From the Journal

Helicopter Safaris in Botswana


Inspiration

Photo credit | Horizon Helicopters

There are many ways to view game in Botswana. Whether you prefer to trace dusty roads by 4x4 vehicle, glide silently over the glassy waters of the Okavango Delta’s riverine pathways by mokoro, navigate narrow foot paths on your own, or get closer to nature than ever on horseback, one experience soars above the rest.

Helicopter Safaris In Botswana Aerial View Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta, Botswana

A helicopter safari in Botswana is a truly incomparable way to grasp the immensity of the landscapes below.

What you will see

From above, travelers are awarded with a new perspective. As you rise from ground level, Botswana’s wild spaces sprawl below, stretching from horizon line to horizon line. Extraordinary views offer an opportunity to marvel at how remote the untouched areas in Botswana’s northern territories truly are.

An aerial perspective is the only way to gain an appreciation for the lattice of reflective rivers, floodplains, and narrow tracks forged by wandering herbivores as they slowly meander through the dense vegetation of the delta. Fly east and a helicopter safari in Botswana will reveal the secrets of the country’s phenomenal herds: witness a brown mass of buffalo from above as they graze, and watch mega-herds of elephant over 100-individuals strong wallow in rivers, wrinkling the gray water beneath them.  

A helicopter safari in Botswana is undoubtedly once of the most unique experiences for travelers in Southern Africa. Choosing your destination and the type of helicopter experience you would like to have is just the next step.

Man In Helicopter Okavango Delta
Photo credit | Horizon Helicopters
Elephants


Types of Helicopter Safaris in Botswana


Helicopter safaris in Botswana can take different forms. For guests who want to catch a glimpse of the Okavango from above, a short flip might suffice. Certain safari companies will take flight for around half an hour – long enough to give guests a feel for the landscape, but short enough to allow travelers to spend the rest of their day navigating the bush by vehicle, foot, or horseback for more personal game encounters.


Some longer flights are available; however, for guests who want to experience a real helicopter safari in Botswana, an expedition may be in order. Expeditions lift off in the morning, taking guests on a chartered journey deep into the remote reaches of Botswana’s wilderness. Flights can last up to a couple of hours before touching down in an area potentially unreachable by car. A mobile camp is set up by your guide and lunch is served in the heart of Botswana. Expeditions move forward by foot or horseback and can evolve into overnight camping experiences for an unparalleled bucket-list safari.

Some longer flights are available; however, for guests who want to experience a real helicopter safari in Botswana, an expedition may be in order.

Helicopter Safaris In Botswana
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge
Helicopter Safaris In Botswana Giraffes
Flying past a herd of Giraffes by helicopter

Where to go, where to stay


The landscapes from Chobe National Park in northeastern Botswana, through the Linyanti Reserve, Savute Channel, and Selinda Spillway all the way to the Okavango Delta each provide exceptional opportunities to view both game and beautiful scenery from the skies. The experience helicopter safari in Botswana can vary depending on what area and outfitter a traveler chooses.

01 | Linyanti Reserve

The Linyanti Reserve plays host to a dynamic array of pristine habitats ranging from open grasslands to varied woodland ecosystems. Linyanti Bush Camp and Linyanti Ebony Camp make use of their stellar surrounds by offering a 30-minute helicopter flight to guests as a part of their Linyanti Delta Experience.

Flying Over The Okavango Delta By Helicopter
Photo credit | Horizon Helicopters
Linyanti Bush Camp

01 | Linyanti Bush Camp

Linyanti Ebony

02 | Linyanti Ebony Camp

02 | Okavango Delta

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge’s dynamic helicopter safari in Botswana is also worthy of consideration. The heli-flip is in an open-sided aircraft, offering uninterrupted of panoramic views to enjoy the abundant wildlife below.


This lodge expertly juxtaposes the aerial experience with one that gets you closer to nature than ever; the flight is combined with a horseback safari through streams, floodplains, and mopane woodlands, accompanied by a specialized guide. Riding in the bush allows guests to move silently, without interrupting skittish wildlife and the full or half-day experience leaves guests feeling equally energized and educated about this incredible ecosystem.

03 | Belmond Eagle Island Lodge

Belmond Eagle Lodge

03 | Selinda Spillway

For an epic helicopter safari in Botswana’s Selinda Spillway, check out Duba Plains Camp. Launching from a local airstrip, rise into the skies for phenomenal views over this beautiful area of Botswana, keeping watch for wildlife below.


Intrepid travelers can choose to ‘fly camp’ in the bush for the evening, bidding the helicopter farewell to stay in the wilderness, accompanied by an expert guide, sleeping under the stars in basic but comfortable tents.

Selinda Adventure Trail
Photo credit | Great Plains Conservation

04 | Selinda Adventure Trail

A helicopter safari in Botswana is a sure way to be rendered awestruck; watching giant herds kick-up dust as they walk, admiring the delta’s twisting waterways, and seeing the scenery disappear into the horizon line from above may be the most surreal experience Botswana has to offer.

Get in touch with one of our safari experts to book your bespoke safari to Botswana. 

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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