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Botswana

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.

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.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
11 hours

Time Zone
GMT +2

Currency
Pula (P) = 100 thebe

Language
English and Setswana

Visa
(UK/US) None

See Botswana travel guide

Where to go in 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. …

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…

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…

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

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Average temperature (℃)

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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. …

Top itineraries in Botswana

Luxury Botswana Safari

12-day tailor-made journey from £5,695 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Free flights between camps; save up to £6,500 per couple
Book by: 31 December 2016

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

Highlights of Botswana with Sanctuary Lodges

9-day tailor-made journey from £5,195 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

SAVE UP TO £2,100 per couple
Book by: 31 October 2017

This nine-day, seven-night 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.

Deserts and Deltas of Botswana

10-day tailor-made journey from £7,595 pp incl. flights

Enjoy a series of exceptional experiences on safari in the Okavango Delta and while exploring the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana

Botswana safari and Cape Town with Belmond

13-day tailor-made journey from £6,195 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Save up to £2,600 per couple & free Botswana heli safari
Book by: 31 October 2016

Botswana is often referred to as the ultimate safari destination in Africa. Perhaps its greatest treasure is the Okavango Delta, a lush oasis in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, where crystal-clear rivers, lily-clad lagoons and grassy floodplains hide hippo, elephant, giraffe and zebra.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in Botswana

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.

Eagle's Nest Chalets

Traditional lodge

Built into rounded granite boulders, the aptly named Eagle’s Nest Chalets offer immersive seclusion near the Namib Desert’s most southerly point. Some 7km from the main lodging, the chalets combine natural elements with luxury accommodation.

&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, 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.

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Special offers in Botswana

Luxury Botswana Safari

12-day tailor-made journey from £5,695 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Free flights between camps; save up to £6,500 per couple
Book by: 31 December 2016

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

Highlights of Botswana with Sanctuary Lodges

9-day tailor-made journey from £5,195 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

SAVE UP TO £2,100 per couple
Book by: 31 October 2017

This nine-day, seven-night 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.

Botswana safari and Cape Town with Belmond

13-day tailor-made journey from £6,195 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Save up to £2,600 per couple & free Botswana heli safari
Book by: 31 October 2016

Botswana is often referred to as the ultimate safari destination in Africa. Perhaps its greatest treasure is the Okavango Delta, a lush oasis in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, where crystal-clear rivers, lily-clad lagoons and grassy floodplains hide hippo, elephant, giraffe and zebra.

Sanctuary Retreats Botswana & Zambia – Walking with Wildlife

12-day Safari from £6,495 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Save up to £1,645 per couple
Book by: 30 December 2016

A luxury 12-day safari in Botswana's Okavango Delta, Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, and Zambia's Victoria Falls

See all offers

Botswana articles

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