​Overview – Botswana

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

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

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

Anthony is the author of the Botswana & Namibia Lonely Planet guide.

Botswana is the leader in low-impact, upmarket tourism in one of Africa’s last wilderness areas. The beauty of the Okavango Delta can be discovered on an unforgettable game drive or exploring by mokoro (wooden dugout canoe), while Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve combine stunning landscapes with exceptional wildlife.

Rates (USD) $200 to $978 pp/day
Best Time to Go March to May (Dry parks), June to September (Okavango, Chobe)
High Season July to October
Size 581,730km² / 224,610mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Low-density tourism and ecofriendly lodges
  • Excellent wildlife viewing in northern parks
  • Beautiful and diverse scenery of dry desert, salt pans, savannah grasslands and delta waterways
  • Low population and vast, undeveloped areas
  • Political stability and safety
  • Expensive upmarket safaris with fewer 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 elephant, giraffe, hippo, buffalo and zebra. Big cats aren’t as prevalent, but there are still plenty of lions to spot. 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.

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 gathers 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 spot in the thick vegetation, and the heat can be intense.

Premier Parks, Reserves & Wildlife Areas

Want to Visit Botswana?

Botswana Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Anthony Ham  –  
Australia AU

Anthony is a photographer and writer for travel magazines and Lonely Planet, including the guides to Kenya and Botswana & Namibia.

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,...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Ned  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Nov 7, 2022
4/5

I think perhaps, since I went in October a lot of the land was quite dry and therefore animals were very spread out and very challenging to find. Also, I've lucky to do many safaris in my life, so my expectations were high. I believe that...

Full Review