COMPLETE BOTSWANA SAFARI GUIDE: FROM CHOBE NATIONAL PARK TO OKAVANGO DELTA AND ALL BETWEEN
Safari in Botswana is on many travelers’ bucket lists. Exploring the vast wilderness and diverse wildlife, from Chobe National Park to the Okavango Delta, and everything between, provides the opportunity to experience some of the best African safaris.
BOTSWANA SAFARI – ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR GAME RESERVES IN BOTSWANA
I have been on other safaris in Africa, but Botswana safari is on another level. The beauty, scale, and diversity of Botswana will definitely take your breath away.
While the Chobe National Park is the focal point for the greatest concentration of elephants on the Planet, the Okavango Delta offers unmissable experiences on this mosaic of wetlands. Plus you have many other safaris in Botswana to explore, such as Savuti, Moremi, and Kalahari, and they are all different in their own way, and you are about to find out more about it.
I explored Botswana on a self-drive safari. I rented a 4×4 with a tent on top and drove to the most remote areas of Botswana, uncovering each corner I could. I am here now to share my experience and all I have learned from this incredible adventure.
Enjoy this guide of everything you should know about a safari in Botswana and safe travels!
- COMPLETE BOTSWANA SAFARI GUIDE: FROM CHOBE NATIONAL PARK TO OKAVANGO DELTA AND ALL BETWEEN
- BOTSWANA SAFARI – ULTIMATE GUIDE FOR GAME RESERVES IN BOTSWANA
- BOTSWANA SAFARI ORIENTATION AND MAP
- BOTSWANA SAFARI & THE UNIQUE TOURISM IN BOTSWANA
- BOTSWANA SAFARI ESSENTIALS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR TRIP
- CHOBE NATIONAL PARK SAFARI
- OKAVANGO DELTA SAFARI
- MOREMI GAME RESERVE
- CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
- PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR A SAFARI IN BOTSWANA
- TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES
- PLANNING A TRIP TO BOTSWANA
- BEST TIME TO VISIT BOTSWANA
- ACCOMMODATION IN BOTSWANA
- AIRPORTS IN BOTSWANA
- BORDERS OF BOTSWANA
- RENTING A CAR IN BOTSWANA
- TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR YOUR TRIP TO BOTSWANA
- ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR YOUR TRIP TO BOTSWANA
BONUS RESOURCES: In this Botswana Safari Guide, you can find all the best tips and practical information you need. In the end, you can find a bonus section for all the TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES you need to plan and book your Botswana safari, and to make your experience is as easy, safe, and fun as possible.
Botswana Safari- PIN IT FOR LATER!
BOTSWANA SAFARI ORIENTATION AND MAP
If you are wondering where Botswana is located, this is a great start for you. Botswana is one of Africa’s landlocked countries, located in the southwest part of the African continent. It is surrounded by four countries:
- Namibia to the West and North
- South Africa to the South
- Zimbabwe to the East
- Zambia in the Northeast shares a tiny section of its borders (about 156 metres or 171 yards)
Botswana covers 581,730 square kilometers (224,610 square miles) – an area larger than California, but smaller than Texas; larger than France but smaller than Ukraine. Botswana is the 48th largest country in the world, area-wise. The capital of Botswana is Gaborone.
BOTSWANA SAFARI & THE UNIQUE TOURISM IN BOTSWANA
I will start by sharing this very important information about traveling to Botswana!
Botswana has a very unique tourism industry, based on a sustainable tourism model. Botswana relies on a low-volume high-revenue tourism strategy, and it serves as an example all over Africa and the Planet. In other words, it is not cheap to visit Botswana!
The business model in Botswana helps the local economy and assists with keeping balance in the fragile ecosystem controlling the number of tourists. Higher prices help to support this sustainable system of tourism in Botswana.
INDEPENDENT TRIP: If you choose to travel independently to Botswana, keep in mind that the planning will take time and (a lot of) patience. It took me about 3 months of hard work to plan my itinerary in Botswana, especially, booking the campsites. Communication with Botswana is challenging and it may take days, or even weeks to get a response. Plus, consider that you will be driving in very remote and isolated areas. You will need to have some basic mechanical skills (changing tires), and experience driving off-road (mud, deep sand, crossing water, etc.).
