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6 reasons why Botswana is the world’s most expensive safari destination

By Hannah Champion

Botswana is widely regarded as the world’s most expensive safari destination, with outstanding wildlife, excellent guiding and extravagantly luxurious accommodation. Despite the expense, few tourists deny it’s worth it.

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1. Safari by air

What better way to see the sprawling waterways of the Okavango Delta, the ‘Jewel of the Kalahari’, than from the air? Photograph the lush vegetation from your intimate six-seater Cessna 206 before dipping down to spot antelope, zebra and elephants as well as big cats. Thanks to the unrestricted flight path and relaxed timings, your expert pilot – who also serves as your naturalist guide – can seek out the very best wildlife encounters. Stay at the intimate Duba Plains Camp for incredible lion action.

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2. Mobile camping safaris

If you’re looking for a rustic experience, get back to basics with a mobile camping safari in some of Botswana’s wildlife-rich concessions. Combine nature walks, game drives and boat journeys in Moremi Reserve, Khwai and Savuti for up-close encounters with buffalo, elephants and wild dog. Arriving at your exclusive camp you’ll find your spacious tent already erected and you’ll be amazed at the sumptuous cuisine that can be knocked in such a remote location. It’s the perfect place for dining under the stars and listening to the sounds of hippos lulling you to sleep.

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3. Silent safari

Avoid the crowds in the main areas of Botswana’s national parks by stepping away from the 4×4 game vehicles. Instead, gently glide through the waterways of the Delta, viewing game from a whole new perspective on this Silent Safari. The animals seem almost unaware of your presence when you’re sitting in a dugout canoe, with herds of elephants often seen striding past your boat to cross waterways. Stay on one of the elegant Chobe Princess safari boats.

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4. Game drives

Traditional game drives should not be overlooked. Botswana is one of the best destinations to see leopards, elephants and especially wild dogs. Head out early with your specialist guide to spot hunting big cats before the heat of the day kicks in, then venture out again at the golden hour before dusk for romantic lighting, spectacular African sunsets and an unbeatable selection of sundowners. Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is fantastic for large packs of wild dog on the prowl.

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Photo: Sanctuary Retreats

5. Walking with elephants

Elephant safaris are among the biggest draws of any Botswana safari. Chobe National Park is home to the highest concentration of elephants in all of Africa. Travel between June and November to see migratory herds playing in the Chobe River, then move on to Baines Camp in the Okavango Delta for unforgettable elephant interaction as you walk among three semi-habituated elephants and enjoy a picnic lunch in their company. We like to combine this trip with time in Zimbabwe for even more close-up encounters at The Elephant Camp.

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Photo: Mike Myers

6. Explore the Kalahari Desert

For Africa enthusiasts who have already experienced traditional game drives, Botswana offers something very special. In the Kalahari Desert you can head off in search of the unique black-maned lion, spend time in a floating hide on the Boteti River to see wildlife come down to the water’s edge and spend time with Kalahari tribespeople, learning bushman survival skills.

All images courtesy of Natural World Safaris. Download a free, comprehensive Botswana Safari Guide to find out more about the accommodation, parks and attractions and the best time to go.

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