Botswana - Best Tours & Trips 2019
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- Spend 2 nights on a houseboat as your base for exploring the Okavango Delta
- Drive through the Elephant Highway between Nata & Kasane
- Relax on a sunset cruise along the Chobe River spotting bird life and hippos and watch the sunset with a sundowner in hand
- Feel the raw power of mighty Victoria Falls
- Learn more about the Kalahari from the knowledgeable San people as they sing and dance by the campfire
- Head out on a morning game drive in open 4WDs in the Chobe National Park
- Explore the Makgadikgadi Pans; scenery, sundowners, Baobabs and Meerkats!
- The thundering victoria falls is one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders, a phenomenon of sight and sound. then return to the victoria falls safari lodge, our feature stay on this trip, for views over their watering hole.
- Visit the victoria falls wildlife trust to learn about the rehabilitation of wildlife from conflict and poaching and have the possibility of meeting some rescued or orphaned wildlife currently in their care.
- A morning game drive in the chobe national park get you up close and personal with gnus, zebras and other wondrous wildlife.
- Head out on an afternoon excursion to the makgadikgadi pans, looking out for meerkats and meandering elephants, and enjoy a sundowner in the shadow of an old baobab tree.
- Enjoy dinner as you watch the sunset from the deck of your houseboat on the okavango delta.
- Riding a traditional dugout canoe along the okavango delta is but one of many ways you'll experience the ambience of this beautiful waterscape.
- Learn more about the kalahari from the knowledgeable san people as they sing and dance with you by the campfire.
- Gliding along the Okavango Delta waterways in Mokoro canoes and wild camping in the wetlands
- The other-worldly silent beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pan
- Good chances of seeing both Africa’s emblematic wildlife as well as some of its lesser species
- Game viewing by foot, by safari vehicle and by boat
- The mighty Victoria Falls
- Track the big five
- Feel the mist of victoria falls
- Cruise the chobe river at sunset
- Camp in african wilderness
- Meet the san bushmen
- Get your heart pumping with adrenaline activities
- Soak up cape town's culture
- Enjoy game drive in Chobe National Park, the second-largest (and first-established) national park in the country.
- Visitors have experienced the spectacular sighting of a zebra migration
- Chance to see magnificent elephants, in addition to zebra, Cape buffalo, hippo, and crocodile.
- See a variety of birdlife, including the vibrantly plumed lilac-breasted roller and the similarly striking pygmy goose (actually a species of duck).
- See herds of buffalo, sable antelope, kudu, and elephant.
- Enjoy viewing the greatest diversity of mammals in Zambia, with 55 large mammal species, including six varieties of large cat
- Enjoying Kafue River views at leisure
- Outstanding area of African bush country boasts plentiful wildlife
- Enjoy a walk through Chinotimba township
- Visit the largest curtain of water in the world
- Feel the pulse of the African bush during carefree mobile camping in Botswana.
- See how the rains shape the wildlife action in the Kalahari Desert.
- Experience the Okavango Delta at Moremi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Feel the roar of Victoria Falls, the world’s largest sheet of falling water.
- Explore predator rich areas to photograph Leopard in trees and resting Lion prides.
- Track and photograph a habituated Meerkat family.
- Experience world-class river safari on mighty Chobe River
- The Zambezi Queen offers cruises beside Botswana's Chobe National Park
- Enjoy game drives in Selinda Reserve
- Discover Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most amazing, sensitive and complex environments supporting a spectacle of wilderness and wildlife
- Feel the spray of the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls and learn about its discovery by David Livingstone.
- Learn about local conservation efforts as you meet schoolchildren and villagers.
- Camp under the stars in Hemingway-style tents along the Okavango Delta.
- Support local conservation by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside
- Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you’ll never forget. As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else
- Get acquainted with the fine art of 'poling' as you ride a traditional dugout canoe through the lush waterways of the Okavango Delta
- Explore the magnificent Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, some of the largest salt flats in the world. These mind-bending plains make for some magical photography
- Go wildlife-spotting along the river at Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants
- With two nights at Victoria Falls, you'll get a proper view of this thundering spectacle, with additional time for optional adventures
- Camp in the okavango delta and track exotic wildlife
- View the mighty victoria falls
- Try to steer a mokoro canoe
- Camp under the stars
- Experience an abundance of bird and wildlife
- Visit Chobe National Park
- Opportunities to bird-watch, game-drive , do guided walks and star-gaze at Savuti
- Awesome walking safaris and guided canoeing you are able to experience an abundance of bird and wildlife
- Explore Cape Town is one of the world's most beautiful cities and a top international destination
- Visit Sabi Sands is South Africa's premier private game viewing destination
- See the natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction
- Enjoy boat cruise on the Chobe River, as well as daily game drives
- Enjoy boat cruises on the Chobe River, game drives, guided nature walks and tours of the local community
- Experience a completely unique Chobe river experience in this magnificent thatched luxury lodge
- Have a chance for bird watching, bush dining, specialist guides, star gazing, guided walks and the most phenomenal game drives.
