Has someone told you, “You just have to go on an African wildlife safari!”? But you were not sure what they meant. Don’t worry! You are not alone.
While an African wildlife safari is a bucket list vacation for many people, it can also be intimidating and confusing. We get so many questions about going on a safari—what it is, how it works, where to go, etc.—that we wanted to create a blog series to help you out.
Over the next few blogs, we’re going to deep dive into everything you need to know about African wildlife safaris. For this first blog, we are starting with “What is an African Wildlife Safari?”
So, let’s go!
What is an African Wildlife Safari?
In the simplest terms, an African Wildlife Safari is a sightseeing trip to observe animals in the wild (bush). These are NOT hunting safaris. No animals are harmed during a wildlife safari. Instead, you go out in a 4×4 vehicle and search for animals in the vastness of the African wilderness—off-road and/or on designated paths.
The word “safari” is actually a Swahili word that means “journey or trip.” This is why, when we discuss going on safari, we don’t talk about an end goal. It’s about spending time exploring the bush and everything it has to offer. It is about the journey, and experiencing everything you can—and not the destination.
and is ultimately responsible for your incredible (and safe) experience.
An unguided safari is more like driving through a national park in other areas of the world and hoping you see something, anything. You rent a 4×4 and drive on the paths and roads, crossing your fingers that wildlife will be nearby and easy to spot. There is no guide to help you track, and you will NOT be in an open-air vehicle for your own safety.
But a wildlife safari guide offers even more than the ability to find more animals. They are also living encyclopedias. We dare you to try and stump your guide with a question. If they have been guiding for a few years, there are few questions they have not answered and few facts about the animals, landscape, plants, and stars that they have not learned.
What Are the Different Types of Wildlife Safaris?
Now that you know what an African wildlife safari is, let’s talk about the different types of safari experiences you can expect. It may seem a lot more complicated than a trip to the city or theme park, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are three main types of safaris, each at a different price point and with a unique experience: Self-Drive Safaris, Mobile Camping Safaris, and Lodge Safaris.
This is the most basic type of safari and the most affordable (kind of). You rent a car, buy tickets to a national park, and drive yourself and your family around the park searching for animals.
The simplest version of a self-drive safari is a day trip to a park such as Kruger National Park in South Africa. In this case, you would purchase a park ticket for one day and drive along the roads within the public portion of the park and see what animals you can see. You CANNOT drive off-road in this case, and you will be in the portion of Kruger that is open to all tourists (this means it is BUSY).
A more complicated type of self-drive safari is a multi-day camping safari. For this type of self-drive safari, you would rent a 4×4 vehicle and pay for a campsite within a national park such as the Khwai Community Concession. You would set up your campsite, and then every day of your trip, drive out in your vehicle along the paths to see what wildlife you can discover. You would need to be proficient at both camping and driving off-road.
The key thing to remember about self-drive safaris is that you are 100% on your own. You do not have a professional guide who knows the area or the animals. You have to be completely self-sufficient. Oftentimes, this results in vehicles getting stuck and needing to be rescued or poor animal sightings because you can’t track them.
Mobile Camping Safaris
The next type of safari is a mobile camping safari. This is what we are at Brave Africa. Basically, you work with a safari company to go on a guided safari. The company provides the tents, vehicles, food, and professional guides to make your experience as incredible as possible.
The difference between a mobile camping safari and a lodge is that a mobile safari takes place in mobile tents that can move between locations. This means you can sign up for one safari package, and the company will move you between locations on your safari without you having to book different lodges in different locations and pay for travel between each site. Think of it like paying for a tour versus paying for separate hotels.
However, it is important to note that there are different levels of mobile camping safaris.
Basic: The basic level includes very small camping tents without attached baths or toilets, and that you may need to set up and tear down yourself. You should also expect simple meals (sandwiches or basic fare cooked over a fire), and very few other accommodations. You mostly pay for the professional guide and the safari vehicle to take you around. This is a no-frills type of camping safari.
Premier: A comfortable but modest mobile camping safari experience, which includes larger tents that are put up and taken down by the safari company. But the tents still tend to be basic along with the meals. You should expect drop toilets, potentially communal shower areas, cots instead of mattresses, and basic meals. This is a good option for people who are okay with roughing it.
Luxury: At the highest level, you’ll find mobile camping safaris like Brave Africa. We are a full-service African wildlife safari offering outstanding amenities, ambiance, service, and experiences. We offer large 3-room tents, luxurious mattresses, flushing toilets, private showers, superb chef-cooked meals, a fully-stocked bar, and all the amenities. We take care of everything just like if you were staying at a lodge. You’ll have a professional guide, daily housekeeping, laundry services, chef-prepared meals, and so much more.
For a mobile camping safari, you typically book a longer multi-day trip with a company that will allow you to go on safari in a few different locations. For example, we offer both 6-night and 9-night mobile camping safaris where you spend 3 nights at each campsite before moving to another location. Think of it like booking a safari tour, and all you have to do is show up and we do the rest.
The final type of safari is the lodge safari. This experience is most similar to booking an all-inclusive hotel. You find a lodge in a location where you would like to stay, and you book your room in the lodge for however long you want to stay.
But lodges provide the ULTIMATE luxury. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend, you can stay in the most elegant and opulent lodge imaginable, with private pools in each room, the highest-end liquors, and the full range of world-class comforts and delights. There are also lower-end lodges that use very similar tents to Brave Africa and have a very similar experience, but you will still pay more for the lodge because their expenses are slightly higher, and you’ll require more bush flights.