TAILOR-MADE TRIP: A popular alternative for visiting Botswana is to hire an expert local company. They can incorporate any destination into your travels or even any animal species that you hope to see. You can create a bespoke itinerary, and design your ultimate safari to match your interest, budget, and travel dates. I highly recommend Wild Wonderful World, as they put together incredible itineraries, and part of the profits are used on amazing conservation efforts in Africa.
Got inspired to visit Botswana? I have great news for you! Readers of Paula Pins the Planet can get a very special price. Request it below to receive your PROMO CODE direct to your email.
BOTSWANA SAFARI ESSENTIALS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Camping in Botswana: I highly recommend you to read the 28 Things you need to know before you go wild camping in Botswana – you will find all the practical information you need to travel safely.
Self-Drive in Botswana: If you are planning to self-drive in Botswana you need to be self-sufficient. Keep in mind that you will need to rent a 4×4 fully equipped, have experience driving off-road, some knowledge of GPS coordinates, and some basic mechanical skills – Thanks to my husband who developed all experience driving off-road in the military, we were able to do this trip independently.
Here are some Rules and Regulations of the National Parks and Game Reserves in Botswana:
- GATE HOURS: March-September 6:00 a.m to 6:30 p.m. | October-February 5:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m.
- PERMITS: Entry to the National Parks is allowed by permit only. These permits are available at the park or reserve entrance gate or in advance from the Reservation Office.
- SPEED LIMIT: The maximum speed limit within a park or reserve is 40 kph.
- NIGHT DRIVING: Strictly prohibited. It is allowed to drive in the campsites only.
- DISTURBING THE ANIMALS: Visitors may not harass or feed the animals, as this can lead to human habituation and will result in animals being put down.
- PETS: No dog or any other domesticated animal are allowed within the Parks and Reserves.
- DRONE: The use of drones is strictly against the law and offenders will be fined.
- VISITORS BEHAVIOR: Visitors are required to conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner at all times whilst within a protected area. Visitors should be considerate of others by only spending a shorter time at predator sightings when there are other vehicles in the area that are waiting to view.
- MALARIA AREA: Botswana is a malaria area, please consult your doctor before traveling.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK SAFARI
Chobe National Park can be divided into four sections, which I will describe below each one of these sections in detail:
- Chobe River Front,
Chobe forms a “bridge” between the Okavango Delta and the Victoria Falls area in Zimbabwe/Zambia. It’s famed for its incredible herds of elephants – nowhere else on the Planet has a higher concentration of these remarkable creatures.
The park is an amazing place to see wildlife, and honestly, it has been the most I have seen wild animals. I recommend having at least 3 days here, as there is so much to see and explore.
If you are planning to do Chobe self-drive safari, it is easy to plan and to drive around.
There are many operators running drives from Kasane (closest town) and you can also take a boat cruise from there as well.
The Chobe Reserve was declared a non-hunting area in 1930. In 1967 it was declared a National Park, but it took 10 years to move all the settlements and industry out of the region.
The wildlife at Chobe National Park varies greatly from area to area – I recommend visiting different areas, as your experience on Botswana safaris will be extraordinarily exciting, and each area has its own characteristics.
CHOBE RIVER FRONT SAFARI
WILDLIFE: Elephants, you can see hundreds, if not, thousands in one day. African wild dog sightings are common while lions and leopards can often be spotted, but not guaranteed, I spent 2 days here and I didn’t see them. Birds along the river are superb, also with regular sightings of hippo and crocodiles.
HIGHLIGHTS: The world’s largest elephant population. Chobe can be explored by land or water, with boat cruises offering a unique perspective on life and alongside the river. When it comes to seeing wildlife in numbers, the Chobe is simply unbeatable, and it is very easy to spot animals.
HOW TO GET THERE: Chobe National Park is a great place to start your adventure in Botswana. If you are driving, it is close to the border with Namibia, or if you are flying to Botswana, it is close to Kasane International Airport.
ROAD CONDITIONS: Thick sand becomes a problem in the Chobe River Front during the dry months, particularly as the temperature rises and during the wet season the roads near the river become muddy.
WHERE TO STAY: Chobe River Front has a range of accommodation options, with a variety from campsites to luxury lodges. You can choose to camp inside the park, or outside the gate. Some lodges offer flights to the park.
CAMPSITE OPTION: I spent 2 nights at the Mwandi View Campsite in a private tent with a bathroom. They also offer homemade food, which is amazing, and there is a pool with a view of a pond where you can see many animals going to drink water at night. It was a phenomenal experience in general, and they are only 11 miles from the gate into Chobe.
