10 Best Botswana Safari Tours: Our Top Picks

10 Best Botswana Safari Tours: Our Top Picks

The Kalahari Desert covers about 70 percent of Botswana, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the word. Yet this landlocked country is home to an abundance of plains game, huge herds of buffalo and plenty of Africa’s apex predators. The magnificent Chobe National Park is a refuge for the world’s biggest population of Kalahari elephants, and the virtually untouched Okavango Delta is a World Heritage Site and arguably one of Nature’s greatest masterpieces – one of Africa’s last remaining Gardens of Eden.

Our Botswana safari itineraries range from luxury to rugged adventure and are ideal for honeymooners and multi-generational family vacations. Here are our Top 10 Botswana safari tours:

1. Romantic Getaway to Chobe, Okavango Delta and Moremi

Duration: 7 days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: luxury safari lodges

This romantic journey starts at a riverside retreat bordering Chobe National Park. Enjoy sunset boat cruises on the Chobe River, sipping on cocktails while watching hippos and elephants relish the water. A short-haul flight whisks you south to the lush wetlands of the Okavango Delta where you’ll spend two nights at a luxurious and intimate safari lodge. Go on morning, afternoon and early evening spot-lit game drives, and walks in the bush with semi-habituated elephants. Another short-haul flight will take you to the largest island in the Delta, Chief’s Island. Your secluded thatch-roofed bush pavilion looks out over the magnificent Moremi Game Reserve’s Piajio floodplain, thick with game – especially predators like lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs.

A romantic bubble bath on your private balcony, complete with champagne on ice.

 

Tour highlights

  • Game drives in Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve
  • Sunset boat cruises on the Chobe River
  • Spa treatments in a unique ‘tree-top’ treatment room
  • Walking safari with semi-habituated elephants
  • Sleep in mobile beds under the Milky Way
  • Bathe by candle light under the stars in a copper tub
  • Mokoro (traditional canoe) trips in the Delta
  • Rare rhino sightings at Chief’s Camp

 

Best for these traveller types

Couples and honeymooners

 

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2. Authentic Safari in the Kalahari, Khwai River and Okavango Delta

Duration: 8 days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: tented camps

Witness Botswana’s verdant Okavango Delta juxtaposed with the rugged Kalahari Desert at the intimate Meno-a-Kwena Tented Camp. See savannah animals like wild dog and cheetah, and desert specialists like meerkat and the majestic black-maned Kalahari lion, one of the biggest subspecies of lion. Next stop: a secluded jewel in the Khwai River area, a year-round home to spotted hyenas, big cats, wild dogs, buffalo, hippo and elephant. Spend two memorable nights sleeping out in the wilderness in a skybed – an elevated platform overlooking a waterhole. A truly unique experience. Spend your last few days at a tranquil tented camp overlooking the Delta’s green floodplains, rich with elephant, buffalo, and rare sable antelope.

Savour some cold drinks around the camp fire at Sable Alley.

 

Tour highlights

  • Track desert specialists like meerkat and black-maned lion in the Kalahari
  • Witness the annual zebra migration in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park from about November to February
  • Fantastic sightings of big cats and wild dogs in the Khwai River area
  • Full-day safaris (including lunch) in the predator-rich Moremi Game Reserve
  • Ground-level photographic hide at Hyena Pan Tented Camp
  • Sleep in elevated sky beds overlooking a waterhole – a magical experience!
  • Spot-lit night drives and off-roading in a private concession

 

Best for these traveller types

Adventurous couples and honeymooners

 

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3. Adventure to the Kalahari, Moremi and Chobe

Duration: 7 days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: safari lodges and a tented camp

Start your adventure on the banks of the Boteti River to witness about 30 000 zebra migrate through the Makgadikgadi area between November and February. Fly into the heart of Moremi to enjoy a few days of water safaris in search of hippo, elephant and water fowl. Wrap up your adventure in the elephant empire of Chobe, home to the world’s biggest population of Kalahari elephants.

