When planning your Botswana safari, there are a few points to take into consideration:
• When would you like to go on safari and for how long?
• What type of activities are you interested in?
• What animals would you like to see?
• What areas are you interested in?
• What would you like to spend?
• Do you prefer comfortable, luxury or premier accommodation?
• What ages and level of fitness are the people travelling?
Which camps do I choose?
Various factors can play a role when choosing camps for your safari. Your budget, your choice of activities and the areas you would like to visit. The activities that you are interested in will most probably determine your choice of camps; whether it may be big game, birding, walking, water activities or small game. It is always advisable to choose camps which can offer you a combination of activities. Here is a list of the typical split of water activities to land activities in the greater Okavango Delta Area
How do I choose which camps to visit?
There is quite a variety, but basically you should try and spend a minimum of 2-3 nights at 2-3 different camps in Botswana. For example you should try and combine a water based & land/mixed based camp in the Okavango Delta, and then also a dry Savute/Linyanti or Chobe camp. This will give you an overall impression of the beauties of Botswana’s wildlife areas.
How to get the most out of your safari to Botswana
The key to a successful Botswana safari is to ensure that the company you choose is truly capable of providing you with what you are looking for in terms of the overall safari experience. The reserves in which the lodges and camps are situated, the wildlife viewing opportunities, the design and style of the camps and most importantly the knowledge and quality of the guides and staff should all be taken into account. The following factors play an important role and you need to keep them in mind when planning your safari.
Location of camps in Botswana
Make sure you know exactly where the camps are situated that you will be visiting. Is it a game rich area? Is it a private concession or do you need to go on a long unproductive transfer before you enter a game rich area? When going out on a safari activity, animal viewing should start immediately as you leave the camp. Long distances shouldn’t have to be covered in order to have rewarding wildlife encounters.
Make sure that the camps and lodges you will be visiting are small and intimate in order to provide you with a unique and personal safari experience. You do not want to be surrounded by loads of safari vehicles and noisy tourists.
This is a very personal choice, some guests prefer to stay in lodges that can accommodate up to a 100 guests, in our opinion, the guest whose prime object is a wildlife experience, peace and tranquillity will often opt for the smaller more intimate camps offering a personalized service and safari experience.
Possibly one of the most important aspects to a successful and rewarding safari experience is the quality of your guide. They will be able to interpret and show you many of the amazing secrets that nature has hidden. Guides that are in tune with their environment often have a sixth sense and know how to seek out and present various wildlife experiences. They will often know their area intimately and the various habitats that animals frequent.
An enthusiastic guide will share knowledge of the many uses of plants, the amazing life of insects, snakes and soils. A good guide will be your host, field guide, teacher, chauffeur, medic, navigator, conservationist, chaperone, protector, counsel, interpreter and friend. Your whole safari experience can be heightened by your guide! It can also be destroyed if you end up with a disinterested and boring guide, seeking only a tip at the end.
When booking your safari, ask many questions as to the standards of guide that you will have in each camp. Some guests may opt for their own private guide and vehicle for the duration of a safari. This type of guide normally comes highly recommended and will often be very professional in the treatment of guests, their needs and aspirations.
Getting To The Start Point Of Your Safari In Botswana
The start and end point of most safaris in Botswana is either Maun Airport or Kasane Airport. Some visitors also start in Victoria Falls and take an easy 2 hour drive to Kasane in Botswana.
South African Airways and Air Botswana offers daily scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Maun and Kasane. Air Namibia also flies between Windhoek (Namibia) and Maun.
Clients wanting to visit Victoria Falls as an add on, either before or after their Botswana safari, have the option of flying from Johannesburg to either of Livingstone or Victoria Falls as well. Kasane is located about a 1.5 hour drive or 20 minute flight from Livingstone and Victoria Falls.
Getting to the camps from Maun or Kasane
Upon arrival in Maun Airport or Kasane Airport, you will be met in the Arrivals Hall and assist to your light aircraft transfer to your first camp, by your air transfer company
Botswana’s safari camps are very remote, and therefore access to most of the camps is via light aircraft transfers only. There are two types of light aircraft transfers that are used in Botswana, private or shared. When booking a private air transfer, your group will have exclusive use of the aircraft. When booking a shared air transfer, guests share the aircraft with other guests on safari. Unless specifically requested, we will automatically book you onto the shared air transfer. As these air transfers are shared they may entail stopping at other airstrips for other guests.