We all love travelling. Even once in a lifetime, we all want to visit places that can challenge our inner child or be close to nature far from the busiest schedule that life throws at us. Botswana is a country in Southern Africa. Mostly famous for its wildest safari destinations that make it a top choice for the tourists to visit. A country to experience the journey of their dreams. The country is full of adventures and activities that passionate tourists love. But before travelling to Botswana, some Botswana safari tips can make your trip more exciting and adventurous.
The Best Time to Visit Botswana
It mostly depends on the personal choice and compulsions of visitors that determines what time of the year suits them best to explore Botswana and to do a safari.
Botswana is full of the wildest and dramatic places that also relate to the drastic weather changes in Botswana throughout the year.
These changes are full of surprises, and it all depends on which time they want to travel.
The dry season in Botswana draws wildlife to congregate along with the life-giving waterways.
Botswana Safari Tips for Seasonal Cycles
The peak season in Botswana is between July and October.
October is the hottest month of the year along with the busiest month of the year.
It comes with the tourist influx resulting in the scarcity of accommodation at the hotels and resorts.
The main advice for this season is to book your residence before travelling to avoid any hassle during your tour.
April to October
It is the dry season, but it is also considered as the best game-viewing season of Botswana because animals concentrate around permanent waterholes.
So if you are a passionate animal lover who wants to see animals grazing around freely, this is the most feasible time for travellers to visit Botswana.
November to March
It is considered as the “wet season” of Botswana, because of the reason that most of the roads get immersed with the heavy downpours.
There are plenty of mud-baths that have their ambience.
Some of the camps and lodges are difficult to access, and they may close for a few months due to rainfall, so tourists have to keep this in mind while travelling to Botswana during this season.
December to May
This period in Botswana is considered as “The green season” because this period is pretty wet and it stretches from December to May.
The travellers visiting Botswana during this season may take advantage of reduced rates, although the bush is fairly thick which can cause hindrances in-game viewing for the tourists.
Along with that, the main trends of Botswana is fairly important because rain tends to fall in short.
Sometimes, you may also experience vigorous downpours.
The rainy season usually starts in September, but the heavy rain initiates December and goes on to February.
So the tourists need to note that at any time of the year, it does not normally rain for more than two consecutive days.
Money Guide before visiting Botswana
The currency of Botswana is “PULA”.
Its currency is considered as the most stable currency of Africa.
So it is always safe to convert your currency to Pula.
Botswana is considered as one of the highest revenue-generating countries in Africa because of the excessive tourism associated with this country.
Every year, it generates revenue in millions through tourism; hence the tourists need to know the general account of policies that the government of Botswana has made for the tourists.
While tipping is not obligatory in Botswana, the government’s official policy of promoting upmarket tourism has raised expectations in many hotels and restaurants.
That’s why if you don’t give extra money, it will look unethical and may affect the eternal pleasure of your travelling.
While you are in a new country where you have come to explore, you don’t want to look unethical.
There are some hotels and restaurants where you will find the service charges mentioned separately.
In that case, you won’t necessarily have to give a tip.
If you are immensely satisfied with the service and guidance of the waiters who gave you special services and treated you well, it would be a good idea to tip around $5 to $10 in addition to your actual bill.
You will know its benefits later in the form of local support and respect.
It is also considered respectable and appropriate if you give money to the person who has watched out for your car or the boy who has washed your windscreens out of courtesy.
A general trend and accepted rates of tips suggested by Botswana Safari companies range from $5 to $10 per person depending upon the nature of work and the level of your satisfaction with their services.
In some cases, you can also tip the taxi drivers and helpers for as low as $1 to $3.
Botswana Safari Tips for Traveling with Credit Cards:
Having cash in pula currency is sufficient to get all the services and benefits in Botswana.
But for those who have credit cards or MasterCard as a mode of payment, they may need these guidelines to ensure the safe trip in Botswana with safari tips.
- Credit cards are widely accepted across Botswana, but facilities are unreliable in remote areas.
