Experience Your First Luxury Botswana Safari

When planning your first luxury African safari, Botswana needs to be at the top of your list. Situated in Southern Africa and bordering South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, it boasts with such a variety of different landscapes and destinations and truly offers the best luxury wilderness safari experience in Africa.

Where To Go On Your First Luxury Botswana Safari

As a first-time Botswana safari experience, we recommend you visit the Chobe National Park, Savute region, the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans during a 12 Day Luxury Botswana Safari for First-Timers.

This private, all-inclusive luxury safari offers fine accommodation, effortless travelling from North to South and incredibly scenic destinations combined with unrivalled land-and water-based game viewing for an all-in-one unforgettable Botswana safari experience with Jewel of Africa Safaris.

Chobe, Botswana
Savute, Botswana
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Makgadikgadi Pans

Map of Botswana

Chobe – Africa’s River of Elephants

The town of Kasane, situated on the banks of the majestic Chobe River is your gateway to Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
For the next 2 nights, stay in comfort in a large, air-conditioned luxury room or suite at Chobe Game Lodge. Each room offers exceptional views of the majestic Chobe River which supports the world’s densest population of elephants, buffalo and zebra. (add photo).

Next, head to the terrace restaurant for a welcoming lunch or afternoon tea, while enjoying direct views onto the river and its wildlife – make sure to bring your binoculars with you as you don’t want to miss out on anything! You will soon be itching to go and explore this beautiful wilderness area further.

The combination of land and water-based safaris is one of Chobe’s main attractions, as it provides you with the opportunity to enjoy Chobe’s rich animal and bird life from two completely different perspectives. Your choice of a first guided safari activity is either a game drive in open 4×4 vehicle in the Chobe National Park (add photo), or a boat cruise on the Chobe River (add photo). These are available twice daily, in both the morning and afternoon.

The Park itself is biologically diverse and your knowledgeable guide will drive through rolling grass plains, dusty mopane woodlands and lush flood plains filled with a variety of wildlife species. Boat cruises bring you closer to swimming elephants, grunting hippo’s, and lurking crocodiles, as well as a variety of interesting water birds.  You may even spot the rare red lechwe, or the indigenous Chobe bushbuck. A sunset river cruise is also the perfect way to end the day, with the setting sun creating the perfect backdrop for stunning wildlife photography.

Quick facts about your stay in Chobe:

Location: Chobe National Park is situated in northern Botswana, on the Chobe River

How to get there: Via the town of Kasane, Botswana or Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Accommodation: Chobe Game Lodge offers air-conditioned luxury river-facing, twin, double and family en suite rooms and suites. Accommodation is fully inclusive of all meals and drinks.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner

Lodge facilities: Swimming pool, gym, library, spa, bar and laundry service

Safari activities: Daily morning and afternoon game drives and boat cruises.

Game-viewing highlights: Large herds ofelephants and buffalo, plus lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyaena, giraffe, plains zebra, sable, reedbuck, lechwe

Birding highlights: 450+ bird species with migratory bird species arriving from November to April

Savute – Botswana’s Predator Haven

A quick charter flight takes you to Savute, Botswana’s premier game-viewing conservancy, situated in the western reaches of central Chobe National Park.

On arrival, you will soon realize that Savute is uniquely different from the Chobe riverfront in both ambience and landscapes and is truly wild and authentic. Here you will find mostly woodland habitat, with pockets of tumbling kopjes. The Savute Marsh offers a ghostly, open landscape of dust, striking dead trees and isolated water holes. The now-flowing Savute Channel, dry for decades, boasts with all kinds of aquatic animals and birds.

For the next 3 nights, you will stay along this wildlife-rich channel at the private Savute Safari Lodge in beautifully furnished thatched chalets offering wide-angle views of the channel and an active waterhole in front of camp.

During daily morning and afternoon game drives you can expect dramatic sightings of Savute’s resident predators, especially its large lion, wild dog, and spotted hyena populations. Driving through the woodland areas you may encounter herds of antelope and buffalo, while the permanent waterholes, which is usually a good place to stop for a mid-morning coffee break, attract elephants all year-round. When you visit in summer, besides the high animal traffic you may also witness the highly recommended local zebra migration, as well as the influx of migrating bird species.

Quick facts about your stay in Savute:

Location: Western Chobe, near the Savute Channel

How to get there: By light aircraft charter flight from Kasane or Maun

Accommodation: Savute Safari Lodge offers luxury, thatched wood and glass suites. Accommodation is fully inclusive of all meals and drinks.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner

Lodge facilities: Lounge, bar, gym, library, swimming pool, laundry service

Safari activities: Daily morning and afternoon game drives in open 4×4 vehicles.