Plan Your African Wildlife Safari Today
An African wildlife safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you do not want to miss. It is transformative and life-enriching. You will talk about it for years to come!
And, if you are like most guests, your first safari will not be your last. You’ll discover how incredible it is to sleep under the stars, hear a lion’s powerful roar, witness colorful birds in flight, and make memories that fill you with wonder and excitement. You will not only want to come back, but you will want to share the experience with everyone you meet.
We are thrilled to offer last-minute bookings on your safari with Brave Africa for 2023 at a significant discount! Receive $100-off per night per person for any safaris booked in August, September, October, and November 2023! That’s $900 in savings on our 9-night safari (per person) and $600 in savings on our 6-night safari (per person). There’s even a savings of $40/night for low-season safaris booked in December!
This is a one-time-only special, so don’t hesitate to book now! These fill-the-calendar rates are only available for the end of the 2023 season.
Pay Less for Last-Minute Safari Bookings in 2023!
As part of this year-end special, we are also removing our fees for custom safaris. As long as your safari meets our minimum requirements ( 2 guests and 3 nights) there is no additional fee for a non-standard safari. Whether you need a 5-night safari for 3 guests or a 3-night safari for 2 guests, we would be happy to make your safari possible.
Why Should You Book a Safari with Brave Africa?
There are so many reasons to book a safari with Brave Africa now, and it’s not just our great pricing! We have one of the best guides in Botswana, our mobile safari offers lodge-like comfort combined with an authentic experience, and our team is dedicated to hospitality and ensuring you have a wonderful time on safari that you’ll remember forever.
Meet Tabona Wina: Brave Africa’s Founder, President, and World-Class Guide
“Mr. Tabona Wina is a skillful guide, with a deep knowledge of the flora and fauna of Botswana. He was able to locate and track many wonderful animals. We felt safe while on safari drive with him.” —PaultVo TripAdvisor
“If you don’t have a “Wina” (our guide), you don’t have ½ the experience. Wina has 10+ years experience in Botswana. He knows every animal, behavior, tracking paw prints, birds, even knows about animal poop!” —Rick TripAdvisor
“I went on the most wonderful safari with Wina and his dedicated team. I’ve been on a few safaris in my time and this has been far and away the best. Wina is incredibly knowledgable and passionate about nature!” —Leo TripAdvisor
Brave Africa is a Mobile Safari Offering Lodge-Like Comfort
“Oh, and of course there was the 5-star all inclusive accommodation. My wife has never camped in her life and had only compliments. From king size beds, to toilets, to warm showers… this is a luxurious way to enjoy nature. All done sustainably and in harmony with the surrounding environment.” —Fernando TripAdvisor
“For a luxury mobile tented safari but at a reasonable price you can’t beat this company. The tents are luxurious (very comfortable beds), the staff extremely attentive and the food cooked by Rachel exceptional.” —Michael TripAdvisor
“Now to the Brave Africa mobile camp. Can I just say, I’m NOT a camper and have never once considered a camping vacation. Well, this is not camping and it’s even a step or two above glamping. The tents are huge with 3 separate sections and a covered porch-all divided by zippers. The front section holds 2 twin beds that can be converted into a king (with comforter, decorative pillows and throw), 2 nightstands, and a canvas floor and rugs. The next section holds the toilet! It’s a regular full-size toilet, a stand with for the wash basin, pitcher, hand soap, lotion, etc. and a closet. The back section is the outdoor shower (fully enclosed for privacy), with shampoo, conditioner and soap included. We even had DAILY laundry service. The Brave Africa staff was just lovely, so welcoming and accommodating.” —Sheree TripAdvisor
Discover Exceptional Hospitality and Have an Experience to Remember Forever
“I cannot write a review without mentioning the large staff. Every single one of them were one of the loveliest people I have ever met. They simply cared…about everything, singing beautiful songs as a group, which I will never forget. The team was genuinely interested in who I was and wanted to know more. They smiled with such a genuineness that will bring me back to share more experiences with them, again.” —Laurie, Trip Advisor
“What a top notch Mobil Safari Camp by Brave Africa. I loved the warm bucket shower which prepared ahead by the staff, on the cool nights and before bedtime, I stepped out on our tent patio to do my brushing under the starry night. Love it!!! The Brave Africa staff was very courteous and friendly, and this was a once in a lifetime trip to remember. We will be back.” —Mylinh TripAdvisor
“And then there were the accommodations and food. The tent had twin beds pushed together to make a king and very comfortable. The flushable indoor toilet was fabulous, along with the bucket shower that was filled up with warm water for us. I am not into camping so this was right up my alley! The food was 5 star as well, and no shortage of it. We had 3 meals along with snacks on safari. We enjoyed a few drinks with Wina every evening – he is a gracious host! The entire team was incredibly friendly and it was just a fun time. Fun and educational. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using this company for a safari in Botswana. I’m even telling random travel agents I run into!” —Susan TripAdvisor
Any experienced safari enthusiast will tell you, “The most important element of an outstanding safari is the guide.” Safari guides play a crucial role in providing travelers with a memorable and safe experience in the African bush.
