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elephants walk across the wetlands of botswana

7 Best Places to Visit in Botswana

From private game reserves to national parks brimming with wildlife and more...
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Written by
Jody van Merode, Iain McConachie & Angela Thomas

If you’re in the mood for thrilling safaris, breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled luxury, allow us to suggest a trip to Botswana. Set in the heart of Southern Africa, this fascinating country is full of unique destinations to explore and activities to experience.

To help you plan the adventure of a lifetime, we’ve put together this list of our favourite places to go in Botswana – plus some ideas for what to do in each.

1. The Outstanding Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s best wildlife habitats. During the dry season, its vast plains are flooded by the Okavango River, transforming it into an irresistible attraction for animals in search of water. This makes it an unbeatable spot for seeing wildlife, from rare birds to iconic megafauna. 

Mokoro and elephant in Okavango Delta

It’s worth spending a few days here to really take advantage of every opportunity. One day you can glide slowly through the Delta’s intricate waterways in a traditional mokoro, getting up close and personal with its intriguing ecosystem. The next day, you can take to the skies for a spectacular hot air balloon ride to get a birds-eye view of this incredible landscape.

2. The Gorgeous Moremi Game Reserve

The Moremi Game Reserve is located within the Okavango Delta, but it deserves special mention for the incredible beauty and biodiversity it contains. Set in the central and eastern part of the Delta, it comprises everything from lagoons and waterways to floodplains and forests – not to mention the legendary Chief’s Island.

Zebra close view in the Moremi Game Reserve (Okavango River Delta), National Park, Botswana

Moremi is a prime place to see Africa’s most famous predators, with an abundance of lions, leopards, hyenas and other species. It’s also home to a large population of endangered wild dogs and more than 500 types of winged wildlife, making it an excellent spot for birdwatching.

Camp on the edge of waterways on the okavango delta, Moremi private reserve

3. The Magnificent Mombo Concession

Often called the ‘predator capital of Africa’, the Mombo Concession is located on the northwest end of Chief’s Island within the Moremi Game Reserve. This is the core of the Okavango Delta, offering the best opportunities to see the Big Five as well as countless other species. 

Leopard lies in a tree in the Moremi Private Reserve

The concession is home to two legendary camps: Mombo Camp and Little Mombo. Both are renowned for their exceptional luxury, impeccable service and exclusive access to the very best experiences that Botswana has to offer. They’re also committed to conservation and sustainability; they rely largely on solar power and run various environmental projects.

 

Game viewing on safari at Mombo

4. The Alluring Linyanti

Just above the northern border of the Okavango Delta, you’ll find Linyanti: a land of lagoons, riverine forests and wide-open plains. Often overshadowed by its well-known neighbour, this area provides equally abundant wildlife and natural beauty, with a fraction of the visitors. It’s a truly remote and unspoiled part of Botswana. 

 

hippos in the savuti channel, linyanti

The private reserves in this area help to protect its biodiversity and keep habitats intact. Linyanti – and much of the rest of the country – used to be filled with trophy hunters. But today it’s been transformed into a haven of conservation, thanks in large part to the efforts of reserves like these. 

You can see this work up close at DumaTau and its sister camp, Little DumaTau. Both camps offer opportunities to explore the surroundings on land or by water, with daily game drives, walking safaris and boat trips. They also provide access to the nearby Savuti Channel.

Antelope jump across the waterways and lagoons of the Linyanti

5. The Fascinating Chobe National Park

Chobe is located right at the northern edge of Botswana, close to the spectacular Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. But it’s got its own claim to fame: the massive herds of elephants and buffalo that congregate on the banks of the Chobe River. If you’re hoping to see these impressive animals up close, this is the place for you. 

Elephants in Chobe National Park in the Chobe River as photographers get very close by boat to photograph them

Chobe National Park is a fairly popular destination, so it’s important to plan your trip carefully. You can stay at a mobile camp that moves along with the animals, or a super remote luxury lodge. Either way, make sure to take a river cruise to observe elephants from  a privileged position on the water – preferably at sunset. 

Elephants in Chobe National Park

6. The Untouched Kalahari Desert

Most people have heard of the Kalahari, but very few have had the privilege of seeing it first-hand. In fact, its sheer inaccessibility is part of what makes it so special. This wild land of rolling plains, grasslands and valleys is populated by a fantastic array of wildlife. Here you can see everything from gemsbok and giraffes to lions and leopards.

gemsbock and spring at Kalahari Plains Camp, Kalahari Desert

In addition to exciting safaris and nature walks, the Kalahari is a perfect place to experience local culture. It’s home to the San, an indigenous group who are descendants of some of Africa’s earliest inhabitants. You can learn about their ancient culture and ways of life by meeting them in person on their ancestral land.

 

7. The Stark Salt Pans of Makgadikgadi

In the centre of the Kalahari, there’s a place unlike any other in Botswana: Makgadikgadi. This isn’t exactly an ideal destination for game viewing, but its striking landscape more than merits a visit. It consists of vast and empty salt pans, with nothing but scattered rocks and baobab trees to break up the view. 

Apart from taking in this eerily peaceful environment, you can also discover the history of the San people at archaeological sites. Hop on a quad bike to speed across the flat terrain, encountering ancient fossil beds and uniquely adapted creatures like meerkats and hyenas along the way. For the full experience, spend a few nights in one of San Camp’s elegant tents.

Quad bikes across the Salt Pans of Makgadikgadi

Where to Stay in Botswana

Here's a selection of some of our favourite camps in Botswana

Get in touch to start planning your adventure to Botswana

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