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Botswana Camping Safaris

If you love camping, a Botswana safari will be a real treat. This is a country where you can really feel close to nature. On a camping safari you’ll get a chance to get back to basics. It’s an opportunity to feel the raw elements of the bush without the distractions of a designer lodge. Drifting off to sleep as you listen to the sounds of the African bush, or waking up in the soft pre-dawn light from a chorus of birdsong are special moments. Even if you’ve never camped before, you might want to consider a camping safari in Botswana. After all, you’ll know that all your needs will be taken care of by a team of professionals.

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1-20 of 152 camping safaris to Botswana

6 Questions About Botswana Camping Safaris


6 Questions About Botswana Camping Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

What are the pros and cons of a Botswana camping safari?

“The following are the pros of a camping safari in Botswana, which specializes in low-impact tourism. This means you’re in for an exclusive wilderness experience. Most lodges and camps are small and intimate, but also relatively expensive. The best way to keep the price of your Botswana safari to a minimum is to do a camping trip. Aside from being the most budget-friendly option, it is also perhaps the most authentic way to spend time in the bush. Sleeping under canvas and sitting around a campfire at night all adds to the experience of feeling close to nature. Many campsites are in excellent locations, so you’re never far from the action. Of course, camping isn’t everybody’s idea of a holiday, and the following are the cons. Even on a well-organized camping trip, you need to be willing to rough it a little bit and live without all your usual creature comforts. You’ll lose some time setting up camp at each destination (even if the crew takes care of that) and meals are usually tasty but basic compared to the fare dished up in more-upmarket lodges.”


What facilities can I expect in the campsites?

“Campsites in Botswana’s national parks are relatively basic. You get an allocated camping spot with a barbecue and access to an ablution block. Most campsites have hot water, but not all. The good news is that safari outfitters will bring everything to make your camping experience comfortable. Some hotels and lodges outside the parks have campsites on their property. These are usually better equipped than campsites in the parks, and allow campers access to hotel facilities such as restaurants and swimming pools. ”


How much will this safari cost?

“The price of a Botswana camping safari ranges from US$170 per person per day to US$500 per person per day. On the cheaper side of the range are no-frills shared tours where in some cases you might have to assist with camp chores. Private camping packages are more flexible and tend to be customized to your preferences, but they are pricier than shared trips. With camping, as with most things, you generally get what you pay for. Operators that provide more comfort, such as bigger tents, better beds and mattresses, superior food and better vehicles, tend to charge more than budget operators. So, always find out what you are paying for and ask to see photos of the camping setup. I recommend getting more than one quotation before booking your camping safari. ”


Is it possible to do a trip in Botswana where only some nights are spent camping?

“Yes, it certainly is possible to spend a few nights camping while on safari in Botswana. In some cases, a safari itinerary consists of some nights camping and some nights spent in the comfort of a guesthouse, lodge or hotel. This might simply be for logistical reasons. For instance, flight arrival times and road travel often dictate that the first and/or last night of a camping safari are spent in an urban or suburban hotel. This can be an enjoyable interlude, offering an opportunity for a good night’s sleep and a bath after a long flight, as well as allowing you to reorganize your luggage. For similar reasons, you might want to spend your last night in comfort too. There could be other reasons for mixing it up. Some people might like the experience of a few nights camping, but don’t want to spend their whole trip sleeping in a tent. Or, while on your safari you may choose to camp for a few nights because camping offers easy access to the best locations within the parks. Or, perhaps camping is the only affordable option for staying within some of the parks. Your tour operator has the experience to put together the best combinations according to your preferences and budget. ”


Is a self-drive camping safari in Botswana recommended?

“A self-drive camping safari in Botswana is recommended, although you should have experience driving in the African bush, or go with someone who does have that experience. Botswana is delightfully wild and unspoiled. This is exactly what attracts many adventurous travelers to explore this beautiful country. To see the highlights in a limited time, you’re best off booking with a safari operator. They’ll have the experience to plan the trip according to your interests. They’ll take care of all the bookings and provide you with a suitable vehicle and driver-guide. However, if you prefer the freedom of an unguided adventure, a self-drive camping safari is definitely an option. Some specialized operators can help you set up your trip itinerary and make your bookings. You’ll pick up your fully equipped 4x4 and know that everything is in place for a successful holiday. You can obviously also rent a 4x4 without further assistance. However, don’t embark on this without proper preparation and some prior experience in this kind of travel (or go with someone who does have some experience). Some of the roads can be terrible (sandy or muddy depending on where you’re going) and the signage is almost non-existent. If you do choose an independent trip though, you’re in for an experience of a lifetime.”


Is a camping trip in Botswana safe?

“Botswana is a very safe country and when you book a tour for your camping safari you’ll be in good hands. The guides have a lot of experience and they’ll look out for your safety at all times. The campsites in Botswana’s national parks are not fenced, which adds to the wilderness appeal and to the overall experience. You might well see animals walking through camp. Perhaps a bushbuck or a family of warthog enjoying the safety of nearby people. Meerkat and mongoose could be scurrying around, and you might be warned to keep an eye out for some naughty monkey waiting for a chance to snatch some fruit from the breakfast table. Bigger visitors, such as elephant, might be attracted to a particular tree and its pods. Predators are shy and usually stay away from human activity. That said, once everybody has gone to bed, a leopard or even a pride of lion might walk past, leaving only a telltale track of paw prints to be discovered the next morning. As long as you stay in your tent and listen to the instructions of your guide, you’ll be safe.”


Botswana Reviews

4.8/5 355 Reviews
Stuart Butler  –  
United Kingdom UK

Stuart is a travel writer and author of numerous Lonely Planet guidebooks, including 'Kenya', 'Rwanda' and 'Tanzania'.

Africa at its Best

First a confession. I love Kenya. It’s by far and away my favourite African country and I refuse to accept that there might be an even better African safari destination. But then I went to Botswana and nothing could wipe the smile off my...

Full Review

Harriet Nimmo  –  
South Africa ZA

Harriet is a zoologist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has the privilege of working with the world’s top wildlife photographers and photo-guides.

Africa at its most wild

If I had 48 hours left on this planet, I would spend it on safari in Botswana. Botswana is my favourite African country. It still feels so wild, there is abundant wildlife, a huge variety of scenery and habitat…and only 2.4 million, very...

Full Review

Victor Goldstein  –  
Brazil BR
Reviewed: Feb 19, 2024
Wonderful Experience

We had a Wonderful Time , since the support with Pamela with booking, the guide and driver T , the chef and his assistant Sidney, we will never forget Chobe !! Wee saw more them 1000 elephants on those 2 days!!

Full Review

Anthony Nicholson  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Feb 19, 2024
great trip - saw an incredible amount of wild life.

We were informed we that we would be picked up from our hotel at 10,00 a.m. in the morning. At 10.00a.m. exactly Simon and his assistant arrived at the hotel in a very clean air conditioned vehicle. The vehicle was spacious and first class....

Full Review

Michael C Conis  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Dec 16, 2023
Phenomenal beauty, amazing people, faultless

Staff enthusiasm was unprecedented, all gave 100percent to ensure we had the best experiences possible. No requests were too much. Food was exceptionally overwhelming and wild life experiences were next level. The trackers passion in...

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David Barnett  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Dec 3, 2023
Helpful, kind, honest people and an amazing country full of wildlife

Saw more birds in 5 days in Boteti Camp, Maun and Moremi game reserve than 2 weeks travelling round the Cape Provinces of South Africa. Wildlife in the Okavango Delta at a level with East Africa or Zambia in the late 70s. Absolutely...

Full Review