Operators share their tips for affordable options.
Many people assume Botswana is a high-cost destination but there are plenty of ways to enjoy it on a budget, says Harriet Floyd, Sales & Marketing Executive at Sense Of Africa Botswana.
Mobile safaris and self-drive itineraries are some options that help keep the costs down. “Mobile safaris are very popular, either on a very affordable ‘participation’ basis, where clients are required to assist with camp duties, or on a ‘serviced’ basis, where a full back-up team prepare the camp,” says Floyd, adding that there is no better way to experience the wilderness of Botswana than by camping in unfenced sites.
Storm Napier, Southern Africa Sales Manager for Footsteps in Africa, also recommends mobile safaris, one of the operator’s offerings. “This is a great way to experience Botswana ‘on the ground’ with glamping the order of the day and even en-suite bathrooms. With no set departures it offers flexibility for the clients and a completely private experience with only a minimum of two guests and a good price point.” This option allows guests to take in highlights including Nxai Pan, the Makgadikgadi Pans and Chobe National Park.
Chris Anagnostellis of An African Anthology recommends that guests hire a kitted-out 4x4 from an operator like Bushlore, allowing them to self-drive much of the destination. Floyd also recommends self-drive as an affordable option, giving guests flexibility. “Self-driving allows you to travel at your own leisure and pace, witnessing the change in landscape as you drive between locations.”
Botswana is not without affordable accommodation options. Adjacent to Chobe National Park, aha Chobe Marina Lodge offers views across the Chobe River, which runs through the park. Activities on offer for guests include game drives and boat cruises.
aha Chobe Marina Lodge
Nearby, he says Kasane offers plenty of affordable options and is roughly 15 minutes from Chobe, says Anagnostellis, adding that the town has plenty of accommodation options, ranging from backpacker to five-star, surrounding the park.
Likewise, he says the town of Maun offers many guesthouses and backpackers. He suggests Maun is an accessible base from where day trips by boat or vehicle into the Moremi Kwai area can be booked.
“For affordable lodging in Botswana, we recommend the likes of Hyena Pan Tented Camp – offering an authentic safari experience in the heart of the Khwai Concession,” says Floyd. In Chobe she recommends Bakwena Lodge, a small, personal lodge situated on the Chobe riverfront.
In the Delta, Floyd recommends Moremi Crossing, while Janine Potgieter, Senior Contracting Executive at Tourvest Destination Management, recommends Nxamaseri. “Nxamaseri, which is in the Shakawe area, is a well-established lodge and has been there for years and is quite affordable,” she says.