Guest Safety: Your safari guide is ultimately responsible for your safety. They have spent years learning everything there is to know about spending time in the Bush. Whether it’s understanding when and how to approach animals, navigating nature, or setting guest rules, safety is always a top priority.
Passion for Wildlife: With a talent for reading and understanding animal behavior and the language of the Bush, safari guides share their passion for wildlife with every guest. Not only will they educate you about every animal you see, but they’ll make sure the safari experience is as sustainable and eco-conscious as possible.
Animal Tracking: A safari is not a zoo. The animals are wild and free to roam, but your guide has the skills to track them. This is especially important for predators, which can be difficult to find if you don’t know the sounds and tracks to look for.
Share Knowledge: There are hundreds of birds, thousands of unique flora and fauna, and dozens and dozens of difficult animals. Somehow, your guide will know them all. They are walking and talking encyclopedias on everything in the bush.
Camp Hospitality: On safari, your guide is not just your connection to the wilderness they are also your Bush host. They’ll become your close companion on long game drives, at meal times, and so many moments in between.
Meet Tabona Wina: Brave Africa’s Premier Safari Guide
Tabona Wina is a Motswana born and raised in Francistown, Botswana. He is a Co-owner, President, and Founder at Brave Africa Safaris, as well as a level 3 experienced guide (the highest level).
From a young child, Wina has always been interested in animals and nature. Whether he was spending time on a farm, in the plowing fields, or at the cattle posts, his favorite part was working with the sheep, cattle, and goats. And while doing so, he also gained exposure to the wilds, sparking his love and passion for the Bush.
But living in the city, Wina didn’t have very many opportunities to explore nature—at least as much as he wanted, especially as his schooling got more intense. So, for a while, he left the Bush behind and began his career working in Public Health after college. But while his job was fulfilling, it couldn’t replace the joy and beauty Wina found in the wild.
Career as a Safari Guide in Botswana
Then, in 2007, the opportunity finally came for Wina to go back to his first love. With the help of his family, he followed his heart and pursued his dream of becoming a safari guide by joining the Tourism Industry. And the rest is history.
Wina reignited his love and passion for the Bush immediately. And by 2008, he earned his professional guiding license and a job guiding at African Bush Camps (ABC)—a premier safari company with lodges in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
For over a decade, Wina helped grow ABC while exploring his passion for wildlife, the environment, and amazing guest experiences. Under the guidance of Beks Ndlovu at ABC, he learned the guiding principles of intuition, respect, and sharing, and developed an incredible depth of knowledge and breadth of experience that is unparalleled. He quickly became the go-to guide for special guests and was regularly requested by anyone and everyone in the know.
Founding of Brave Africa
Then, in 2018, Wina was given a new opportunity. While guiding a young American couple on an incredible Safari in Linyanti and Savuti, he shared his private dream of owning his own safari company. They believed in him and his vision, and a year later in 2019, Brave Africa Safaris was born.
Wina is not just the President and Co-Owner of Brave Africa, he is our beating heart. It is his deep love and respect for the Botswana Bush that is woven into every aspect of our company from our “leave no trace behind” campsites to our all-day immersive safaris. Everything that is Bush-based is his forté. For Wina, there is nothing better than sharing his passion for wildlife with others.
Being a safari guide in Botswana is not just Tabona Wina’s dream; it is his calling!
5 Questions and Answers with Tabona Wina
How long have you been a guide? 15 years
After so long as a guide, do you still enjoy it? Yes! Animal behavior is just amazing. Over the years, I’ve never lost my love. I really really enjoy my time in the bush. This is my destiny. I am going to die in the Bush.
What is one of your favorite parts of being a guide? You never stop learning! You learn something new every single day you are in the Bush. Whether you are looking at vegetation, insects, or animal behavior, there is always something to learn. Whenever I am in the Bush, I feel like I’m growing my education.
Do you have a favorite animal? I love all the animals, but I have developed a particular love for elephants. I think in my previous life I was an elephant. I get so attached to them; I can feel their presence. They have a beautiful social structure with a Matriarchal society where the entire herd follows the oldest female. And the thought of that is incredible.
Do you have a particular guiding memory about elephants you can share? I had always heard and understood that elephants can mourn family members when they die, but I had never witnessed it. But when I was working for ABC in Linyanti one time, there was a local elephant we knew very well. He was an ancient guy with one tusk who died of old age. A few months later when he was just bones, I passed by his skeleton and found six Bull elephants with massive tusks surrounding the bones. Looking at their facial expressions, I could see they were mourning. I watched them for a while as one elephant picked a bone off of the ground and played with it in his tusk, tasted it, and then passed it to the next elephant. The bone went around the entire circle until it went back to the first elephant and then they walked off with the bone before tossing it in a new location. It was an amazing experience watching them scatter bones just as humans scatter ashes.
What do Guests Say About Tabona Wina as a Safari Guide in Botswana?
