Six of Botswana's Best Safari Destinations

We visited Botswana in May 2018 – when the landscapes were only just starting to dry up after a very wet rainy season. As such, some areas – such as the Linyanti – were still extremely dense with vegetation, making game-viewing a bit of a challenge. If you’re a keen wildlife lover and only have a few weeks up your sleeve around this time of year, here are six of our favourite safari destinations in Botswana (in no particular order).

Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Thousands of zebra and hundreds of wildebeest migrate into this reserve after the rainy season, to graze on the sweet yellow grasses that carpet the salt-encrusted Makgadikgadi Pans. It’s the second largest land mammal migration on Earth – and unlike the Serengeti and Masai Mara, very few travellers even know about it. 

When we visited, we stayed at Meno a Kwena and Camp Kalahari

Another highlight: meerkats! Especially the semi-habituated ones who are bold enough to use human visitors as a lookout.

Chobe Riverfront

The banks of the broad, beautiful Chobe River are arguably the best places in Botswana to observe the country’s many elephants and so much more. A late afternoon boat cruise uncovers incredible birdlife, from colourful bee-eaters to majestic African Fish Eagles, while getting you closer to both land and water mammals than you could ever get in a vehicle. The only downside to this region is how busy it is relative to other parts of Botswana due to ease of accessibility, but if you time your boat cruise right (i.e. early afternoon, a couple of hours before sundowner cruises depart), you’ll have the river virtually to yourself.

There are many lodges in Kasane; we stayed at Muchenje Campsite.


Up until a few years ago, a channel flowed into the Savuti. What’s left today is a muddy marsh and a few man-made waterholes, which support an amazing array of wildlife in an otherwise dry and inhospitable environment. Lodges in this isolated reserve are few and far between, while predators are plentiful so chances are high you’ll get great big cat viewing all to yourself.

We spent a night at Savuti SKL Campsite.

Khwai Community Concession

Another superb gameviewing area, where we saw leopards every day! The variety of species in Khwai will impress even the most seasoned safari-goer. Hippo are abundant in the many waterways, whilst this concession’s wide open landscapes ensure that the most iconic of African animals are also easily seen. Proceeds from tourism in Khwai get funnelled back into programs that benefit the community so it’s a win-win for tourists and locals alike.

We stayed at Hyena Pan

Moremi Game Reserve

Located at the edge of the Okavango Delta, this reserve is exceptionally scenic. You can cruise through a maze of reeds in a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) and also go on regular game drives. Because of tight restrictions on how many safari lodges can operate in this area, the Moremi feels very exclusive (especially compared to neighbouring Khwai), and its diverse landscapes means that visitors are often rewarded with great wildlife sightings.

We spent a night at North Gate Campsite and then enjoyed a couple of luxurious days at Camp Moremi.

Okavango Delta

To truly experience the magic of water in a desert, you have to spend at least two nights in the perennially flooded heart of the delta. Boat safaris reveal hundreds of smaller species that inhabit this fragile ecosystem, from tiny painted frogs to exquisite malachite kingfishers. Road-weary travellers will also appreciate the opportunity to walk on sandbars amongst warthog and antelope. Enjoy a swim, if you dare!

We explored this scenic area from Camp Okavango.

Something to keep in mind when driving in Botswana: distance is amplified due to poor roads, thick sand, wildlife (try telling a herd of buffalo to move on!) and lack of signage so if you’re self-driving, make sure you schedule lots of travel time in between destinations. Read this post for Botswana driving tips.

There are two other ways you can get around: a mobile safari (where a driver/guide transfers you by vehicle between destinations) and by flying (safari lodges will organise charter flights). Of course, these are considerably more expensive but much more convenient!