Botswana Safari Holidays

Botswana has earned a reputation as one of the finest, if not the finest, safari destination

Botswana is one of Africa's greatest conservation success stories - with a tiny population and huge tracts of pristine land set aside for wildlife.

FOR A COUNTRY THAT HAS BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH ULTRA HIGH-END LUXURY, THERE ARE ALSO SOME EXCELLENT camps and lodges THAT TAKE A RATHER SIMPLER - and some would say - more authentic APPROACH. In the right camps you can expect outstanding quality of guiding, food and accommodation as well as remarkable wildlife encounters.

With numbers strictly regulated, visitors are able to get away from crowds and enjoy one of the highest ratios of wildlife to humans anywhere. Botswana's combination of great game, uncrowded reserves, excellent small camps and the use of open vehicles for day and night game viewing is difficult to beat.

The most productive wildlife areas are all in the far north of the country - and because each region has a distinct character, a well-rounded wildlife safari should include a few days in these areas, along with a few days in the Makgdikgadi Pans or Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Take a look at a sample trip that makes the best of Botswana's wilderness, using authentic camps

THE LESS-IS-MORE FORMULA NATURAL HIGH ADVOCATES MAKES COMPLETE SENSE. LUXURY LIES IN EXPOSING THE SENSORY, INSTINCTIVE SELF TO THE SCENTS AND SOUNDS OF THE WILD”

- The Daily Beast

Planning a safari to Botswana? Talk to us
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BOTSWANA'S TOP EXPERIENCES

Authentic Botswana, with an emphasis on Wilderness

A combination of great value camps and outstanding wildlife in Botswana's

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BOTSWANA'S TOP EXPERIENCES

The Best of Botswana

AN ADVENTURE THROUGH THE OKAVANGO WETLANDS ON FOOT & MOKORO

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BOTSWANA'S TOP EXPERIENCES

EXPEDITIONARY SAFARI IN BOTSWANA'S OKAVANGO DELTA

WILD AFRICA and epic wildlife OFF THE BEATEN TRACK. A mobile safari by boat in the Okavango, followed by a "dry mobile" to Moremi

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BOTSWANA'S TOP EXPERIENCES

Botswana luxury mobile Safari

EXPLORE REMOTE WILDLIFE RICH AREAS IN STYLE

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BOTSWANA NOT ONLY PROMISES GREAT GAME, IT'S ALSO ENCOMPASSES ENORMOUS CONTRASTS FROM THE WETLANDS OF THE DELTA TO THE DESERTS OF THE KALAHARI

HERE'S A WHISTLE STOP TOUR OF THE BEST WILDLIFE AREAS IN BOTSWANA

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world, this 15,000km watery wilderness in the desert has created a unique and fascinating ecosystem that is well worth exploring. The Moremi Game Reserve dominates the Okavango, surrounded by an extensive network of private concessions that offer exclusive game-viewing safaris. Sublimely photogenic, the wildlife here rarely disappoints. The centre of the delta is a labyrinth maze of reed-lined channels separating countless islands and to cruise through these soundlessly in a mokoro (dug-out canoe), sitting inches above the waterline allows you to feel part of the environment. The mammal count here is generally less than in the drier country surrounding the Delta and so ideally spend time in both "wet" and "dry" camps.

Linyati, Selinda & Kwando are situated north east of the Okavango Delta, these three concession areas are home to many elephant, buffalo, lion, wild dog, lechwe, sitatunga, hippo and giraffe. As with the private reserves around the Okavango, concessions offer more exclusive safaris that are possible in the busier national parks (Moremi and Chobe) and walking, night-drives and off-road driving are permitted.

Chobe National Park is famous for its massive herds of huge elephants, prides of lion and many buffalo - Chobe has arguably become overly-popular due to it's accessibility (particularly from the relatively nearby Victoria Falls) and this is the one place in Botswana that you could easily run in to crowds and large impersonal lodges. That said there are still some gems and areas such as Savuti that are very definitely worth considering.