Sundowner drinks in the Boteti riverbank.

 

Tour highlights

  • Witness the annual zebra migration from about November to February
  • Day excursions to the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Boat safaris at Camp Moremi
  • Superb game viewing and birding in the Delta
  • The world’s densest population of Kalahari elephants in Chobe
  • Sunset cocktail cruises on the Chobe River
  • Tailored game-viewing activities at Chobe Game Lodge

 

Best for these traveller types

Couples and families

 

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4. Family Safari in Moremi and Linyanti

Duration: 7 days | Destinations: 2 | Accommodation: luxury tented camps

Glide silently through the reeds on a mokoro (traditional canoe) while discovering the Delta’s smaller mammals and multifarious birds like saddle-billed storks, goliath herons, pygmy kingfishers, African skimmers, wattled cranes, slaty egrets and Pel’s fishing owl. Study Xigera Camp’s ‘morning newspaper’: the spoor left overnight in a sand pit constructed at the end of the bridge to Paradise Island to see what animals ‘visited’ in the wee hours. Experience the unrivalled remoteness and sense of space at Linyanti Tented Camp, exclusive to families and small groups. The Linyanti Channel is rich with predators like lion, leopard wild dog and hyaena, and the area is a vital passage for elephant.

A mokoro gliding across the water at sunset.

 

Tour highlights

  • Bird watching on Paradise Island
  • Mokoro safaris and boat cruises in the Delta
  • Unique ‘spoor recording’ system and Children's Bush Buddy programme at Xigera Camp
  • The wildlife-rich Linyanti Concession, an important elephant corridor
  • Fly-in to each destination

 

Best for these traveller types

Families and small groups

 

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5. All-inclusive Safari in the Okavango Delta, Moremi and Savuti

Duration: 8 days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: safari lodge and tented camps

This itinerary includes a bit of everything that makes Botswana a unique safari destination: excellent game viewing and water-based activities. Begin your journey by settling into one of only nine tents situated in a pristine 62 000-acre private concession in the Delta. Float through tranquil mokoro and canoe trails to spot big game like buffalo, elephant and lion. Fly into the untouched Moremi for two nights at a comfortable and private lodge overlooking an ephemeral floodplain, guarded by a family of resident hippos. Top off this Botswana safari in Chobe’s wild and remote Savuti region – known for its hyena clans that compete with big lion prides for food and territory.

Nxabega's inviting al fresco dining area.

 

Tour highlights

  • Birdwatching at Nxabega Okavango – over 450 species
  • Mokoro rides and motorboat cruises
  • Big 5 sightings in Moremi Game Reserve
  • Private rooftop lookout on top of each suite at Xudum Lodge
  • Interactive kitchen at Xudum
  • Game drives in Savuti, famous for its big lion prides and hyena packs
  • Witness the annual zebra migration in Savuti from about November to March
  • Private butler service at Savute Under Canvas

 

Best for these traveller types

Families and groups

 

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6. Mobile Camping Adventure in Chobe, Savuti and Okavango Delta

Duration: 7 days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: mobile tented camps

A week filled with fun and adventure! This luxury camping trip takes you through the Okavango Delta, Kalahari Desert and Chobe National Park – three of Botswana’s most authentic safari destinations. Instead of staying at safari lodges, you’ll stay in a succession of intimate tented camps and move to a new location every few days. Get much, much closer to the wilderness without giving up the most important creature comforts like flush toilets, hot showers and delicious food.

Pre-dinner drinks usually include cold beer, Amarula on ice or the indispensable G&T.

