From the Journal

Botswana Photo Safari


Travel Tips

Botswana photo safaris are fast becoming one of the most sought-after tour options for intrepid travellers who want to enjoy a unique African travel experience, and with good reason – the country is absolutely stunning and there is so much to see! Here is a quick rundown on the most important things to know when you’re planning a photo-friendly visit to Botswana.

Why are Botswana photo safaris so popular?

There is such a variety of landscapes and wildlife to capture on film in Botswana that both seasoned and amateur photographers have a field day when it comes to choosing their subjects. When you travel with the express purpose of capturing beautiful images for your own enjoyment, as a hobby, or even as a paid gig, it helps if you journey with a like-minded group and join forces with a travel provider who knows what you are likely to need along the way. As such, it makes sense to choose a Botswana tour that has been tailored with photography in mind.

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There is such a variety of landscapes and wildlife to capture on film in Botswana that both seasoned and amateur photographers have a field day when it comes to choosing their subjects.

Where in Botswana can you go on a photographic safari?

The beauty of photography is that you can practice it anywhere – all you need is an enquiring mind and a keen eye. However, there are certain parts of Botswana that appeal to photographers in particular. This includes the Okavango with its lush waterways, the renowned Chobe region, as well as the sparse and arid Makgadikgadi that has a way to burst into bloom at the slightest provocation.

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The lush waterways of the Okavango Delta.
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An abundance of wildlife at the Chobe National Park.

When is the best time to go on a Botswana photo safari?

That depends on a few variables, including:

  • What you want to photograph, e.g. landscapes, animals, natural phenomena (e.g. thunderstorms, flooding).
  • Which region you want to visit, e.g. Moremi, Khwai, or Savuti.  
  • How well you deal with heat and whether you mind getting wet (and have the gear to do so).

Once you have the answers to these three questions, it’s best to get in touch with a seasoned Botswana tour operator to discuss your requirements. Based on what you want to achieve on your photo safari, a reputable travel provider will be able to give you some clear answers.

The beauty of photography is that you can practice it anywhere – all you need is an enquiring mind and a keen eye.

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Lions rest in the sparse and arid Makgadikgadi Pans.

Which camps & lodges offer photographic safaris?


Photography safaris are a very specialised tour option, which is normally conducted by a single travel provider and includes stopovers at various camps and lodges along the way. However, there are certain Botswana destinations that offer it as an optional activity on their premises. This includes the world-famous Chobe National Park, where guests can partake in photography-specific safaris in open game drive vehicles, as well as riverboats that come with specialised tripods and fixed lenses.

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Longer lenses are excellent for capturing smaller animals on film and ensuring that you don't disturb larger species by getting too close.

TOP TIPS for your Botswana photo safari

  • Consider investing in a waterproof camera to take along on boat-based or mokoro safaris.
  • Don't forget your charger, spare battery and extra memory cards - you'll be surprised at how many pictures you'll want to take!
  • Bring along some zip lock bags to protect your equipment from dust on game-viewing vehicles.
  • Longer lenses are excellent for capturing smaller animals on film and ensuring that you don't disturb larger species by getting too close.
  • The African bush is a fast-paced environment, so a high shutter speed is recommended if you want to freeze-frame those elegant movements without getting a blurry image.
  • Early morning and later afternoon offer the best lighting conditions.

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Elephants wade in the waters at the Chobe National Park.

There you have it – a concise guide to photography-based adventures in beautiful Botswana. For more information on Botswana photo safaris, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Ker & Downey® Africa Adventurists. We have tailored plenty of Luxventure® trips to the liking of snap-happy travellers and will be able to give you all sorts of valuable insider advice.

Anna Bet2
Written by
Anna-Bet Stemmet

Anna-Bet is a travel, food & wine writer based in the Swartland of the Western Cape of South Africa. She has a chronic case of wanderlust and an insatiable yen to amble down the road less travelled.


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