Botswana

From the iconic watery landscape of the World Heritage Okavango Delta, to the coloured sands of the Kalahari, Botswana is the Africa of your dreams. Private concessions with wonderful small lodges restrict visitor numbers and protect prime swathes of wilderness where wildlife abounds. A trip combining land and water based safari reveals the true magic of Botswana – from the wide open plains of Chobe where elephant, buffalo and big cats can be seen, to the narrow channels and lush islands of the Delta, home to shy aquatic antelopes, the endangered African wild dog, and a myriad birds.

You'll find a useful guide to Botswana and its attractions at the bottom of this page, along with some sample safari journeys with guide prices. These journeys are there to inspire you and give you a starting point. It is important to emphasise that all our private safaris are tailor-made - there are many different combinations possible - please do ask us for a quote based on your preferences.

Why Real Africa? We remain true to our roots - small, specialist and committed to conservation. We're dedicated to offering you a personal service and all-round quality experience - something we've been doing for over 16 years now. You won't find the same expertise on the high street.

8 days
From £3,975
AndBeyond Chobe & the Delta

Stylish safari to Botswana staying at &Beyond camps in Chobe and the Okavango

10 days
From £2,925
Chobe, Victoria Falls and Hwange

Safari in Botswana's Chobe, Zimbabwe's Hwange and relax at wonderful Victoria Falls all in one holiday. Option to experience several important conservation projects.

10 days
From £4,140
Chobe, Victoria Falls and Hwange in style

A fabulous three centre safari staying at small exclusive properties and incorporating wildlife conservation experiences.

6 days
From £1,590
Classic Botswana: Chobe & the Falls

This classic short Botswana safari to Chobe National Park works perfectly with Victoria Falls

7 days
From £2,315
Classic Okavango Safari

Explore different regions of Botswana's Okavango Delta including Moremi Game Reserve on this wonderful Ker & Downey fly-in safari

7 days
From £2,625
Desert & Delta Rhino Friendly safari to Botswana

Superb safari to Botswana combining three diverse areas: Makgadikgadi Pans, Savute and the Okavango and supporting the work of Rhino Conservation Botswana

7 days
From £8,220
Explorers against Extinction Botswana Wild Rhino Luxury Safari

Stay at famous Wilderness camps in the Okavango Delta while enjoying a behind the scenes glimpse at rhino conservation

7 days
From £2,350
Family Okavango Explorer

An exciting family holiday combining Moremi and the Okavango staying at Desert & Delta camps

9 days
From £4,250
Golden Africa: Botswana Mobile Safari

A fabulous 8 night small group mobile safari visiting Khwai in the NE Okavango, Xobega Island and Moremi.

7 days
From £2,595
Kwando Five Rivers

Special Green Season safari to Botswana from Kwando - choose from eight incredible safari camps/lodges

8 days
From £3,810
Sanctuary Botswana Explorers against Extinction Safari

Visit Chobe, the Okavango and Victoria Falls on this wonderful seven night Botswana & Zambia safari

5 days
From £2,860
Selinda Adventure Trail

Explore the remote waterways and islands of the Selinda Spillway by canoe and on foot

7 days
From £7,795
Ultimate Botswana

Combining the Okavango and remote Selinda, this safari incorporates Botswana's most famous properties

12 days
From £3,935
Ultimate Southern Africa: Three Countries

Embrace the explorer in you with this three centre trip which includes Victoria Falls, a safari in Botswana's Chobe and Cape Town

7 days
From £5,330
Wild Botswana

Pure safari magic with six nights at Wilderness Camps in the Okavango and Linyanti

Attractions in Botswana

Chobe National Park

120,000 elephants roam Chobe – more than anywhere else in the world. It is during the dry season in particular that Chobe impresses, with vast herds congregating at the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers. The Chobe riverfront is the most accessible safari area, reached easily by road from Kasane. Safari boats ply the river while huge herds of elephant, buffalo, lechwe and puku gather on the banks.

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Attractions in Botswana

Kalahari Salt Pans

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa. As the traditional home of the San Bushman, the CKGR has been off limits for 30 years but now restricted development has allowed two lodges deep within this special reserve – Kalahari Plains and Tau Pan. Deception Valley is a highlight, coming to life after the Green Season rains.

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Attractions in Botswana

Moremi Game Reserve

A watery wilderness within the Okavango Delta, studded by islands and teeming with big game. Exceptional lodges and expert guiding ensure a safari to remember.

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Attractions in Botswana

The Okavango Delta

As the world's largest inland delta the Okavango offers a unique wildlife spectacle. Rain falling in the mountains of Angola reach the Delta in May, morphing the landscape. Swamps, plains and forests laced by papyrus edged channels are home to 122 species of mammals, 71 species of fish, 444 species of birds, 64 species of reptiles and 1300 species of flowering plant.

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Map

Camps
Attractions

When To Go

Botswana is a year-round destination with three distinct seasons.

  • The Green summer season (December to March) is wet and warm and a time when young are born, migrant birds arrive and the landscape is lush and beautiful. This is also the optimum time in the desert salt pans as game heads south in search of water. There are many good deals to be had at this time of year although it is important to note that some camps close for annual maintenance.
  • The Dry winter months (June to October) are characterised by warm days, cold nights and large herds gathering around water sources - this is the optimum time in the Okavango, Moremi and Chobe when the greatest concentration and variety of wildlife can be seen and prices are at their peak.
  • The remaining months are classed as the shoulder season (April, May, November)- a time of transition between seasons where you should expect the unexpected.  

December to March – The Green Season

Botswana’s summer season is when most rain falls. As its name suggests, the landscape comes alive as plants sprout and grow and flowers bloom. Because the floodplains of the Delta are still comparatively empty, they become vibrant meadows of green offering excellent feeding to the grazing animals. Morning game drives are pleasantly warm and the heat of the day can be enjoyed from the shade of your veranda or by the pool. The rain tends to fall in thunderstorms and downpours created by the heat, a spectacular and dramatic end to the day.

