Dream safari holidays to plan – Brillant Botswana

June 11th 2021  |   Unique Experiences, Miscellaneous  |  by   Francis Naumann
Dream safari holidays to plan – Brillant Botswana

Botswana is a dream safari destination, a rare combination of desert and delta, coupled with staggering amounts of wildlife. If you want a classic safari amid Africa’s iconic animals, with wonderful guiding and lovely accommodation then look no further than this irresistible paradise. Zip between safari areas by light aircraft and it’s easy to combine so many different habitats and landscapes – you’ll be amazed how much variety there is in this tremendous country.

Classic Okavango Delta scenery at Xigera Camp

Here are just some of the highlights of a Botswana safari:

Safari Activities Galore –Never a dull moment with a greater range of safari activities than almost anywhere else: day and night wildlife drives, guided bush walks, riding safaris, boating, mokoro trips, catch and release fishing, sleep-outs, quad bike and ‘fat bike rides, mobile safaris, and cultural encounters.

Dream safari Botswana

Mokoro safaris, unique to the Okavango Delta waterways, offer wildlife viewing from a totally different perspective. Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Few Tourists – A whopping 38% of Botswana’s land is protected for wildlife and nature conservation. The low impact tourism policy ensures strictly controlled visitor numbers so the safari areas are crowd-free.

Superb Wildlife Viewing – Arguably the best wildlife viewing on the continent, with the likes of Sanctuary Chief’s Camp on Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta renowned for exceptional predator and prey activity, and Chobe National Park and the Linyanti region chock-full of enormous elephants.

Dream safari Botswana

Superb wildlife viewing close to Sanctuary Chief’s Camp

The Okavango Delta – Beautiful and tranquil – one of the seven natural wonders of Africa – it’s home to an astounding array of birds and wildlife. Gliding through the watery channels on a traditional mokoro canoe is without compare.

A Glorious Range of Camps and Lodges – Terrific accommodation from classic tented camps to out of this world luxury, home to some of the continent’s finest guides.

Dream safari Botswana

The ultimate in luxury at Duba Plains Camp

Great for Families – A wonderful choice for families with specialist children’s guides and several camps offering specific children’s programmes.

Unique Wildlife Interactions – Spend a morning chilling out with habituated meerkats at Camp Kalahari or an afternoon with the elephant herd at Abu Camp

Friendly habituated meerkats, Makgadikgadi salt pans, Uncharted Africa

Habituated meerkats in the Makgadikgadi pans close to Jack’s Camp

Animal Migrations
The second largest migration in Africa when, in February, around 75,000 zebra and wildebeest flock to the Makgadikgadi grasslands.

Options For Every Budget – Don’t be deceived by the cost. Yes, some camps are pricey but there are options to suit every budget from an expedition style mobile to a bucket list extravaganza, and low season prices rival any on the continent.

Dream safari Botswana

Options for all budgets in Botswana. Setari Camp

How to enjoy a safari in Botswana

The classic Botswana itinerary typically focuses on the world famous, wildlife rich Okavango Delta. A safari here will usually combine a ‘wet’ camp like Xigera or Setari Camp, where the activities are predominantly on the water, and a ‘dry’ camp such as Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, which offers land-based wildlife viewing. Other camps such as Tuludi Camp, Splash Camp and Kanana Camp offer both land and water activities, depending on the flood levels which vary throughout the year (more on the Delta and its flood seasons in this article). Combine these Delta camps with one further north in the private concessions bordering the Linyanti and Kwando Rivers and you have the chance to explore different landscapes and wildlife while extending your safari. Selinda Explorers, Lebala Camp and Zarafa Camp are all good choices here.

Dream safari Botswana

Giraffe close to Lebala Camp

Less visited than the Delta, the Makgadikgadi Pans are where you will find Botswana’s heart. It’s a mystical land of palm islands shimmering in the heat haze, where San Bushmen still pursue their ancient way of life, and where desert adapted species wander the vast plains on the edge of the Kalahari. Expect to see ostrich, bat eared fox, jackal, red hartebeest, zebra, oryx, brown hyena and meerkats. It’s a wonderful place to explore on foot, by vehicle or on horseback. Our suggestions here include Meno a Kwena and Jack’s Camp – the latter a true safari legend and recently the recipient of a sumptuous refurbishment.

A legend among safari camps – sumptuous accommodation at Jack’s Camp

Botswana is a great choice for a mobile safari with a variety of options on offer. Some, such as those run by Letaka Safaris, operate as ‘set departures’ running over a selection of routes chosen for their scenic beauty and wildlife populations. It’s a lovely chance to enjoy some of Botswana’s top spots with like-minded wildlife enthusiasts. The same company runs specialist photography options too, where you can hone your skills in the company of a professional wildlife photographer. Then there are ‘private’ mobile safaris where the whole experience is for just you and your party – a fabulous option for friends or family travelling together. Our top ‘go tos’ for this are Drumbeat and Uncharted Africa.

Dream safari Botswana

Elephants strolling past the mess tent on an Uncharted Africa mobile safari

Although Botswana is landlocked, it’s fairly easy to reach the beach via an overnight in Johannesburg. Head to Mozambique where breath-taking spots include andBeyond Benguerra Island and Santorini which combine beautifully with a safari at the likes of Xaranna Okavango Delta or Duba Plains camps in the Okavango Delta. Mauritius works well too, providing luxury and relaxation to balance adrenalin buzz of safari.

Lovely Santorini in southern Mozambique combines brilliantly with a safari in Botswana

If you’ve seen the highlights of northern Botswana; the Delta, the pans, and the Kalahari, take yourself further south and explore the Tuli Block and Mashatu Game Reserve. This is Botswana with a difference – hills! You’ll find exceptional populations of cheetah, black jackal, African wild cat, porcupine, and brown hyena alongside spring flower displays, majestic views and huge dry riverbeds. With meagre annual rainfall, it’s a year-round destination with safari activities including vehicle drives, cycling, walking, photography (several wonderful ground level hides offer particularly good close ups), drone lessons and videography. Mashatu Euphorbia is the luxury option while experienced riders considering an exhilarating mobile safari should look at Horizon Horseback Mashatu.

Exploring Mashatu on horseback is a great thrill for experienced riders

What next?
We would be delighted to help you plan a dream safari in Botswana.  Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean and can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.

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