Speak to an Expert
(732) 266-0224    |    hpatil@xplorearth.us

South Africa and Botswana Safari

Botswana is Mother Nature’s greatest theater: an epic performance of wild drama on a truly breathtaking scale. Rain writes the script, perennially transforming the dusty red desert into lush swamps, immense floodplains, and vibrant savannas. Hippos cover entire riverbeds, hundreds of elephants arrive on cue, and majestic big cats deliver chilling theatrics.

South Africa is home to rugged mountain ranges, beautiful beaches and vast savannah teeming with wildlife. Johannesberg offers a glimpse into South Africa‘s political past, while the Winelands provide a chance to sample local wines. Relax on the beaches of Cape Town or go on a safari to spot the AfricanBIG5‘. Xplorearth Travel Experts can help you plan the perfect luxury vacation in South Africa, with itineraries that allow you to explore at your own pace.

Two leopards in South Africa

Botswana, Africa’s Best-Kept Secret

Boasting one of Africa’s most robust economies, Botswana has long been a luxury tourism destination in Africa that distinguishes itself from its neighbors who tend to appeal more to mass markets.

The Okavango Delta

is the closest thing to Eden left on our planet. Its champagne-colored rivers, papyrus-choked reed beds, and lily-covered lagoons represent one of the largest wetland wilderness corners in the world – a place where classic African wildlife thrives unmolested and the safari experience is second to none.The Delta experiences floods of biblical proportions and is a byword for bountiful.

The Kalahari Desert

The largest unbroken stretch of sand on the planet, is not your ordinary desert. From the salt pans of Makgadikgadi, the baobabs of Nxai Pans, and north to the desolate magnificence of Kubu Island, to the magical wildlife of Kgalagadi in the south, this is a desert of exceptional variety.

The largest unbroken stretch of sand on the planet, is not your ordinary desert. From the salt pans of Makgadikgadi, the baobabs of Nxai Pans, and north to the desolate magnificence of Kubu Island, to the magical wildlife of Kgalagadi in the south, this is a desert of exceptional variety.

Chobe National Park

Famed for its enormous elephant population, Chobe, Botswana’s oldest park, is the size of a small country! The park encompasses three areas that all carry a whiff of safari legend: Savuti, Chobe Riverfront and the Okavango-like Linyanti Marshes. Chobe has everything from campgrounds for self-drivers to luxury, fly-in lodges and tented camps.

South Africa, the Fairest Cape

Sir Francis Drake described Cape Town as the ‘most stately thing and fairest cape’, on earth. The peninsula’s natural beauty with pristine shores, dappled forests and imposing views of the Table Mountain remain undiminished to this day. Its surroundings offer scenic trekking, great white shark & whale encounters and excursions for the oenophiles, and let’s not forget the food and the pulsating nightlife. You will fall in love instantly.

Exclusive Luxury Safaris

Home to some of the widest diversity of wildlife in South Africa delivering some of the finest game viewings in Africa, Kruger Park boasts nearly guaranteed Big 5 game drives and international award-winning high luxe accommodation.

For exclusivity, low visitor numbers and truly sensational game viewing, a safari in Kruger’s private reserves including the Sabi Sands, Thornybush, Timbavati Game Reserves, and Singita’s concessions lead the pack in ultra luxury safaris. To visit Kruger is the closest one gets to feeling like royalty.

Then an extraordinary adventure awaits when you chug out on one of the world’s greatest train journeys on Rovos Rail with lavish sleeping cars enjoying haute-cuisine and fine wines along the way. Rovos offers a multitude of destination choices.

Best times to visit Botswana

Wildlife viewing in Botswana is excellent all year round. Each season has its own charm – from the lush vegetation of the Green Season to the golden-brown landscapes of the Dry Season. Botswana’s singular proposition is abundant resident wildlife and plentiful water which together make for a stunning safari location. Our month-to-month guide to visiting Botswana will help you plan your dream African safari.

Best times to visit South Africa

The best time to travel to South Africa largely depends on what you want to see and do during your visit.

If your heart is set on wildlife viewing, the best time to visit is during the dry winter season, from May to September. During this time, animals gather around waterholes and are easier to spot because the vegetation is less dense. Keep in mind though that winter can be a bit chilly, especially on game drives in the early mornings and evenings. 

If exploring South Africa’s coastal regions and beaches is what your heart desires, the best time to visit is during the summer months, from November to February. The weather is warm and sunny, with little to no rainfall.

