Family holidays in Botswana are more accessible than ever without losing any of the unique character which makes the country one of Africa’s wildest and most rewarding safari destinations.
It’s not a budget break and game reserves have rejected mass tourism in favour of more natural, authentic experiences often with personal guides and tailored activity options. So while you will find several places with excellent facilities for younger children, Botswana is best of all for older kids and an unforgettable adventure for over 12s and teenagers.
There are direct flights from London to Johannesburg all year round and flying time from Johannesburg to the Botswana capital, Gaberone, is one hour.
The herd of over 70,000 elephants in Botswana’s Chobe National Park is the world’s largest.
Internationally recognised as one of the safest countries for family safaris, Botswana has an outstanding visitor infrastructure but no mass tourism.
The Okavango is the world’s largest inland delta and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Almost the entire Kalahari Desert is in the south of the country and home to the indigenous Basarwa people.
Botswana is landlocked and shares borders with South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Family-friendly safari experiences with excellent accommodation, activity packages and exceptionally high safety standards are available in all Botswana’s
Botswana is one of the most politically and economically stable African countries. Independent since 1966, it has a flourishing niche tourism industry and a well-deserved reputation for the high-quality, safety and comfort of its safari holidays. Several travel companies are Botswana specialists and tailor experiences for families in areas with good accommodation, accessible viewing, reliable transport and kids activity programmes with local guides. So the first step is choosing where you want to go in this bio-diverse, magnificent and adventure rich country.
At the heart of the Okavango Delta, Moremi is Botswana’s best reserve for the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo). It’s also home to the country’s finest game lodges and almost all the iconic on-safari-in-Botswana experiences. Annual floods in May cover the delta with a network of rivers, lakes and lagoons. Oddly this is during the Okavango dry season (April to October) so it’s a particularly spectacular time to visit.
Botswana’s large, northern game reserve covers over 11,000km² and 70,000 plus African elephants make their home here. This is a must-do for kids and there are several luxurious family-friendly lodges and camps in both the north east and west of the park.
With the exception of the vast Kalahari (53,000km²) this is one of the least developed reserves and has considerably fewer visitors than nearby Chobe to the east. The wildlife here is remarkable and it’s one of the best places in the country to see plain’s predators hunting smaller species.
Most game reserves and national parks have scheduled flights from Gabarone and a wide range of excellent transport from 4 x 4s for drive safaris to river boats and private jeeps. Self-drive is always an option but the distances in Botswana are huge, enormous stretches of the country are uninhabited and both the landscape and weather can be challenging, especially with kids.