Botswana’s Top Luxury Safari Lodges 2020
Botswana offers amazing contrasts, scenic splendor, and with around 40% of its land devoted to wildlife preservation, luxury African safari lovers can savor some of the finest game viewing in the world.
It also subsequently offers a range of top-rated luxury safari lodges. As premier rated tour operators for Southern Africa luxury safaris, here is our choice of the top luxury safari lodges in Botswana for 2020.
Mashatu Private Game Reserve, Tuli Block: Mashatu Euphorbia Villas
Opening in June 2020, Euphorbia Villasis the new flagship lodge of the privately owned, Mashatu Game Reserve, the Land of the Giants.
This is a unique world-class eco-lodge, which combines sublime luxury with conservation and sustainability. As its name suggests, 8 eco-friendly villas are tucked away within a euphorbia forest, high up on a cliff face, with each villa offering superb views of the Majale River and endless, rolling plains below. The lodge prides itself on its green energy practices, including the use of solar energy, plus state-of-the-art water treatment and recycling systems.
Guests can look forward to private plunge-pools, indoor and outdoor showers, elegant and dramatic boma dining experiences and pure exclusivity with only 4 guests allowed per safari vehicle. Apart from luxury game-drive safaris Mashatu Euphorbia Villas also offer mountain biking, walking, horseback riding and access to the renowned underground photographic hide.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve: Kalahari Plains Camp
The classic lodge is situated in a remote part of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the largest conservation area in Botswana.
Kalahari Plains Camp is ideally situated offering views of an immense pan with an endless horizon and clear skies above. The solar-powered luxury camp offers only eight comfortable, insulated canvas rooms with a unique sleep-out platform above each from which to enjoy the Milky Way while being lulled to sleep by the sounds of Africa.
Especially after the summer rains, guests can appreciate viewing large herds of springbok and gemsbok, closely followed by the legendary Kalahari black-maned lions, high concentrations of cheetah as well as leopard. Alternatively, book a guided walk with the local San bushmen to learn more about their ancient culture and lifestyle.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park: Jack’s Camp
Jack’s Camp, reopening after a refreshing refurbishment in May 2020, is as rustic as it is luxurious and situated in one of Botswana’s most renowned desert-wildlife areas, the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Surrounded by salt pans and endless horizons the camp is reminiscent of a traditional East Africa 1940s safari camp.
Each of the 10 solar-powered canvas tents will now be double in size, more spacious and stylish, containing beautiful textiles from all over the world. Wood-burning stoves and overhead cooling systems will make for a more comfortable tented stay in both winter and summer. Each enlarged veranda will also boast with a private plunge pool for your ultimate comfort and relaxation during those hot afternoons.
The camp offers a wide variety of unique and exciting safari activities, including quad-biking, San bushmen walks, desert game drives, meerkat safaris and horse-riding. This unique environment is the ideal place to see desert-adapted wildlife such as brown hyena, oryx, Kalahari lion and, after dark, aardvark, porcupine, honey badger and bat eared fox.
Moremi Game Reserve: Mombo Camp
The premier Mombo Camp is situated on the largest island, Chief’s Island, in the Moremi Game Reserve, within the Okavango Delta ecosystem.
Often regarded as the finest luxury safari camp in Africa, Mombo offers guests eight very spacious luxury tents under shady trees, with sweeping views over an Okavango Delta floodplain, teeming with wildlife. The lounge, separate bedroom and bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, and bathtub with copper and brass fittings, all contribute to an atmosphere of pure rustic luxury.
The Mombo Concession, also referred to as the predator capital of Africa, hosts phenomenal concentrations of the Big Five, especially lion and leopard. The camp itself celebrates its conservation purpose and success, playing a vital role in successful rhino reintroduction projects in this Botswana wilderness.
Although you may not need to leave the comfort of the camp to see something spectacular, twice daily game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles allow guests the opportunity to view incredible wildlife ranging from large herds of elephant, zebra and buffalo to lion, leopards, wild dogs, spotted hyena and cheetahs.
Okavango Delta: Jao Camp
The exclusive Jao Camp is situated in the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta, surrounded by riverine forests and large floodplains with prolific wildlife.
The luxury camp (rebuilt in 2019) showcases a fresh and contemporary design with the main area elevated into the tree canopy. Luxury accommodation is offered in two exclusive villas and five suites, all with private plunge pools, lounge and dining areas and en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. The villas accommodate four people each in two identical guest rooms, which share a main area, and your villa stay is inclusive of a private vehicle, guide, chef, and butler.
Always committed to the environment and minimizing its footprint, Jao ensures your comfort by innovative insulation with gauze and glass panels allowing natural light and the outside in. The suites and villas are cooled in summer and heated in winter using the latest innovative, energy-efficient products.