- Explore Botswana safari in Chobe National Park
- Enjoy the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on quad bikes
- Opportunity to see natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction
- See the massive Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park
- Explore Zimbabwe
- Explore Chobe National Park
- Experience this unique and untouched ecosystem by boat, air or game vehicle
- Visit Okavango Delta
- Explore Makgadikgadi salt pans are dry most of the year but are sometimes seasonally covered with water and grasslands.
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Top Botswana Experiences
- Gliding through the reedy channels and past the islands of the Okavango Delta in a dugout canoe, known locally as a mokoro.
- Spotting rare birds in the northwest Panhandle area of the Okavango Delta, which harbors hundreds of exotic species.
- Taking a scenic plane ride over the Delta to be awed by its vast scope. Camping out under the stars on one of the Delta’s thousands of islands.
- Staying at a luxury lodge and being pampered in one of the many private reserves bordering the Delta’s Moremi Game Reserve.
- Joining a 4X4 game drive in search of Africa’s “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino) in Moremi Game Reserve.
- Marveling as herds of elephants, the greatest numbers in Africa, parade through Chobe National Park.
- Watching as lions and leopards battle buffalo or elephants on the plains or in the swamps in dramatic quests for survival.
- Experiencing the Kalahari Desert wilderness, unspoiled and dramatically beautiful. Enjoying the peace and tranquility of a night in one of the most remote corners of Africa.
Botswana Trip Reviews
308 Botswana Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend
Botswana Tours and Travel Guide
Botswana Attractions & Landmarks Guide
Landlocked Botswana, wedged between South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, is the home of one of the latest UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Okavango Delta, and has also gained worldwide recognition in the wake of the highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book and TV series. But for safari-goers, the Okavango Delta, which floods annually from June to October and attracts countless animals, is the biggest draw. If Botswana’s your number one safari choice, let Stride help match you to the guided trip that will introduce you to this remarkable destination, without the hassle.
Perhaps taking a cue from the crowded game parks of East Africa, Botswana has made it a national policy to limit mass tourism and, in so doing, caters primarily to upscale travelers. This doesn’t mean that budget travelers are completely locked out, but it does mean that prices are generally higher in Botswana than in many other safari regions. Politically, the sparsely populated country is stable and safe for travelers, and scenically, it remains mostly unspoiled wilderness; many of the game parks are unfenced, allowing animals to roam free. Conservation and the environment are taken seriously here, and eco-tourism is the watchword at Botswana’s excellent safari lodges.
Botswana is largely a desert country, and lacks a coastline, but it does harbor a remarkable water feature that’s one of Africa’s great natural wonders, the Okavango Delta. Each winter in northern Botswana, primarily in July and August, the Okavango River, swollen from the preceding rainy season, floods the delta, forming an unlikely oasis in the vast Kalahari Desert. The flood waters attract animals who gather in the hundreds of thousands to drink at this huge seasonal watering hole in the otherwise dry winter months.
Delta wildlife includes the Big Five -- Cape buffalo, lions, leopards, elephants, and both black and white rhinos, which are making a slow comeback here -- as well as hippos, giraffes, wildebeest,cheetahs, zebras, crocodiles, hyenas, antelopes, warthogs, baboons and more. In all, the delta harbors more than 120 species of mammals. Prolific bird life is a bonus: the delta harbors as many as 500 species.
While 4X4 game drives, walking safaris and night safaris are offered here, the ultimate treat is to travel through the delta’s narrow channels by traditional dugout canoe, known as a mokoro. Poled through the shallow water by experienced oarsmen, the mokoros glide slowly along, coming sometimes perilously close to hippos and crocodiles but providing otherwise unattainable photo ops. Motorized boats are also available for those nervous in a canoe, though you lose some of peace and tranquility.
Best Big Game Viewing
The Moremi Game Reserve, a national park located on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta, offers the best big game viewing in the area, and most guided trips combine it with visits to other parts of the delta. If it’s elephants in abundance that you seek, you’ll want to include nearby Chobe National Park on your itinerary. Chobe, which lies along the Zambezi, is elephant central in all of Africa, with great herds roaming the park. (Chobe’s Savuti channel is famous for its elephant-eating lions.)
To really get off the beaten track, head to arid southern Botswana, where the huge, uncrowded Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers a chance to view desert-adapted wildlife. The Kalahari’s enormous Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, shimmering white as far as the eye can see, are another attraction of this region. And in the far south of the country, near the South African border, the Mashatu Game Reserve, the largest private reserve in southern Africa, showcases lions, leopards and cheetahs.
Ready to make Botswana your safari choice? Let Stride help you sort through all the possibilities, to choose the guided trip that will show you the best of Botswana.
All Botswana tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Botswana trips.