors at any time of year. Its climate would be described as sub-tropical with the rainy season lasting from November to March. It’s climate creates a fabulous habitat in the summer for magnificent birdlife with visitors catching sight of Wattled cranes, Pel’s fishing owl and African skimmers to name a few.

In the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan the wilderness undergoes a transformation as countless water birds are drawn to the shallow pools. Enormous flocks of flamingos and other water birds, including pelicans, gather on the newly formed lakes, signalling the beginning of the dramatic zebra and wildebeest migration into the area. Elephants and gemsbok also migrate to water rich area. This is the calving and foaling season for the wildebeest, zebra and other ungulates.

The green season in central Kalahari provides a deluge of wildlife, making it an extremely cost effective trip as most camps will offer a discount at this time of year. Lions, leopards and cheetah are drawn to this area to hunt as other animals move in to feed from the lush plant life the rains have provided. Explorers to this region will encounter spectacular herds of Springbok and gemsbok along with blue wildebeest, ostrich, giraffe and other ungulates. Although most areas are accessible during the wet season there may be certain sectors which become impassable depending on the yearly rainfall, our experts will advise of the prime locations to visit if this is the case.

Although the game viewing in the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Linyanti / Savute is good all year round, it is exceptional in the dry winter season which runs from June – October. In the Okavango the floods reach their peak in May and then gradually subside over the course of the winter months. During this time large numbers of mammals migrate to the permanent waters of these regions and provide one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth. In the Chobe the river becomes the main water source for the park's inhabitants. Herds of up to 700 buffalo and great swaying families of elephants are a common sight. In the dry months the Linyanti is magnificent for game viewing with great herds of elephant, buffalo and zebra gathering near the river joining up with giraffe and a various antelope, which reside in the nearby forests. During these months too, the vegetation has died back allowing for better viewing.

Contact one of the experts at Mahlatini about your specific interests and we will advise you on the best time of year to travel to the region which suits you best.

How to travel

Most visitors will start their safari in Maun, Botswana which is accessible by air and road from Johannesburg, Livingstone/Victoria Falls and from Namibia via Windhoek and the Caprivi Strip. There are a number of different ways to travel around Botswana, the style of safari you choose is generally dictated by your budget.

If you want to travel in luxury, a fly-in safari is the way to go. This luxury safari can include any combinations of the parks that you desire. The most comprehensive of trips explore three contrasting regions, the Okavango Delta, Linyanti and Savute and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan. In many cases guests like the idea of a twin centre holiday and include a trip to Victoria Falls in Zambia or a beach holiday in South Africa, Mozambique or Mauritius. What you choose is dependent on season, how much time you have on your hands and of course budget. The Chobe National Park can be combined with other parks in Botswana in a fly in safari but it can also act as a destination in itself. It is usually combined with a trip to Victoria Falls which is only an hour and a half away via road. These two destinations can be accessed by road and in many cases people fly into and out of Livingstone Airport in Zambia but include a safari in the Chobe as an addition to their trip.

Mobile safaris are a fast-growing popular way to travel the lands of Botswana and can take you through the heart of the wilderness in safety and comfort. Similar to the initial explorations that would have taken place in time gone by it will let you delve much further than you could imagine of any morning game drive yet provides lodgings out in this wilderness meaning that less of your time is spent traversing from location to location. Most mobile safaris will allow you to spend between 2 and 3 nights in each location and will last between 6 and 10 days. The small team of staff will accommodate all of your needs and will ensure the camps are set up prior to your arrival, the level of service on this tour will depend on personal choice, you may choose to participate as much as you can with day to day essentials or choose to sit back and relax while the staff attend to your requests. One exciting aspect of the mobile safaris are the various unique activities that you will have the opportunity to take part in and of-course the opportunity to make it a completely private group or family experience.

Contact one of the specialists at Mahlatini who can advise you on how best to put your holiday to Botswana together.

Quick Facts

Flights:
Flights from Europe to Maun usually go via Johannesburg and are in and around 11 hours. Main airlines include South African Airways and British Airways. You can also enter the country having access from Livingstone Airport in Zambia.
Vaccinations:
Malaria prophylactics are essential. Yellow Fever injection is required if arriving from an infected area. Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid are recommended.
When to travel:
Botswana is a year round destination with each season having its own advantages and highlights. See our safari calendar.
Visas:
Most Europeans and Americans do not require a visa to enter Botswana. Please seek our advice on the latest information for your nationality.

Botswana Holidays

Overall Rating 5 star rating

Latest Review

Highlights: Rising before first light, delicious light breakfasts with copious coffee, before boarding our trusty landrovers for the morning adventure. Seeing glistening hippos leave their daytime watery home and making their way beside my room, at dusk, along their well-trodden paths for the eveni...

Signed:

Mrs Jillian Schellenberg, United Kingdom

Botswana Factfile

Timezone:
GMT + 2 hours
Language:
Setswana, English, local languages
Currency:
Pula, US Dollar
Best time:
Year round destination
Flights:
11 hours from Europe
Visas:
Not needed for many Europeans & Americans, call for info
Weather:
Click here for weather information

Sample Itineraries

Destinations:
Holiday Type:
Budget pp:
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