“How do I know there are 23 types of antelope – because of our fabulous guide Wina. He MADE the entire adventure. He was a walking Wikipedia with 3 years of schooling and 10 years of experience. I just can’t say enough about Wina. Besides his vast knowledge and charming personality, he always made our safety his top priority.” —Sheree F. TripAdvisor
“Mr. Tabona Wina is a skillful guide, with a deep knowledge of the flora and fauna of Botswana. He was able to locate and track many wonderful animals – elephants, lions, cheetah, hyenas and wild dogs, to name a few. We felt safe while on safari drive with him.” —PaultVo TripAdvisor
“If you don’t have a “Wina” (our guide), you don’t have ½ the experience. Wina has 10+ years experience in Botswana, he taught most of the guides. He knows every animal, behavior, tracking paw prints, birds, even knows about animal poop! Very important if you want to catch your animal. It’s like we’re hunting in a Landcruiser, everyone on watch, hoping to spy the next amazing sighting!” —Rick F. TripAdvisor
“Mostly however the superb skills of the resourceful Tabona Wina as Guide make this really special as he has an extraordinary ability to find game.” —Michaelk TripAdvisor
“I went on the most wonderful safari with Wina and his dedicated team. I’ve been on a few safaris in my time and this has been far and away the best. Wina is incredibly knowledgable and passionate about nature, and through his skill we were able to see a whole range of animals from lions to painted dogs to buffalo to elephants and, most excitingly of all, a leopard!” —LJHK TripAdvisor
“Wina is in a class ALL by himself, an expert tracker and naturalist who knew what seemed to me, everything about the bush. Everyday was a new and exciting adventure. It didn’t matter at all that we were in ‘Green’ season and that all the bush was full and tall. He tracked dogs, cats, hyena, cheetah, leopard and spotted all the little birds and animals that I would never have seen, had I not been with such an accomplished guide. Wina cares about them all, so deeply. He educated me about everything that my endlessly curious mind wanted to know!” —Herbeingness TripAdvisor
“Tabona Wina is a great guide, host and manager. We saw so many animals: elephants, lions, zebra, impala, a cheetah, a leopard, hippos, giraffe, buffalo and more. On day 2, Wina stopped the vehicle and said, “I see a hyena…he has blood on his mouth”. We could barely see it but he could, and off road we went to find about a dozen of them feasting on a recent kill. We just sat in the vehicle and watched. I felt like we were inside our own little nature documentary. Wina knows so much about the animals, birds and vegetation. He was constantly teaching us about our surroundings. He is so passionate and loves nature. Didn’t hurt that I was also nudging him for more info!” —E7158S TripAdvisor
When it comes to the best way to experience Botswana’s wildlife, you cannot beat a safari. No other activity allows you such close and intimate access to nature. Plus, it’s an adventure of a lifetime! And when you combine that one-of-a-kind adventure with a safari company that is committed to excellence, has a passion for conservation, and offers a personalized approach, it doesn’t get better than Brave Africa Safaris.
Here are five reasons why Brave Africa Safaris is the best way to embark on your adventure into the heart of Botswana’s wildlife with your family, surrounded by friends, or even on your own.
1. An Unparalleled Safari Team with the Expertise and Knowledge You Need
At Brave Africa Safaris, we are known for our team of highly experienced and knowledgeable staff. They are key to our success and the reason we can offer the incredible experiences we do.
“I cannot write a review without mentioning the large staff. Every single one of them were one of the loveliest people I have ever met. They simply cared…about everything. They sang beautiful songs as a group, which I will never forget. They were genuinely interested in who I was and wanted to know more. They smiled with such a genuineness that will bring me back to share more experiences with them, again.” —Laurie, Trip Advisor
All of our team members have spent years learning how to provide the best guest experiences possible. We are dedicated to ensuring that your safari experience is not only educational and enriching, but also exceptionally comfortable, fun, and memorable.
Brave Africa is waiting to welcome you on safari!
At camp, you can expect our amazing team to provide:
Personalized attention to every detail of your trip.
Daily cleaning, including laundry.
Chef-inspired and cooked meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
A hassle-free safari experience.
2. Exclusive Access to the Best Wildlife Guides
One of the things that make Brave Africa Safaris truly special is our exclusive access to some of the best safari guides in the business. Not only is our owner, Tabona Wina, a Level 3 guide (the highest qualification possible), but he is well known for being top-notch in the industry. After a safari with Brave Africa, every guest knows that it is Wina who made their experience special. We cannot deny that Wina IS the best way to experience Botswana’s wildlife, period.
“Tabona Wina is a great guide, host and manager. We saw so many animals: elephants, lions, zebra, impala, a cheetah, a leopard, hippos, giraffe, buffalo and more… I felt like we were inside our own little nature documentary. Wina knows so much about the animals, birds and vegetation. He was constantly teaching us about our surroundings. He is so passionate and loves nature.” — Susan A, Trip Advisor
“Mostly however the superb skills of the resourceful Tabona Wina as Guide make this really special as he has an extraordinary ability to find game.” — Michael H, TripAdvisor
“Wina is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about nature, and through his skill we were able to see a whole range of animals from lions to painted dogs to buffalo to elephants and, most excitingly of all, a leopard! Thank you Wina and team for making my stay in Botswana so special. I would highly recommend!” — Leo JHK, TripAdvisor
Wina, and all of our guides, are passionate about sharing their in-depth understanding of Botswana’s wildlife. They have spent years studying and observing the animals and their behaviors, ensuring that every safari is one-of-a-kind. Our guides’ expertise allows them to anticipate wildlife movements, giving you the best chances of witnessing unforgettable wildlife encounters.
And don’t worry, if you are on safari with Brave Africa, you are perfectly safe! You will not need to worry about a lion or other animal getting in your car or tent. The animals may get near you, but your guide is always watching closely. He will make sure that you are protected from the animals while still having a fantastic time.
