Five Tips for a Safari in Botswana on a Limited Budget

May 9, 2022

Olorato Ndlovu

I might be a little biased because Botswana is my home but I truly believe that it is a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is not the cheapest place to visit, but I am going to let you in on a few secrets on how you can still have the best safari experience in Botswana even on a limited budget.

What qualifies me to give such insight you might wonder? Well, it’s my home!

Botswana has some of the most authentic and pristine game viewing opportunities in the world ranging from over 130 000 elephants, majestic lions, wild dog, the ever so elusive leopard as well countless other animal sightings.

Even though Botswana can be a bit pricey I have put together five suggestions for travelers wishing to visit Botswana but restricted as to how much they can spurge.

1. Just Do the Good Old Camping & Self Driving

You are looking for an authentic Botswana experience, right? There is no better way to have it than to self-drive from campsite to campsite in the most remote areas in Botswana.

Even though this is a great option if you are looking to spend less on accommodation, you must reserve your campsite as early as two years in advance. Yes! Two years. It is a nightmare to find a good campsite in areas like Moremi, Savute, Khwai and Linyanti during the same year that you are traveling as they are usually booked out.

If you choose this option do not underestimate the importance of using a 4×4 vehicle (with a satellite phone) during your trip and being an experienced 4×4 driver.

2. Do a Mobile Safari

Here is another way to experience the wild and untamed Botswana on a budget. Join a scheduled mobile safari!

There are many bonuses to taking this option. It usually falls among safari experiences that don’t break the bank but varies depending on your budget. It is also very fun and adventurous and suitable for that traveler that is all about game viewing. You also have the same guide throughout your safari who will take time to understand you and your needs.

There are two types: fully serviced on which you leave all the chores to the staff or semi participation on which you assist with setting up camp and preparing the meals.

3. Explore Other Seasons

Assuming that there is not much to see in on safari in Botswana during the low season is extremely inaccurate. Botswana offers different experiences in each season and the low season is no exception.

For example in the green season, a lot of animals are giving birth to their babies and predators are on the loom to take advantage of these weak and vulnerable newborns. The best part is that most of the lodges reduce their prices to sometimes as much as 50% off peak season rates.

Game viewing opportunities depend on which area you visit but Nxai Pan and Deception Valley usually have high levels of water, attracting the famous zebra migration and a lot of migratory birds.

4. Avoid the Single Supplement Surcharge

If you are traveling during peak season it is highly advisable that you travel in an even number of people and shared in pairs to avoid a single supplement surcharge.

Most of the time the surcharge ranges from 30% to 40% on top of the per person sharing rate. This can become a lot if you a doing a 10 night accommodated safari but the good news is this can easily be avoided if you are traveling with a partner.

If you are keen on a solo traveler experience always double-check if there is a possibility for a waiver on the surcharge.

5. Use a Tour Operator to Make Bookings

Tour operators get cheaper rates and deals from the suppliers and an honest operator will make sure not to charge you any more than the cost of booking for yourself directly with the supplier.

Take time to find a good operator that will give you all the information about special deals and offers that can help you save money on your trip. You might be surprised to know that travel agencies and tour operators are still extremely relevant especially if you are booking multiple properties, transfers, and activities in one itinerary because the possible discounts could bring the whole total of your trip shockingly down.

Finding the best safari tour in Botswana on a limited budget can be daunting but it is not impossible. If you chose between self-driving and camping, a mobile safari, traveling during low season, avoiding the single supplement and using a tour operator you can find the perfect safari for you.

Would you like us to assist you in planning your perfect safari experience? Talk to us today.

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