Month-by-month guide for traveling in Botswana

During the green season, Botswana experiences the most rainfall, and it is an explosion of new life as the plains turn into a carpet of lush green. Water levels are lower in the delta during this time, and the dry desert areas become green; all in all, it is an excellent time for photography!
The Okavango floodplains, exposed by receding waters, is a thrilling predator-prey interaction time. Hyenas give birth in the open and migratory birds arrive in the millions. Lower water levels allow for walking safaris.
A large part of the Delta will still have permanent water, looking like a water wonderland and offering the quintessential Okavango experience of gliding through waterways on mokoros or boats.
The rains breathe new life into the bush, and many species give birth in areas like the Central Kalahari, making it a peak time for predator sightings as they take advantage of unsuspecting young prey. The influx of migratory species adds to the wondrous beauty of Botswana.
In April and May, the hot and sunny days in Botswana transition to cooler days, evenings, and nights. The animals are drawn to the water, making sightings easy.
The water levels in the Okavango Delta are determined by rainfall north of the border in Angola, and the floods arrive in the Delta up to six months later, causing the waterways to begin filling up.
Water is life, and it affords a huge diversity of flora and fauna, allowing land-based camps to offer both land and water activities. The Linyanti and Central Kalahari regions still have impressive game densities, and large numbers of elephants settle along the Linyanti River for the winter months. The increased water levels also bring in good numbers of water birds.
In November, the landscape in Botswana awaits the coming rainy season, and the vegetation is at its driest, making wildlife sightings easier as they congregate around water sources.
June to August, the dry season is the peak of the annual floods (though there is no rain) which are critical in maintaining biodiversity and necessitating adaptation by all creatures, including humans. Game densities multiply significantly as migratory animals arrive from the Kalahari Desert, and the annual catfish run draws an eager supporting cast of water birds.
The Linyanti Region's predator sightings are high due to the reduced vegetation cover, making this the best time to see wild dogs, which spans the dry season between June and August.
In June and July, the Kalahari is typically dry and cool. Wildlife sightings are excellent, including predators such as lions, cheetahs, and leopards, which are easier to spot among other smaller predators like meerkats and black-backed jackals.

Month-by-month guide for traveling in South Africa

December to February, is the hottest and wettest time of the year in South Africa. The weather is sunny and warm, with occasional thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Still, this is a great time to visit Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa. It is ideal weather to indulge in wine country around Cape Town, the botanical gardens and the beaches on the Cape.
March to May, is cooler and drier, with mild to warm temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night. The South African landscape turns from green to golden brown as the foliage changes color and sheds. May is a good time to travel to South Africa. March to May is the shoulder season in Cape Town and a good time to enjoy the sights with fewer visitors.
June to August, is the dry season in South Africa, with cool to cold temperatures during the day and chilly at night. June, July and August are the best time for wildlife viewing, especially predators, as the vegetation is sparse and prey gravitates to water sources.
September to November in South Africa is mild to warm, with occasional rain showers. September marks the beginning of spring in Cape Town, the best time for viewing wildflowers and entire Cape landscape is lush green after the winter rains.

9 days Itinerary to South Africa and Botswana

Botswana offers some of the most exclusive safari experiences in Africa

Stay at premium camps on wildlife-rich concessions in the grasslands of the Okavango Delta. Choose from 7 days, 9 days, 12 days, or 14 days safari options, and stay at different camps each offering an exceptionally high-quality safari experience and unique and abundant wildlife viewing.

Botswana and South Africa Itinerary

Day One: Arrival in Cape Town, South Africa

Day Two:  Explore the main sites of the city with a private guide

Day Three: Private Full-Day Peninsula and Sea Kayaking Tour to visit the Penguins’ Colony, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Funicular and Kirstenbosch Gardens.

Day Four: Full Day Wine tour at Stellenbosch and Delaire Graff Estate

Day Five:  Transfer to Moremi Game Reserve, one of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana

Day Six: Game drives and other activities in Moremi Game Reserve

Day Seven: Transfer to a private concession in the Okavango Delta

Day Eight: Game drives and other activities in the Delta

Day Nine: Departure from Maun, Botswana

Connect with Harsh Patil, our Africa Safari Expert to customize your African safari trip.

Eat Symbol

Food and culture of South Africa

The Northwestern Province of the Republic of South Africa and Botswana is inhabited by the Tswana tribe, a group that believes in working together and being united, and are a part of a bigger circle of tribes that are all guided by the Tswana culture. South African food history shows that the San people enjoyed a surprisingly varied menu of edible roots, leaves, plants, berries and nuts. One of Nelson Mandela’s favourites was the Umngqusho, made with broken dried maize kernels, vegetables, and local spices. Another popular item in Southern Africa is Vetkoek or fried dough bread that is eaten best with honey or jam; so delicious that they can be an entire meal! For all the meat lovers, Botswana prides itself in its traditional meat dish Seswaa which is served with a side of porridge.

South Africa Elephant Safari
Language Spoken

Languages spoken:

Setswana, Africans, English

Children Play

Fun Fact

In Botswana, foreigners are called “lekgoa” which literally translates to ‘spat out by the sea’


One reason you should go here

Get the unique opportunity to embark on one of the world’s most extravagant train journeys

South Africa and Botswana Safari

Travel FAQs on visiting Botswana.

Botswana is a Southern African landlocked nation. It is bounded by South Africa on the south and east, Namibia on the west, and Zimbabwe to the east.

