Botswana Safari Cost
Cost of a Safari in Botswana
Botswana is one of the most popular and remarkable safari destinations on the African continent unfortunately it is considered to be the most expensive even when compared to some of the more advanced countries like South Africa.
Why is Botswana an expensive Safari destination?
Well one would wonder what makes this beautiful country very pricey! Well several factors have greatly contributed to this and because it is a government policy that wildlife tourism in Botswana should have a low impact on the natural environment, this has consequently led to limiting of the number of holidaymakers or tourists allowed to access the safari destinations by levying high concession fees, high park entrance fees to enter or even stay within the wildlife sanctuaries, as well as high community fees to enable the locals benefit as well from tourism; not to forget the high accommodation fares.
below is a summary of the average daily cost of a safari in Botswana; this estimated price entails the cost for various activities like mokoro trips, guided walks, game drives, park entrance fees and inbound flight at the different seasons of the year as well as while sleeping in different types of accommodation
Estimated Daily Botswana Safari Costs in US Dollars
|Time of the Year||Mid-range Camps||Premier Camp||Luxury Camp|
|1.||Green season||$500 – $600||$625-$825||$775 – $1000|
|2.||Shoulder season||$700- $750||$900 – $1125||$1000-$1250|
Most lodges offer special discounts for guests that spend longer stays so for shorter the stay (2 to 3 nights) the higher the cost and the longer the stay, the shorter the cost.
Factors that affect the cost of a Botswana safari
In this article we are going to try and analyze the different factors that affect the cost of a safari in Botswana as highlighted below.
Time of Travel
Botswana experiences three (3) main seasons that is the peak tourist season that begins in July to October when the number of tourists in the country is very high; then the shoulder season that starts in April to June and November which is also considered to be a good time to visit as the game viewing is still rewarding; and lastly is the green season or the wet season which begins in December to March with the exception of the festive Christmas season. The different seasons attract different Safari costs that are mainly caused by the fluctuation in accommodation prices. It is very likely that the cost of a safari during the peak season may even double compared to that in the off-peak green season.
The nature of Safari experience you choose
Botswana offers three 3 main types of safari experiences and these include the private mobile Safari, the tented lodging Safari and the group camping or accommodated safaris as highlighted below
The group camping or accommodated safaris
This is the best option for holidaymakers seeking to explore Botswana on a safari while on a limited budget. In a group you will be able to share different operational costs such as the vehicle costs, the game drive costs and the guide costs which will consequently lower the overall cost of your Botswana Safari. You will be able to enjoy affordable accommodation in tents or in accommodated facilities such as permanent safari tented, camps guest houses or chalets.
The tented lodging Safari
During such expeditions you will fly from one accommodations facility (Lodge) to another. With very minimal road transfers throughout the course of your itinerary, the Safari cost in this category is generally seasonal with the green season that runs from December to March being the least expensive, followed by the shadow season that starts in April to June and November and then the high season that begins in July to October being the most expensive.
The seasonality is caused by a number of factors such as a number of lodges changing their accommodation rates in the festive season as well as during the peak tourist season especially the month of August. These changes however are not constant to all facilities but rather depend on the location of the facility. Another thing is that the surcharges here are not determined by the star rating of the lodge but rather by the available safari activities offered, the quality of guiding, as well as the location of the lodge say whether it is located within a game reserve or a national park or even a private conversation area or a community area.
Usually the price quotation offered on an itinerary within this category includes the following all inbound flights as per your itinerary, full board accommodation (inclusive of all meals minus alcoholic drinks), game viewing activities that are available at each lodge such as Mokoro trips, game drives, motorboat rides and guided walks, in addition to taxes including concession fees, conservation levies and government taxes.
While on different Safari activities you will be sharing them with other guests staying at the same lodge for instance you will share a vehicle during game drives. Tourists traveling with the children are however highly advised to book private game activities as these come with more comfort and privacy as you enjoy a family African safari.
Private Mobile camping Safaris
For private mobile camping safaris holidaymakers will enjoy the comfort of a private vehicle, you will be led by a private guide, explore the very remote wildlife sanctuaries like Savuti, Moremi Reserve and Khwai where you will enjoy up-close wildlife encounters as well as enjoy the under-the-stars dining experience. This involves camping in an area for two to three nights and then the staff relocating you to the next location as per your itinerary as you are out enjoying the various Safari activities such as game drives. A mobile Safari is the perfect choice for those seeking to get away from everybody and will reward you with an exclusively private Safari experience. Mobile safaris can also be combined with lodge stay. These normally tent to be expensive and a good option for ‘big spenders’ with a bigger budget for their holiday
Private mobile camping can be divided into three main categories and these are:
adventure camping: which includes sleeping in doom tents what are pitched at camp grounds with a bucket shower and a communal toilets and you will be provided with clean linen and a sleeping bag;
Affordable camping: this involves sleeping in larger meru tents that are more spacious to fit a bed and mattress with clean linen
Comfort camping: this is done in the very lavish spacious tents that are well furnished with comfortable bed, a sitting area and en suite bathroom
Your Safari Duration
As earlier mentioned the cost of accommodation per night is lowered by longer stays so the more nights you will stay at a camp the cheaper your overall safari cost. In case you are in Botswana for say a 4 to 7 night safari, we advise that you spend your nights at 2 or if possible one camp to enjoy the special longer-stay discounts on the accommodation cost.
How to plan an affordable Safari in Botswana
- Avoid the peak Season
The best way to save money while planning a safari in Botswana is by choosing the perfect travel dates. Botswana’s peak tourist season is from June to September and at that time because of the thriving tourism activities, you can’t get any discounts. However, opting to travel during the green season (off-peak season) that runs from December to March, as well as in the shoulder season that runs in April, Maya and November, you will get a chance to enjoy special pricing, discounts and various good travel deals that will reduce your safari cost.
- Opt for Longer Night Stays
Another good way to cut the costs of a safari in Botswana is by staying at a camp for longer nights. This won’t only give you special accommodation discounts, but also reduce on the number of in-bound flights that would connect from one camp to another.
- Go Mobile Camping
Think about a unique experience of enjoying an up-close encounter with the wildlife and enjoying dinner out in the open under a star-lit sky. All this can be done n a Botswana Mobile camping Safari and also help you save a lot of money as you can opt to use basic tents rather than the permanent lavish camps that are lavish and very expensive.
- Lookout for new facilities
Another good way though not so common is to lookout for facilities / lodges / camps that are newly opened as these offer special discounts to attract holidaymakers.
- Have a travel Budget
You are highly advised to have a travel budget to enable your tour operator have a scope in which to work with. You should also be open with your tour operator about your budget restrictions so that they can help you choose budget friendly accommodations and safari activities that suit you well.