Best Botswana Safaris & Tours
Experience quality land and water game viewing and bird watching in unmatched scenery on a luxury safari in Botswana. As an experienced African safari tour operator, Jewel of Africa knows every detail of what Botswana has to offer.
- REASONS TO VISIT
- BEST TIME TO VISIT
- TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
- CULTURE & CUSTOMS
- COUNTRY STATISTICS
- African Travel Guide
Luxury Water & Land-based Africa Safari Experiences
Botswana is a Southern African high-end safari gem. Together with its diverse ecosystems, extraordinary wildlife and the friendly nature of its people, there are many reasons to safari in Botswana.
The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is one of few remaining unspoiled safari wilderness areas on the continent. Fed by floodwaters from central Africa, the delta covers an area of about 16 000 square kilometres forming a wetland system of beautiful palm-fringed channels, lagoons and islands that support a wealth of fauna and flora. There is nowhere on Earth that compares to this incredible ecosystem, so much so that it was made an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
While on safari, the best way to explore the delta is by mokoro (dugout canoe), being gently propelled through this magical wonderland by a knowledgeable tour guide. Time seems to slow as you drift past herds of grazing elephant and hippos chomping through the undergrowth. A mokoro offers a unique tour perspective from which to view the delta and there are even opportunities to walk on islands where few have set foot before.
Chobe National Park & its Elephants
Botswana’s first African safari national park, Chobe, was established in 1968 and covers about 11 700 square kilometres of floodplains, swamps and woodland. The Chobe River forms its northern boundary and is one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers.
The national park is famous for its large herds of elephants, often reaching up to 100 000. During the dry winter months of May through to September, enormous herds converge on the river to drink, bathe and play. You are practically guaranteed elephant sightings and could even get stuck waiting for large herds of these lumbering giants to cross the dirt road ahead.
Buffalo are also prominent as are the associated predators, such as large prides of lion, that hunt them. In addition, Chobe is home to numerous antelope and other plains game as well as vast pods of hippo. The birdlife is spectacular so be sure to pack your binoculars.
Exclusivity & High-end Luxury
Rather than attracting large numbers of tourist, Botswana has based its tourism industry on attracting discerning travelers who are willing to pay for the privilege of visiting remote areas of the country. Luxury and exclusivity are top of mind and many of the lodges, particularly in the Okavango, are only accessible by small plane.
When it comes to lodge accommodation the emphasis is on quality and luxury, while keeping the environmental impact to a minimum. Lodges are based in magnificent environments, where the simple but stylish 5-star buildings blend beautifully into the ecosystem in a way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Excellent Tour Guides
The local tour guides are tremendous and their knowledge is extensive. Many live locally and have spent most of their life in the bush with the result that they are in tune with nature, wildlife and the environments they work in.
A number of 5-star lodges have a guide and a tracker on each vehicle, which adds enormous value for travelers. The tour guide is there to offer background information on the area, its wildlife, birdlife and even the minuscule flora and fauna visitors might otherwise miss. The tracker, meanwhile, keeps an eye out for spoor and other signs to determine the location of more elusive African wildlife, such as lion, wild dog, hyena or civet.
Rare African Wildlife Sightings
Botswana offers a blend of unique habitats, diverse African wildlife and inspiring 5-star accommodation, but often guests have something in particular they want to see and, more often than not, these are elusive, rare species.
Moremi Game Reserve, and its adjoining private land concessions in the Okavango, provide the perfect environment to see endangered wild dogs in their natural habitat, but Botswana has a number of other rare species ,which can be seen on safari including the black-maned Kalahari lion, sitatunga, puku and red lechwe antelope, brown hyena, the African skimmer and aardvark.
5-Star Peace & Tranquillity
Once out of the towns of Maun and Kasane, you can appreciate the peace and tranquillity that this superb country has to offer. The remote, relatively inaccessible, 5-5-star luxury lodges are spaces where modern technology struggles to keep pace, allowing visitors to truly unplug and disconnect from the stresses of the world. The only sounds you are likely to hear with any regularity are the rumbling of elephants, the chirping of cicadas, the call of a fish eagle or honking of hippo.
A Genuine Commitment to Conservation
Botswana’s commitment to the conservation of its environment, African wildlife and cultural heritage make it a leader in eco-tourism. More than 38% of the land is protected for wildlife and nature conservation and the government recognises the economic importance of ensuring that game reserves remain protected.
Local communities, meanwhile, benefit from conservation and good tourism practices because tourism creates employment.
This little-known, but spectacular, zebra migration is the world’s second-largest zebra and wildebeest migration after the Serengeti. Starting in November, at the beginning of the rainy season, up to 25 000 zebra start their migration through the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks in search of water and lush grazing.
The pans are normally harsh, dry environments, but the first rains transform them into areas that are rich with abundant grasses – critical for the migrating animals. The rains also bring other forms of new life. From the start zebra foals are adapted to being on the move. A foal can be found running beside its mother within an hour of birth. Their bodies are the same height as their mothers’, to shield them from opportunistic predators, including lions, leopards, hyena and cheetah.
