Why Choose Botswana?
A tailor-made safari holiday to Botswana is a visit to nature’s own paradise. Botswana is a country of optimism and stability; it supports some of the most breath-taking Game Reserves that are well controlled and preserved. Offering both water and land based activities as well as magical desert experiences, such as spending time with the diminutive San Bushmen, there is no end to the marvels you can enjoy. This is the place for the nature lover and birding enthusiast and adventure traveller.
Whether you are looking for a top of the range family holiday with unique accommodation and safari activities, a romantic honeymoon, a specialised fishing or riding safari, the richness of Botswana cannot fail to inspire.
Visit the lush Okavango Delta, with doom palms etched on every horizon, alive with astonishing birds and game; islands built on termite mounds and glistening waterways through papyrus which you can examine closely, almost being a part of it from a mokoro.
Places to visit
When to visit Botswana
Botswana’s climate is semi-arid. Though it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine so that a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground but is lost to evaporation and transpiration. As a result of global warming weather patterns around the world are changing and Botswana in no exception. The best months to visit Botswana are from April through to October – in terms of both weather and game viewing.
A Sample Of What You Can Experience
WE RECOMMEND BOTSWANA FOR…
Botswana is a huge, sparsely populated country creating an ideal destination for an adventure holiday. Its diverse landscape comprised mostly of desert is also blessed with the most prolific wetlands in Africa.
Botswana is fast becoming a destination of choice for families who want their children to experience the pinnacle of that African adventure. The discovery of Africa is a profound experience in one’s life, which will be remembered for many years to come.
A great way to experience Botswana at its most authentic and wild is to choose a mobile safari. It is a real, rugged adventure offering the freedom to move to the best locations, following the game to hidden, unexplored corners.
Botswana is undoubtedly one of Southern Africa’s finest destinations. In combination with Victoria Falls, it offers an alternative to a Bush & Beach honeymoon combo.
Botswana is an extra special place to enjoy a riding safari. Whether you are looking for an exclusive group riding safari or incorporating short day rides as part of a wider safari itinerary, we can make suggestions to suit all riding abilities.
Walking safaris in Botswana take on a number of forms, ranging from a morning or afternoon activity to a full safari lasting a few days. All walks are accompanied by experienced professional guides who bring the wilderness alive and share their intimate knowledge of the areas they walk in.
BOTSWANA ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS
Botswana is a huge, sparsely populated country creating an ideal destination for an adventure holiday. Its diverse landscape comprised mostly of desert is also blessed with the most prolific wetlands in Africa. From quad biking on the Makgadikgadi Pans to paddling through the famous Okavango Delta’s reed-lined channels in a Mokoro, activities can be as mild or as wild as you want!
The diverse habitats of Chobe, Savuti, the prolific Moremi and the unique Okavango are sensational, both in the summer for birds especially, and also the dry autumn, winter and spring months for bigger game including large herds of elephant, plains animals and their predators – lion, leopard and cheetah.
A mobile safari offers an authentic way to experience Botswana at its most authentic and wild so whether you are looking for a top of the range family holiday with unique accommodation and safari activities, fishing and riding safaris or the busy part of a romantic honeymoon, adventure opportunities in Botswana cannot fail to inspire.
BOTSWANA FAMILY HOLIDAYS
Botswana offers something for all the family from the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta to the desert of the Kalahari. Botswana is now becoming more and more popular for family holidays and at the right camp, a holiday in Botswana can provide you and your children with an outstanding wildlife experience. There is a huge range of accommodation on offer amid vast amounts of wildlife in this magnificent game country and there are many options to suit all ages of children. Some accommodation options offer slightly separated family suites or you could choose to book on an exclusive-use basis for your family.
Big game is abundant and among the many extraordinary animal encounters, in a world of vanishing natural treasures, Botswana offers you and your family the chance to experience the wonders of Africa. Explore the Chobe River’s elephant-filled channels, marvel at the dry, open plains of Linyanti with its herds and predators or explore the marshes of the Okavango Delta. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing ‘Africa’ through the eyes of your own children. Sharing their wonder and watching every little detail being digested, savoured and stored for life.
Ker & Downey Botswana camps offer something particularly special for families. Their Young Explorers package is a specially designed safari which offers families the opportunity to discover the wonders of the African wilderness together. One of the special attractions of this safari is its exclusivity. The Young Explorers family adventure safari is based at one of two adventure camps – Footsteps Camp (Okavango Delta) or Saile (Linyanti). A selection of activities are planned with the whole family in mind enabling parents to enjoy some peace and quiet whilst the expertly trained Young Explorers guide entertains your children with a multitude of activities to suit all ages. Activities are designed to be both educational and inspiring, and the time spent at the Young Explorers camp is sure to leave a lasting impression and fond memories in the minds of all the family.
