Botswana on a Budget

SAVE YOUR PENNIES

At Natural Selection, we believe that everyone should go on a Botswana safari at least once in their life – and it shouldn’t be any old Botswana safari. We think it should be a truly diverse, all-singing, all-dancing sort of trip; one that showcases Botswana’s truly wild places and natural glory. And it also shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. A tall order? We’ve come up with this fantastic, budget-friendly custom safari to three different areas of Botswana that shows it’s absolutely possible…

Your journey begins at the Boteti River on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, where activities include Bushmen walks, boat cruises and plenty of game drives. You’ll then head to the Khwai Private Reserve and stay in two beautiful and very different locations. Khwai is quintessential Botswana and the emerald plains are home to an enormous variety of wildlife making for a truly fantastic end to your trip.

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Price from:

From $3,188

Duration:

7 nights/8 days

Departure Dates:

Year round

Min / Max Group Size

Enquire with reservations

Trip Begins / Ends

Maun, Botswana / Maun, Botswana

Includes Mobile Camping:

No

Details, Details

Highlights

  • Compare two destinations in Botswana and discover the different species that call them home at a very purse-friendly price.
  • Make the most of staying in the private Khwai Reserve and sample game drives, night drives and walking safaris – the best of everything!
  • Take a walk with the indigenous Bushmen, and discover the history and culture of the people of the Makgadikgadi.
  • Marvel at the second largest migration of mammals in Africa, and watch as 40,000 zebra and wildebeest converge at the Boteti River (May to November).
  • Search for unique desert-adapted animals and marvel at the breath-taking isolation of the endless salt pans.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $3,188 per person sharing (based on a minimum of 2 people travelling). Single supplements apply for groups of 3 and above. Please contact reservations for single traveller pricing, as rates will vary. Please note that the price is dependent on actual travel dates. Prices are valid until 31 December 2019.

Included: Accommodation, all meals & local beverages, all light aircraft and road transfers to and from Maun, all light aircraft and road transfers between camps, guest laundry, daily activities, expert guiding, park entrance fees & VAT.

Excluded: Premium brand drinks, gratuities and fully comprehensive travel insurance.

Child Policy: Children aged 6 years and older are welcome. Please contact reservations for child pricing and policies.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is available at all three camps on this itinerary.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: This itinerary has been designed to keep costs down but if you’re looking for a little something extra, you might like to spend the night under the stars at Skybeds in Khwai.

When to Go & What to Pack

This itinerary runs throughout the year. The dry, winter months of June to October are the most expensive time of year to travel so if you’re looking to save some pennies, we highly recommend travelling in what’s known as the shoulder season which is slightly cheaper, or even the green season. In Botswana, the shoulder season months are April to mid-June and November to January, and green season is January, February & March. Do remember, however, that you may only quad bike in the dry months (April to October).

As for packing, we recommend that you bring lots of light, neutral-coloured layers, preferably in natural fabrics. There are laundry facilities in all camps so don’t bring too much. Sturdy shoes are a must for walking safaris, and sun cream, a hat, sunglasses and any medication you take are all essentials. We also highly recommend a good book and your swimming kit, just in case.

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Highlights

  • Compare two destinations in Botswana and discover the different species that call them home at a very purse-friendly price.
  • Make the most of staying in the private Khwai Reserve and sample game drives, night drives and walking safaris – the best of everything!
  • Take a walk with the indigenous Bushmen, and discover the history and culture of the people of the Makgadikgadi.
  • Marvel at the second largest migration of mammals in Africa, and watch as 40,000 zebra and wildebeest converge at the Boteti River (May to November).
  • Search for unique desert-adapted animals and marvel at the breath-taking isolation of the endless salt pans.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: From $3,188 per person sharing (based on a minimum of 2 people travelling). Single supplements apply for groups of 3 and above. Please contact reservations for single traveller pricing, as rates will vary. Please note that the price is dependent on actual travel dates. Prices are valid until 31 December 2019.

Included: Accommodation, all meals & local beverages, all light aircraft and road transfers to and from Maun, all light aircraft and road transfers between camps, guest laundry, daily activities, expert guiding, park entrance fees & VAT.

Excluded: Premium brand drinks, gratuities and fully comprehensive travel insurance.

Child Policy: Children aged 6 years and older are welcome. Please contact reservations for child pricing and policies.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is available at all three camps on this itinerary.

Can this itinerary be customised? Yes, this itinerary can be fully customised.