Diverse Luxury Safaris
Botswana offers diverse safaris, from game drives in customised 4X4s to boat safaris, which create a completely different experience. Explore the hidden nooks of the Okavango in a mokoro (dugout canoe) allowing you a lower vantage on wildlife, or enjoy the African bush on foot with knowledgeable guides. Walking safaris take place in environments that range from bushland savanna to the wide expanse of the salt pans.
Guided San (bushmen) walks in the Kalahari region are often a highlight for visitors. These walks focus on the smaller and more delicate side of the environment such as local flora, the San culture as well as their unique uses for all that nature has to offer. The walks draw attention to the landscape and provide a brilliant perspective on traditional life.
Luxury Horseback safaris are also an option for experienced riders only, due to the unpredictable nature of wildlife. The best part of being on horseback is that the wildlife accepts you as being just another four-legged animal and you can get much closer to antelope, zebras and the like.
Know What to Expect From the Seasons
In general, all of Botswana follows a fairly similar weather pattern with November, December, January and February situated slap bang in the heat and rain of mid-summer.
The Kalahari, in particular, can be stifling, but summer boasts plenty of greenery as well as the chance to see new-born animals and an abundance of migratory birds.
March is also wet, although rainstorms tend to be confined to afternoon showers, especially as you enter the month of April.
May signals the start of the dry season, with clear skies and moderate temperatures.
June, July and August are some of the best months to visit the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park as the wildlife is out in abundance. But be prepared for surprisingly chilly temperatures, especially in the early morning.
September and October are dry, hot and dusty with little in the way of bird watching, but there are also fewer mosquitos and less vegetation. This is often considered the best time to visit as wildlife clusters around the diminished waterholes, and there is little greenery to block the animals.
Effortless Travel to Botswana
All visitors to Botswana must have a passport that is valid for at least six months, with the exception of those who have outgoing travel documents and can demonstrate sufficient funds for the duration of their stay.
Travelers need at least two blank visa pages in their passport for entry and exit stamps.
Visitors from Commonwealth countries do NOT require a visa before travelling to Botswana. However, citizens of Ghana, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka DO require a visa to Botswana.
Valid entry visas for the countries that require them can be obtained from the various Botswana embassies and high commissions abroad. Allow at least 21 working days for your visa.
Entry visas obtained from the border posts are valid for a maximum of 30-90 days. These visas are only available for selected countries and it is advisable to rather obtain visas before traveling. Extensions may be obtained from any migration office in Botswana.
In 2016 the government of Botswana issued new regulations regarding the travel of children under the age of 18 through the ports of entry:
1. In addition to having a valid passport with valid visa (if applicable), children under the age of 18 are required to present a certified copy of their unabridged birth certificate, which shows the particulars of a minor and those of the parents.
2. If a child is travelling with only one of his/her parents, they must have an affidavit from the other parent allowing the child to travel =in their absence. However, in the instance that one of the child’s parents is not named on the birth certificate, an affidavit is not required.
Understanding the Batswana Culture
Although there are a number of rules around social etiquette in Batswana culture, foreigners are not expected to know or abide by most of them.
That said, common sense and respect should prevail – wearing shorts and T-shirts to church, for example, will not make you popular. Skimpy or revealing clothing (particularly if worn by women) can easily cause offence. Shorts are fine for walking safaris, but for the rest of the time dress conservatively and avoid short shorts, especially in the more rural areas. Traditional locals will wear long trousers (men) or long skirts (women).
Batswana culture frowns on excessive public displays of affection between couples, whether they are married or not. Even public handholding is rare. That said, the Batswana, who are used to riding in cramped minibuses and have grown up in rural villages, may not have the same sense of personal space and might think nothing of resting a hand on your leg in a crowded bus.
Greetings are an important formality and should not be overlooked. Locals will appreciate it if you greet them with a friendly ‘Dumela’ (hello), followed by a ‘rra’ (for men) and ‘mma’ (for women). It is important to emphasise that a two-hand handshake (placing your left hand on your elbow while you shake) is preferable to a Western-style handshake. Placing your left hand on your elbow is also an important gesture when exchanging money.
The national culture is defined by hierarchy, which makes it uncommon for children to question or talk back to parents, or for underlings to contradict their superiors. This shouldn’t affect most visitors, but does explain why lodge, or other employees, are often deferential towards their bosses and sometimes unwilling to offer an opinion.
Fast Facts (& Figures)
Botswana’s capital is Gaborone, known for its game reserves, Kgale Hill as well as its art and cultural displays.
English is the official language, while Setswana is the national language.
Water is so valued in Botswana that the official currency is named ‘pula’, which means ‘rain’ or ‘blessing’ in Setswana.
Botswana has the largest elephant population on the continent. The best place to see them is at Chobe National Park, which is known for its large herds.
The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, best described as a vast inland river delta and known for its sprawling grassy plains. June to August is the best time to visit as many animals migrate.
