Forget about a diamond in the rough…Botswana is just a diamond—rare and beautiful. Thoughtful planning and development within the tourism industry has made Botswana the shining star of safari experiences with high concentrations of wildlife and incredibly wild remote places to stay. Add to that the unrivaled natural beauty and range of environments within its borders, political stability and relative prosperity and you have the perfect place to be on safari.GEt in touch
What to Expect
Botswana’s approach to tourism is a successful approach of low supply and high demand. Exclusivity in the country’s well-managed wildlife concessions, reserves, and national parks is key and it is an essential part of a safari here.
Boasting some of the highest concentrations of animals, wildlife viewing is a smorgasbord of species upon which to feast your eyes. Costs tend to be higher in Botswana but so is the service and level of luxury you may experience. It is well-worth the price! There is nothing on earth that can compare with the Okavango Delta and the diverse wild places throughout this otherwise dry, flat, nation.
Don't Miss Out
The Essence of Botswana — Join dozens of filmmakers and directors like Dereck Joubert, the BBC and National Geographic, in seeking out wildlife dramas in the Linyanti Reserve and Savuti Marsh.
Known particularly for the activities of big cats and wild dog, this critical corridor between the Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park is sure to deliver incredible safari moments for you to capture on film or video. Elephants in massive herds roam freely and might just steal your heart.
A Ripple in Time & Space— On the salt pans of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, you might feel like you are not actually on Earth. The horizon stretches forever, and the stark environment seems devoid of life. That’s quite the opposite. Desert adapted wildlife survive here and with a little effort, you will come across many species in the area. Other highlights in this region are a stunning zebra migration across the Boteti River and Makgadikgadi to Nxai Pans. Research suggests that the zebras are genetically encoded with the migratory route between Chobe and Nxai Pans National Park…a 300-mile (500 km) journey. The fences that once blocked this route are being taken down and natural migration patterns are returning. You could also walk with the San people conjuring up images of a simpler time; hunting in the bush, sitting with the women and digging for root vegetables and precious water. Share their stories and hear of their lives connected with the land.
A Watery Wilderness — This inland delta is a natural masterpiece and we get a glimpse of just one brushstroke. The massive system of lagoons, canals, and marshes dotted with day lilies, hippos, and crocodiles is unlike anything you have ever seen or will see. The islands that the delta creates seasonally are full of big game—elephants, leopard, red lechwe, lion and more. In the delta you investigate by traditional dugout canoe called mokoro, flat-bottomed skiffs, 4×4 vehicles or on foot. Through careful management, camps and lodges are spread out through the landscape ensuring that you see a lot of wildlife but not a lot of other people. This is the serene soul of Botswana sprawling beneath an endless sky.
Hidden gem— In the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, sharing an unfenced border with wilderness areas in South Africa and Zimbabwe, is Mashatu, the Land of Giants. This property offers a secluded bush experience to visitors where they can get out on foot, by bicycle, sit in a photographic hide or saddle up a horse to go in search of wildlife and the small wonders that are revealed when you leave your 4×4 behind. Of course, game drives are available at Mashatu and they are simply spectacular. Open plains, grasslands, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshlands and majestic sandstone ridges play host to dozens of species of animals and over 350 species of birds. If this isn’t enough to entice you, learn about our ancestors at an archaeological site known as the Mmamagwa Ruins nearby or spend some time in a field-guide training course on the reserve.
Need to know
Flights into Maun or Kasane are typically routed through Johannesburg or Cape Town via European gateways like Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, and Zurich.
We advise spending at least four days if you are combining Botswana with another safari location in Southern Africa. You could easily spend up to two weeks exploring Botswana as your sole destination.
Botswana is a sure bet for any type of safari seeker. Safari rookies will be pros by the time they depart, and the pros will be impressed how Botswana stacks up against other experiences. Those celebrating a milestone or special occasion will find a multitude of places to book exclusively for their festivities.
Visas are not required for most visitors, but inoculations may be recommended. We suggest you see a travel medicine specialist for advice.
Distances between remote properties are best covered by an extensive charter flight network. Please note these are small planes with strict weight requirements, you should be aware of that and comfortable in small spaces.
Tswana is the official language of Botswana, but you will find English widely spoken throughout the country.
Guiding is of a very high standard in Botswana and walking guides require extra training.
Like everything else in Botswana, you will find excellent international cuisine from the chefs throughout your safari.
When to go
Botswana enjoys good wildlife viewing throughout the year despite some changes in weather. Like most desert nations, during the dry season temperatures can be extreme in both directions—quite cold (40s F/ 10-12 C) in the mornings/evenings and very hot (high 90s F/ mid-30s C) during the daytime.
In the milder green season, temperatures in the mornings are warmer but it remains quite hot during the day.
May – October: This is the long dry season and best viewing conditions with short grass. Wildlife congregate around water sources. You may want a beanie, warm jacket, and gloves from June through August! Guests can expect cold mornings and cool evenings until September. In October, the heat can build in the wilderness areas. Depending on levels, floodwaters in the Delta can peak in July and begin retreating through February. This is peak travel season for visitors.
November-April: This is typically the rainy or ‘green’ season, when the heat breaks, the landscapes are lush with long grass and skies dramatic with billowing clouds. Wildlife is a bit more dispersed and some road conditions can be muddy. Expect showers in the morning with clearing in the afternoon before clouds roll in again for heavier rains in the evening. In the Delta, flood waters typically arrive beginning in May through July. This season is best for landscape photographers and bird watchers.
Botswana is best known for small, intimate camps and lodges of a very high standard. The Okavango is dotted with everything from the crème de la crème of exclusive camps to more moderate lodges which may appeal to more mainstream travelers.
With such a varied choice for private bookings at boutique properties, families and small groups love Botswana. Honeymooners will delight with the romantic sleep-outs and private services throughout the country. Every property booked on a Rothschild Safari is vetted by staff and offer the highest standards in each category.
What our travelers say
Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing.
We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome!
Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.
It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.
My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.
Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding.
On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.
Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted!
Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.
Mary & Rob Johannigman (and family)
It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.