Many people are drawn to Botswana as a destination because everything is on such an overwhelming scale with: the Okavango Delta, the biggest inland delta in the world and magnet for wildlife; enormous herds of wildlife, including the world's largest elephant population and a migrant population of over 120,000; the great Kalahari Desert, host to a number of intriguing creatures adapted to their harsh environment; the Tsolido Hills, the richest rock art site in Africa and over 4,000 catalogued paintings; and lastly nearly 600 bird species to be seen across the country, most notably around the spectacular Makgadikgadi Pans during the rainy season and water birds migration. BUT one must not forget the true beauty of Botswana lies mainly in the fact that, due to one of the lowest population densities in the world and its exclusive tourism policy, all this amazing wilderness and culture remains largely unspoilt! Why not look at our recommendations on places to stay below...BUT don't forget that we can arrange accommodation anywhere, just contact our dedicated Seyexclusive team.
Jao camp can be found at the heart of the Okavango Delta, on a large, remote island in a private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. Depending on the Delta flood levels, Jao Camp offers both land and water experiences (including the charming mokoros), with varied landscape surrounding it, from waterways and lagoons to dry Kalahari grasslands. The Camps 9 individually crafted, luxurious, en-suite canvas and thatched tents, including 2 honeymoon tents and 1 family tent, are built on raised decks with wonderful views of the surrounding floodplains. In addition the camp boasts a lounge with children's entertainment area, dining area, library, wine cellar, slide projector and 2 swimming pools.
Mombo Camp can be found in the infamous Okavango Delta. It sits overlooking a wonderful floodplain, teaming with wildlife, on little Mombo Island, just off the northern tip of Chief's Island. The area sports both huge concentrations of plains game (e.g. zebra and buffalo) and their predators including: lion, leopard, cheetah and the wild dog! Indeed some would argue that Mombo Camp lies in the best big game viewing area in Botswana. Birding is also fantastic here year round. The camps 9 spacious en-suite tents are raised two metres off the ground, with breathtaking views over the plains. The main living and dining area are under thatch but there is a more traditional boma for delicious dinners under the stars!
Situated in a private concession, in the extreme north of the Okavango Delta, Vumbura Plains is a luxury camp. The 130,000 acre private concession includes a wide variety of habitats and therefore gives guests access, by both and land and water activities, to spectacularly diverse wildlife and birdlife! The camp is comprised of two separate satellite camps: South Vumbura, with 7 en-suite tents, including a honeymoon tent; and North Vumbura, with 8 en-suite tents, including 2 family tents and another honeymoon tent. Each camp has its own dining, lounge and bar area beneath a cool canopy of trees and with views across the floodplains. The rooms are uniquely designed, spacious and raised on wooden decks, each with their own lounge, "sala", and private swimming pool.
"Abu Camp is home to the original elephant back safari in Africa, allowing guests the extraordinary privilege of becoming part of an elephant family by riding atop members of the resident herd and watching, at close quarters, the interaction between these magnificent animals and their offspring with other wildlife of the Okavango," (Wilderness Safaris, 2008). Abu's elephants are all rescued from zoos and culling exercises. Although conventional methods of travel are available by land (land rover) and water (mokoro) the elephant back safari is often described as "the ultimate safari!" The camp itself lies in an ancient riverine forest in the western part of the Okavango Delta. Each of the 5 stylish, custom built, en-suite tents, has its own tree shaded deck overlooking the large lagoon. Sundowners around a traditional campfire are followed by 5 star meals in a dining tent with breathtaking views over the same lagoon.
Zarafa Camp, located in the eastern area of the Selinda Reserve, is reminiscent of the old style safari camps with just 4 large, luxuriously appointed tents and a main area under canvas. Accommodating 8 guests at a maximum, the camp can place its emphasis on individual hospitality and privacy. Each marquis-style guest tent lies raised under the shady trees, and is comprised of: a bedroom, en-suite with copper bath, lounge and private pool. The whole camp is positioned overlooking the Zibadianja Lagoon, largest of the Linyanti water bodies, source to the Savute Channel, and magnet to an abundance of wildlife. However, Zarafa's claim to fame is not just its style and wonderful wildlife BUT that it is totally "green!" It is the first luxury camp to rely completely on solar power without any generator! At Zarafa you can truly hear the call of the wild!