Game-viewing highlights: Elephants, lion, spotted hyaena, wild dog, zebra migration in summer

Birding highlights: 450+ bird species, with migratory bird species arriving from November to April

Okavango Delta – A True Wildlife Oasis

The Okavango Delta, a World Heritage Site, is surely one of the most renowned wilderness safari areas in Botswana and is not to be missed. Your charter flight from Savute takes you over and deeper into this vast, watery maze of deep lagoons, large lakes and meandering channels with islands of palm trees and riverine forests in-between.

The small, remote lodge airstrip on Nxaragha Island beckons from above, and on landing, you are welcomed by your lodge host for your quick drive to camp. The secluded Camp Okavango, a hidden treasure, is situated in the heart of the permanent Okavango Delta on its own island, surrounded by the waters of the Delta. The luxury lodge offers beautiful views over the Delta from the main area and guest suites, all situated on raised wooden platforms beneath the thick Okavango Delta tree canopy.

For the next three days, the focus is on pure water-based safari experiences. The habitat may be different, but you can still expect to see a wide range of predator and prey species, with water-adapted antelope like sitatunga, lechwe and sable antelope often seen. You may even see lions swimming as they try to hunt in this challenging flooded environment!

Your experienced professional guide will navigate the meandering reed-lined waterways of the Delta during daily morning and afternoon mokoro rides and boat cruises, or you can choose to explore the area on foot during guided bush walk, where you can track the larger land-based species. Camp Okavango also offers helicopter flights over the Delta, which provides you with a birds-eye view of this desert oasis. Birding opportunities are outstanding, so keep your binoculars nearby. As a true fishing hotspot, anglers may try their luck here at catching bream and tiger fish.

Quick facts about your stay in the Okavango Delta:

Location: Central Okavango Delta

How to get there: By light aircraft charter flight from Kasane or Maun

Accommodation: Camp Okavango offers intimate twin, double and family luxury safari suites. Accommodation is fully inclusive of all meals and drinks.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner

Lodge facilities: Swimming pool, lounge, dining room, library, bar, curio shop, laundry service

Safari highlights: Water-based activities like boat cruises, and mokoro excursions plus bush walks and tiger fishing. Helicopter flights are also offered (at an extra cost). 

Game-viewing highlights: Sitatunga, lechwe, lion, hippo, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, sable antelope

Birding highlights: 400+ bird species including Pel’s fishing owl, Carmine bee-eaters, fish eagles

Makgadikgadi Pans – A Silent and Surreal Desert Experience

The Makgadikgadi Pans, which is situated South of the Delta is an unusual, but stunning luxury Botswana safari destination. The shimmering salt pans of Makgadikgadi combined with the Nxai Pans, the world’s largest salt pan landscape, offers a completely different kind of remote African safari experience.

Built on cliffs high above the Boteti River, the Leroo La Tau (translated meaning ‘lion’s paw’) lodge offers all-inclusive luxury accommodation for three nights in thatched glass-fronted suites, with each unit raised on a wooden platform, offering unmatched views of the river below and the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park to the east.

Traveling close to the river, daily guided game drives provide exceptional encounters with desert-adapted wildlife including lion, zebra and wildebeest, as well as leopard, cheetah, and both species of hyena. The nearby permanent waterhole and viewing hide offers more opportunities for exciting wildlife sightings. As one of the most remote areas in Botswana, the clear night skies offer outstanding evening stargazing opportunities.

Travel to Makgadikgadi Pans in summer and witness the annual not-to-be-missed zebra migration, the second largest animal migration in Africa. For birders, the Makgadikgadi salt pans are one of the most important breeding sites in Southern Africa for both species of flamingo. These birds migrate to the Makgadikgadi to breed on unusual mud nests, as it provides an essential wetland feeding site. From the ground (and air) this annual spectacle turns the pans into a sea of pink, and while here you can also see a range of other migratory water birds such as pelicans, ducks, and geese. Therefore this area is considered a preferred destination for luxury photographic safaris.

Quick facts about your stay in the Makgadikgadi Pans:

Location: Western Makgadikgadi Pans

How to get there: By light aircraft charter flight from Maun

Accommodation: Leroo La Tau Lodge offers luxurious thatched glass-fronted suites with views onto the Boteti River. Accommodation is fully inclusive of all meals and drinks.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner

Lodge facilities: Swimming pool, lounge, dining room, viewing hide

Safari highlights: Twice daily game drives, boat cruises (seasonal), star-gazing and cultural excursions

Game-viewing highlights: Desert-adapted lion, cheetah, hyena, plains game and meerkats. Second largest zebra migration in summer.

Birding highlights: 350+ species. Ostrich, Wattled Crane, Blue Crane, Secretarybird, Kori Bustard, Southern Ground Hornbill.  Flamingoes and variety of water birds in summer, including ducks.

Book Your First Botswana safari

For more information on your first luxury Botswana safari, read more here: Luxury Botswana Safari for First-Timers.

To receive a personalized, detailed itinerary and quote for this safari, or for further advice get in touch with Jewel of Africa Safaris, the luxury safari experts, via our website or on direct email. Also speak to us about combining this safari with any of our other luxury Africa safaris.


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