- It’s better to have cash in the country’s currency instead of credit cards while going to the remote areas of Botswana to avoid any hassle.
- Small town ATMs can also run out of cash.
- So carry enough hard currency for padkos, emergency fuel, and for buying local stuff.
- Fuel prices vary slightly and are cheaper in Botswana.
- It gradually gets more expensive as you travel towards the North.
- So you may have to keep extra cash for that too.
- Rends are often accepted near the South African border.
- But in the further North, you need to have pula. On the Zimbabwean border, you may have to keep US dollars for the transactions.
- There may be problems with having MasterCard.
- So it’s better to have a credit card or debit card instead of a MasterCard.
Botswana Safari Tips for Budgeting:
Travelling and planning an adventurous vacation in Botswana is not too easy on the pockets.
It is not a cheap country to visit.
Travelling here also requires money for logistics and roaming around in remote areas.
Hence it is required to have a sound budget before travelling here.
The following are the general guidelines that will be helpful for travellers of all kinds like Botswana safari and all.
Botswana Safari Tips For backpackers
Camping at organized sites is by far your cheapest way to stay in most areas of Botswana.
It is always an adventurous idea if you are self-sufficient and have the necessary equipment along with you.
If you do, then expect to pay around the US $2.50–$3 per person camping per night.
Quite reasonable, right?
Botswana Safari Tips for Foodies
The food here is relatively cheap and reasonable in the restaurants and hotels of Botswana as compared to that of Europe and America.
Generally, you are expected to pay the US $6–10/£4–6 for a good evening meal, including a local beer or two with some dessert.
Imported drinks are always more expensive than those from Southern Africa.
But as Southern Africa has some first-class breweries and wineries, this is rarely an issue.
The most famous food here usually falls within an average budget.
In Botswana’s villages and towns, meats, particularly beef and goat, are very popular.
Millet and sorghum porridge are staples.
National specialties include:
- Morama (an underground tuber)
- Morongo (wild spinach)
- Kalahari truffle
- All sorts of beans
- Mopane worms – grubs, which are served boiled, deep-fried or cooked
Drinks include cider-like bojalwa or homemade ginger beer.
The cost of food and meals depends upon the level of restaurants and where they are located.
Most people will probably go to one large shop in Maun or Kasane at the start of their trip, topping up on perishables as they progress.
Botswana Safari Tips for Self-Drivers travelling in their car
Self-driving in Botswana can be an amazing experience if you have your vehicle to drive around the bush or wildest areas.
For that amazing journey, your largest expense is to hire yourself a vehicle that should be compatible enough to survive the bushy and uneven areas.
Once you get hold of a good vehicle to travel, then the possibilities are limitless.
Whether you want to cook your food yourself while staying in a jungle, or you want to take your meals from your hotels, you can decide for yourself.
If you have enough budget, you can even go for the readymade food which you will have to buy before travelling in a vehicle.
Managing the expenses of entry fees and fun activities
Your next largest expense will probably be park entry fees and camping fees in the national parks.
These can be substantial.
Expect a total of about P175 (US$29/£19) per person per day for both park entry and camping fees.
However, there are still many interesting areas outside the national parks – including parts of Makgadikgadi, the Tsodilo Hills, Aha Hills, Gcwihaba Caves and various offbeat areas of the Kalahari.
You can explore these great parks also if you want to save on the entry fee of the national parks.
Places to visit in Botswana
Botswana is a country known for its adventurous places and game-viewing areas.
People always opt for this country to challenge themselves for amazing adventures.
They explore maximum opportunities in a limited amount of time while keeping their budget in mind.
The list of all the amazing places along with their cost to visit during your stay in Botswana has been mentioned below.
Botswana is famous for safari, with the beautiful sight of animals residing in the country.
Animals, including endangered species like wild dogs and rhinos, can be easily found here.
The thriving birdlife that inhabits the area is the special beauty of this place.
The Okavango Delta is one of the wildest and awe-striking locations in Botswana.
The Okavango Delta is a host to a variety of Safari activities, and you can also find the wildlife along with amazing scenes of animal family activities.
