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Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana
Photography holidays in Botswana

Botswana photography safaris

Ideas for photography holidays in Botswana

Botswana is one of Africa's top safari destinations and also one of our key recommendations for a photography holiday. From birdlife to big game, the opportunities for wildlife photography in Botswana won't disappoint you!

Areas protected for wildlife conservation form almost 40% of the country and in the north of Botswana, the game roams freely between the huge national parks and the enormous private reserves. In all you'll find great photographic opportunities, but the private reserves offer the best because:

  • The guides can drive off-road in most of these, and so position you in the right light and at a good angle for the best pictures.
  • 4WD drives continue into dusk and night drives, and so allow you to make the most of the twilight to photograph those sought-after crepuscular animals. This time is especially productive if you’re looking for images of big cats hunting.
Botswana is seldom cheap, but for photographers whose budget is really flexible, it's often possible to pay extra for a private vehicle and guide, which gives you much greater exclusivity and control over exactly how and where you spend your photography time. It can also extend your shooting time, by giving you the opportunity to spend more of the day out with your guide looking for great shots.

Aside from its game, parts of Botswana are stunning: very photogenic. The Okavango Delta stands out for its patchwork of papyrus swamps, reed-beds, floodplains and small palm-fringed islands which all go to make it such a beautiful destination for a photography holiday. Botswana's Makgadikgadi Pans: the residues from an ancient lake, these vast salt-flats offer a complete contrast, forming the starkly beautiful backdrop to stands of swaying, feathery palms.

Cultural experiences attract some visitors to Botswana, and often their focus is the groups of the San / Bushmen people. Photographers are often fascinated by these hunter-gatherers, who live such different lives from our own, and in such a different environment. Meanwhile, at the Tsodilo Hills you can see ancient images carved and painted millennia ago: it is of the one of the greatest collections of San / Bushmen rock art in Africa. These stark hills, rising out of the flat desert, and adorned with ancient rock art are a great location for photographers.

As you look through some ideas of trips that might suit photographers, below, bear in mind that few are group trips led by photographers – but most are great safaris shared with others who love wildlife, and love to capture it on film.

Mombo Camp

The game densities, varied birdlife, fertile soils and classic Delta environments make Mombo an excellent place for photographers. Private vehicles are also available (at additional cost) allowing complete flexibility on where and when you want to go.

Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains is located on Botswana’s Kwedi Concession. The range of environments here are not only attractive in their own right but also draw large numbers of wildlife and birdlife. All this makes Vumbura a fantastic stop for photographers.

Zarafa Camp

Co-owned by wildlife filmmakers and photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Zarafa is one of the best camps for photographers in Botswana. A number of Canon 5D cameras are available for guests’ use and the guides are great at positioning for pictures.


Kwara Camp

The safari vehicles at Kwara have a roof-removal option, offering almost unobscured views and are ideal for a photographic safari in Botswana. Avid photographers can take a private vehicle/guide (at additional cost) for ultimate flexibility on activities.

Lagoon Camp

A private vehicle and guide is relatively inexpensive at Lagoon Camp, allowing avid photographers in Botswana the ultimate flexibility in focus and pace of game drives.


Savuti Camp

Two guides at Savuti (Grant and Kani) are both highly talented photographers in their own right (they were featured in the December / January 2010/11 issue of National Geographic). For keen photographers, being guided by two experts will be a real draw to Savuti.


Kwara Camp

The safari vehicles at Kwara have a roof-removal option, offering almost unobscured views and are ideal for a photographic safari in Botswana. Avid photographers can take a private vehicle/guide (at additional cost) for ultimate flexibility on activities.


Lagoon Camp

A private vehicle and guide is relatively inexpensive at Lagoon Camp, allowing avid photographers in Botswana the ultimate flexibility in focus and pace of game drives.


Selinda Camp

Part-owned by renowned film-makers and photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Selinda Camp is a great spot for photography in Botswana. The guides position vehicles to find the best angles and light, some will even give a little instruction if asked.


Shinde Camp

With four people per vehicle as standard, Shinde is ideal for both budding and more experienced photographers on safari in Botswana. Private vehicles are also available at an additional cost.


DumaTau

The safari vehicles used by DumaTau are open-sided, which is handy for wildlife photography. With a maximum of six guests per vehicle, all guests have a 'window' seat for a clearer view and the guides are usually adept at positioning the vehicle.


Savuti Camp

Two guides at Savuti (Grant and Kani) are both highly talented photographers in their own right (they were featured in the December / January 2010/11 issue of National Geographic). For keen photographers, being guided by two experts will be a real draw to Savuti.


Shinde Camp

With four people per vehicle as standard, Shinde is ideal for both budding and more experienced photographers on safari in Botswana. Private vehicles are also available at an additional cost.

Best camps & lodges for Photography holidays in Botswana


Savuti Camp

Savuti Camp

Two guides at Savuti (Grant and Kani) are both highly talented photographers in their own right (they were featured in the December / January 2010/11 issue of National Geographic). For keen photographers, being guided by two experts will be a real draw to Savuti.


97% (25 reviews)
Kwara Camp

Kwara Camp

The safari vehicles at Kwara have a roof-removal option, offering almost unobscured views and are ideal for a photographic safari in Botswana. Avid photographers can take a private vehicle/guide (at additional cost) for ultimate flexibility on activities.