Botswana is approximately the size of France but has a population of only 2-million people, compared with France’s 66.9-million.
The border between Botswana and Zambia spans just 150 meters, making it the shortest border in the world.
Nearly 40% of Botswana is made up of national parks and wildlife reserves which provide large expanses for animals to roam.
Botswana holds a number of world records, including for the world’s largest salt pans, the world’s largest inland delta and the world’s shortest border.
Botswana Travel Guide
As we embark on a whole new season of guided tour and luxury safari adventures in Southern Africa in 2018, there are three in particular that really stand out. They are all proudly offered by Jewel of Africa Safaris, one of the area’s premier
When one thinks of an African Safari, we automatically associate it with exciting sightings of Africa’s beasts of river and veld, but there are literally multitudes of beautiful creatures of the wilds that adorn the African skies too. Bird watchers and bird lovers may
There are many great destinations on the continent of Africa. For international tourists, it can be difficult to decide which country to visit specifically, unless they have the time and money to see many in one trip. We at, Jewel of Africa Safaris have packages to many
Summer is a special time, especially for wildlife enthusiasts visiting the Botswana region of Africa, especially when you choose to visit the Savute region of the Chobe National Park. Savute boasts the second-largest summer Zebra migration in Africa; its timing is determined by the
Mashatu Game Reserve – Botswana. The Land Of Giants, Predators And Wildlife Adventure Just Across The Border!
Botswana really is an amazing place to visit. A thriving country producing valuable diamonds, and from the high-powered business hub of Gaborone, to the incredibly unspoilt getaways in its many wildlife preservation areas, it is, without a doubt, a land of great contrasts. It
Beautiful Botswana. It is a unique and special place. Its array of cultures and vast range of unspoilt natural wildlife sanctuaries are diverse and inviting for both local and international tourists. Botswana plays host to amazing and unique safari destinations. Places so unspoilt and
International travelers who have never experienced the thrill of a predator on the hunt in the wild, or the magnificence of Victoria Falls, or majestic Table Mountain in the fairest Cape in the world, simply cannot say they have really seen the world’s
From romantic sunsets, exciting luxury safaris, scenic splendour and a million things to do, Africa is a perfect place for lovers to start their journey of a lifetime. This article tells us why Africa is, in fact, the top honeymoon destination of 2019! Luxury Accommodation In
One of Africa’s top tour booking companies recently conducted an extensive survey based on the reviews of thousands of experts in the tourism industry to determine the best safari destination in Africa for 2020. The consistently top-rated destination, not surprisingly, is one that continues
Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places to be in Africa and it is really one of the most fascinating places too. Here we give you 10 reasons to book a safari to the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Delta is situated in northern Botswana and forms part of the Kalahari Desert. This ‘Jewel of the Kalahari’ unlike other famous deltas, never reaches the sea. This vast, inland river delta’s yearly ebb and flow is mostly dependent
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
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
As the national animal of Botswana, the Plains zebra (or Burchell’s zebra) is regarded as an important and much-loved species in this Southern African country. Interestingly, two zebras adorn the Botswana coat of arms, showcasing this animal as a symbol
Botswana is the perfect destination for couples seeking a romantic African luxury honeymoon experience. Surrounded by stunning scenery and abundant wildlife, it provides an intimate and private safari experience without the hustle and bustle of a crowded game reserve. Enjoy
A luxury safari in Botswana promises a unique getaway with exceptional hospitality, unparalleled service, and the opportunity to experience five-star accommodation amidst its wild watery wilderness teeming with extravagant wildlife and birds. With all these elements, it's no wonder Botswana
As a seasoned traveler, I've had the pleasure of experiencing some of the world's most exotic destinations. However, nothing quite compares to the luxury and adventure of a safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The natural beauty of the
If you are looking for a unique and unforgettable family vacation, a luxury family safari in Botswana is an experience like no other. Give your family the unforgettable experience of a thrilling safari in a far-off land where they can
Top Botswana Safaris & Tours 2023
These are just a few of the premier luxury Botswana safaris offered by Jewel of Africa Safaris. If you do not see exactly what you are looking for, let us help to customise your personalized safari package.
Get a Free Quotation
Book Your Luxury Botswana Safari Today
Part of our service is to offer expert advice and assist you with choosing a customized or packaged safari. Get an obligation-free quote now and book direct with Jewel of Africa.
Botswana's Best Safari Destinations
From north to south, Botswana offers the discerning traveler an array of luxury destinations and experiences while on safari. From amazing rivers and waterways, deserts and savanna landscapes to some of the largest salt pans in the world. Each destination offers its own quality activities and unforgettable wildlife viewing.
Tailored Safari Experiences
Customize Your Botswana Safari Or Guided Tour
Choose from a handpicked portfolio of the finest luxury lodges, hotels, excursions and activities to customize your African safari.
The African Guide
For ongoing news, inspiration, ideas and African travel information. The African Guide will keep you updated on prime destinations, game viewing and activities to help you plan your dream safari.
Imagine embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven