Botswana is one of the world’s greatest safari destinations. Visitors flock to the Chobe River to see huge herds of elephant. Deeper in the park, the wild Savuti Region is the hunting ground for lions, hyena and packs of wild dog. Then there is the freshwater oasis of the Okavango Delta, and further south the rich grasslands and lunar-like saltpans of Makgadikgadi.
As for accommodation in these areas, Botswana’s lodges and tented camps sit amongst Africa’s finest. But with so many properties to choose from the decision can be daunting. That’s why we’ve chosen our top 10 – for their high standards of accommodation and service – and as they each offer something special.
Savute Safari Lodge (Chobe National Park)
- Why we love it: superb location right on the Savute Channel
Savute Safari Lodge has 12 thatched chalets on the bank of the Savute Channel. The guides here are excellent, and game drives frequently offer up thrilling predator sightings! Back at the lodge, the game viewing continues as you sit on the deck watching elephant come and go at the waterhole.
Savute Under Canvas (Chobe National Park)
- Why we love it: authentic under canvas safari experience
Those with a sense of adventure are sure to love this luxury mobile tented camp. Along with superb game viewing, a stay at Savute Under Canvas gives you that real feeling of being in the wild: tasty meals cooked over an open fire and shared stories under a night sky filled with stars.
Sanctuary Baines’ Camp (Okavango Delta)
- Why we love it: great blend of water and land safari activities
Baines Camp borders Moremi Game Reserve; a fantastic location that allows for game drives as well as mokoro safaris on the delta’s clear waterways. This is a small camp with just five suites, each with a private deck where your four-poster bed can be wheeled out for a romantic night under the stars.
Vumbura Plains Lodge (Okavango Delta)
- Why we love it: enjoy game viewing from your private plunge pool
Honeymoon favourite Vumbura Plains has large, open-plan rooms, their glass sliding doors letting in the wide floodplain views. There’s plenty of private outdoor space too: your own deck, private plunge pool and shaded lounge area where you can relax in peace as elephants wander by.
Abu Camp (Okavango Delta)
- Why we love it: spend time with Abu’s herd of elephants
Abu Camp has six tented villas overlooking a large lagoon. The surrounding area offers good game viewing, but Abu’s biggest attraction is its elephants. Shortly after arriving you’ll be introduced to the herd and during your stay, you can hand feed them and even set out on an elephant-back safari.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge (Okavango Delta)
- Why we love it: exhilarating helicopter flight over the Delta
Recently renovated Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has 12 air-conditioned luxury tents on a remote island. Along with excellent game viewing, look forward to guided walks along elephant pathways, sundowner drinks at the Fish Eagle bar and a helicopter safari (fantastic for photography!).
Machaba Camp (Okavango Delta)
- Why we love it: tented camp right on the Khwai River
Award-winning Machaba Camp has 10 tents set amongst the trees on the Khwai River, overlooking Moremi Game Reserve. Here days are spent on mokoro safaris, game drives and guided walks; and nights safely tucked in your comfortable tent listening to the sound of hippos in the nearby river.
Kings Pool Camp (Linyanti Region)
- Why we love it: super luxurious with plenty of private space
Kings Pool lies in the Linyanti Region, an area known for plenty of big game but low visitor numbers. This is a great choice for a romantic safari, as you have a wonderfully spacious tented suite with your own plunge pool and sala, and can round off your day with a sunset cruise on the Queen Sylvia barge.
Kwando Lagoon Camp (Linyanti Region)
- Why we love it: top choice for a family safari
Lagoon Camp sits on the bank of the Kwando River in a vast, wildlife-rich concession known for its predator sightings (especially wild dogs!). The guiding here is exceptional, and if you come on a family safari you’ll have your own private vehicle and specialist guide who’s great with kids.
Jack’s Camp (Makgadikgadi Pans)
- Why we love it: meerkats on the Makgadikgadi Pans
Jack’s Camp sits amongst an oasis of palm trees on the edge of the surreal saltpans. Jack’s has the romantic feel of a 1940s safari camp with Persian rugs, antique furniture and 4-poster canopied beds. Highlights here include quad biking across the saltpans and spending time with meerkats.