Botswana is renowned for its rich wildlife and premium safari camps. It offers land and water safaris, deserts, plains, riverside forests, and the Okavango Delta – the largest inland wetland in the world. It’s home to the Kalahari Desert and the Linyanti, also bursting with abundant wildlife. Chobe National Park has the highest number of wild elephants in Africa. Travelers can spot the African Big Five, rare birds, and witness a zebra migration – all in all a perfect wildlife safari destination.

Setswana is commonly spoken in the region, although English is also widely used, particularly at the safari camps.


Travelers from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries are exempt from needing a visa to visit Botswana. 

If your country isn’t on the visa-exempt travel list, you can easily apply for one online. Visit the Botswana evisa website to see the updated list of countries that require a visa.


Botswana is an amazing destination to explore any time of year, but knowing what to expect during the dry and rainy seasons will help you make your decision and the most of your time there.

The dry season is the ideal time for spotting predators when the vegetation is sparse, and as prey gather at permanent water bodies. The rainy season, on the contrary, is the ideal time to explore the Kalahari Game Reserve mainly because the wilderness comes alive with abundant flora & fauna. Check our month-by-month guide to plan your travel to Botswana.


Botswana is renowned for its luxurious safari experiences, offering some of the most lavish lodges on the continent. From lunar-like deserts and open plains to riverside forests and papyrus-lined waterways, Botswana offers a unique blend of excitement and luxury in one of the world’s most remote destinations. 

The Okavango Delta is one of the most wildlife-rich safari locations on the planet, while Chobe National Park is home to the highest number of elephants in Africa. Visitors to Botswana can expect to see the Big Five, rare species such as lechwe and sitatunga, amazing birds, an annual zebra migration, and breathtaking landscapes of deserts, waterways, and baobabs. With impeccable safari accommodations and unparalleled access to pristine and unspoiled wilderness, Botswana is the crown jewel safari destination.

Home to all Big Five species – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo, Botswana has the most spectacular wildlife in Africa. Apart from the Big Five, Botswana has a healthy wildlife population of cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs, meerkats, African buffalo, hippos, zebras, giraffes, springbok, and several species of antelope spread across different parks. With over 130,000 elephants within its boundaries, Botswana is home to the world’s largest elephant population. 

Botswana is also a hotspot for birdwatchers with approximately 550 different species of birds. The Okavango Delta, the Chobe Riverfront, and the Nater Bird Sanctuary are some of the top favorites. Seeing the migratory pink flamingos flock at Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans National Park is a spellbinding African safari experience, to say the least.

Botswana’s zebra migration is Africa’s second-largest mammal migration after the great wildebeest migration of the Serengeti and Masai Mara. 

There are actually two zebra migrations in Botswana: the first is the Nxai Pan Zebra Migration, which occurs between the Chobe River and Nxai Pan; the second group making its way to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in search of nutrient-rich grasses. 

The rainy season is the ideal time to witness zebra migration in Botswana, and safari-goers can expect to see thousands of zebras making their way across the plains.

Travel FAQs on visiting South Africa.

South Africa is the southern tip of the African continent, with the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its land borders Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland making it an ideal destination for those looking to explore the beauty of Southern Africa.

South Africa is a traveler’s paradise, with daily flights to major cities, chartered planes to safari lodges, and good roads for a self-drive to the Kalahari region or the Garden Route. Enjoy vibrant culture, delicious food, and a sunny climate. Don’t miss Cape Town’s beaches, Winelands, and its culinary scene. Thrill seekers can dive with Great White Sharks or try bungee jumping, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, and paragliding. Adventure awaits!

South Africa is a diverse country, with Zulu as the most widely spoken language. Our tour and safari guides are bilingual and experienced, speaking English fluently.

U.S. and U.K. tourists can stay in South Africa visa-free for 90 days. Other nations must apply for a visa online; for a list of countries requiring visas, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

South Africa is a great destination year-round, with diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife viewing. Summer (Dec-Mar) and winter (Jun-Aug) are the peak travel seasons, while May-Oct is the best time for safaris. For beach holidays, Nov and Mar are ideal for Cape Town and the Eastern Cape.

Some of the best places to visit in South Africa include Cape Town, Tswalu Reserve, Phinda Rock, Kruger National Park, and the Drakensberg Mountains. Other noteworthy locations are Johannesburg, Durban, Table Mountain National Park, Blyde River Canyon, and Robben Island.

Whether you’re a first-time safari-goer or a seasoned traveler, South Africa has something to offer everyone. The Kruger National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves and is home to the iconic “Big Five” – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. For those looking for a more exclusive safari experience, the Tswalu Reserve in the Kalahari, Madikwe Game Reserve, and Sabi Sands Reserve are all excellent options. 

For wildlife lovers, South Africa is a paradise, where they can witness the majestic “Big Five” – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos – as well as giraffes, zebras, hippos, gators, and several species of antelope. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the abundance of species, including the stunning lilac-breasted roller. And if you venture to the eastern shores, you can spot whales, great white sharks, dolphins, penguins and seals, making South Africa a truly unforgettable experience.