Why not combine a few nights around the Victoria Falls in neighbouring Zambia which makes a very good addition to a Botswana family safari.
Elephant interaction programmes, walks with San Bushman, identification of animal tracks, learning about local cultures, guided nature walks and bush skillsare just some of the activities on offer which will leave long lasting memories for you and your children.
You could also choose to have a private vehicle, guide and camp all to yourselves allowing you to set your own schedule and adapt your safari to the age, interests and wishes of your children.
From 01 Oct 2016, new rules apply when travelling to Botswana with children.
BOTSWANA RIDING SAFARIS
You can choose to ride in the Okavango Delta, where Africa’s third-largest river fans across desert sands in a myriad of shimmering waterways and lagoons, or in eastern Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve, known as the ‘Land of Giants’ for its large population of elephant, as well as giraffe, eland, lion, ostrich, the huge Kori Bustard and massive Baobab trees. These very different areas offer a range of providers whose riding safaris are professionally run, located in truly wild country, have good horses and excellent guides.
Non-riding members of your party are now well-catered for too, allowing you to have a guilt free day in the saddle, in the knowledge that they will be having an equally exciting time! DD Kingscote, Travel Africa’s Founder & Director, being an experienced rider herself, is perfectly placed to give good, sound advice on riding safaris and excursions and to recommend suitable riding for you, your family or companions. DD can also suggest riding safaris that will best fit in with your holiday itinerary.
LIMPOPO HORSE SAFARIS
Limpopo Horse Safaris offer the experience of a lifetime. They operate in The Tuli Block area of Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve which borders South Africa and the great Limpopo River. This is an area with a great diversity of landscape, with magnificent views and ancient geological formations. Massive Baobab trees, striking rocky ‘kopjes’ and sandstone outcrops, and belts of thick thorn scrub and tall mashatu and fever trees that line the Limpopo all go to creating to this interesting landscape so suited to riding through.
A multitude of wildlife species are found here including cheetah, lion prides and large elephant herds. The river courses are lined with huge riverine trees which provide shade for giraffe, zebra, eland, impala, and wildebeest. A lot of the riding takes place along the banks of the famous Limpopo River and during the dry season along the dry river bed, expanded canters take place. There is also wide variety of activities for those who prefer not to ride or whose ability will not allow them to ride safely in the Tuli Block. Non-Rider activities include Game Drives, Ivory Drives or Predator Drives (with resident researchers in the area) and bush walks & cycling safaris offered by Mashatu Game Reserve.
OKAVANGO HORSE SAFARIS
Okavango Horse Safaris are highly personalised safaris run by Barney and PJ Bestelink in OHS’s own private concession of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Western region of the Okavango Delta. This is an extremely professional establishment with many years of experience and a personal touch, offering the best in riding safaris today.
The Okavango Delta is made up of palm islands, grassy flood plains, mopane forests and clear streams; the flood plains are often full and the horses wade through from island to island as you search for the big Game that enjoys this watery heaven. Accommodation is in a combination of three camps depending on water levels and time of year and varies from luxury safari tents, exciting fly camping or tree houses on stilts with superb views.
The riding is among all of the big five and covers many different forms of terrain. The quality and fitness of the horses has to be high so the riding is only open to competent riders with some experience. 5, 7 and 10 day safaris are on offer with groups of up to 8 guests at a time. Riders spend between 4-6 hours in the saddle a day, while afternoons can be spent at leisure, swimming, taking game drives or bird walks.
AFRICAN HORSEBACK SAFARIS
Recently awarded The Good Safari Guide’s ‘Best Riding Safari’, African Horseback Safaris cater for experienced riders only. Macatoo camp is set within a 500,000 acre private concession on the western side of the Okavango Delta. The riding terrain is wonderfully varied and almost always dotted with game.
“Sometimes whilst riding one is quietly stalking big game or admiring the birdlife, sometimes galloping with giraffe and lechwe through water meadows and marvelling in the thrill of riding good horses in superb surroundings.” – DD Kingscote
Typically safaris are 5, 7 and 10 nights, enabling one to experience the Okavango in depth, staying in a comfortable permanent tented camp or out at the mobile fly-camp (weather permitting.) Riders spend 4 to 6-hours in the saddle each day in small groups of no more than 7 and riders must be able to keep up with the group, capable of riding at all paces; rising to the trot and controlling your horse at the canter.
RIDE BOTSWANA (WITH DAVID FOOT SAFARIS)
Ideal for Experienced & Novice Riders | Ideal for Families
Ride Botswana is ideal for ALL riding abilities and also offers a full range of other safari experiences. The different safari ride options are available individually or can be combined for a tailor-made safari experience. All of the safaris are guided by David Foot who has over 25 years of experience leading safaris throughout southern and central Africa. And if horses are not your thing, then he is just as happy to show you the country by vehicle or more especially on an adventurous foot safari or an adrenalin packed canoe safari along the Selinda Spillway.