93% (224 reviews)
Selinda Camp

Selinda Camp

Part-owned by renowned film-makers and photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Selinda Camp is a great spot for photography in Botswana. The guides position vehicles to find the best angles and light, some will even give a little instruction if asked.


96% (67 reviews)
Zarafa Camp

Zarafa Camp

Co-owned by wildlife filmmakers and photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Zarafa is one of the best camps for photographers in Botswana. A number of Canon 5D cameras are available for guests’ use and the guides are great at positioning for pictures.


100% (19 reviews)
Mombo Camp

Mombo Camp

The game densities, varied birdlife, fertile soils and classic Delta environments make Mombo an excellent place for photographers. Private vehicles are also available (at additional cost) allowing complete flexibility on where and when you want to go.


100% (12 reviews)
DumaTau Camp

DumaTau

The safari vehicles used by DumaTau are open-sided, which is handy for wildlife photography. With a maximum of six guests per vehicle, all guests have a 'window' seat for a clearer view and the guides are usually adept at positioning the vehicle.


95% (52 reviews)
Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains

Vumbura Plains is located on Botswana’s Kwedi Concession. The range of environments here are not only attractive in their own right but also draw large numbers of wildlife and birdlife. All this makes Vumbura a fantastic stop for photographers.


96% (37 reviews)
Shinde Footsteps

Shinde Footsteps

With the diversity of activities in camp, and varied wildlife and environments, plus a dedicated photo-editing suite, Shinde Footsteps is a brilliant option for a safari with a focus on photography in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.


98% (48 reviews)
Shinde Camp

Shinde Camp

With four people per vehicle as standard, Shinde is ideal for both budding and more experienced photographers on safari in Botswana. Private vehicles are also available at an additional cost.


94% (101 reviews)
Meno A Kwena

Meno A Kwena

Standing high above the Boteti River, Meno A Kwena has a cool and well-situated hide which makes a good spot for keen photographers to take unobtrusive pictures of busy wildlife scenes.


83% (13 reviews)
Lagoon Camp

Lagoon Camp

A private vehicle and guide is relatively inexpensive at Lagoon Camp, allowing avid photographers in Botswana the ultimate flexibility in focus and pace of game drives.


95% (269 reviews)

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Where to photograph African wildlife

Maximise your chances of being ably to photograph your favourite species using sightings reports from the field.


Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

81% SUCCESS

3,116 sightings from 3,847 observations

Where to see lion in Botswana

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

47% SUCCESS

2,000 sightings from 4,275 observations

Where to see leopard in Botswana

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

33% SUCCESS

1,070 sightings from 3,276 observations

Where to see cheetah in Botswana

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

32% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 2,855 observations

Where to see wild dog in Botswana

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

55% SUCCESS

2,225 sightings from 4,067 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Botswana

Brown Hyena

Brown Hyena

Parahyaena brunnea

This largely solitary scavenger is one of the more elusive and little-known of Africa’s carnivores. Shaggier than its spotted cousin, it occurs only in the arid southwest of the continent.

16% SUCCESS

250 sightings from 1,580 observations

Where to see brown hyena in Botswana

Meerkat

Meerkat

Suricata suricatta

These highly sociable little mammals have an endearing appearance and comical antics. Found in the drier areas of Southern Africa, close encounters are a sought-after experience.

21% SUCCESS

90 sightings from 428 observations

Where to see meerkat in Botswana

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

3,739 sightings from 4,119 observations

Where to see elephant in Botswana

Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

2,638 sightings from 3,185 observations

Where to see buffalo in Botswana

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

86% SUCCESS

3,607 sightings from 4,199 observations

Where to see giraffe in Botswana

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

2,733 sightings from 3,061 observations

Where to see hippo in Botswana

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

30% SUCCESS

635 sightings from 2,104 observations

Where to see black rhino in Botswana

White Rhino

White Rhino

Ceratotherium simum

The white rhino is the largest and most numerous of the world’s five rhinoceros species. They are larger, easier to see and generally more approachable than the black rhino.

43% SUCCESS

510 sightings from 1,174 observations

Where to see white rhino in Botswana

Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

69% SUCCESS

1,366 sightings from 1,968 observations

Where to see oryx in Botswana

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

49% SUCCESS

1,493 sightings from 3,059 observations

Where to see eland in Botswana

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

24% SUCCESS

495 sightings from 2,103 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Botswana

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

23% SUCCESS

474 sightings from 2,102 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Botswana

Sitatunga

Sitatunga

Tragelaphus spekii

The sitatunga is the most aquatic of Africa’s antelopes and specially adapted to its swampy habitats. Though widespread across Africa, only a handful of places offer reliable sightings.

19% SUCCESS

64 sightings from 345 observations

Where to see sitatunga in Botswana

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

68% SUCCESS

2,554 sightings from 3,779 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Botswana

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

3,942 sightings from 4,691 observations

Where to see zebra in Botswana

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

57 sightings from 3,432 observations

Where to see pangolin in Botswana

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

2% SUCCESS

73 sightings from 3,421 observations

Where to see aardvark in Botswana

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Need inspiration?

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