Botswana safari tours Botswana

“Roughly the size of Texas with the population of San Antonio.” That’s how a safari guide once described Botswana’s immense scale and sense of personal space. But we’re yet to find anything that quite describes the way Africa’s most magical Big Five safari destination makes you feel. It’s tough to beat the experience of a remote and wild Botswana safari tour.

A geological masterpiece, nearly three-quarters of the country’s surface area is diamond-rich desert. Its scrubby sands and white salt pans – relics of pre-historic super lakes – are visible from space. As is the lush, flatter-than-flat Okavango Delta, reaching out from the north west like a glittering, open hand.

Once a fast-flowing river, seismic shifts in the tectonic plates below the Okavango formed a sudden and dramatic plateau, knocking the river off course. With no place to go but elegantly sideways, the waters fanned out among termite mounds to form the world’s largest inland delta, teeming with bird life and big game. All the ingredients for the perfect African safari tour.

With a desert eco-system carefully balanced on a knife-edge, every drop of water here is celebrated, and you’ll hear the word pula–meaning rain–often. If someone says it as you clink glasses, don’t be alarmed. It’s not a weather forecast, nor is it an indicator that it’s your turn to pay (It’s also the name of the local currency). It’s just a hearty good wish that points to water’s great importance, from the annual floods of the delta to the warm summer rains.

A Botswana safari is unrivalled. The action centres around a handful of large national parks and game reserves, and a myriad of exclusive private concessions hidden away between them. Barring the occasional buffalo fence to restrict the spread of foot and mouth disease between wildlife and livestock, large swathes of the country remain fence-free. Natural migration patterns continue undisturbed, and wildlife moves with abandon through this pristine, untouched wilderness.

In the north, Chobe National Park attracts almost as many visitors as it does elephants in the dry season, and on the edge of the delta, wildlife sightings in the Moremi Game Reserve are legendary. With its flamingo-filled pans and dazzles of zebra – Botswana’s national animal – the Makgadikgadi National Park’s stark lunar landscape is eerily breath-taking. Further south, with its fossilised rivers, starry night skies and black-maned lions, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is as remote as it is remarkable. (Not to mention bloody freezing at night.) When planning a tour to Botswana try to include some time in the salt pans and the desert.

Far from the madding crowd, it’s Botswana’s intimate private concessions that hold its real power. Hidden from sight, their heady mix of five-star luxury hospitality, craft G&Ts, and outstanding wildlife encounters will absolutely knock your long-haul compression socks off. From the enclaves of the game-rich Chief’s Island to romantic desert sleepouts under the stars, here your every wish is the ever-smiling Batswana’s command. Whether you’re after the birdlife, the private life or the holiday of a lifetime, a Botswana safari tour offers an experience like no other on earth.

Botswana fast facts

  • In Botswana, the word pula means water. It’s such a precious resource that the local currency is known by the same name.
  • Almost 40% of Botswana’s total land area is a protected wilderness area or national park.
  • Botswana is one of the world’s largest diamond producers.
  • Africa’s oldest continuous democracy.
  • The Kalahari desert covers over 70% of the country.
  • Botswana is home to the world’s second largest salt pan and is the best place to see Meerkats in the wild.
  • The Okavango Delta in northern Botswana is the world’s largest inland delta and one of Africa’s natural wonders.
  • Botswana has the highest concentration of African elephants.


Despite being the size of France, Botswana has a population of only 2.4 million people.

When to go

The best time to visit Botswana is during the drier winter months of May to September, when game concentrates around flood waters.

Destinations within Botswana

Safari inspiration Botswana Itineraries

7 nights Custom Safari Best of Botswana and Victoria Falls Safari The Delta, a desert and the dramatic Zambezi

Starts: Maun Ends: Livingstone

Price from USD $10,750 per person

7 nights Custom Safari 7-night Botswana Fly-in Safari Take a bite out of Bots

Starts: Maun Ends: Maun

Price from USD $9,190 per person

7 nights Custom Safari Luxury Cape Town and Botswana Safari Romantic Duke and Duchess

Starts: Cape Town Ends: Cape Town

Price from USD $7,850 per person

8 nights Custom Safari Honeymoon to Linyanti and the Okavango Delta The wild side of Africa!

Starts: Kasane Ends: Livingstone

Price from USD $$8,100 per person

12 nights Custom Safari Luxury treehouse safari Life in the trees

Starts: Cape Town Ends: Cape Town

Price from USD $17,290 per person

8 nights Custom Safari Ultimate Okavango Delta safari Botswana, then & now

Starts: Maun Ends: Maun

Price from USD $16,790 per person

9 nights Custom Safari Luxury Botswana, Linyanti and Delta Big Five Botswana

Starts: Maun Ends: Maun

Price from USD $21,995 per person

7 nights Custom Safari Romantic Livingstone, Chobe and Delta Romantic riverside sanctuaries and Island retreats

Starts: Livingstone Ends: Maun

Price from USD $12990 per person

Lodges in Botswana

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