Chitabe Camp can be found in a private concession on a beautiful island in the south-east Okavango Delta. With the Moremi Game Reserve bordering north and south, and all the classic Okavango habitats: shallow waterways, dry acacia woodland and open grasslands, there is wildlife and birdlife in abundance. The camps 8 spacious, all canvas, Meru-style, luxury tents, including 1 king-sized honeymoon tent, sit on elevated wooden decks amongst the trees. The standard en-suite tents have twin beds, in addition to an outdoor shower and deck area overlooking the flood plains. The raised, thatched communal area too provides excellent views of the local game! Guests can also experience a "sleep out" under the stars in full comfort and safety at either of the 2 elevated hides in the reserve.
Duba Plains is a small, intimate camp located in a private 30,000 hectare concession known as the Kwedi Reserve. It is one of the Okavango Delta's most remote camps, sat on an island surrounded by expansive seasonally flooded plains and shaded by tall trees. Duba was the setting for a National Geographic documentary on the classic lion and buffalo interaction unique in the area BUT also has large concentrations of the great hippo and elephant, as well as varied and impressive birdlife including wattled cranes! Accommodation consists of 6 roomy en-suite tents, including 1 king-sized bedded honeymoon tent, with outside showers and verandas overlooking the floodplain. Also raised and complete with stunning views are the camps communal dining, bar and pool area!
DumaTau means 'roar of the lion,' yet really its high concentrations of elephant and just outstanding wildlife in general that the area is renowned for. The camp lies in the vast Linyanti Concession in northern Botswana, located close to the source of the Savute Channel, surrounded by the waterways which are a magnet to a plethora of wildlife! Guests are accommodated in 10 tented rooms under thatch, including 1 family unit and 1 king-size bedded honeymoon tent, with en-suite facilities including outdoor showers and fantastic views over the lagoon! The communal areas include dining room, bar, lounge, camp fire, open dining deck and pool with a swing-bed sala. There are also a number of platforms and hides for guests to enjoy viewing and photographing the local wildlife!
Selinda Camp can be found in the 1350km square unfenced Selinda Reserve, an all year round wildlife viewing destination with: large concentrations of both plains game like buffalo and zebra; their predators like the lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog; and excellent birding! The camp overlooks the Selinda Spillway, a unique seasonal waterway linking the Okavango Delta to the floodplains of the Linyanti marshes. The 8 large, luxury Chobe-style en-suite tents, including a family unit, are raised on wooden decks, under thatch, with wonderfully clear views out onto the wildlife filled floodplains. The main camp area, also raised on wooden decking and under thatch, offers both indoor and "under-the-stars" dining. In addition the camp boasts a reading area/ photo-art gallery, climate controlled wine cellar, craft shop and traditional campfire!
The Kalahari Plains camp is located in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the largest conservation area in Botswana, and at 12 million acres, one of the largest in the world! This beautiful desert biome is famed for its outstanding wildlife, with vast herds of antelope, great numbers of predators, including the legendary black-maned lions, meerkats and the largest concentration of cheetahs in southern Africa, as well as 220 species of bird. The 10 raised canvas en-suite tents, including 2 family tents, are situated on a low sandy ridge on the edge of a typical Kalahari pan, just 20km from Deception Valley. Each tent has its own veranda and additional magical star bed above, in which to sleep out under and enjoy the night skies!
Botswana offers exceptional wildlife and game viewing all year round. BUT it is important to take note that certain seasons are ideal for special interest travellers. The birding season runs from Nov-Mar when the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pans are home to the many migratory birds during their breeding season. The botanical season runs from Dec - May when the vegetation is lush and green, and also when most plants are in flower. Photography is fantastic year-round, BUT depending on what your main interests are note: the scenery is perhaps most amazing from Sept - Feb during the first rains; and wildlifephotography is best in the winter months from May - Sept when the vegetation is less dense and game viewing is generally more prolific.
High Season Jul - Oct: Due to the low number of rooms in most of the Botswana lodges and camps, availability is at a premium over this time, so it is essential to book well in advance.
Shoulder season May - Jun: This is also a ‘busy time’ in Botswana’s national parks and reserves.
RAINY SEASON Sept - Apr: Less popular time to visit Botswana due to the rains that cause the animals to disperse over wider areas and not around the water holes. It also causes some roads to be inaccessible due to the seasonal high waters of the Okavango Delta. On the plus side there is excellent for birding around Makgadikgadi Pans & Okavango Delta.
WINTER/DRY SEASON May -Sept: Excellent game viewing & wildlife photography