The 5 Best Things to do on a first-time Botswana safari

Botswana is a Southern African country of legendary safari status and the most popular question we hear from travellers headed there is: ‘what are the best things to do on a first-time Botswana safari?’

Generally speaking, Botswana can be divided into three main areas; the wetter regions of the north, set along the Chobe River and Okavango Delta; the vast Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi Pans; then the southern Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. All these areas are unique and beautiful in their own right, and we’ve discovered that they offer some of the best experiences for first-time travellers.

If you’re looking to conquer the top highlights of this safari superpower, our seven-day Kasane to Maun Best of Botswana safari package showcases exactly this. Or, if you might like a taste of what this entails, keep reading through our personal SW Africa round-up of the five best things to do on a first time Botswana safari.

Sundowners on the Chobe River

best things to do on a first-time Botswana safari

As a first time traveller in Botswana, be sure to soak up the scenery on a sunset cruise along the Chobe by riverboat, paired with signature sundowners served crisp and cold. The lighting during this time of day is absolutely perfect for capturing breathtaking photos, as you keep an eye out for grunting hippos and African skimmers as they glide out over the water.

Experience the Chobe ellies

best things to do on a first-time Botswana safari

If you love elephants, the Chobe River needs to be at the top of your list. This area hosts one of the largest concentrations of elephants in Africa, and a 4×4 game drive through the Chobe National Park ensures many sightings of herds gently meandering along the riverine landscape.

A birds-eye view over the Okavango Delta

best things to do on a first-time Botswana safari

The only way to get right into the heart of the Okavango Delta is via a small plane transfer. This signature experience is listed on our best Botswana safari package options, and is preferred by most travellers departing from Maun, looking for an easy way to their camp. It offers the most breathtaking view of this shimmering landscape, home to a host of African game.

Meandering on a mokoro

best things to do on a first-time Botswana safari

Most of the water-based lodges in the Okavango Delta offer rides on mokoros (traditional dugout canoes). This unique way to travel across the water is a must for a first-time Botswana safari. Look out for various water birds and some of the smaller creatures that call this wetland home, as you drift gently along.

Gaze over the Makgadikgadi Pan

best things to do on a first-time Botswana safari

Just south of the Okavango Delta lies the sparse, yet stunning Makgadikgadi Pan. This giant salt flat (once an ancient lake) is one of the best places to visit during a first-time Botswana safari. Extending some 12,000 square kilometers, the pan attracts an abundance of wildlife that wander along its edges, feeding on the salty licks.

Take a look at our Best of Botswana safari package to get an idea of what your trip could look like, or if you would like us to tailor make your journey from scratch, get in touch with us here.