 

Tour highlights

  • Iconic and authentic safari destinations in northern Botswana
  • Boat cruises and mokoro rides
  • Walking safaris in the Nxabega Concession
  • Game drives

 

Best for these traveller types

Adventurous couples and small groups

 

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7. Authentic Family Adventure in the Khwai Concession and Linyanti Channel

Duration: 7 days | Destinations: 2 | Accommodation: luxury tented camps

Take your family on an adventure to some of the Okavango Delta’s most captivating locations on this superb fly-in safari. Kick off your vacation in the Khwai Concession, a birdwatcher’s paradise and rich with predators including wild dog. After three nights, a light aircraft will touch you down in the heart of a breath-taking aquatic habitat where fantastic game viewing and bird watching will steal the show.

The tranquil pool area at Linyanti Ebony.

 

Tour highlights

  • Fly-in to each destination
  • Game viewing in the predator-rich Khwai Concession
  • Riverside hide at Khwai Tented Camp, ideal for birdwatchers and photographers
  • Guided walks along the Khwai River
  • Bird sightings at Linyanti Ebony, especially of raptors
  • Mokoro rides
  • Helicopter flips over the Linyanti Channel

 

Best for these traveller types

Families with children over seven

 

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8. Canoe and Fly Camping Safari along the Selinda Spillway

Duration: 4 days | Destinations: 1 | Accommodation: mobile tented camps

Step into the shoes of early explorers on this niche safari experience. This low-impact canoe safari will guide you through the meandering waterways of the mysterious Selinda Spillway. Spend four days gently paddling a total of about 40 kilometres or 25 miles, stopping every evening at a scenic riverbank location where the staff will set up a comfortable fly camp and prepare a feast over the fire.

A low-impact canoe safari through unspoilt wilderness.

 

Tour highlights

  • Explore the remote Selinda Spillway, far from any crowds
  • View wildlife from your canoe especially elephant herds and hippo pods
  • Guided walks
  • Comfortable tented camps in scenic riverbank locations
  • Campfire dinners

 

Best for these traveller types

Adventurous small groups

 

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9. Family Safari in the Okavango Delta

Duration: 4 days | Destinations: 1 | Accommodation: tented camp

Spend your time searching for the Big 5 or simply relaxing at camp while your children explore the Delta’s beautiful landscape, learning about life in the bush or trying their hand at fishing and tracking. At the end of their wilderness academy training they will have an informal evaluation of what they’ve learnt and receive certificates and T-shirts to welcome them into the Young Explorers’ Club.

Tents are insect-proof and come with hot bucket showers, private bush bathrooms and sewn-in floors.

 

Tour highlights

  • Intimate tented camping experience
  • Mokoro rides along the Delta’s waterways
  • Bush walks with professional guides
  • Child-focused bush ‘academy’ with fishing, tracking animals, baking bread from scratch
  • Private chef and two dedicated guides

 

Best for these traveller types

Families, small groups and couples

 

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10. Safari in Selinda and a Private Guided Makgadikgadi experience

Duration: 10 days | Destinations: 2 | Accommodation: luxury tented camps

Journey to an authentic legacy camp in the otherworldly Makgadikgadi, one of the largest salt flats in the world and the only remnant of a prehistoric ‘super lake’ the size of Scotland. Meet your host and personal guide for the next few days, Ralph Bousfield. Ralph grew up in the Makgadikgadi and will share the secrets of the Kalahari with you on guided walks and quad bike rides. Jack’s Camp can arrange an unforgettable night camping out on the pans under the Milky Way. Wrap up your safari at a luxurious tented camp in the private Selinda Reserve, surrounded by opulent décor and the abundant wildlife of the mesmerising Zibadianja Lagoon.

The covered swimming pool at Jack's Camp.

Tour highlights

  • Explore the Makgadikgadi Pans with acclaimed guide, Ralph Bousfield
  • Quad-biking expeditions
  • Two nights camping out on the pans under the Milky Way
  • Interactions with habituated meerkats
  • Game drives and guided walks in the private Selinda Reserve
  • Cruises on Zarafa’s pontoon boat
  • Stargazing with a Swarovski telescope
  • Use of Canon camera and lenses – your photos are downloaded to a storage device
  • Children’s programme for over eights

 

Best for these traveller types

Couples and families

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