It really is a zoo out there

Ever wanted to watch migrating zebras run across the African plains or feel dwarfed as a herd of elephants passes you on the highway? On safari in Botswana, experience the brilliance of the natural world up close as you fill up your camera roll with exotic wildlife, beautiful sunsets and the breathtaking natural landscape of Africa. With some of the world's most renowned game reserves such as Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, Botswana has a spectacular variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and aquatic life that call it home. So grab your binoculars, keep the lens off your camera and buckle in because you're not going to want to miss a second.

Our Botswana safari tours

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Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

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Highlights of Botswana safari tours

A bloat of hippos swimming in Chobe River, Botswana

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park is probably what you picture when someone says 'safari in Africa'. Located near the Okavango Delta, the park sits alongside the Chobe River and is home to what is thought to be the largest concentration of African elephants in the world. The majestic mammals often come to drink and bathe in the waters alongside other wildlife friends (and foes) including the cape buffalo, impala, hippos, lions, leopards and cheetahs. There are so many ways to spend your time here. Go on a 4x4 game drive, hop on a sunset cruise along Chobe River or simply sit back and listen to the noises of the great outdoors.

A mob of meerkats seen on safari in Africa

Makgadikgadi Pans

Get a first-hand glance at one of the largest salt pans in the world in what used to be Lake Makgadikgadi. The Makgadikgadi Pans are a beautiful mixture of baobab trees, salt flats and grassy plains, best explored in a 4x4. However, if the scenery alone doesn't tempt you, then hopefully you’re more swayed by its residents. Arguably the cutest animal on safari, the meerkat is native to the Ntwetwe salt pan and is often found huddling in mobs by the sand dunes. You'll also be among some of the world's largest animals such as elephants and giraffes as well as some of its pinkest as the area is home to a flamboyance of flamingoes.

A zebra among the grass in Botswana

Boteti River

The Boteti River is a must for die-hard zebra lovers as over 25,000 zebras are known to migrate here from the neighbouring game park. Due to the numbers and their stripey coats, it’s likely you’ll see them if you’re there in the migrating season. Since the Boteti River is the only permanent water source in the area, there’s always likely to be a number of animals perusing its shores. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re more interested in the prey or the predators, you’ll likely see them all. Find leafy-green eaters such as giraffes, springboks and oryx enjoying the lush vegetation and the toothy species, namely the lions, cheetahs and wild dogs, lurking hungrily nearby.

An Rhino adult and calf in the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Botswana

Khama Rhino Sanctuary

While not quite as fanciful as their mythical cousins the unicorn, rhinoceros sightings are almost as rare these days due to their near-extinct status. Luckily, places like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary have homed and rehabilitated rhinos since 1992 and are now home to both black and white rhino residents. The sanctuary has a successful breeding program and is protected with anti-poaching patrols. The continuing goal for the KRS is to reintroduce as many rhinos as possible back into their natural wild habitats, so visiting this amazing place is definitely worth the animal sightings, not to mention supporting their mission.

FAQs

Winter (April through August) is a good time to visit Botswana. The days are usually mild and wildlife is generally quite easy to spot. The summer can bring frequent rain, which can make it difficult to travel around some of the national parks. Wildlife also tends to disperse during the summer rains, making animals a little harder to spot.

Read more about the best time to visit Botswana

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

Australia: No visa required

Belgium: No visa required

Canada: No visa required

Germany: No visa required

Ireland: Yes - visa required

Netherlands: No visa required

New Zealand: No visa required

South Africa: No visa required

Switzerland: No visa required

United Kingdom: No visa required

USA: No visa required

Citizens of countries not listed above, including most EU countries, should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. For passengers requiring a visa to Botswana, application forms can be downloaded from the Botswana Government website, as well as instructions for applying.

Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificate:

A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through Botswana, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival. Please note this also includes transiting through an infected country or region.

Children travelling to Botswana:

Please note that if you’re travelling to Botswana with a person under the age of 18 then you need to provide a certified copy of the child’s full unabridged birth certificate in order to enter the country (the one listing the child’s details and both parents’ details. - the short birth certificate which only lists the child’s details won’t be accepted).

Additionally, if the child is travelling with only one parent, with neither biological parent, or is unaccompanied, then they must provide an affidavit of consent of the parent(s) that are not travelling, to prove that the trip is made with both parents' consent. Please contact your nearest Botswanan Embassy if you have further questions regarding this.

Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Botswana. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found, some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Some of the top animals to see in Botswana include the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, black rhino and buffalo) as well as giraffes, antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, hippos and crocodiles.

You will be able to find ATMs in the big cities, airports and regional towns of Botswana. Rural areas, national parks and small villages will have limited to no ATMs, so be sure to carry other payment options before travelling out of the big cities.

Read more about Botswana