3. Customized and Personalized Itineraries and Safari Locations
We understand that every traveler is unique, and that’s why we offer customized and personalized safari itineraries. In general, we offer three different safari packages to get you started.
Brave Adventurer: This 10-Day and 9-Night adventure takes you to our favorite campsites in the Okavango Delta. You’ll get to experience the different landscapes and wildlife of Moremi, Khwai, and Savuti (Chobe). This is our most in-depth experience that ensures you miss nothing.
Brave Explorer: If you have less time, this 7-Day and 6-Night adventure takes you to the Savuti (Chobe) and Khwai—two very different locations in the Okavango Delta. This is a great option for guests who want to experience lush forests and river fronts as well as desert plains and savannahs.
Brave Discoverer: Our final package is also 7-Days and 6-Nights and takes you into the heart of the Delta to spend time in Khwai and Moremi. These two locations are a favorite for guests interested in lush wetlands, vast waterways, and dense forests.
We have carefully selected our safari packages to provide you with the best way to experience Botswana’s wildlife. You’ll discover unparalleled opportunities to witness the natural wonders of this remarkable country from the Okavango Delta’s waterways to the vast expanses of the Savuti plains, we offer a diverse range of ecosystems and landscapes to explore.
But if any of these trips don’t exactly fit your dream safari, our team will work closely with you to tailor your safari experience to your preferences, ensuring that your adventure aligns with your interests and desires. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or seeking a romantic getaway, we will curate a safari that exceeds your expectations.
“They gave us the most amazing experience, camping in luxury in the Chobe and Moremi national parks in Botswana. We saw some sensational game over our five nights, with the considerable aid of our expert guide, and otherwise were treated like royalty back in the camp by dedicated and very friendly staff. When it was time to go, we were as sad to leave the stunning wildlife as we were to say goodbye to the wonderful men and women who looked after us- a really unforgettable experience that we would all gladly repeat. Strongly recommended.” —Rupert K, TripAdivsor
4. Sustainable and Responsible Tourism
For most guests, we know that sustainable and responsible tourism practices are critical to your choice of safari operators. It’s important that you know your money is going toward a camp that is dedicated to the well-being of the environment, wildlife, and local communities. And at Brave Africa Safaris, that is our main mission.
Our goal is to be in harmony with nature as much as we can. After all, the best way to experience Botswana’s wildlife is with an eco-conscious approach:
Brave Africa Safaris has no permanent structures: we leave each campground exactly as we found it.
As much as possible, we are solar-powered: our front and back-of-house batteries are hooked up to powerful solar panels. We also use solar-powered lights to illuminate the camp, tents, back-of-house, and more.
Plastic consumption is kept to a minimum with reusable, personalized water bottles: these water bottles are a gift for guests to keep and take home!
We purify our own water, using powerful Berkey Filters—the world leader in water filtration. It removes 200+ unsafe contaminants, 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria, and 99.999% of viruses. It exceeds all industry standards globally.
Our stove, used for all cooking, helps us cut back on firewood, and thus our impact on the environment.
“All guest tents were large. It accommodated a king-size bed, nightstands, and storage for our clothes. The toilets were fully flushable. Each tent even had a shower area. The entire setup, with the addition of the great service from the staff, felt like a mobile lodging. After a few nights in one location, the camp was moved by the staff of Brave Africa to a different location. This move was entirely done while we were out on safari drive, visiting the animals. All we had to do was to put our belongings back into our suitcases before we began our safari drive. When we arrived at this new camp location in the evening, our tent was set up and ready for use. This mobility of the camp made possible for us to experience a few different locals and environments.” —PaultVo, TripAdvisor
A safari with Brave Africa is not just a vacation; it’s a transformative and life-enriching experience. From witnessing a lion’s powerful roar to the delicate beauty of a bird in flight, each moment on safari is filled with wonder and excitement. The memories you create with us will last a lifetime, and the connections you make with the wildlife and the natural world will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
“Wina told us a phrase, ‘This is Africa!’ It meant, at any moment, at any turn, something could happen, something could change and you are awestruck watching in amazement an animal, an event, a dazzle of Zebra and quite frankly you are rendered speechless. Humbled by God’s creation and harmony of animals living and existing together in the bush.
You feel like you shouldn’t be here. You’re out of your element. Yet, you’re thrilled to be a part of it, to see and share in this experience in the ‘animals’ backyard’. You feel like you are in their zoo, and what a privilege to participate and to try and capture with your camera the moments presented to you. When an elephant (one of three encounters) walks up to you within 3 feet, you can’t help but feel a little scared, giddy, excited, overwhelmed, can’t breathe, want to touch, can’t move kind of moment! It’s that exciting!” —Rick F, TripAdvisor
Walking safaris are a back-to-basics approach to safari. You leave the car and follow your guide on foot, which gives you a far deeper and more intimate connection with the wildlife and landscape.
The most serene and sublime safari activity is the mokoro—dug-out canoe safari. It is like no other experience and offers a fascinating way to explore the beauty of Botswana’s waterways.
A boating safari, which takes place on a motorized boat, is a great way to explore even more of the vast waterways of the Okavango Delta—going where vehicles can’t.
Night drives are another unique African safari activity that keeps you out after the sun has set to explore the bush in total darkness. Not only will you have the chance to spot night-dwelling creatures, but you can also witness a dizzying array of stars.
