10 Best Botswana Safari Tours: Our Top Picks

The Kalahari Desert covers about 70% 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.

Ranging from luxury Botswana safari tours to rugged adventures and multi-generational family vacations, here's our list of the best Botswana safari tours – all tried and tested and completely customisable to meet your travel wishes:

1. Romantic Getaway to Chobe, Okavango Delta & Moremi

Duration: 7 Days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: Luxury Safari Lodges

This romantic Botswana safari 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 Botswana safari lodge. Go on morning, afternoon and early evening spot-lit game drives and walks in the bush. 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.

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
  • 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 Suited For:

  • First-time safari travellers
  • Couples
  • Honeymooners

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

Duration: 8 Days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: Tented Camps

One of the best Botswana safari tours to witness the country’s verdant Okavango Delta juxtaposed with the rugged Kalahari Desert. 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 sky bed – an elevated platform overlooking a waterhole. A truly unique Botswana safari 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.

Sable Alley.View

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 Suited For:

  • Adventurous travellers
  • Couples
  • Honeymooners

3. Adventure to the Kalahari, Moremi & Chobe

Duration: 7 Days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: Safari Lodges, 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 Botswana safari tour in the elephant empire of Chobe, home to the world’s biggest population of Kalahari elephants.

chobe-game-lodge

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 Suited For:

  • First-time safari travellers
  • Couples
  • Families

4. Family Safari in Moremi & 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. Soak in the unrivalled remoteness and sense of space at Linyanti Tented Camp, delivering one of the best Botswana safari experiences for families and small groups looking for privacy and exclusivity. The Linyanti Channel is rich with predators like lion, leopard wild dog and hyena, and the area is a vital passage for elephant.

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 Suited For:

  • Families with children
  • Small groups

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

Duration: 8 Days | Destinations: 3 | Accommodation: Safari Lodge & Tented Camps

This itinerary includes a bit of everything that makes a Botswana safari such a unique experience: 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 – famous for its hyena clans that compete with big lion prides for food and territory.

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 clans
  • Witness the annual zebra migration in Savuti from about November to March
  • Private butler service at Savute Under Canvas

Best Suited For:

  • First-time safari travellers
  • Families
  • Groups

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6. Mobile Camping Adventure in Chobe, Savuti & 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 authentic destinations that deliver some of the best Botswana safari tours. 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.

Highlights:

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

Best Suited For:

  • Intrepid travellers
  • Adventurous travellers
  • Couples
  • Small groups

7. Authentic Family Adventure in Khwai & Linyanti

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 Botswana safari 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. This is one of the best Botswana safari tours for wildlife enthusiasts.

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 Suited For:

  • First-time safari travellers
  • Families with children over seven years
  • Wildlife enthusiasts
  • Birdwatchers

8. Canoe & Fly Camping Safari in Selinda

Duration: 4 Days | Destinations: 1 | Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camps

Step into the shoes of early explorers on this niche Botswana 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.

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 Suited For:

  • Intrepid travellers
  • Active and adventurous travellers
  • Small groups

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 fun-filled 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. One of the best Botswana safari experiences for families with children.

foot

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 Suited For:

  • Adventurous travellers
  • Families
  • Small groups

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 (and Botswana safari legend), Ralph Bousfield. Ralph grew up in the Makgadikgadi and will share the secrets of the Kalahari with you on guided walks and quad bike (ATV) rides. Jack’s Camp can arrange an unforgettable night camping out on the pans under the Milky Way. Wrap up your Botswana safari at a luxurious tented camp in the private Selinda Reserve, surrounded by opulent décor and the abundant wildlife of the mesmerising Zibadianja Lagoon.

Highlights:

  • Explore the Makgadikgadi Pans with acclaimed guide, Ralph Bousfield
  • Quad-biking (ATV) 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 Suited For:

  • Couples
  • Families

More Botswana Safari Tours

Although we’ve mentioned a notable amount of our favourite trips above, there are still many fantastic Botswana safari tours available.

Click here to find your Botswana safari.

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