Botswana has long held the crown of being Africa’s premier safari destination and attracts many with the diversity of safari activities on offer, with traditional mokoro canoes used as well as vehicles for wildlife viewing. Here our Botswana specialist Emma shows why getting out on foot is one of the most exciting ways to experience the Okavango Delta.
Our guide to mobile safaris in Botswana
Widely-regarded as one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, Botswana is a wildlife enthusiasts’ haven offering some of the best game viewing on the Continent. One of the key aspects that really sets Botswana apart is the diversity of experience on offer, in large part because of the unique environments that there are to explore, with the Okavango Delta being one of the most impressive wildlife habitats in the world which can be explored by a variety of methods – whether on foot, by vehicle or on a boat cruise and the - recently becoming UNESCO’s 1000th World Heritage Site – whilst Makgadikgadi offers a truly unique landscape as the largest salt pan in the world, with game viewing to match.
When it comes to deciding on a safari in Botswana, one of the key decisions to make is between whether you want to do a fly-in or mobile safari. A fly-in safari involves taking lightcraft aircrafts from camp to camp – the positives include being able to cover a huge amount of the wilderness within small time periods, staying in some luxurious lodges and seeing some remarkable geography as you fly. A mobile safari is the traditional way to safari in Botswana and remains popular; with a professional guide taking you by vehicle from place to place and assembling the camp in each new location. As a relatively pristine wilderness remains, this is still a perfect way to explore Botswana, with fairly short distances between wildlife areas.
There are varied standards of mobile safaris on offer in Botswana, ranging from simple dome tents with a dug-out long drop loo to much larger walk in tents with more creature comforts (some of these are at set sites rather than moving with you and your guide). Options also range from private experiences to set departures of small groups – the choice will often come down to your budget.
One of the most exciting aspects of going on a mobile safari is that it offers far greater flexibility to a lodge-based safari. A mobile will allow you to access remote wilderness areas which might be far beyond the reaches of a morning game drive. Going on a walking safari through the Delta whilst on a mobile safari has been hailed as one of the best experiences in Africa. Walking in an area only accessible by mokoro (the local dugout canoe) and having awesome wildlife sightings and only sharing it with the bush around you is a really incredible experience!
One of the greatest myths when it comes to mobile safaris is that they are participatory and you end up working harder than if you hadn’t been on holiday. No need to worry! A mobile safari will usually come with camp staff in addition to your guide who will prepare meals and break down and transport the camp whilst you are out on activities, with the next camp assembled, ready for your arrival. Your involvement in the day-to-day running of camp can be as much or as little as you wish. Ultimately a mobile safari in Botswana will allow you to experience the bush up close and personal in some of Africa’s true wilderness areas. For the compromises that you may make in terms of comfort, compared with staying in a luxury lodge, you will more than make up for by having that private guide with you throughout your time in Botswana, enabling you to have an in-depth and truly personalised experience.
If you think that a mobile safari could be for you?
Please call our team of specialists on 020 3141 2810 to begin planning your very own Botswana adventure.