LODGE OPTION 1: The Residence Kazungula is a marvelous guest house located in Kasane, with free Wi-Fi, parking on-site, a complete kitchen, and a pool. They can also arrange a variety of activities including game drives, boat cruises, and day trips to Victoria Falls.
LODGE OPTION 2: If you are looking for a great accommodation option, with a restaurant and breakfast included, free bikes, a swimming pool, and a bar, Tlouwana Camp is the best option.
LODGE OPTION 3: The magnificent The Garden Lodge is situated in Kasane, only 3.7 miles from the Sedudu Gate at Chobe National Park. You can choose to camp inside the park, or outside the gate.
WILDLIFE: Rare antelope species such as Roan, Tsessebe as Sable are often seen here, as well as Brown hyena and leopards.
HIGHLIGHTS: Nogatsaa area is rarely visited because of the isolated location, therefore you will probably be alone at any sightings. The pans are the main attraction here so spend some time watching herds of elephants and impala feeding on the rich vegetation and drinking their fill of cool water.
HOW TO GET THERE: Once leaving the tar road from Kasane, you will drive through thick sand for the first 20 km before reaching a good sand road. The road from Pandamatenga to Phoha Gate is a good cut line road through the forest reserve.
ROAD CONDITIONS: The road to Nogatsaa is waterlogged during the wet months and very little of the road network can be driven at this time. During the dry months, game drives from one pan to the next are a pleasure on good roads with small thick sandy patches.
WHERE TO STAY: There is a lack of accommodation and campsites at Nogatsaa, and it is a long drive from Kasane and Savuti. The closest camping are in Kasane or Pandamatenga.
KASANE OPTION: Providing lake views, Nogatsaa Pans Lodge in Kasane provides accommodations, a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace. The lodge features both WiFi and private parking free of charge.
PANDAMATENGA OPTION: Located in the pristine Kazuma Forest Reserve in the Chobe region of Botswana, it is the amazing Camp Kusuma. It features spa facilities and an outdoor pool overlooking a regularly frequented waterhole and open plains of the Kazuma Pans.
WILDLIFE: Savuti is renowned for masses of the game when herds of zebra, blue wildebeest, and buffalo arrive after their annual migration, attracting large numbers of lions, and is a great place to see the endangered African wild dog along with common mammals like giraffes, warthog, kudu, waterbuck, and impala.
HIGHLIGHTS: Savuti was my personal preference for a safari during my trip to Botswana. Besides the great game viewing, Savuti has its own unique scenery and interesting attractions such as the Baobab Gallery and rock paintings.
HOW TO GET THERE: There is a good tar road from Maun (South to North) for the first 60 km changing to a decent gravel road all the way to the Mababe Gate, although, the driving is slow with many sandy patches on the road. Driving from Chobe (North to South) you will follow the dirt and sand paths/trails across remote stretches of wilderness.
ROAD CONDITIONS: Savuti roads, mainly the western Sandridge Road from Mababe Gate and the roads both north and south of the Savuti Channel are typically thick sand and tricky to drive, When it rains you cannot drive along the marsh roads as the wet black cotton soil becomes completely unnavigable and you will get firmly stuck. The driving is slow, therefore allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, I had to stop twice to change tires on my way to Savuti.
WHERE TO STAY: Savuti campsite is laid out around a large elephant-proof ablution that the operators had to build because elephants reaching for water broke the infrastructure. The campsites are operated by SKL. There are two luxury tented Camps inside Savuti – Savuti Safari Lodge and Savuti Elephant Lodge. North of Savuti and close to Ghoha Gate you will find Ghoha Hills Lodge.
CAMPSITE OPTION: I spent 2 nights at the Savuti Camp. All 14 campsites lie under shady trees while some have a view of the Savuti Channel. There is a large elephant-proof ablution with shared bathrooms and showers. The campsite is operated by SKL Camps.
LODGE OPTION: If you are looking for a lodge at Savuti, Ghoha Hills Savuti has accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking for guests who drive. There’s a fully equipped private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. The lodge offers a continental or buffet breakfast.
WILDLIFE: Birding is excellent and elephants love this area along the waterways. There is a profusion of baboons and vervet monkeys beside the river and when driving, look out for leopard.
HIGHLIGHTS: Situated on the Linyanti River, this area is heavily wooded and almost forest-like, providing different game viewing experiences. There are not many game drive roads to cover, which gives the opportunity to slowly navigate the routes and investigate interesting sightings.
