Botswana itineraries

Chobe National Park, Botswana. Image credit kavram, Shutterstock. Travel Africa magazine
Chobe National Park, Botswana. Image credit Kavram, Shutterstock

With unparalleled landscapes, wildlife and historical treasures, the only difficult thing about planning a trip to Botswana is figuring out what you’re going to have to put off until next time. Here are some suggestions for possible itineraries to enable you to maximise your time.

Watery classic  (10 days)

Maun >> Okavango Delta >> Chobe National Park

Day 1
Fly into Maun and stock up on any last minute items you may have forgotten to pack. If everything is sorted, simply relax or visit the Nhabe Museum. Those travelling with kids should check out the Maun Environmental Education Centre or the Riversdam Aquarium.

Days 2-4
Fly deep into the Okavango Delta to stay at one of the remote water-based camps within the private reserves bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, or climb into a boat to reach one of the budget camps nearby. Spend your days immersing yourself in this unique watery world by exploring the myriad channels by boat or mokoro (dugout canoe).

Days 5-7
Move to a land-based camp where the delta’s incredible wildlife will be the key attraction. Mornings and early evenings will be spent on game drives or walking safaris. Night drives are also an option at many camps.

Days 8-10
Move north to Chobe National Park. You can choose to explore the landscapes and wildlife around the Savuti and Linyanti Marshes, or head to the park’s north for cruises and game drives along the mighty Chobe River.

Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana. Image credit Michael Wick, Shutterstock. Travel Africa magazine
Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana. Image credit Michael Wick, Shutterstock

Desert delights  (14 days)

Tuli Block >> Khama Rhino Sanctuary >> Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans >> CKGR >> Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Days 1-2
Soak up the unique rocky surroundings of the Tuli block, whether on game drives, walking safaris or a mountain bike. The area is home to the likes of elephant, lion and giraffe.

Day 3
Drive west, stopping to visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary at Serowe. Night drives, nature walks and rhino excursions are all possible.

Days 4-6
Soak up the surreal landscape and search for specialised desert creatures at the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans. You may see the great zebra migration across the pans.

Days 7-10
Head south into the CKGR for four days of camping in the wild. The renowned Deception Valley and Piper’s Pans lie in the north. These great northern pans are actually the remains of an ancient Okavango Delta. Keep you eyes out for the famous black-maned lions.

Days 11-14
Travel south to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Besides spectacularly arid, near-desert dune country, it’s a great place to spot lion, hartebeest and gemsbok.

Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. Image credit Hiromi Ito Ame, Shutterstock. Travel Africa magazine
Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. Image credit Hiromi Ito Ame, Shutterstock

Northern lights  (14 days)

Tsodilo Hills >> Okavango Panhandle >> Maun, Okavango Delta >> Chobe National Park >> Makgadikgadi Pans & CKGR

Days 1-3
Spend three days camping in the Tsodilo Hills, one of Africa’s greatest outdoor art galleries and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are more than 5000 individual rock paintings at more than 400 sites. The site and the San paintings have deep mythological and religious value. To find the best sites you should hire a local guide.

Days 4-6
Travel into the Okavango Panhandle, a very narrow section of the delta that’s cut lengthwise by its eponymous river. Offering affordable prices and great value, the safari industry here is seemingly from a bygone era. The birding is top notch and the lagoons are often places of interest.

Days 7-14
After returning to Maun, you have a few options. You can venture into the Okavango Delta and the Moremi Game Reserve before moving north to Chobe National Park as described in Days 2-10 in the ‘Water classic’ itinerary. Another option leads you south in the Kalahari’s CKGR, a route from which you can take an extended detour into the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Inspired? We recommend speaking to a Botswana travel specialist to tailor-make an itinerary that best suits your interests. Find reliable operators here.

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