Visiting Khwai Villageis one of the highlights of going on safari in Khwai, Botswana. It’s one of the things that makes this area so unique and allows you to see learn how communities live, speak to villagers, and participate in their traditional way of life.
The Best Way to Experience Botswana’s Wildlife is with Brave Africa Safaris!
Embarking on a safari with Brave Africa Safaris offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in Botswana’s wildlife and natural beauty. With our expertise, exclusive access, customized itineraries, commitment to sustainability, and the creation of unforgettable moments, we ensure that your safari experience with us is truly exceptional.
Choose Brave Africa Safaris for the adventure of a lifetime and discover why we are the best way to experience Botswana’s wildlife.
Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, known for its rich wildlife and vast landscapes. As such, a safari in Botswana is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which we’ll tell you all about in this Botswana safari planning guide.
You’ll chance seeing some of the most incredible animals on the planet, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebra, leopards, and more.
You’ll trek through a wide variety of landscapes from the lush Okavango Delta to the dry savannas of the Kalahari Desert.
You’ll connect with nature and experience the thrill of the wild in a way that few other experiences can.
If you’re looking for an authentic bush experience and memories to last a lifetime, Brave Africa is the perfect safari company for you. So let us help you get started on planning your ultimate safari experience.
Sunset over the Botswana marsh
Botswana Safari Planning Guide
In this Botswana Safari Planning Guide, we’ll provide an in-depth look at what to expect on a Brave Africa Safari, including what to pack, what to see, and how to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime. By following this detailed guide, you’ll be fully prepared to take on the Botswana wilderness and experience the magic of an African safari.
When to Go on Safari
The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. This is when the animals gather around waterholes and rivers, making it easier to spot them. However, if you want to see baby animals, consider visiting during the wet season (November to April). The wet season offers lush landscapes and a wider range of birdlife, but also comes with more unpredictable weather conditions.
But truly, there is no wrong time to visit Botswana. Every month offers incredible opportunities to see the wildlife and experience something amazing. In fact, many of our guests prefer visiting in the “off-season” (December – April) because there are fewer tourists and they say it feels “more wild and private.”
The good news is that there is still plenty of time to book your ultimate safari experience with Brave Africa in 2023 and 2024. Contact us today.
What to Pack on Safari
Packing for a safari can be a challenge, as you want to bring everything you need without overpacking. Remember that Brave Africa offers daily laundry services, so you don’t need to bring a lot of clothes. Here’s a brief overview of our more detailed packing list to help you get started:
Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen: Protect yourself from the strong African sun with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen.
Insect repellent: Botswana is home to many insects, including mosquitoes. Be sure to bring insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.
High-quality camera and binoculars: Bring a good camera to capture all the amazing wildlife sightings, and binoculars to get a closer look at the animals.
Comfortable shoes: Pack sturdy, closed-toe shoes for walking safaris, and comfortable sneakers or sandals for casual wear.
Other essentials: Don’t forget to pack any medication you need, as well as a first aid kit, toiletries, and a reusable water bottle.
What to Expect on a Brave Africa Safari
At Brave Africa, we offer a variety of safari experiences, from all-day game drives to walking safaris, mokoro, star gazing, and more. Our experienced guides will take you on game drives through the Khwai, Moremi, Savuti, and surrounding areas, where you’ll have the chance to see a wide range of animals up close.
Our safari experiences are designed to be as comfortable and convenient as possible, without sacrificing the thrill of adventure. We offer luxury-tented accommodations for an extremely comfortable camping experience that gets you just close enough to nature without losing any amenities. You’ll have comfortable mattresses, flushing toilets, on-demand hot water for bush showers, and more.
You’ll wake up early and head out on a game drive as the sun rises after a continental breakfast.
You’ll spend the morning exploring the bush and spotting wildlife, before taking an early morning break for coffee, tea, and snacks.
After a short rest, you’ll head back out for further game drives and exploration until you’re ready for lunch.
Your guide will find a beautiful location in the bush—normally under a shaded tree and by water—where you can rest and have a delicious chef-prepared meal.
Then, when you’re full and rested, you’ll head back out on another game drive until the sun sets.
After another respite for drinks and snacks, you’ll drive back to camp in the dark (or close to it), where you’ll have the chance to see nocturnal animals and witness the majesty of the Botswana sky at night—under a million stars.
How to Prepare for Your Safari
No Botswana safari planning guide would be complete without telling you how to prepare for an African safari. There’s no doubt that it can be an exciting and daunting task, but with the right information, you can be well-prepared and ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Here are some tips on how to prepare for an African safari:
Research the destination: Before you go, research the destination you’ll be visiting. Learn about the climate, wildlife, local customs, and any health or safety concerns. Understanding the local context will help you appreciate the experience more.
Choose the right safari operator: Choose a reputable safari operator who prioritizes safety, sustainability, and responsible tourism practices. You want a company that offers experienced guides, comfortable accommodations, and has a good track record of successful safaris.
Get the right gear: The right gear is essential for a successful safari. This includes comfortable and sturdy shoes, lightweight and breathable clothing in neutral colors, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and binoculars.
Get the necessary vaccinations and medications: Depending on the destination, you may need vaccinations and medications such as anti-malaria pills. Consult with a travel doctor well in advance to ensure you have enough time to get all necessary vaccinations and medications.
