From the watery wildlife paradise of the Okavango Delta to the vast herds of elephants drinking at dusk in the Chobe River, Botswana safaris compete with the best in Africa. Enlightened wildlife conservation in Botswana has meant that vast areas – one sixth of Botswana – remain a sanctuary for magnificent herds of game. Most Botswana safaris focus on the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park or the private concessions in the Linyanti Swamps. We recommend trying to combine at least two of these areas.
You need to consider the following issues when planning on doing a Botswana Safari:
- When is the ‘best time’ for a Botswana safari?
- How important is price versus being on safari at the peak time?
- What sort of safari experience do you want? A fly-in safari, an upmarket mobile safari, a more remote Kalahari experience?
- Do you have time to go to two or three different camps to enjoy water and land safari activities?
We can help you mull over these questions to come to the right safari for YOU.
Is there a best time for a Botswana safari?
The wet season in Botswana is from December to March when the animals spread out over the northern plains and Kalahari Desert. It’s followed by the dry winter with warm sunny days. As winter progresses, and the land dries out, the animals migrate north to the Chobe National Park and north-west into the Okavango Delta in search of fresh water. Typically Botswana’s peak season is from July to October, the second half of the dry season. This is when the Okavango Delta is in full flood and the animals have amassed in the Delta, around the Savute marsh or the rivers of Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando.
If you are contemplating a Botswana safari in peak season, please book as far in advance as possible. This will enable us to book the best lodges for you.
If you book late then you’ll need to have a flexible attitude about choice of lodge and even area. However, to blow our own trumpets, this is where using an independent safari specialist really comes into its own. We know the full range of camps on offer and have long-standing relationships with them.
Various Styles of Botswana Safaris
The type of safari experience is also important. You can either travel from camp to camp by light safari aircraft or take a mobile safari.
The vast majority of our clients opt for a tailor-made fly-in safari. This gives you greater flexibility. You can choose which areas you want to visit and for how long. We’ll discuss the differences between the many safari lodges with you, and together we will tailor a safari which is just right for you. Most people fly into Maun but you can also fly into Livingstone or Victoria Falls for a couple of nights to see the Falls and take the easy road transfer into Botswana to the Chobe area.
The alternative is to take a mobile camping safari. Mobile safaris are a particularly evocative way of enjoying the delta and the desert of Botswana as you see more of the country. They vary extensively in style and luxury. But most are well priced compared to fly-in Botswana safaris.
Price versus Peak Time
Botswana safaris increase in price dramatically during High Season (up by 40% or more in some cases). So you could opt to travel during the shoulder months of April to June. Others simply can’t get away during that time. The animals certainly don’t disappear during November to June. You may not see the huge concentrations of animals that you’ll see in drier months but Botswana’s wildlife is still some of the best on the continent.