A Botswana Safari

How Much Does a Botswana Safari Cost?

A budget safari (there aren’t many of these) will cost at least $200 per person per day, mid-range safaris around $500 and top end upwards of $1,000. Botswana offers one of the world’s finest safari experiences. But it’s going to cost you, because Botswana is probably Africa’s most expensive safari destination.

A budget safari (there aren’t many of these) will cost at least $200 per person per day, mid-range safaris around $500 and top end upwards of $1,000. Botswana offers one of the world’s finest safari experiences. But it’s going to cost you, because Botswana is probably Africa’s most expensive safari destination.

Average Costs of a Safari in Botswana Safari Costs (Per person per day)

The costings table here gives an instant overview of how much the average Botswana safari will cost, depending on your travel style. Using this table allows you to quickly match your daily budget to the kind of Botswana safari you can afford. Two things to remember though. Safari tourism in Botswana is generally aimed at a high-end market, and budget safaris are few and far between and only offered to a limited number of destinations. Timing also plays a big role in Botswana safari costs. Going during the low season (December to April) ensures significantly lower prices.

Comfort Level Private
(per day)
(per day)
Camping icon Budget Camping $350 $275
Budget icon Budget Accommodation $375 $300
Midrange icon Mid Range Accommodation $525 $400
Luxury icon Luxury Accommodation $750 $700
Luxuryplus icon Luxury Plus Accommodation $1,625 n/a

Rates in USD $
Excluding additional costs, such as international flights, tips and personal items

Additional Costs Explained


The following list covers a few additional Botswana costs – some obvious, some less so – that you might need to add into your overall budget.

  • International flights

    There are no direct flights from Europe or North America. Most people transit through Johannesburg (South Africa) or Nairobi (Kenya). Botswana’s main airport is outside the capital, Gaborone. For safari purposes, it’s generally better to fly into Maun.

  • Visa Costs

    Most nationalities pay $25 for a one-month, single-entry visa. A five-year, multiple-entry visa is available for $50.

  • Accommodation

    Due to the government’s policy of encouraging low-volume, high-paying visitors, most safari camps are expensive, small and luxurious. Traveling in low season brings big savings. Another option for a more affordable Botswana safari is to do a self-drive tour.

  • Vaccinations

    A yellow fever vaccination is obligatory for entry into Botswana.

  • Tips

    Tipping is part of safari life in Botswana. In general you should pay around 10% of what a service costs. In camps and lodges it’s acceptable to leave one overall tip for the team rather than tip each person separately.

  • Travel Insurance

    Standard travel insurance is fine for most safari activities in Botswana. If you’re considering a Victoria Falls (Vic Falls) add-on and want to try bungee jumping, check your insurance policy covers this before throwing yourself off the bungee-jump bridge…

10 factors influencing the cost of a Botswana safari

The general cost of a Botswana safari varies hugely depending on a number of factors. The most important are the time of year you’ll be traveling and the protected areas you wish to visit.

  • 1

    Length of stay

    Park entry fees are charged on a 24-hour basis and don’t get cheaper the longer you stay in a park. Most people going on a safari in Botswana organize everything through a tour operator rather than going fully independently. Park entry fees are cheaper per day if arranged as part of an organized package.

  • 2

    Level of comfort of accommodation

    By and large there are two kinds of accommodation in Botswana. Luxury camps and lodges, which are often very exclusive and on private wildlife concessions. Needless to say these are normally very expensive. Or, there’s bringing your own tent and camping. Other than camping there’s little genuine organized budget accommodation in the vicinity of any of the parks or reserves.

  • 3

    Location of the accommodation

    Botswana is a vast and sparsely populated country, and almost all of the safari accommodation is in remote wilderness areas that take time and cash to reach. The Okavango Delta, one of the great natural wonders of Africa, is an especially complicated area to visit on any kind of restricted budget. Although there’s affordable accommodation in towns like Maun, you won’t easily be able to stay there and visit the nearby Okavango Delta.

  • 4

    Group size

    The government’s low-number/high-quality tourism policy means that you simply won’t come across many big-group – and therefore cheaper – safaris available in Botswana. In fact, most safaris to Botswana are near enough tailor-made to the clients’ requirements.

  • 5

    When you want to go

    The most popular parks in Botswana are the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve. And for all of these the best, and most expensive, time to visit is from May to September. For parks such as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, March to May (when it’s a little cooler) is the best and therefore most expensive time to visit. Going outside of these periods inevitably brings costs down, but there are enough negatives (flooding, difficult access, dispersed wildlife, closed camps) to make you wonder if it’s worth the savings.

  • 6

    How to get around

    Most people fly between camps and parks, and with vast distances and often near-impossible vehicle access, this is often the only way to get around. But of course flying costs a lot. If you have a sense of adventure and don’t mind not being able to access large areas of the Okavango Delta, then a wonderful way of getting around is to hire a jeep. Grab a map, a compass, and camping equipment, and set out on the safari road. This is by far the cheapest way of exploring Botswana. The Central Kalahari is especially good for such adventures.

  • 7

    Where you want to go

    Where you want to go in Botswana doesn’t really change overall costs as much as it might in some neighboring countries. Much of the Okavango Delta is divided into different concessions. The more remote and exclusive the concession then the more you’re likely to pay.

  • 8


    Nobody should leave the Okavango Delta without first doing a mokoro (dug-out canoe) ride through the glistening waterways. It gives a whole new perspective on the Delta’s environment and wildlife. Some safari packages include these as standard, but most charge extra for it.

  • 9


    A very popular and worthwhile add-on to a Botswana safari is a visit to Vic Falls. It’s actually not in Botswana at all, but on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, access to northern Botswana is easy from there and the area around Vic Falls is packed with accommodation that’s much cheaper than that found in Botswana. This makes this extension a fairly cheap add-on.

  • 10

    Specialized interests

    A fascinating special-interest holiday that’s fairly unique to Botswana is one themed around the culture of the San Bushmen. A safari that combines wildlife with a genuine and non-exploitive delve into San life is often highly expensive.

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