This is one of the top land- and water-based camps in the Delta, with both traditional mokoro adventures, and boat cruises on offer. A definite plus is the chance to experience morning, afternoon, AND night drives at Jao. Full day game drives, with a picnic lunch are also offered on the nearby Hunda Island. In-between all the activities, you can spend some time relaxing at the Jao Spa or gain further knowledge at the new Jao Museum.
Savute Region, Western Chobe: Savute Safari Lodge
The Savute Channel, stretching from the Linyanti River all the way to Savute Marsh, have
pumped life into this western section of Chobe National Park for thousands of years.
Situated along this renowned Channel, the luxurious and private Savute Safari Lodge offers
accommodation in eleven thatched, beautifully furnished chalets and one family room. All
rooms offer a combined bedroom and lounge area, en-suite bathroom and large private
decks. The main area comprises of a shaded viewing deck, an outdoor dining area and
swimming pool, ideal for watching large herds of elephants and other wildlife, as they make
their way to the Channel to drink, bathe, and play.
The lodge offers twice daily game drives throughout the Savute area in open 4×4 safari
vehicles, with trips incorporating a visit to the Savute Marsh. Savute is especially made
famous as a luxury safari destination by its predators, especially its large lion, wild dog and
spotted hyena populations. The woodland areas are the ideal habitat for large antelope and
buffalo, while the permanent waterholes attract elephants all year-round. The waters of the central
Savuti Channel attract all kinds of animals and birds, which feeds the Savute Marsh, a ghostly
landscape of dust and dead trees teeming with all kinds of wildlife, followed by large prides of lion
and hyaena. Guests can also view the ancient San rock paintings at Gubatsa Hills – a small
hilly outcrop which forms a prominent landmark in the otherwise flat landscape.
In summer, Savute plays host to the second-largest zebra migration in Africa which usually
occurs between November and December and again between February and April, when the
zebras move from the rivers in the north in search of the rain-ripe grasslands and full
waterholes in the southwest of the park.
Linyanti Wildlife Reserve: King’s Pool
Named after Scandinavian royalty, and recently renovated, the elegant and luxurious King’s Pool lodge overlooks the beautiful King’s Pool lagoon in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve.
The fully solar-powered camp offers accommodation in eight luxurious thatch and canvas rooms, each boasting a large bedroom area and lounge leading to a veranda that soaks up the gorgeous views of the river. The main area comprises a lounge, library, dining and bar area stylishly set on expansive raised decks close to the water’s edge. There is also a pool and an open-air ‘kgotla’ for evening dining under the stars.
King’s Pool offers guests a much wider variety of inclusive activities than most other lodges. Explore all the wonders of Linyanti during morning, afternoon and night game drives. Get closer to the Linyanti river during a sunset cruise on the colonial-style Queen Sylvia barge, or wake up your senses during an early-morning guided walk. For extra excitement, head to the sunken-hide close to camp and watch elephants at eye-level, or gaze down in awe during a helicopter flight over the Linyanti River (at an extra cost).
The Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is well known for its large elephant population which can reach enormous densities during the dry winter months. Other game is abundant, such as impala, lechwe, kudu, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and bushbuck, and their predators: lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyaena. Rarer species such as sable and roan antelope also emerge from the woodlands during the dry season. Birding is especially spectacular here.
Chobe National Park Riverfront: Chobe Game Lodge
The only permanent lodge situated in the renowned Chobe National Park, Chobe Game Lodge is Botswana’s premier luxury lodge for easy access to the National Park and the Chobe River. Situated on the Chobe River, all rooms at the lodge are river-facing and air-conditioned, with en-suite bathrooms and a private terrace. For the ultimate in exclusivity, the lodge has four luxury river-view suites, each with its own plunge pool and separate lounge area.
Chobe Game Lodge is designed as a haven of peace and privacy – where relaxation is effortless, and you can enjoy your own space. The lodge offers six comfortably furnished viewing decks, a riverside boma, two bars, six different lounges and four dining locations. A large swimming pool provides welcome relief during hot afternoons and there is always a waiter on hand to bring you refreshments from the bar.
Chobe Game Lodge offers both land and water-based activities for the most complete game-watching experience in the Chobe National Park. Guests can join early-morning and late-afternoon game drives in open-sided 4×4 vehicles or enjoy riverside game viewing from small and highly maneuverable boats, perfect for morning or sunset cruises.
Chobe National Park is home to the largest concentration of elephant in Africa. During the dry season these large herds, as well as vast herds of buffalo, congregate on the fertile flood plains along the Chobe River to drink, bathe, and play. There are frequent sightings of lion, African wild dog, puku, red lechwe, sable, giraffe, and roan antelope.
Make Your Luxury Botswana Safari a Reality
Contact us for more information on our Botswana luxury safaris and tours, and to receive an obligation-free quote for your dream safari to any of the luxury lodges listed above. Also visit our website for more information on our other Southern African safari destinations.