Yes, it is more expensive
Botswana has a reputation for being an expensive safari destination, and it is when compared to its neighbouring countries. However, that doesn't mean there aren't ways to get the price down.
Why is it more expensive?
The government here have taken a sustainable view on their precious lands, not to allow them to become filled with lodges and game viewing vehicles. The result, more demand than supply, and this can mean two things. One, the camps book up very quickly, and two, the lodges can charge a premium.
That said, don't think this is the lodges profiting. Operating costs in these remote regions are very high, especially if you are going 5-star. Also, the lodges invest heavily into the people and environment around them; they are tirelessly working towards a better future for Botswana and its people.
Also, the areas you are travelling are pristine wilderness. The quality of offering and exclusiveness also justifies a higher price. It's relative to the rest of the safari market.
So how much does it cost?
The starting price for the more basic camps is £500 per person per night and inclusions vary. The luxury lodge prices start from £900 per person per night and are generally fully inclusive. Price can get up to circa £2000 per person per night, and these are just unbelievable; up there with some of the best properties in the world.
On top of this, there are transfer costs, private guide costs (if wanted) and other activities like helicopter flights which are additional.
The benefits of self-driving - camping
One advantage of self-driving is that you have the ability to camp. Campsite cost range, but they are roughly £50 per person per night, which is more manageable.
We also don't see camping as the second-best option; camping in the African bush is an experience many will cherish, and often enjoy recalling over a nights stay in a lodge.
However, our view is that a combination of the two is the best. That way you get the full Botswana offering. You also reduce your average nightly spend down Vs a lodging only itinerary.
When to book?
As mentioned, the lodges and campsites book up so far in advance. You want to be booking at least 12 months in advance if you're going in-season (July-October).
Ready to book?
See our Classic Botswana (6-nights lodging and 8-nights camping) for inspiration, or speak to one of our experts today should you wish for us to build you an itinerary from scratch.