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Botswana holidays and safaris

Most of Botswana is a roadless wilderness, with vast tracts of space given over to wildlife and dramatic scenery, making it ideal for people on a Botswana safari or wildlife holiday, or simply looking to experience something particularly memorable. [See Botswana itinerary ideas]

The Okavanago Delta, described as 'the river that never finds the sea' is the world's largest inland delta; rising in central Africa, the Okavango river simply dissipates into the Kalahari sands. Paddle a mokoro, traditional canoe, through the maze of waterways and islands to get close to the wildlife that makes its home here.

Other wildlife holidays in Botswana centre on Chobe National Park, which is home to huge numbers of elephant. A sunset cruise along the Chobe River will also bring you into close contact with crocodile, hippo, gazelle, giraffe and other plains game as well. The Moremi Game Reserve is also considered one of Africa's great, pristine wild spaces.

The Makgadikgadi Pans are the dried bed of a ginormous super-lake that covered much of the country at one point. These days the water has evaporated leaving spectacular, surreal saltpans that stretch as far as the eye can see. During the rainy season the pans are transformed into a wonderful watery landscape full of birds and wildlife.

Elsewhere, the Kalahari comprises the vast majority of the country. The last remaining San Bushmen live here; head to the Tsodilo Hills, which are considered sacred, to see 4,000 rock paintings daubed on cliffs by the ancestors of the current population.

Wexas Travel brochure for Botswana

Top 50 Worldwide Journeys brochure

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.


When to go

The Tropic of Capricorn passes right through Botswana's centre and the country experiences surprisingly variant weather.

Winter months (June to early-September) are dry, clear and sunny. Daytime temperatures are pleasant, around the early 20s but nights can be very chilly with temperatures dropping well into single figures. This is the best season to see wildlife, which collects around shrinking waterholes and is easily spotted wandering over dry plains.

By contrast, summer is wet and humid, with temperatures reaching well into the 30s. The end of summer (February and early-March) is excellent bird watching time, but don't expect to see too much wildlife, which is obscured by long grass. Some country roads are also muddy and frequently impassable. 

JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
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Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.


Practical Information

Capital - Gaborone

Size - 581,730 sq km

Language - Setswana, Kalanga, Sekgalagadi, English

Population - 2.1 million  

Religion - Christian, Badimo

Currency - pula

Time zone - GMT +2

Flight time from the UK - 12 hours

Festivals

February - World Wetlands Day Botswana

March - Maitisong Festival

May - Tjilenje (Ngwao Boswa) Culture Festival

July - Presidents' Day

August - Kuru Dance Festival

September - Botswana Day celebrations

October - Domboshaba Festival of Culture and History

Visas

Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry into Botswana.

Money

The Botswana pula (P) is the official currency. Pula, literally translated, means 'rain'. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 thebe and 1, 2, 5 pula; notes in 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pula.

ATMs are available in the major towns and some larger villages, though the vast majority only accept Visa. There will likely be a small charge for foreign transactions, but exchange rates at ATMs are generally as good as you'll find anywhere else. Be sure to notify your bank of your travels as otherwise they may block your card when an international transaction is made. Most major credit cards are accepted at shops and restaurants in the main towns. Travellers' Cheques are accepted at most banks.

Regions [5]

Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Botswana, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0611.


Itinerary ideas [12]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Botswana. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0611.

Okavango Uncovered & Zambezi Queen

Special offer From £4,795 pp incl. flights
Luxury travel Natural world River cruise

The Okavango River rises in the highlands of Angola and flows south-east into the Kalahari, where it spreads to form Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta, one of …

Botswana safari and Cape Town with Belmond

Special offer From £4,495 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure City Luxury travel

Botswana is often referred to as the ultimate and most luxurious safari destination in Africa. Perhaps its greatest treasure is the Okavango Delta, a lush oasis …

Luxury Botswana Safari

Special offer From £4,945 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Honeymoon Luxury travel

This laid back yet luxurious safari, which combines superb land and water-based game viewing, visits three lodges run by luxury safari specialist and …

Botswana Wilderness Safari

From £4,895 pp incl. flights
Luxury travel Natural world Safari

Botswana offers some of Africa's best wildlife encounters, with an incredible diversity of habitats and species that include buffalo, lion, zebra, hippo, …

Big cats, wild dogs & elephants

From £6,895 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Honeymoon Luxury travel

Botswana is often referred to as the ultimate and most luxurious safari destination in Africa. Perhaps its greatest treasure is the Okavango Delta, a lush oasis …

Botswana Explorer Camping Safari

From £4,195 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Escorted tour Natural world

Names such as the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert conjure up images of what African safaris are all about; Unspoilt wilderness landscapes with abundant herds …

Botswana with Desert & Delta Safaris

From £3,245 pp incl. flights
Activity adventure Natural world Safari

Botswana is one of Africa's finest wildlife-viewing destinations, a land of diverse ecosystems, bountiful birdlife and enough big game to keep even the most …

Places to stay [13]

The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Botswana. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Botswana, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0611.

Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, Moremi Game Reserve

£££££
Safari Wildlife

Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp is a traditional tented safari camp that has a unique partnership with the Living Elephants Foundation

Savuti Camp, Botswana

Savuti Camp is located in an isolated area of northern Botswana’s Linyati Concession along the Savute Channel.

Kalahari Plains Camp, Botswana

Activity adventure Luxury travel Natural world

With far reaching plains, diverse habitats and some of Africa's best year-round game viewing, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is rightly thought of as one of …

Xudum Delta Lodge, Botswana

Luxury travel

Xudum Delta Lodge is a luxury tented camp built on an island within a private concession on the south-eastern part of the Okavango Delta.

Xigera Camp, Botswana

Activity adventure Honeymoon Luxury travel

Boasting a unique position in the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of Botwana's Okavango Delta, Xigera Camp comprises ten luxuriously appointed tents, raised …

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Botswana

£££££££
Activity adventure Natural world Wildlife

Belmond Savute Elephant lodge is a luxury safari lodge located in the spectacular expanses of Botswana's Chobe National Park, surrounded by sweeping savannah, …

DumaTau Camp, Botswana

Activity adventure Luxury travel Natural world

Beautifully situated in the Linyanti Wetlands Wildlife Reserve on the western edge of the Chobe National Park, DumaTau Camp offers luxury-tented accommodation …

Belmond Khwai River Lodge, Botswana

£££££££
Activity adventure Natural world Wildlife

Situated in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve at the heart of Botswana's UNESCO World Heritage-listed Okavango Delta, the Belmond Khwai River Lodge sits along the …

Offers [8]

Wexas negotiates with a wealth of travel companies, airlines, cruise operators, hotels and tour operators to bring you the very best travel offers. For great value or a range of add-on benefits, review the list of offers below.

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