HOW TO GET THERE: The Linyanti, up against the border with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, is a region delineated by the last wrinkles of the Great Rift Valley which runs down through Africa. There is thick sand on the access road from Ghoha Gate and especially if driving from Kasane via Kachekau.
ROAD CONDITIONS: There is a very small network of game drive roads in Linyanti. The roads are sandy in places, and driving is slow, allow additional travel time as the going on this road is very slow.
WHERE TO STAY: SKL Camps operate Linyanti Campsite with 5 campsites spots, and Camp Linyanti is a luxury tented lodge on the banks of the Linyanti River.
CAMP OPTION: Camp Linyanti is located deep in the north-western corner of the Chobe National Park, on the river border between Botswana and Namibia. One of the celebrated features of this camp is its private location, its own wilderness situated away from the seasonal crowds of the Chobe River.
LODGE OPTION: Located in Linyanti, the Wilderness Safaris Savuti Camp offers luxury accommodations, with a swimming pool, free Wi-Fi, and a private terrace
OKAVANGO DELTA SAFARI
Okavango Delta is the jewel in the crown of safaris in Botswana. With hundreds of streams originating in the highlands of Angola some 1000 km to the North, all converging from the tranquil Okavango River.
Declared a World Heritage Site in 2014, Okavango is simply an experience not to be missed during your Botswana safari trip adventure.
Okavango is a true oasis situated in the middle of the largest stretch of continuous sand in the world, the Kalahari basin. So, in the other worlds, Okavango is a Delta within a Desert.
WILDLIFE: A large variety of species are found within the delta including African Bush Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Lechwe, Topi, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Nile crocodile, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Brown Hyena, Spotted Hyena, Greater Kudu, Sable Antelope, Black Rhinoceros, White Rhinoceros, Plains Zebra, Warthog, and Chacma Baboon. In addition to the large animals, the Okavango Delta also supports over 500 species of birds and 85 recorded species of fish including Tigerfish, Tilapia, and Catfish.
HIGHLIGHTS: There is nowhere else in the world like the Okavango. The landscape at Okavango Delta is stunning. You can explore safaris by land, water, or air. Don’t miss the opportunity to go on a mokoro boat tour. A mixed safari is recommended as the Okavango is probably the best in Africa for water-based safari and there are also great walking and riding options.
HOW TO GET THERE: The Okavango Delta is situated in the northwestern corner of Botswana, and are called Ngamiland. The Delta and surrounding wildlife areas have been divided into Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). The only public roads in the Okavango Delta are the western and eastern sides of the Panhandle and Moremi Game Reserve. By airplane, normally included if you are staying in any of the lodges.
ROAD CONDITIONS: The only public roads in the Okavango Delta are the western and eastern sides of the Panhandle and Moremi Game Reserve. The tarred road on the western side of the Panhandle is currently very bad, full of potholes. The road on the eastern side is graveled but gives way to the bush road in place.
WHERE TO STAY: There are loads of safari camps and lodges in the Okavango Delta, ranging from budget campsites to luxury accommodations. You will need to decide what area you want to explore during your Botswana safari and choose your accommodations accordingly.
SHAKAWAE OPTION: Relatively small located on Shakawe at the riverside of Okavango, Xaro Lodge has outstanding views including of elephants and hippos on the river.
MAUN OPTION: The lodge is situated on a private reserve on the banks of the Thamalakane Royal Tree River is only 25-min from the iconic safari town of Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta with an abundance of wildlife.
SOUTH OKAVANGO OPTION: Omogolo Bush Lodges offers accommodations bordering the Okavango Delta. This 2-bedroom eco-friendly property features an elevated deck overlooking a natural waterhole.
MOREMI GAME RESERVE
More Game Reserve is simply one of the top wildlife destinations in Africa. It represents about one-third of the Okavango Delta – a renowned World Heritage Site, Moremi was once voted the best game reserve in Africa!
Moremi Game Reserve is the game-rich heart of the Delta. Just note that a Delta is difficult to get around so it can get expensive to go on safari here. In general, the further you go towards Moremi the more animals and the higher cost.
Moremi is located in the center of the Okavango Delta, completely buffered by wildlife management areas. It is safe haven where hunting is prohibited and the absence of fences allows free movements of game viewing.
WILDLIFE: It is one of the best places to see predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs,s and wild dogs. Hippos, elephants, and lechwes are abundant and easy to spot.
