Tips to book an Affordable Botswana Safari

Author Dominic Chadbon (Affordable Botswana Safari)

When it comes to heavyweight safari destinations, few match Botswana. Several of its reserves are the size of European countries, and it is home to Africa’s greatest concentrations of elephants, the last stronghold of African wild dogs and witnesses a dazzling zebra migration.

Part of Botswana’s appeal is that apart from a handful of game viewing hotspots, her parks are mostly unknown and empty of visitors. That’s also in part due to Botswana’s high cost, low impact tourism policy – and a Botswana safari is usually seen as simply too expensive.

But there are ways to enjoy a classic Botswana safari that don’t involve luxurious lodges with bubble baths and silver-service suppers – and you’ll still have front-row seats for the best game viewing. So if you’re looking for a few tips to book an affordable Botswana safari – here’s where you start.


Botswana is home to Africa’s greatest concentration of elephants.

Canvas & Candlelight – Mobile Tented Safaris

The most authentic way to discover Botswana, a mobile tented safari is designed to maximise the game viewing experience. Rugged at times but unforgettable in experience, they are led by knowledgeable driver/guides and travel in custom-made, open-sided 4X4s. You’ll spend your time in the places like the Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve, enjoying comfortable camping and fireside cuisine as well as first-out-the-door game drives.

The more budget-friendly mobile tours and affordable Botswana Safaris start from Johannesburg or Cape Town, involve a few long drives and usually end at action-packed Victoria Falls. You’ll set up your own tent and help out with camp chores but there’s plenty of game viewing and lots of fun.

Specialist mobile tented safaris begin in Botswana and are perfect for travellers who want to mix top-drawer guiding and game viewing with deluxe camping. Grand tented camps are set up before you arrive and delicious meals are created over glowing coals. Your walk-in tent features en suite hot water shower and toilet, and you’ll sleep in a comfy bed – Hemingway himself would have approved!


Unfenced camps mean unscripted game viewing!

Affordable Botswana Safari – Off-season Safaris

Game viewing in Botswana is a year-round affair but the classic imagery of elephant-packed riverbanks is largely restricted to the driest months of July to October. The trouble is, the dry season is also peak season and safari prices reflect this. Green Season lends itself to a affordable Botswana safari.

But Botswana’s rainy summer isn’t called the Green Season for fun: the winter-parched landscape is transformed into a verdant wonderland, triggering animals to migrate and give birth. The result is a predator’s paradise, and it’s not even that wet.

Travel in December and early January to avoid the heavy rains of February and March and you’ll enjoy fabulous game viewing at a fraction of peak season prices.


The Green Season is great for game viewing and equally rewarding for Botswana’s predators.

   Think Smart – Choose your Lodge Carefully

Many of Botswana’s safari lodges are known as much for their gilt-edged luxury as they are for their off-the-scale game viewing. But not all lodges cost the same, and several of Botswana’s best game viewing areas offer a variety of accommodation options.

The Chobe River region for instance is home to über-luxurious lodges that offer spa treatments and a wine list but you’ll also find perfectly comfortable lodges tucked away on the riverbank or in shady forest, offering the same experience for far less.

For a complete range of Botswana safaris, click through to our Botswana Tours and Safaris page or simply contact Safari Online for all the advice on an affordable Botswana safari and receive all the booking support you need.


There’s a wide range of lodges & enjoy iconic experiences without staying at gilt-edged lodges.

Read more:
Leopards in Botswana & Where to Go
Where to see Wild Dogs in Botswana
Going Fishing in Botswana

Hands-on Expertise

  • We’re based in Africa
  • We regularly do site inspections
  • Knowledgeable team
  • Expect great customer service

Accredited & Bonded

  • SATSA – Bonded Membership (2061)
  • Travel Safe Certificate
  • Fully Independent & Owner Run
  • Travel Support from Start to Finish


Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver. She responded to our requests promptly and gave us several options with links to each option; we ultimately chose Lukimbi. She then coordinated our flights to and from the property, arranged the drivers necessary to get us from the airport to the lodge and back again, and sent the appropriate paperwork to each of us to verify each step of the process. We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!


We are six older but experienced travellers who usually do our own planning. Luck led us to Safari Online and Walter. His ideas proved spot on. Throughout our planning Safari Online have been helpful, always answering emailed questions, no matter how basic, straightaway. We’ve had probably our best ever holiday in years of travel, everything went smoothly. Pickups and transfers were on time. Staff in all the places we stayed were friendly and helpful. I can’t think of one adverse remark except maybe seeing a lion that wasn’t asleep, though I think if it could have been arranged Walter would have done so.

Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional.  Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

A great tour operator that was a pleasure to deal with.

We used Safari Online to put together a mid-range Botswana trip for a group of four going to three different camps and then onto Vic Falls. We asked several operators to provide options (through this great safari bookings website) and Walter Kohrs from Safari Online was easily the most responsive and quickest to provide different but realistic options and at good prices. In the end it was a no brainer to go with Safari Online. Walter always responded to my queries quickly, with honest and valuable responses that were clear and made sense. From our perspective he tailored a good mix of places for both our budget and standard of facilities that suited us perfectly, with enough information and links to help us make our decisions. In the end each camp was different and had different aspects and strengths that made each unique. We loved it.

They kept us fully informed and updated throughout planning, travel, etc.

It was excellent all around. Everything worked out well. An experience of a lifetime! The game viewing rides were fun and very informative.

Above expectations

Excellent communications and service. We dealt with Sabrina and she is awesome. The safari tour was amazing, i can highly recommend going to Elephant Plains. Its a very special place run by awesome people.

Excellent service and support for our Africa vacation

Working with Walter was a great experience. He listened to us and helped us build a vacation that exceeded all of our expectations. We really appreciated his professionalism and attention to detail.