Extension ideas: This itinerary has been designed to keep costs down but if you’re looking for a little something extra, you might like to spend the night under the stars at Skybeds in Khwai.

When to Go & What to Pack

This itinerary runs throughout the year. The dry, winter months of June to October are the most expensive time of year to travel so if you’re looking to save some pennies, we highly recommend travelling in what’s known as the shoulder season which is slightly cheaper, or even the green season. In Botswana, the shoulder season months are April to mid-June and November to January, and green season is January, February & March. Do remember, however, that you may only quad bike in the dry months (April to October).

As for packing, we recommend that you bring lots of light, neutral-coloured layers, preferably in natural fabrics. There are laundry facilities in all camps so don’t bring too much. Sturdy shoes are a must for walking safaris, and sun cream, a hat, sunglasses and any medication you take are all essentials. We also highly recommend a good book and your swimming kit, just in case.

Our Guides

As guides ourselves, we are only too aware of the importance of great guiding on safari. At Natural Selection, our guides live and breathe the bush. They know its rhythms, its beats and its quirks. They can spot a leopard’s whisker from around a corner, and they have an innate ability to expect the unexpected. Most importantly, they love to share their knowledge and delight for all aspects of Africa’s ecosystems, from the smallest plant to the hairiest mammal, and everything in between. Many of our guides are from the local communities, and they are always happy to discuss their cultures, backgrounds and upbringings. After all, understanding the way of life of the local people can bring a whole new perspective to the land you’re exploring. And did we mention that they are all fantastic company, with some of the biggest personalities in the business? But we can’t vouch for their jokes…

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive in Maun and drive to Meno a Kwena, Makgadikgadi National Park

Settle in to your new desert home and enjoy an afternoon lazing by the river, sundowners in hand.

 Days 2 & 3: Meno a Kwena, Makgadikgadi National Park

The next two days will be filled withBushmen walks, game drives, village explorations and desert wildlife. There are far worse ways to spend a couple of days…

Day 4: Drive back to Maun and fly to Hyena Pan, Khwai Private Reserve

Today you will drive across the desert landscapes back to Maun before hopping on a small plane to the Khwai Private Reserve.

Day 5: Hyena Pan, Khwai Private Reserve

Enjoy a game drive in the morning, then change the pace with a walking safari or a visit to the magnificent Elephant Hide in the afternoon.

Day 6: Drive to The Jackal & Hide, Khwai Private Reserve

Enjoy the landscapes whizzing past as you drive to The Jackal & Hide, your second location in the beautiful KPR – it’s an action-packed day and you’ll sleep well tonight!

Day 7: The Jackal & Hide, Khwai Private Reserve

Explore the luscious surroundings on a water-based safari by mokoro or boat (water levels depending) and see the wildlife from a different perspective.

Day 8: Fly back to Maun for your onward flight

The last day of a safari is always bittersweet, but sadly it’s time to say goodbye to Khwai and drive back to Maun.

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Accommodations

Meno a Kwena is one of Botswana’s original safari camps. Views are out-of-this-world good and each tent looks over the Boteti River and the herds of zebra that it attracts. Meno isn’t a camp of unnecessary frills; instead, you’ll find rooms full of character and unique eccentricities, personalised service, and a huge dose of passion for the bush.

In Khwai, Hyena Pan is one of the most purse-friendly camps in any Botswana private concession. But that doesn’t mean we’ve compromised on style and comfort – we’ve simply kept things laid-back and relaxed. The same goes for The Jackal & Hide, which is refreshingly simple yet stylish and comfortable. At both camps there are cool swimming pools and shady seating areas to chill out in between game drives and keep your eyes on the happenings in the bush.

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Wildlife

The highlight of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is undoubtedly the second largest migration of mammals in Africa, in which 30,000 zebra and wildebeest rumble across the area, congregating at the Boteti River in April in a dazzle of black and white (and grey and brown). Add to that some of the rarest desert species on the continent and the wildlife experience here is a special one.

The Khwai Private Reserve is positively bursting with game, and it’s just as varied as the habitats you’re driving through. Wildlife moves freely from the neighbouring Moremi Game Reserve and you’ll see buffalo, zebra, reedbuck, red lechwe, sable and roan antelope, and waterbuck dotted over the landscape. Predators are plentiful and lion and leopard hide in the mopane bush, whilst cheetah and wild dog frequently cross the open plains. And don’t forget the elephant – there’s an extraordinary number of the grey pachyderms in the park and the sightings are top-notch.

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