Pack smart: When packing, make sure to bring only the essentials. Most safari camps and lodges offer laundry services, so you can pack light. Make sure to pack a good camera and plenty of memory cards, as you’ll want to capture as many memories as possible.
Be respectful of the wildlife and environment: Always follow the instructions of your safari guide, and respect the wildlife and environment by not disturbing or feeding the animals, and not littering or damaging the natural habitat.
10-Day Brave Adventurer: Travel from Moremi to Khwai to Savuti on this incredible 10-day Botswana wilderness safari adventure that takes you deep into the stunning Okavango Delta and the many landscapes and abundant wildlife found there. Prices start at $5,040 per person.
7-Day Brave Explorer: Spend 7 days exploring the wilds of Savuti where the big game roam, and then head into the stunning Okavango Delta to explore Khwai and the abundant wildlife found there. Prices start at $3,360 per person.
7-Day Brave Discoverer: On this 7-day Botswana safari adventure you’ll explore the wilds of Moremi where the big game roam, and then head deeper into the stunning Okavango Delta to explore Khwai and the many landscapes and abundant wildlife found there. Prices start at $3,360 per person.
Our team is also available to answer any questions you may have and help you plan your dream safari experience. Please contact us by emailing [email protected].
At Brave Africa, we pride ourselves on providing an authentic and unforgettable safari experience in Botswana. By following this ultimate guide to planning your safari with us, you’ll be fully prepared to take on the adventure of a lifetime. We can’t wait to welcome you to Botswana and show you the incredible wildlife and beauty of this amazing country.
Game Drives are the most common African safari activity. They are how you go deep into the bush to see the animals, and it is the focus of most safaris. But did you know that there are other unique African safari activities that can enrich your experience?
In Botswana and with Brave Africa, eight amazing African safari experiences can help you enjoy the widest breadth of landscapes and wildlife possible. They will make your safari worth it!
Let’s take a look at what they are and how you can enjoy them.
1. Walking Safaris
On walking safaris, your guide will take you off the beaten path to explore the bush on foot.
Walking safaris are a back-to-basics approach to safari. You leave the car and follow your guide into the bush on foot. This way of exploring Botswana gives you a far deeper and more intimate connection with the landscape and the animals.
A walking safari is not about spotting a lot of wildlife. It’s about experiencing nature in a more personal way. During your walk, you’ll discover a new kind of peace and connection with the bush. You’ll listen to the wind as it rustles through the trees, birds calling to each other, and more that you’d never notice in a vehicle.
On a walking safari, you can also track animals through areas a vehicle could never go. Your guide will make sure you are downwind and then take you right up to a herd of elephants, a pride of lions, or an obstinacy of buffalo.
A highly qualified Level 3 guide is an expert in tracking and animal behavior. They know when and how to approach animals, where to walk, and how to handle almost any situation. On top of that, your guide is always armed on a walking safari.
This is a “just in case” measure that is available as a last resort if something goes wrong. However, neither of our Level 3 guides have ever had to fire their weapon in a combined 20 years of guiding.
How to Schedule a Walking Safari
When you book a safari with Brave Africa, we automatically include walking safaris while in Khwai. To ensure a walking safari is on your to-do list, let us know during the booking process so we can plan appropriately.
2. Mokoro Safari (Canoe Safari)
A mokoro safari is a peaceful and unique way to explore Botswana’s bush.
The most serene, sublime, and unique African safari activity is the mokoro safari—dug-out canoe safari. It is like no other experience in the bush and offers a fascinating way to explore the beauty of Botswana up close and personal.
Only available in the Okavango Delta, a traditional mokoro safari is absolutely enchanting. You’ll take a journey through reed-lined channels in a handcrafted canoe, propelled with poles and guided by local experts.
From the vantage point of the water, everything becomes larger and grander. Trees will tower overhead as you glide in relative silence through the peaceful waters. With no engine noise, you’ll be able to hear everything from the croak of the smallest frog to the grunts of hippos, bird song, and watery footsteps.
The biggest joy of a mokoro safari is how you take in the surreal and stunning beauty of the Okavango Delta. While seeing animals is possible, it’s more about the peace that you’ll enjoy.
How to Schedule a Mokoro Safari
At Brave Africa, we offer mokoro safaris in Khwai and Xakanaxa (Moremi Game Reserve). It is included in the price of your trip. All you have to do is let us know that this is something you would enjoy, and we’ll schedule your trip at a suitably scenic location.
3. Boating Safari
A boating safari takes you through the Okavango Delta via vast waterways.
Another type of water activity is the boating safari, which takes place on a motorized boat. This is a great African safari activity for exploring the vast waterways of the Okavango Delta and going where vehicles can’t.
There are over 17,000 square kilometers of pristine wilderness—including a labyrinth of channels and lagoons—in the Okavango Delta. And Boating safaris are a classic way to see as much as possible while enjoying game viewing and birding from the water.
How to Schedule a Boating Safari
Boating safaris rely on high water levels. If the water is too low, the boats cannot go out. If a boating safari is important to you, we recommend going out during green or shoulder season, when there’s more water around.
We offer boating safaris only in Xakanaxa (Moremi Game Reserve), and they are subject to weather and availability. Let the Brave Africa team know that you are interested in a boating safari when booking so we can schedule your trip accordingly.
