Wildlife safaris in Botswana

Best wildlife safaris in Botswana

Botswana's wildlife safaris are perhaps the best in Africa: the vast reserves are usually un-fenced, so the wildlife runs free between them; many areas are private, guaranteeing truly exclusive wildlife safaris; and at their heart that the Okavango Delta is one of the world's most amazing environments.

We're sometimes asked what the 'Best wildlife safari in Botswana' is - and then the answer depends on what you want to see on safari. A few common requests are:

  • Lion: top of many lists, and seen frequently from almost all the camps. Huge black-maned lions are a real attraction in the Kalahari.
  • Leopard: mainly nocturnal, so best seek them on private concessions, which offer 4WD night safaris.
  • Cheetah: occur across Botswana, but are never common. Your best chances are around the Xakanaxa area and the private reserves north and north-west of there: Kwara, Vumbura, Kwando and Selinda.
  • Wild dogs: need vast areas to hunt, and Botswana has probably Africa's best remaining population of them. Found across Botswana, but for your best chances of seeing them, head for the Linyanti, Selinda, Kwando, Kwara and Vumbura reserves.
  • Elephant: occur throughout northern Botswana, gathering in their greatest concentrations at the end of the dry season, beside rivers like the Chobe, the Kwando and the Linyanti. When wet they disperse into the mopane woodlands and Kalahari bushveld.
Whatever wildlife you seek, Botswana's well-designed safari lodges offer luxury and exclusivity. Whether you're watching lions stalk their prey, or taking a magical mokoro trip along narrow, reed-lined channels, you're likely to see few other visitors. The birdlife can be spectacular and a wildlife safari here rarely disappoints.

Most of Botswana's camps and lodges offer great wildlife safaris. The few below stand out for being notable for one species or another. It's not an exhaustive list; look through our ideas below, then give our Botswana experts a call to learn more and plan a great holiday.

Our pick: the 20 best wildlife safaris in Botswana