The Makgadikgadi Pans are large prehistoric lakes almost entirely devoid of human habitation, all the more impressive as they cover an area the size of Portugal. The pans are now barren salt flats fringed with grasslands and isolated "islands" of palm trees and ancient baobabs. The wildlife here is both limited and ephemeral and it is more about wilderness than wildlife although spending time with a family of habituated meerkats is definitely a top wildlife-viewing experience.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is reached by a tiny number of visitors every year and offers the ultimate remote safari. Black-maned lions, plentiful cheetah and good populations of dry-land specials such as meerkats, brown hyena, caracal and oryx are among the many highlights.

GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK IN BOTSWANA

UNDERSTAND THE SEASONS AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOW SEASON RATES

Botswana is excellent year round. July to October is high season, but you can expect few guests and the same amazing standards of guiding and accommodation – all with low season rates - between January and March.

The annual "flood" usually arrives in the Okavango in April or May and much of what was savannah will be submerged, creating stunning waterways that are superb to explore by Mokoro, and forcing wildlife to concentrate on fewer and smaller islands. By September the waters recede making safaris by vehicle easier.

Similarly, in the Linyanti Swamps, Selinda Spillway and Savuti Marsh the timing and amount of rain will have a profound effect on the local wildlife, determining the sizes of herds of elephant, buffalo and number of predators around.

Most of the rain in Botswana fall between December and March, April and May are lovely months with clear skies and cool days and nights. June to August is peak season for wildlife-viewing in many areas with game-concentrations rising as the out-lying water dwindles. Be aware that the night-time temperatures, particularly in the desert, can dip to nearly freezing - the days are generally cool, clear and very pleasant.

September and October sees the mercury rise in both day time and night, with daytime temperatures peaking at around 40˚C in mid to late October, although mercifully always remaining a dry, and not humid, heat which makes a huge difference. November is a famously unpredictable month; the temperatures remain high and the first rains may break - it's also an enormously dynamic time of year with many antelopes calving and a massive influx of migratory birds.

WHERE TO STAY IN BOTSWANA

Botswana boasts some of the most iconic safari camps in Africa as well as adventurous expeditionary mobiles.

Botswana long ago headed down a path of low tourist numbers and top-quality camps. The level of comfort and stratospheric oppulence at few of these places can be startling, as is the price tag, however they're also sited in some of the most game-rich areas you can find anywhere with wildlife-documentary quality interaction, particularly between predators being, witnessed with extraordinary regularity - and the level of exclusivity in terms of not seeing other vehicles is truly remarkable.

At the other end of the scale adventure is definitely alive and well on a private expeditionary mobile safari and one of the beauties of Botswana is that it is possible to combine both experiences on the same safari.

Botswana by Mobile Safari

Botswana is known for its exceptionally luxurious safari camps and lodges, but the experience of an authentic mobile safari under canvas is also hard to beat.

No amount of rose petals or personal butlers will make up for the smells and sounds you'll experience with a few nights under canvas in the African wild.  With a group of friends or your family this is one experience that's hard to beat.

In Botswana we use either light or luxury mobile camps to provide an unforgettable safari experience. In either case the essence is the same - the focus is on intelligent simplicity; great wildlife viewing, experienced guides and access to some of Botswana's best wildlife areas from private camp sites in the middle of nowhere. Expect great food and simple but comfortable accommodation.

Like Marmite the best experiences are probably not for everyone.  One size fits all usually means that one size doesn't fit anyone properly. So these mobile camps won't be everyone's cup of tea. But if the idea of totally private camps, gradually moving to explore a wild unspoilt area in the company of an experienced guide appeals, then think about using one of these camps for at least part of your safari in Botswana. 

Natural High shines rays of adventurous light into some of the least explored, most exciting corners of the wider world.”