You can also watch different types of games in this region too that will develop your interest in the local teams and players.
Rare animals to be sighted include cheetahs, zebra, giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, and rhinos, to name a few.
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Tourists travelling to Okavango should keep in mind the drastic changes in weather conditions in Okavango delta, which could affect their game-viewing and safari rides in Botswana.
The weather can be harsh and quite unpredictable.
Apart from that, it is the most beautiful and captivating location in entire Africa.
Okavango Delta is a place that is worth visiting for animal and nature lovers.
Moremi Game Reserve
It is the first local park located on the east side of the Okavango Delta, and it is considered as the best game reserve of the entire continent of Africa.
The residents of Africa founded it because they are concerned about the threat to animals and wildlife.
It consists of beautiful and breathtaking scenery to enjoy.
It also has animals that are not easy to find elsewhere.
This park has campsites that attract visitors to travel to this place.
This is a village near Gaborone.
This village consists of several small houses and industries where plenty of things are being manufactured, including glass pottery and metals.
Also, this village is ideal for hiking purposes because it has ideal mountains for hiking making it a wonderful place to visit.
The pottery factory in Gabane is particularly worth a visit due to its unique shop selling wares such as crockery, vases and other handcrafted decorative items.
Gabane is the hub of Botswana’s handicrafts.
Situated on the northwestern side of Botswana, Kasane is one of the highly desired tourist destinations.
From the beautiful lakes to the elephant herds and huge rhinos, Kasane has so many of the attractions that are enough to catch your attention.
You can spot beautiful and rare birds sitting on the branches of the lonely trees.
The eye-catching sunset would be a lovely experience in the evening.
There are snake parks and hot springs that are included in the distinctive features of this amazing town.
Embrace the real world of wildlife in its natural form by travelling to the roads is Maun in your vehicle.
The town is full of natural sites and beautiful attractions.
You can find plenty of hotels that are good enough to make your stay wonderful.
Not in a mood to live in a hotel? You can also stay in amazing tents to thrive your adventurous instincts.
There are plenty of safari opportunities here.
You can see animals like elephants, deer, and rhinos walking freely as you roam around the town in your vehicle.
There is a huge influx of tourists from within the country and outside the country as well.
Chobe National Park
This game reserve is the third-largest in Botswana.
But it has one of the largest populations of even the rare and endangered species of the whole Africa or even in the whole planet.
The national park takes its name from the Chobe River which, at first glance, is very breathtaking.
These locations can mesmerize their viewers with its beautiful locations.
Being an astonishing sight, the river supports an ecosystem of rare and exotic creatures including birds, elephants, lions, giraffes, baboons, and buffalo.
During the winter season, it is possible to see a herd of hundreds of elephants at a time in one place which is considered as a once in a lifetime experience for the tourists coming here.
The biggest tip for tourists visiting here is to have a proper camera with a proper lens to capture the beautiful memories of this place even from distant places.
Tips for activities a tourist can do in Botswana
Here is a list of activities and tips for people planning to come to this outstanding that is full of adventure and fun.
This is considered as the most beautiful activity people can do in their leisure time during their visit to this country.
The summer months are ideal for this as the bird population becomes the largest because most of the birds migrate from different areas of the world to Botswana during this season covering most areas.
Predators of different species await you to thrill your life.
If you love the wilderness of the wildlife, you will enjoy these experiences at various spots in this country.
If you are lucky enough, you can also find predators like lions preying the subjects at distant places.
Another worth visiting place is Mokoro.
It is considered an ideal place for observing wildlife safari in Botswana .
Tourists, especially from other countries, do come to Mokoro for pleasant experiences.
Most of the areas of the Delta will offer Mokoro safaris at the most adventurous time of the year.
Botswana Safari Tips Summary:
Botswana is one of the masterpieces of nature that has become the tourist paradise due to its jaw-dropping beauty and natural sights.
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It has plenty of great features, most of which are mentioned in this article.
Do consider the tips mentioned above for Botswana safari before travelling to this country to make your visit memorable.