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Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana

A landscape of deserts & deltas

Botswana holidays and safaris

Introduction

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.

The Okavango 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.

 

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At a glance

Flying time from UK
11 hours

Time zone
GMT +2

Currency
Pula (P) = 100 thebe

Language
English and Setswana

Travel advice
(UK/US) None

See Botswana travel guide

Top itineraries in Botswana

Savute Safari Lodge, Chobe National Park

Botswana with Desert & Delta Safaris

9-day tailor-made journey from £4,340 pp incl. flights

Botswana offers some of the finest wildlife viewing in Africa, and this itinerary, with Desert & Delta Safaris, takes in three of the country's safari hotspots – the Okavango Delta, the Savute Channel and the Chobe National Park.

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana

Makgadikgadi, Okavango Delta and Chobe Explorer

9-day tailor-made journey from £4,415 pp incl. flights

Explore the best of Botswana's stunning wildlife on this tailor-made tour staying at comfortable and well located lodges in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, Botswana

Highlights of Botswana with Sanctuary Lodges

9-day tailor-made journey from £5,945 pp incl. flights

This luxury safari brings you the best of Botswana. The package includes stays at two luxurious tented camps in private concessions in the Okavango Delta, as well as a luxury lodge in Chobe with a full spa.

Mokoros, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana Uncovered with Victoria Falls

12-day tailor-made journey from £6,290 pp incl. flights

Witness the spectacular wilderness and wildlife of the Okavango Delta and in Chobe National Park in the company of expert trackers, as you travel through grasslands, wetlands and waterways by jeep and mokoro – a traditional dug-out canoe – in search of zebra, lion, leopard, elephant and more.

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Top places to stay in Botswana

Kalahari Farmhouse, Namibia

Kalahari Farm House

Contemporary lodge

Set amongst the verdant fields of a working farm in the Kalahari Desert, it’s not difficult to see why the lodge is often referred to as an oasis. The farmhouse is entirely self-sufficient with fresh vegetables, cheeses and meats produced year-round.

andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Botswana

&Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp

Contemporary tented camp

Set on its own island in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango delta, &Beyond’s Xaranna camp offers luxurious solitude amongst a teeming ecosystem of elephants, lions, hippos, leopards and cheetahs.

Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, Okavango Delta, Moremi Wildlife Reserve

Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, Moremi Wildlife Reserve

Traditional safari lodge

Chief’s Island in the Mombo Concession of the Moremi Game Reserve provides the setting for this award-winning luxury camp. Newly renovated and reopened, its outstanding accommodation and exceptional levels of service cement its place among Africa's leading safari lodges.

Aerial view, Sanctuary Baines Camp, Botswana

Sanctuary Baines' Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Small & intimate safari lodge

Effortlessly romantic and set amongst shady trees and huge termite mounds nestles the small and intimate Sanctuary Baines' Camp in Botswana.

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Where to go in Botswana

andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, Botswana

Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is a surprising and lush oasis in an otherwise arid country, dominated in the most part by the Kalahari Desert. This area of shallow reed beds and flowing channels is best explored by boat, an experience that allows you to drift silently through the waterways, watching wildlife. …

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, Botswana

Botswana's National Parks

Botswana's four national parks protect huge swathes of the country's richest and most abundant habitats, making them places where Africa's threatened native wildlife can thrive. Chobe National Park and nearby Makgadikgadi Pans National Park shelter some of Africa's most arresting spectacles and div…

Chitabe Camp, Botswana

Botswana Game Reserves

Botswana's game reserves allow you to walk among some of the most diverse wildlife habitats on the planet. From the verdant water-wilderness of the Okavango delta to the dry arid expanse of the Kalahari these reserves cover a vast range of different habitats in some of the ultimate safari experienc…

Rock crop, Jack's Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari Desert, Botswana

Botswana's Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a dry land of undulating red sands, interspersed with scrub and grassland; however, this seemingly deserted, arid landscape is capable of supporting a huge variety of African animals.

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When to go to Botswana

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 280
  • 210
  • 140
  • 70
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

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 …

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    When planning your Big Five safari trip, you’ll quickly find that there’s an abundance of safari parks, hotels and destinations to choose from. To help, we’ve put together this collection of Africa’s finest lodges that combine luxury living with exclusive wildlife-viewing opportunities. There’s ever

  • World-Class Safaris with Sanctuary Retreats

    Combining luxury with authenticity, Sanctuary Retreats is a collection of boutique African camps and lodges where you'll be treated to unparalleled access to Africa's sublime natural world while staying in five star comfort.

  • Destination Quiz: South & Southern Africa

    Test your knowledge of South & Southern Africa with our quiz! How well do you know the region?

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