Overview – Botswana

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Botswana.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Botswana.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Botswana.

Botswana is the leader in low-impact, upmarket tourism. This eco-friendly approach promotes a true wilderness experience in this unspoiled country. The beauty of the Okavango Delta is best discovered by mokoro canoe, while abundant wildlife can be encountered in Chobe and Moremi parks.

Rates (USD) $167 to $849 pp/day
Best Time to Go Mar-May (dry parks), Jun-Sep (Okavango, Chobe)
High Season July to October (Only Chobe gets crowded)
Size 581,730km² / 224,610mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Low-density tourism and eco-friendly lodges
  • Excellent wildlife viewing in northern parks
  • Beautiful and diverse scenery of dry desert, saltpans, savannah grasslands and delta waterways
  • Low population and vast, undeveloped areas
  • Political stability and safety
  • Expensive upmarket safaris with few budget options

Botswana Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Botswana has an abundance of big African animals such as the elephant, giraffe, hippo, buffalo and zebra. Wild cats aren’t as prevalent, but there are still plenty of lions to spot. The rhino is also making a comeback here. If you’re keen on seeing rarer animals, you can find endangered antelopes and African wild dogs in some of the country’s northern parks, whose water sources are more reliable than those of parks in the south.

Weather & Climate

Humidity won’t trouble you in Botswana, but there are big changes in temperature from day to night. Winter (May to October) is a very dry period that starts off cool and gets very hot towards the end. From June to August you’ll need to rug up at night, when it can be freezing. Summer (November to April) is wet and hot, with the rain pouring down in January and February. The Kalahari is where you can expect temperature extremes to be at their greatest.

Best Time to Visit

The Dry season (May to October), when wildlife congregates around the remaining sources of water, is the best time to explore Botswana’s parks. A lack of rain and relatively low numbers of tourists, with the exception of Chobe, are other reasons to visit at this time. You can still see plenty of animals in the Wet season (November to April), but they can be hard to see in the thick vegetation, and the heat can be intense.

Premier Parks, Reserves and Wildlife Areas

Want to Visit Botswana?

Botswana Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Botswana: Desert & Delta
5/5

Marketing itself as one of Africa’s most exclusive safari destinations, Botswana is an extraordinary place. This is the land of the Big Five – a critically important stronghold of lions, home to Africa’s largest elephant herds,...

Latest User Review
One lodge was more than expected but the other was less.
3/5

I have seen much more wildlife in the Serengeti and Masaai Mara and even Kruger. I was extremely surprised at that because I thought Botswana was going to have many more animals. My one lodge Mapula was terrific. Great food, staff, amazing...