- Financial Times

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TAKE A PRIVATE EXPEDITION

With a simple tented camp; private and lightweight enough to move every few days, your safari becomes your own private expedition, quietly exploring with your guide, avoiding the heavily visited areas, planning the days activities to fit with the natural rhythms of the day. Many people choose to spend five to seven days travelling between say Moremi, Savuti and the Chobe River during the dry season, then combining with a day or two in a small lodge to ring the changes.

All our safaris in Botswana start with a blank canvas - if you'd like us to send you some ideas for how to get the best from a mobile safari in Botswana just drop us a line or give us a call.  Let us know the basics like when you'd like to travel, how many of you there are and the sorts of things that tickle your fancy and we'll come back to you with some initial suggestions to get the ball rolling.

See an expeditionary safari in Botswana

Seeing the Okavango's crystal clear waters by Mokoro is a must

The Okavango Delta is one of the few places where you can indulge in the safari experience from a couple of feet above the clear water in a dug out canoe.

In some camps, it is in fact the only way you can explore, while others offer mokoro trips as the seasonal changes in water levels allow.  As a completely different experience to your dusty game drive, it should be top of the to-do list when visiting the Okavango.

The gentle splashing of the paddles and the water moving against the hull are all you hear at first.  Then, as your senses tune in, you start to notice the call of the kingfisher balancing on a bendy reed over the channel.  The sunlight skips across the ripples and warms your back as you pause to watch a family of elephant come to drink.  This is the ultimate in peace and quiet.

Travelling by canoe through the Okavango Delta is slow by nature, and you can’t dash over to see an animal spotted in the distance.  However, you’ll find that a surprising number of birds and animals congregate around the islands, lagoons and reed beds of the Delta.  You just have to quietly glide by and keep your eyes peeled.

The sunlight skips across the ripples and warms your back as you pause to watch a family of elephant come to drink”

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BOTSWANA'S TOP WILDLIFE AREAS

OKAVANGO DELTA

VAST INLAND RIVER AND HOME TO A HUGE CONCENTRATION OF SPECIES

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BOTSWANA'S TOP WILDLIFE AREAS

MAKGADIKGADI PANS

SALT PANS DEVOID OF HUMANS & THE SIZE OF PORTUGAL

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BOTSWANA'S TOP WILDLIFE AREAS

CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

ULTIMATE LOCATION FOR THE REMOTE SAFARI

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BOTSWANA'S TOP WILDLIFE AREAS

CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

EPIC WILDLIFE ACROSS THE VAST EXPANSE

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When’s the best time of year to visit Botswana?

Botswana has a hot, wet summer (between October and April), and a cooler, dry winter (from May to the end of September). Winter is traditionally high...
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Our experienced travellers include:

Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Another Perfect Trip

"Morocco was our fourth trip with Natural High and true to past trips, the itinerary was right on point for our interest and goals, all logistics went off without a hitch and the service throughout the trip was high end. Everyone we worked with were friendly and professional. We had a fantastic time...Thank you!"

Tom & Karen Holterhoff

Perfect holiday from start to finish.

"Absolutely excellent service. The itinerary was spot on and the whole holiday worked like clockwork. The pre holiday notes and briefing were most useful too. I would have no hesitation in recommending Natural High Safaris to others."

Angela R CR

Fabulous trip to Tanzania

"This is the second time we have used Natural High Safaris, and again they organised an outstanding holiday for us, this time in Tanzania, combining a safari and beach holiday that was top-notch. Highly recommend them, with huge range of experience and desire to really understand what it is their clients want - and then delivering! Thanks to Catherine Ronan."

Anonymous

An outstanding trip to the Himalayas superbly designed by Natural High.

"Natural High organised a 2 week family trip to Ladakh in August 2018. Andrea Hulme used her local knowledge to design an exciting trip that included a 5 day trek, white water rafting and numerous cultural visits and experiences. Their local partners Shakti were absolutely outstanding and we loved staying in the village houses as opposed to hotels. Their female Ladakhi guide Sonam was really one of the best we have every had on our travels."

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