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Botswana Fly-in Safaris

Imagine flying around Botswana on safari, from one remote wilderness destination to another. Being met at small airstrips with giraffe and elephant in view, and not having to queue or go through any airport formalities. Being greeted by your guide and hopping straight into your open safari vehicle for a game drive on the way to your exclusive tented camp. Getting to see the highlights of Botswana, and maybe even Victoria Falls (Vic Falls) in Zambia, in a single holiday without any time-consuming travel logistics, bumpy drives and boring transfers. That’s exactly what a fly-in safari in Botswana is all about. There is something magical about spending your holiday in a safari bubble without the need to exit until the very end of your tour.

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1-20 of 55 fly-in safaris to Botswana

6 Questions About Botswana Fly-in Safaris


6 Questions About Botswana Fly-in Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Are fly-in trips recommended in Botswana?

“Yes, fly-in safaris in Botswana are highly recommended. If there is any country in Africa where fly-in safaris are the most popular option, it must be Botswana. Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta, is the country’s biggest hub for charter flights. Visitors are shuttled between lodges by small aircraft (mostly six to 12 seaters). Many high-end lodges are difficult or even impossible to reach any other way. This obviously comes at a price. But if you can afford it, this is by far the best way to see what Botswana has to offer in a limited time span. Even if you can’t afford a full fly-in safari, you can consider combining a road safari with a stay in one of the Okavango’s remote fly-in lodges.”


Do I need to charter a plane on a fly-in safari in Botswana?

“Your tour operator will organize any charter flights you require, and they are usually part of your safari package. Air Botswana offers scheduled domestic flights between Gaborone (the national capital), Kasane (near Chobe National Park) and Maun. To fly to other parks or to remote lodges within the Delta you need chartered flights. To keep down costs, operators tend to use scheduled chartered flights that are shared with other guests. Flights are short (about an hour), but you can expect to make a few stops to pick up or drop off other visitors along the way.”


What are the luggage restrictions?

“For safety reasons, luggage restrictions on fly-in safaris in Botswana are very strict. Always check with your operator for details. In most cases your total allowance is 20kg (44lb) inclusive of hand luggage. No hard suitcases are allowed as they are difficult to stow in the limited hold. Instead, bring soft medium-sized duffle bags without wheels. Most upmarket lodges catering to fly-in safaris in the Okavango offer free laundry, so all you need is a few outfits of easy-wear, quick-dry clothing in muted colors. If your Botswana fly-in safari is part of a larger trip and you’ll be carrying clothes and other items you won’t need on your safari, don’t worry. You can ask your operator or hotel about leaving behind some luggage at the start and end points of your tour.”


Are the small aircraft used in Botswana safe and reliable?

“Fly-in safaris and the aircraft used in Botswana are very safe. Botswana has a well-established fly-in safari industry, and most of the charter companies have been operating for many years. Aside from having very strict safety regulations, they are generally very reliable too. Their daily schedule varies according to bookings, but they will keep in touch with lodges to update them on arrival and departure times. The lodges will keep you up-to-date and transfer you to and from the airstrips at the appropriate times.”


Can I take photos from the air on a Botswana fly-in safari?

“Yes, you’re encouraged to take photos from the air on a Botswana fly-in trip. So, keep your camera handy. A big bonus of a fly-in safari is that you get to see Botswana’s most scenic places from an eagle’s perspective. It is the best way to get a real sense of the magnitude and wildness of the terrain. The Okavango Delta’s wetland landscape, in particular, is best appreciated from this angle. It’s the only way to fully appreciate the intricate network of channels, lagoons and islands crisscrossed with animal tracks. The pilots flying the light aircraft love pointing out any wildlife visible from the air as well.”


How much will this safari cost?

“Prices for a Botswana fly-in safari start at around US$500 per person per night in the low season in mid-range lodgings, but go up to about US$1500 per person per night in luxury accommodation in the high season. When choosing top-end accommodation the rate can be more than US$2000 per person per night. Botswana’s model for tourism is high quality/low impact. It specializes in high-end tourism where guests can enjoy a pristine wilderness experience without crowds and congestion. Yes, you can find some well-priced mobile camping safaris at competitive prices. However, to really get a feel for what Botswana has to offer, a fly-in safari, taking in some of the lodges in remote concessions, is the way to go. The prices depend on several factors. Longer tours, where you spend more days in each destination, offer better value than safaris that hop around every other day. The season is a big factor too. You’ll get more-affordable packages in the Green season and the shoulder months than in the peak season from July to October. I suggest obtaining more than one quote when booking your fly-in safari in Botswana. ”


Botswana Reviews

4.8/5 324 Reviews
Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

A dream of water in a thirsty land

In a troubled world there is nowhere safer than this most politically stable of African countries. The people are welcoming. English is widely spoken and when it comes to wildlife viewing Botswana is sensational. That’s because its policy...

Full Review

Kim Wildman  –  
Australia AU

Kim is a travel writer who authored and updated over 15 guidebooks, including Lonely Planet's South Africa and Bradt's Tanzania guides.

Where the wild things are

Despite living across the border in South Africa and criss-crossing the African continent for both work and pleasure for many years, Botswana had somehow managed to elude me. Last year Botswana finally beckoned and it did not disappoint. If...

Full Review

Yassee  –  
United States US
Reviewed: May 7, 2023

Once-in-a-lifetime experience on safari in Botswana! Have been on safari in other African countries, and this one by far takes the cake. The wildlife is pristine and undisturbed, there is no over-tourism. Guides are knowledgeable and...

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Jennifer S  –  
Canada CA
Reviewed: Apr 22, 2023
The people, the wildlife and the spectacular scenery make Botswana and incredible place to visit!

We loved our trip to Botswana! We went to see the wildlife and had the chance to experience wildlife in several different locations from our drive between Gaborone to Maun and then on our safari in the Okavango Delta. I highly recommend...

Full Review

John And Sheila Cosford  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Apr 7, 2023
Wonderful to visit with very friendly people

We have been on safari before, having lived in Africa. However, this trip was not only exhilarating and exciting, but also extremely informative as our guide was superb and knowledgeable. The roads are difficult to negotiate, being mostly...

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Emma  –  
Denmark DK
Reviewed: Apr 4, 2023
Beautiful nature and authentic wildlife

We did a 2-day safari in Chobe National Park from Victoria Falls. We'd heard that the eastern part of the park can have quite high traffic at times, but that was not our experience at all. Our safari guide was super friendly and...

Full Review