HIGHLIGHTS: A visit to Moremi is not completed without a boat ride, there are three places where you can do boat rides: Xakanaka, Third Bridge, and Mboma Island. I recommend going close to the sunset time, as the views are stunning.
HOW TO GET THERE: There is thick sand on the access road from Ghoha Gate and especially, if driving from Kasane via Kachekau.
ROAD CONDITIONS: All the roads are dirt roads or “bush roads” – not graveled. A 4×4 vehicle is absolutely essential.
WHERE TO STAY: There are 4 campsites inside Moremi – Khwai, Maqwee, Third Bridge, and Xakanaka – and some campsites on the boundaries: You can check my 10-day Botswana itinerary to see how I planned to visit different parts of Moremi and where I stayed. Lodges are located inside and outside Moremi Game Reserve.
CAMPSITES OPTION: During my self-drive in Botswana I drove to different parts of Moremi Game Reserve and stayed at Khwai, Xakanaka and Third Bridge Campsites. They are operated by different private operators and you will need to book direct with them.
KHWAI OPTION: A superb option to stay at Khwai is O Bona Moremi Safari Lodge – All meals, drinks and laundry are included. Each tent room features a patio with outdoor furniture, with full bathroom and outdoor shower.
KHWAI OPTION: Located in Khwai, another stunning place to stay is Khwai Villa – All accommodations come with a balcony with riverviews, kitchen and private bathroom.
CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE
The Central Kalahari Game Reserve covers some 10% of Botswana and is bigger than the Netherlands. It’s one of Africa’s largest protected areas and provides a marked contrast to the wetlands of the Okavango Delta further north.
The Cental Kalhari is home to a wealth of specially adapted wildlife. The desert literally comes to life after the summer rains – from January to April, thousands of springbok and gemsbok gather to enjoy the green flush. This in turn provides opportunities for cheetah and the iconic black-maned Kalahari lion.
The ancient dunes and dry river valleys shelter rares animals, such as aardvark and pangolin, and many smaller predators like the legendary honey badger.
WILDLIFE: There is not much to eat nor much water, so the animals are widely spread. But if you are seeking adventure during your Botswana safari trip and have patience, you will bump some waterholes. Some of the residents of Kalahari are oryx, springbok, white rhino, wildebeest, and ground squirrels. Lion, cheetah, and even leopards can survive here, and if you are lucky, you can spot them.
HIGHLIGHTS: This is the best place in Africa for a self-drive safari and it is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. During the rains (Nov-April), the desert comes to life, with huge herds of plains game followed by predators large and small, resulting in some of the best summer wildlife viewings in Botswana.
HOW TO GET THERE: The Central Kalahari is only accessible by 4WD vehicle and you need be completely self-sufficient to drive here. They won’t let you through the gate if you aren’t. If you want to do some Trans-Kalahari travel, the drive between Khutse (in the south) and the northern section of the Central can only be taken with a minimum of two 4×4 vehicles for safety, and the drive is long, taking 2-days.
ROAD CONDITIONS: All the roads are dirt roads or “bush roads” – not graveled. A 4×4 vehicle is absolutely essential.
WHERE TO STAY: There are only two private, permanent camps inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, though mobile safaris are also a fantastic way to explore the reserve and you can check options on this map. If you are planning to go wild camping, you will first need to check with the company that manages the sites for their availability
LODGE OPTION 1: Surrounded by an African bush, with a swimming pool and terrace, Haina Kalahari offers tented accommodations on the Northern border of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
LODGE OPTION 2: Located at Nokaning, The Lodge Feline Fields offers luxury accommodation with pool, restaurant, fitness center and spa.
PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR A SAFARI IN BOTSWANA
You will be traveling to a very remote part of the world. It is so remote that you might not see other people for a few days. Be prepared for the unexpected. Here is a list of some things I recommend to pack for your Botswana safari trip:
- GPS and a good Botswana map.
- Extra flash lights and batteries
- A well-equipped First Aid kit (including a snake bite kit)
- Rehydration solution
- A day bakcpack
- Satellite phone
- Inflatable LED Solar Lantern.
- Bring a warm blanket for cold nights.
- Camera and safari lens
- Hat and sunglasses
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Emergency water supply
TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES
PLANNING A TRIP TO BOTSWANA
If you are going to travel to Botswana, pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for in a destination will help make your travels far more successful and safe. Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your self-drive safari in Botswana itinerary.
Visit my Botswana Travel Guide for more information about your trip to Botswana.