4. Night Drives
On this particular night drive, we encountered a pride of lions enjoying a kill. The red light ensured we didn’t disrupt their vision.
Most of the time, your game drives will take place between sunrise and sunset. However, when we are in Khwai, you’ll have the opportunity to go on night drives. This unique African safari activity keeps you out after the sun has set to explore the bush in total darkness.
Equipped with a spotlight, your guide will drive around the bush and point out creatures that you’ll rarely see in the light of day. There’s an opportunity to see bushbabies, porcupines, pangolins, aardvarks, springhares, honey badgers, and more.
How to Schedule a Night Drive
Your Brave Africa guide will automatically take your car out on night drives while you’re in Khwai. However, it’s always a good idea to mention that this is something you’d enjoy while on safari so that we know to plan appropriately.
5. Khwai Village Visits
A traditional building that you can see during a Khwai Village visit.
Visiting Khwai Village is one of the highlights of going on safari in Khwai, Botswana. It’s one of the things that makes this area so unique. The local villagers actively manage and run the Khwai Concession through the Khwai Development Trust, having transformed their old hunting grounds into an area for eco-tourism.
You can go on a tour of Khwai Village to see first-hand how communities live, speak to villagers, and learn about their traditional way of life. You’ll learn a little about local bushman culture as well as basket weaving within the African community. And all proceeds from tourism in the Khwai Concession go directly to helping the local people and local projects!
How to Schedule a Khwai Village Visit
We need to communicate with the village in advance of your visit to ensure that the community is available for guest visits. When you schedule your safari with Brave Africa, mention that you would be interested in a Khwai Village visit and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
6. Bread Making Over the Fire
Fresh bread is delicious and well worth the effort.
If one day you feel like sticking around camp for a little while, you can learn how to bake a fresh loaf of bread over the fire. Working alongside our chef, you’ll discover what it takes to transform the fire pit into a working oven. It’s a technique that’s been perfected in Africa over the years, and if we say so ourselves, it’s delicious.
How to Schedule Bread Making
If you’re feeling unwell one day or you want to plan some time off in the middle of your safari, you can ask your guide about bread making. As long as we have time to plan with our chef, and it’s not on a camp move day, we can set up a fantastic bread making experience.
On a clear night with no moon, Botswana’s night sky is a heavenly sight.
Unsurprisingly, the night sky in Botswana is spectacular. You are out in the middle of nowhere with little to no light pollution. What that means is that you can witness a dizzying array of stars. It’s an awe-inspiring sight.
On nights with little to no moon, you can stay out late to see the Milky Way really shine! Our guides can give you a lesson on stargazing with a telescope and special laser pointer. If you’ve never seen the sky in the southern hemisphere, or even if you have, stargazing in Botswana’s bush is jaw-dropping.
How to Schedule Stargazing
You can stargaze anytime while on safari with Brave Africa. Almost every night offers amazing cosmic splendor. However, if stargazing is high up on your list, your guide will take you out on the best night possible when clouds are unlikely, and the moon is dark.
8. Junior Guides
Collect stickers and check off animals throughout your safari.
Kids on safari can get bored. The good news is that, at Brave Africa, we’ve crafted a bunch of Junior Guides activities to keep your kids entertained. These unique African safari activities are kid-specific and designed to teach your kids a love of nature and animals. We want to help them discover respect for Africa and all it has to offer.
Our Junior Guides will learn:
Tracking and Survival Skills: They’ll learn how to explore and survive the African bush from our expert guides, including how to identify and follow animal tracks, understand wildlife spoors, make fire by friction, and the medicinal uses of plants.
Safari Vehicle Skills: With parent approval, your kids can sit on our guide’s lap and learn how to drive through the bush. In addition, they’ll learn how to use the vehicle radio to communicate with camp and run the spotlight at night to find animals in the dark.
Wildlife Art: If your child is an artist, they’ll love our wildlife art and drawing opportunities. Our guides will find a beautiful spot in the wild with animals nearby and then give them a chance to draw what they.
Traditional Botswana Sling Shooting: Slingshots are very valuable tools in the African bush, and they’re lots of fun for kids. Our expert guides will teach your kids all about sling shooting and give them a chance to practice their skills on cans.
Brave Africa Passport: We’ve crafted a one-of-a-kind Brave Africa passport for your kids to commemorate their entire safari experience. They’ll collect stickers for every animal, activity, and camp they experience on safari.
How to Junior Guides
If you have kids, we’ll automatically schedule your family for Junior Guides activities throughout your trip. As parents, you’ll have full control over what you’d like your kids to participate in and what you’d like to skip. We’ll work with your family throughout your safari vacation to make sure everyone leaves happy.
More Amazing Safari Experiences
Enjoy a safari from above either via helicopter or hot air balloon.
All of the unique African safari activities we mentioned above are included in the price of your Brave Africa safari. All you have to do is let us know which experiences you are interested in, and we will do our best to make it all happen.
However, there are some extra safari experiences that are available for an additional fee. Brave Africa or your travel agent can help make these possible.
Helicopter Flights: There are a few operators in the Okavango Delta that offer scenic helicopter flights so that you can witness Botswana from the air.
Hot Air Balloons: From April to September, you can go on a hot air balloon safari at darn. It’s one of the best ways to get a 360-degree birds-eye view of Botswana.
Horse Riding Safaris: Only available for experienced riders, there are a few operators who offer safaris by horseback.