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Botswana Luxury Safari Tours

Botswana is Africa’s true home of the luxury safari. Keen to protect the country’s precious natural resources from the potentially damaging impacts of mass tourism, Botswana’s government has made high-end safari tourism the essential pillar in the industry. In the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert, lodges and tented camps of great style and sophistication have become world leaders in the luxury safari market. The result is at once an intimate wildlife-viewing experience and a priceless opportunity to immerse yourself in the African wilderness.

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1-20 of 160 luxury tours, packages and holidays to Botswana

6 Questions About Botswana Luxury Safaris

 
 

6 Questions About Botswana Luxury Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Why should I choose Botswana for a luxury safari?

“No other country does luxury safari packages quite like Botswana. A handful of high-level operators, usually with a strong background in conservation, share the market with independent safari companies. Fierce competition ensures places that don’t provide the highest standards of comfort, luxury and attention to detail simply don’t survive long. The overall offering gets better with each passing year, as each operator tries to outdo the others when it comes to luxury accommodation, world-class food, activities, and conservation credentials. The remoteness of so much of Botswana’s prime wildlife territory adds an additional charm to the experience. A touch of ‘the exclusive’ goes with the supremely comfortable accommodation. A real sense of personal service is another essential element in any Botswana luxury safari.”

1

What is included in a Botswana luxury safari?

“Most Botswana luxury tours offer all-inclusive rates. The details may differ from one operator to the next, but as a general rule the cost of your safari will include three meals a day, all transport, luxury accommodation and most activities. But the typical all-inclusive package does leave room for a few additional costs. For a start, the cost of flying into and between the various camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta and elsewhere is not always included in quoted safari costs. Some of these lodges and camps can only be reached via small plane. Ask your operator if you’re unsure about what is included. It may come as a surprise to find that you will not, despite the significant prices you’ve paid, have a safari vehicle to yourself and in fact will be sharing with other travelers. If you want a private guide and vehicle for your party, you will have to pay extra. Some of the more remote lodges and tented camps also have limited electricity, so do you really want the sound of a generator in the background? Many camps and lodges don’t have wi-fi. Beer and wine are usually included but top-shelf champagnes and other spirits are sometimes considered extras as well.”

2

Do luxury safaris always focus on the Okavango Delta?

“No. Many Botswana luxury tours do focus on the Delta though and with good reason. The Delta is one of Africa’s best places to see wildlife, and nowhere else in the country has the same choice when it comes to luxury camps and lodges. However, Botswana’s safari portfolio extends throughout the country. Chobe National Park is a vast protected area in the country’s northeast, and home to Africa’s densest elephant populations and some of Africa’s largest elephants. The park includes the wonderful Chobe Riverfront (river-borne safari, anyone?) and the wild plains and swamps of Savuti. On the Okavango Delta’s southern fringe, Moremi Game Reserve has numerous luxury options. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the arid complement to all that water further north. Its golden grassland valleys shelter a handful of upmarket tented camps and lodges. In the country’s east, the often-neglected Tuli Block is another possibility.”

3

Can you describe a typical day on a Botswana luxury safari?

“Your day usually begins with a soft African voice coming out of the darkness to wake you just before dawn. You will often be served a hot drink and light breakfast snack, before setting out on a game drive or morning walk. The early start to the day happens with good reason: this is when most animals are active and easier to see. The duration of any game drive depends on what you see, you may be done in a couple of hours or five. Either way, mid-morning usually involves a return to camp for a more substantial breakfast, followed by time to relax as the heat of the African day takes hold. Then it’s lunch, followed by more time for relaxation (some luxury lodges and camps have a spa) or the journey on to the next camp. Afternoon tea is a noble safari tradition of varying formality depending on where you are. It occurs just before the afternoon game drive. At sunset, your driver will pull over and extract from the vehicle a cool box filled with drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (a gin and tonic is the classic safari sundowner). A night drive may follow with a spotlight for seeing creatures of the night. Then a return to camp, dinner and perhaps some entertainment close to the campfire.”

4

What type of accommodation can I expect on a Botswana luxury safari?

“The safari tent is the signature form of the Botswana luxury safari and is sure to be a highlight of your trip. Usually set atop a low platform, this canvas structure enables you to feel protected from the African wild yet be at one with it. You’ll hear lions roaring, elephants eating and all manner of night sounds. The typical safari tent has two main parts: the living area with a bed, writing desk and places to sit; and the partially separated bathroom area with shower and toilet. Depending on the remoteness of your camp, camp attendants may need to heat the water for your shower, so remember to give them a little notice. Most tents also have a deck where you can sit and admire the view. The other main possibility is a lodge. The best will be sleek-lined, stylish structures at one with their surroundings. Lodge rooms are usually larger than tents. Some are simply magnificent. Some camps even combine the two – a solid frame on three sides with a canvas front and/or roof. Regardless of whether you’re in a tent or in a room, you’ll need an escort to walk you to your lodgings after dark to make sure you don’t surprise any animals along the way. ”

5

What are the typical costs of a Botswana luxury safari?

“As a general guide, luxury safari packages will cost around US$860 per person per day. But if you choose the most luxurious lodges or camps, the price can easily be twice that amount. Prices of luxury safaris in Botswana can go sky-high – there really does seem to be no limit to how much some travelers are willing to pay for their perfect holiday. It may cost more if you’re traveling alone: the cost of the single supplement is around 75% of the price for two people traveling together. The all-inclusive prices mean that additional costs are few. At this upper end of the market, the standard of accommodation is where you’ll notice the biggest price differences, although food is increasingly an integral part of the high-end safari in Botswana.”

6

Botswana Safari Reviews

4.8/5 301 Reviews
Expert
Emma Gregg  –  
United Kingdom UK

Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.

Low-impact safaris at their best
5/5

As I have a passion for responsible, sustainable wilderness experiences in beautiful natural surroundings, I find Botswana very hard to fault. It’s the quintessential safari destination, home to numerous lodges, tour companies and...

Full Review

Expert
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
5/5

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...

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Sean Howard  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 28, 2020
Amazing boat cruise down the Chobe River through Botswana!
5/5

We went on safaris through Kruger National Park, South Africa prior to Botswana’s Chobe National Park. Both safaris offer amazing game spotting but Botswana is unique as it included a boat ride on the Chobe River. The animals are abundant...

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Jane Moran  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 27, 2020
Amazing
5/5

We saw all the big 5 and more!. We had excellent accommodations, food, guides, it was a trip of a lifetime!. We would like to return when there is a bit more water in the delta and see the differences the delta has to offer. We really...

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Arne  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Feb 14, 2020
Amazing price for value!
5/5

Probably the most amazing week of my life! About safari in Botswana: it is a bit more expensive than e.g. Kenya but therefor you are not one of a billion vehicles surrounding the animals. I really appreciated the sustainable way they are...

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Karmen Reid  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Jan 12, 2020
Once-in-a-lifetime experience!
5/5

Safari Bookings helped me contect with Zambezi Tours which developed a superb trip for my husband and me. Wonderful, well-equipped tents, excellent food and drinks, and exciting wildlife viewings. All transport, including small planes...

Full Review