From the Journal

Botswana travel tips

Travel Tips

Botswana travel - do it right.

With limited vacation days and so much globe to trot, not just any run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter vacation is going to fly. We’re all about helping travelers break the mold by crafting Botswana travel experiences that go beyond the four doors of that green Landy and thrust you into the thick of things.

Botswana travel connects the dots between luxury and cutting edge conservation in southern Africa, drawing you in with extreme landscapes and unparalleled wildlife viewing in the most drool-inducing settings. Botswana bargains enviable safari experiences and boast-worthy stories you’ll share for a lifetime. All you have to do is go.

What's on the map

Botswana Travel Map Copy

Warm up those khaki trousers, let’s get to it. 

While Botswana is famous for its iconic inland delta, there’s even more to be explored.

Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is a true oasis. Encircled by desert, this verdant life-line is fed by rains that fall far north in the Angolan highlands. Wildlife here thrives off of this natural oddity, the fate of creatures big and small hang onto the promise of water.

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The delta is touted as the top Botswana travel experience for a reason: it isn’t your average four-wheeled safari. Ditch the car for some quality game viewing time on traditional mokoros –  shallow dugout canoes propelled by a long stick wielding guide. You’ll navigate these shallow flood-plains by tracing cleared elephant and hippopotamus tracks through the dense vegetation.

The swampy plains are dotted with islands, often initially formed by termite mounds, that play host to highly specialized, water-adapted species like the elusive sitatunga.

Not only a spectacle of nature, the delta is also a prime game viewing destination. Botswana is famed for its stalwart commitment to conservation, and rhino are making a comeback. Elephant, buffalo, and a myriad of plains game abound, but perhaps the most enticing game-viewing stamp of achievement is seeing lions shed years of evolution and take to the water.

Chobe National Park

Moving east, Chobe National Park is the elephant mecca of Africa. Vast herds of elephant, legs and bellies stained black from the day’s wallowing, emerge from the Chobe river to roam in search of food.

Much drier that its western counterpart, Chobe National Park offers a more rugged and perhaps traditional safari experience than the Okavango Delta. 4×4 vehicles are required, and the deep sandy roads require some skilled navigating. But, the wildlife does not disappoint. The drier climate encourages wildlife to congregate at the river banks, allowing for an entrancing kaleidoscope of species in concentrated areas.

Botswana Travel game drives

Reinvent the traditional safari by combining the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park into one ultimate African adventure.

When to visit Botswana

Timing is everything. The time of year you choose to embark on your Botswana travel journey might just define your experience. Life hinges around the seasons here, animals thrive during the abundant rainy season which floods the delta and pumps the Chobe River to capacity and struggle when the water runs out.

Aptly named the “green season”, the floods are in full force from December through March – so much so that some parts of the delta become inaccessible to travelers. Those that don’t, come with perks. If you can stand the heat, you can bear witness to the landscape exploding with life. Plants grow energetically and illuminate the landscape in shades of vibrant greens, setting the scene for some of the most spectacular photographs from the region. This is also baby season, a coveted time to watch newborn creatures find their feet – and meet their predators.

Moreover, the green season brings lower costs. For those wishing to see Botswana’s iconic parks with a smaller price tag, this is your time.

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Green Season: December - March
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Safari Season: May - Septermber

The high season brings an uptick in prices and in tourist density, but also begs the best game viewing. May through September encompass the most sought-after time to travel to northern Botswana. Temperatures are mild and the air is dry. An African winter is often the best time to spot elusive wildlife that remain hidden in the cool shadows in the heat of the day.

Beyond Botswana travel

Botswana is without a doubt a bucket list item for any avid safari goer. Containing one of the world’s most unique ecological areas, while also acting as a stronghold for Africa’s most endangered, northern Botswana ticks the box for travelers who want their safari to work as hard as they do.

We all know that for every destination one visits, the next one beckons. Strategically placed in the center of southern Africa, adventure calls from all angles.

Go on, push your safari to the next level. We suggest combining it with the nearby Victoria Falls and a buzzing stopover in South Africa. These experiences are sure to round out the ultimate Africa adventure and give you cocktail party small talk ammunition for life.

Don’t be a regular tourist. Put foot to ground and get out there – Botswana travel is calling your name.

Ker & Downey Africa is here to help. With endless experience developing immersive experiences and a finger on the pulse of African culture and conservation, we’re here to help you make the most of those fleeting days off work you call freedom.

Botswana bush
Caitlin Graaf
Written by
Caitlin Graaf

Caitlin's love of African nature, wildlife, and culture led her to pursue a career that blends sustainable development and conservation through responsible tourism. Pen in hand, she travels and writes about the subcontinent's epic travel experiences at every given opportunity. Opportunities like camping on the rim of the world's largest lava lake in the DR Congo, exploring the endless horizon lines of Namibia's salt pans, and sipping sundowners just about anywhere in South Africa. 

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