Home to world-famous wildlife destinations the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park as well as less well-known ones like the Kalahari and Linyanti, Botswana offers a wide range of rewarding experiences for the safari traveller.
But choosing the right accommodation is not always easy; there are some safari lodges that are more suitable for families than for honeymooners for example, and others that are better for solo travellers than groups. And where do you go if you want a kosher menu?
We’ve taken the guesswork out of it by arranging our best tried-and-tested Botswana safari camps and lodges by traveller type – and if you’d like some more information and inspiration, then find out everything you need to know about a Botswana safari here.
Set in a private concession on the edge of the Okavango Delta, this luxurious camp has only six suites, ensuring a very private and exclusive experience. Interacting with the area’s habituated elephant herd is just one of the highlights at Baine’s: this riverside camp lies near a permanent lagoon and there are day and night game drives, guided bush walks and year-round water activities plus fabulous food and a fine wine list. Your elevated suite features a romantic 4-poster bed that you can have set up outside under the stars for a night to remember.
Get away from it all at Camp Okavango: lying on a private island in the permanent wetlands of the Delta, this well-established camp lights its suites with solar power and specialises in water activities: motor boats take you to secret lagoons to look for hippos and elephants while an adventure in a mokoro (traditional canoe) reveals a more detailed world of waterlilies, bejewelled birds and dragonflies. You’ll enjoy great, friendly service and expert guiding at Camp Okavango as well as the chance to explore on foot – go island-hopping with your guide for the chance to see more wildlife.
Need something flexible? With only four tents on offer, you can book this entire camp or just go for the 2-bedroom family suite, which comes with its own lounge and bathroom. You’ll be in the heart of the Linyanti – an area especially good for big cats and elephants – and going out on morning and afternoon game drives plus boating safaris in season. Your family will enjoy a digital detox: the camp is off the grid with no Wi-Fi and runs on solar energy. There is an activity club for younger children where they can visit local villages, practise traditional crafts and learn about conservation. No-one will be bored!
Take your family into the heart of elephant country: this lodge has panoramic views over the Chobe River, epicentre of Botswana’s elephant population and offers epic game viewing by 4X4 and boat, especially during the June-to-October dry season. Chobe Chilwero welcomes children of all ages and has a childminding service, age-appropriate activities and a games room plus iPads, complimentary Wi-Fi and a swimming pool. There’s also a great spa and famously good food for the parents. Lying close to the Zimbabwe border, it’s also a good choice if you’d like to pop over to Victoria Falls for the day.
Lodges for Small Groups
Chobe Game Lodge
How big is your group? With over 40 air-conditioned rooms, Chobe Game Lodge has plenty of accommodation available and although it may sound more like a hotel, this is the gracious, Grand Old Lady of the Chobe River. You’ll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere plus an exclusive riverside setting in Chobe National Park, one of the most exciting wildlife destinations in Africa. You’ll be first out and last back on game drives and river adventures – your Africa Safari Expert can arrange a private guide and vehicle so you enjoy total exclusivity. Back at the lodge, your group can enjoy time together whether it’s in the cocktail bar, billiard room, the in-house spa or simply beside the pool. Go between June and October for the biggest concentrations of elephants.
Offering a great opportunity to discover Botswana’s magical Central Kalahari Game Reserve, this all-action camp lies in a private concession bordering the Makgadigadi Pans. You’ll explore the rolling grasslands not just in a 4X4 but also by quadbike and horseback if you’d like. There’s excellent wildlife to see all year round – lions and cheetahs are among the highlights - and even more so during the summer months from about November to March when a zebra and wildebeest migration arrives. It’s a traditional tented camp with a relaxed atmosphere, meerkats that forage around your tent and communal suppers served under the stars – perfect for groups of friends and multi-generational families.
Solo Traveller Lodges
Meno a Kwena
Located at the richly biodiverse interface between the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari, this camp lends itself to solo travellers: it’s a small (but not too-small) camp with nine suites and a very relaxed and informal ambience. You’ll enjoy wonderful views of the Boteti River from your suite and can sit in comfort watching animals arrive to drink and hunt below you. Full-day game drives into the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park take you in the heart of the big game experience. It’s a great destination at any time of year: go in summer to see the Kalahari’s secret zebra migration.
Khwai Bush Camp
Here to see the wildlife? A private riverside setting next to the Moremi Game Reserve means this camp can also offer water activities, spot-lit night drives and guided bush walks as well as morning and afternoon game drives. Khwai Bush Camp lies in a famously productive area for wildlife. It’s a great place for heavyweight animals like elephant, giraffe and buffalo plus big cats, hyenas and African wild dogs as well as superb bird watching and general game viewing. Thatched chalets provide the accommodation, each with a private bathroom and wonderful wilderness views.
Accommodating families and groups as well as couples and honeymooners via a subtle division of their camp into two wings, Vumbura Plains lays claim to some of the most sought-after real estate in the Okavango Delta: this is serious big game country with a heathy reputation for predators. Enjoying the advantages of a private concession setting, you’ll explore this wetland and woodland landscape by 4X4, on foot and by boat with an option to enjoy the view from a helicopter or hot-air balloon flight. Back at camp, you’ll find a private plunge pool on your deck plus a wide range of facilities including child-minders and a kids’ activity club.
Kings Pool Camp
Set next to permanent water in the Linyanti region of the Chobe National Park and with access to ‘super-Savuti’, the legendary battlefield between lions and hyenas, this is a great choice for undiluted wildlife viewing. There are day and night game drives to look forward to plus walking and boating safaris and excellent bird watching, all led by expert guides. One of the most luxurious camps in Botswana, the suites are very private and come with their own plunge pool, viewing deck and bathroom. A 2-bedroom family unit is also available and the camp provides child-minders and age-appropriate activities.