Camps in the heart of the Delta will still be surrounded by permanent lagoons, giving the true Okavango Delta, but in other areas the floodplains will be dry and offer a different game-viewing experience. In the Kalahari it’s a wonderful time, with dry rivers starting to flow, bringing life to the arid ground. 

It is during this period that most animals give birth, giving their young the chance to adapt to life while there is an abundance of water and food. This offers the chance not only to see many young, but also the predators who are on the lookout for an easy meal. It’s also an excellent time for bird watching, with many species nesting and fledging their young.

The other advantage of the Green Season is price, allowing you to stay in some truly memorable camps at a price greatly reduced from the peak season. 

 

Shoulder season: April- May / November

It takes several months after the rains start for the waters to fill the Delta. Most of it travels down from the Angolan Highlands. In April and May the rains have stopped, and the floodplains have started to fill up. It is a time of transition - temperatures start to tumble and migratory birds move on. In certain places the game starts to congregate in areas where they know there will be water.

Early November is the opposite. Temperatures reach their peak and everything is at its driest. Large herds are still in evidence as everyone waits for the rains to arrive. Many camps and lodges will have suspended boat activities depending on water levels in the Delta.

The Dry season: June – October

This is Botswana’s winter - a dry, cool period. By June, known as 'high water month', the newly fallen rain has found its way down through the labyrinth of channels and lagoons and filled the Delta to its maximum. Here it stays, the Okavango being the largest river in the world that does not flow into the sea. The landscape is as you image the Okavango to be; vast areas of wetland, with islands and a unique ecosystem of animals, birds, reptiles and fish. The game congregates around its edge. In other areas, such as Linyanti, the vegetation is either grazed or dies back, offering great sightings of the animals including the main predators and especially the wild dog which den during the dry season months.

In summary, the Dry season is coolest and when the Okavango is at its fullest. The Green season is the warmest and wettest, but offers the best photographic light and shows Botswana at its most lush and beautiful. The shoulder months are times of transition, offering a little of both. 

What To Do

Botswana offers a vast amount of space and a variety of ways to explore from 4x4 safari and bush walking to canoe and horseback safari. Being more than twice the size of the UK but with a population of under two million, you'll find plenty of wilderness.

Much of Botswana's land comprises of harsh, inhospitable terrains of desert and arid plains but there is also plenty of habitats that are home to a vast array of African wildlife and some fascinating cultures. 

Botswana's unique attraction is the Okavango Delta and the stunning safari opportunities it offers. The vast majority of visitors will plan to stay at least a few nights in the Delta. The Delta is formed by the Okavango River, which rises in the Angolan Heights before flowing into Northern Botswana. Here it becomes trapped in low-lying areas and the waters slowly evaporate and soak away in the burning sun. It is the largest river in the world not to flow into the sea and instead its waters create an incredible network of lagoons, channels, marshes and wetlands.

The waters are at their peak during the dry season from June onwards, as by then the water has meandered its way down through the channels to reach the floodplains and grasslands. Even during the summer, however, there is plenty of water in the permanent Delta, many camps sitting year round on islands in the lagoons. With the water comes a huge array of colourful flora, which in turn attracts a huge variety of animals and birds. It is a landscape unique to Botswana and a must visit on any safari holiday there. To get the most from your holiday we recommend combining different areas - those surrounded by deep water, as well as the wide open plains. This will offer you the opportunity to see how diverse the wildlife is. 

The best way to explore the watery channels  is by "mokoro", a traditional local canoe hollowed out of the trunk of a single tree. Most camps within the Delta offer game-viewing by mokoro, each punted along by expert handlers. It is also a perfect place to go on a walking safari. There is lots to see and nothing brings Botswana alive more than a walk through its wilderness escorted by an expert guide.

Around the Delta itself are other areas and private concessions that form part of the greater Okavango ecosystem. Moremi, Selinda and Linyanti all offer excellent game-viewing and allowing you to combe the watery environment of the Delta with the open grasslands of Chobe.

Another world-famous attraction in Botswana is Chobe National Park, located in the North East of the country. This area of wilderness, fed by waters of the Chobe river is home to some of the largest elephant herds in Africa, often over 100 strong. You can enjoy safari here also by boat, although because of the rivers deeper waters it tend to be by electric boat. As well as several lovely lodges on the banks of the river, Real Africa offers smaller more remote camps as well as a small, exclusive riverboat that cruises the river.

In complete contrast to these areas is the Kalahari, a huge area of desert, famous for its harsh landscapes, dry rivers and fossil beds. Game-viewing is combined with enjoying landscapes, Namibia-style, and it offers a completely different insight into this amazing country. It is the second largest nature reserve in the World and home to the San, the bushmen, who still wander its lands as nomadic hunters. We recommend that our clients visiting Botswana visit the Central Kalahari to appreciate the incredible contrast between here and the lush wetlands to the north.

Why We Love

Botswana is a premier safari destination offering a great diversity of wildlife and activities. Because much of the land is protected or divided into private concessions visitor numbers are carefully monitored. Many camps tend to be accessible only by light aircraft flight, occupying truly stunniing, often remote locations.  Camps are small, catering for only a handful of guests at a time and as such the overall safari experience feels very personalised, special and exclusive.

Botswana lends itself perfectly to a dream safari holiday - you can explore several different habitats like the Okavango, the desert pans and Chobe before relaxing at a river lodge near Victoria Falls, a perfect place to start or end your adventure. 

There are many different circuit suggestions but the beauty of a tailor-made itinerary is that you can build, with our help, the trip to suit you.