Check my 10-Day Self-Drive Safari itinerary for all the day-by-day details about my trip to Botswana.
If you are planning to go wild camping, read about my experience Sleeping under the stars in Botswana to find out what to expect.
I have prepared a very complete guide of 28 things you need to know before you go camping in Botswana – and I strongly recommend you to read this before your trip.
If you are combining your Botswana trip with Namibia, check my Namibia self-drive road trip Itinerary.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BOTSWANA
The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season between May and October when you can expect warm, sunny days (22°C-35°C) and chilly nights. This is also when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, creating the waterways and channels Botswana is famed for.
The green season – from November to April – is a great time to travel if you don’t mind the odd shower. Visitor numbers and prices are lower, the scenery pops with verdant foliage, and animals give birth to their young.
ACCOMMODATION IN BOTSWANA
Keep in mind that booking wild campsites in Botswana is extremely challenging and requires lots of patience and persistence.
The campsites in Botswana are run by different private operators, The gates and reception have booking agents, but I strongly advise you to reserve your accommodation before your trip to Botswana, as the number of campsites is limited. You will be turned away if no space is available, and you will have a long trip back to the nearest town.
Things in Botswana move much more slowly than I am used to. The booking in Botswana is a very manual process, still, carbon copy receipt based rather than Internet bookings. Please read everything you should know before you go camping in Botswana before you make any reservations.
If it doesn’t seem worth the trouble to you, you can always hire a third-party company to handle the booking for you – if you need any recommendations or have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will be happy to help.
If you are planning to stay at lodges, Booking.com is the best option as it is a reliable source and they have a 24-hour cancellation policy that I have used several times.
AIRPORTS IN BOTSWANA
Botswana’s main airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE), located 11km/7miles north of Gaborone, the capital.
If you are flying from South Africa, you can take a direct flight from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB), Johannesburg, or Cape Town International Airport (CPT).
It is also common to fly into Maun Airport (MUB) and Kasana Airport (BBK). When combining a safari in Botswana with a visit to Victoria Falls, it is common to fly into Maun and depart from Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) in Zimbabwe or Livingstone Airport (LVI) in Zambia. Flights to Botswana Deals
BORDERS OF BOTSWANA
Botswana is bounded by Namibia to the west and north (the Caprivi Strip), Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, and South Africa to the southeast and south. The Zambezi River border with Zambia is only several hundred yards long. The point at which the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet in the middle of the river has never been precisely determined.
RENTING A CAR IN BOTSWANA
You will need to have a 4×4 vehicle to go on a self-drive safari in Botswana, either if you decide to go with a tour operator, or if you decide to go on an independent adventure.
If you are arriving in Botswana and starting your drive, I recommend renting a car with Rental Car, as they have access to cars from all the major companies which are compared on a grid format that clearly displays the prices from each provider. Click on the bottom below to get the best deals on rental cars in Botswana.
If you are driving from Namibia, readers of this blog have a great discount with Zambezi Car Rental.
I have great news for you! Paula Pins the Planet readers get a special offer for a 4×4 Car Rental in Namibia. Request your special price below, and I will send you an awesome Promo Code.
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR YOUR TRIP TO BOTSWANA
Please, do not take the risk to travel to Africa without travel insurance, stuff happens and travel insurance is absolutely essential for a Botswana self-drive safari.
Considering that anything can go wrong with any trip, we don’t want to risk the fun, right? Risks are of breaking down, losing your luggage, or even worse, having an accident and getting injured.
I recommend and also use reliable insurance through World Nomads. You can just do a quick quote below, and you will be surprised to find out how little it can cost, for the benefit you will get.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR YOUR TRIP TO BOTSWANA
- Currency: The local currency in Botswana is Pula. They widely accepted South African Rand. You can use an ATM in one of the main towns. Always carry money with you, as most places do not accept credit cards.
- Fuel: on long drives pick up fuel regularly in the major towns as there can be long distances between stations.
- Supplies: snack and drinks are available at most of the fuel stops and the bigger towns had a well-stocked Spar Supermarket.
- Maps/GPS: Download maps onto your phone which can be accessed offline. Also, keep a paper map in the glove box just in case!
- SIM cards: it’s easy to pick up a pay as you go SIM in the airports as well as local mobile network stores.
- Internet: If you are planning to go on a mobile camp safari, note that you won’t have access to the internet. I spent 10 days in Botswana without internet access.
MY PACKING TOP PICKS