Thamalakane River Ride – Based from the intimate, luxurious tented Royal Tree Lodge within a private wildlife reserve, the Thamalakane River Ride is delightful not only for competent riders, but also for those with little or no riding experience, and is a firm favourite with families.
Kalahari Ride – In the heart of Botswana, lies the captivating Makgadikgadi, the largest network of salt pans in the world. In this extraordinary place there is riding for everyone. For the experienced rider the five night safaris are a must. For the less experienced we recommend daily camp based riding (from Jack’s, San or Camp Kalahari).
Saddle & Paddle Safari – This 9 night safari with David Foot is about as adventurous as it gets in Botswana. A minimal time is spent in a safari vehicle but instead you explore some of the wilder areas of Botswana by canoe, on foot and on horseback. You must be a competent horse rider to join in the fun! The safari begins with a 5 day/4 night canoe trail along the Selinda Spillway (one of Botswana’s top wildlife areas) followed by 5 nights on horseback in the Makgadikgadi Pans.
BOTSWANA MOBILE SAFARIS
A great way to experience Botswana at its most authentic and wild (and can be a way of keeping the costs down too!) is to choose a mobile safari. As the name suggests, your tented camp, guide and staff move with you though your chosen wilderness areas making it easier to track seasonal game movements and minimise environmental impact.
Mobile safaris can be as adventurous or luxurious as you want. For the more discerning ‘adventurer’ choose a mobile safari with a personal guide and vehicle. You will stay in comfortable tents with beds/bedding, bucket showers, long drop toilets and a mess tent, all beautifully set-up for you. There will be ice for your drinks and delicious food cooked on the camp fire.
From small group to family tented safaris, we can provide a tailor-made itinerary to suit all levels of adventure and comfort according to your tastes and requirements. Contact us for expert, friendly advice to create your African Adventure.
Botswana offers many choices of accommodation depending on which areas you choose to visit, whether that be the Okavango Delta, Linyanti Reserve, Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari Desert or Nxai, Chobe & the Tuli block on the borders of South Africa.
Each area holds its own special charm, with opportunities to stay in wonderful, extremely comfortable accommodation or to go authentically rustic and back-to-nature camping in the Bush.
You really get what you pay for in Botswana and because tourism is valued so highly it is also controlled. The visitor to Botswana will enjoy the warmest welcome, great hosts and guides, fabulous game and bird viewing in breath taking natural surroundings. Amongst our favourite places is Zarafa Camp, winner of the Award for ‘Best Safari Property in Africa.’ If this is above your budget, we have many other suggestions to ensure both a wonderful experience and a good night’s sleep! There’s something for all the family in Botswana and will be an experience never to be forgotten.
Botswana’s safari lodges are usually small, intimate, eco-friendly and brilliantly situated with privacy and an expansive view. They offer excellent food and guided game viewing. Many lodges, especially in the Okavango Delta, can only be reached by small plane most of the year and because they are ‘on the water’, some game viewing is done by Mokoro (a cross between a punt and a canoe) or small motor boat. In contrast, the desert offers a completely different experience so it’s worth trying to visit both areas if you can.
The tented safari camp is an obvious theme running through all of Africa so your accommodation, most likely, will be an ingenious interpretation of a tent but more permanent and ‘designed’. To avoid damage to the environment, they are often raised on platforms and joined by decking paths. The bathroom is usually the deciding factor and at the top end you will find them very comfortable, spacious and civilised, with flushing toilets and separate bathrooms. You can shower (or in some locations even enjoy a bath) under the stars to truly embody the African adventure.
At the other end, still lovely, comfortable and characterful but just closer to nature and perhaps a little more rustic there is the tented camp that is semi-permanent and you really are sleeping in proper tents, with showers only, long drop toilets and definitely the best experience ever.
To keep costs lower we can arrange for you to join a group travelling around chosen routes in Botswana. You’ll help to set-up camp, stay in bell tents, sleep in sleeping bags but still be able to see and experience the best of what Botswana has to offer. If you have enough people travelling with you (eg. two families) you may be able to have your own exclusive group!
Most of the camp sites available are accessible by road from Maun, the central hub for travellers in and out of Botswana. As you will be camping outside the main game reserves you do not have to pay park fees. You can explore in a mokoro, walk & fish. Camping is brilliant fun for a family adventure to experience true luxury amidst the wilds of nature and re-live the bygone days of the early explorers. Selinda Explorer’s Camp is designed in the style of the early explorers, located in a wonderfully remote and exclusive location in the 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve. Tents are furnished with Campaign furniture, Persian rugs, sherry decanters, flush toilets and bucket showers. An open-sided mess tent provides comfort in a bedouin style and “back to nature” activities with guided walking, day and night drives and canoeing are the main focus.