Are you trying to plan your next African safari holiday for the end of 2020 or 2021? We know there are a ton of options out there, which means it can be challenging to find the right African safari package for your holiday travel.
The good news is that Brave Africa offers three incredible African safari packages that can fit almost anyone. Whether you have plenty of time to spend in the bush and want to dig deep or you just have a few days and want to make the most of your limited time, we have an African safari tour package that’s ideal for you.
Let us break down our three essential African safari holiday offerings, your customization options, and what you can expect from Brave Africa no matter what.
3 Brave Africa Safari Package Holidays
When it comes to going on an African safari holiday, we have three featured packages: Brave Adventurer, Brave Explorer, and Brave Discoverer. Each of these packages offers something a little different.
Think of this package as a deep dive into Botswana and the many landscapes and abundant wildlife found there. You’ll spend three nights at each camp with game drives from dawn until dusk. With this African safari holiday, you won’t miss anything.
This map shows the route of our 10-day Brave Adventurer safari tour.
7-Day Safari Packages: Brave Explorer and Brave Discoverer
If you have less time to spend on holiday in Africa, we offer two shorter safari packages that are just seven days each. These packages are very similar except for where you’ll explore. Both packages will have you spend three nights in Khwai, but the second location changes between Savuti and Moremi
Our first 7-day/6-night Botswana safari holiday package, Brave Explorer, takes you to Savuti and Khwai for three nights in each location. Savuti is where the big game roams. Located in Chobe National Park, Savuti is best known for its predators, including large prides of lions. National Geographic’s Savage Kingdom is filmed here.
This map shows the route of our 7-day Brave Explorer safari tour.
Our final 7-day/6-night Botswana safari tour package is the Brave Discoverer. It takes you to Moremi and Khwai for three nights in each location. Moremi Game Reserve is renowned for its beauty. All year long, it has spectacular wildlife and birding with leopard, cheetah, and antelope in abundance. You’ll fall in love with the riverine forests, seasonal floodplains, and serpentine channels.
This map shows the route of our 7-day Brave Discoverer safari tour.
African Safari Holidays 2020
Now that you know the three packages we offer, what makes each unique? What’s the ideal African safari holiday for you?
Well, you go on safari to see Africa’s many amazing animals. On a traditional safari, you get two game drives a day: once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Each of these game drives is between three to four hours in length (6-8 hours total), and the rest of the time is spent at camp. What this means is that four to five hours a day is spent not trying to see animals.
At Brave Africa, we take you on all-day game drives instead, which means you get 12-13 hours in the bush looking for animals. This allows us to cover more ground on our day trips instead of staying around camp. It also means you get to stay at an animal sighting as long as you want.
We bring lunch and snacks with us on our all-day game drives. So you can set the schedule with your car and guide about when you want to take a break and eat. And, as for those breaks, our incredible safari guides always do their best to make sure you take your break nearby something stunning.
African Safari Holiday Destinations
When it comes to our two, 7-day safari packages, the main difference is where you’ll spend your time. Both packages will have you spend three days in Khwai Concession. That’s because Khwai is a must-visit safari location offering a wildlife-rich patchwork of lagoons, shallow flooded pans, woodlands, and grasslands. It’s a go-to location for wild dogs, elephants, lions, and more.
Khwai also offers unique safari activities. For example, you can:
Moremi Game Reserve: Moremi Game Reserve is a magical oasis. It offers crystal-clear waters, dense green forests, and pristine wilderness. It arguably is one of the best places in Africa for Big 5 wildlife viewing. It encompasses 5,000 square kilometers with amazing chances to see leopards, wild dogs, cheetah, elephants, and more.
Savuti (Chobe National Park): Chobe National Park is nicknamed “The Land of the Giants.” It’s home to Africa’s largest elephant populations. Comprised of more than 10,000 square kilometers, the area offers unique landscapes with savannas, rocky outcrops, and limited watering holes. Savuti is also known for a thriving population of predators, particularly lions.
African Mobile Safari Lodge
No matter what African safari tour package you choose with Brave Africa, you’ll get to enjoy our luxurious mobile safari lodge. This means that you’ll stay in the same tent and with the same staff for the entirety of your trip. You check-in once at the beginning, and then we move camp between locations, similar to a cruise. You enjoy your all-day game drives, and then on move day, we bring everything to the next safari destination.
As for Brave Africa’s camp, you’re not roughing it by any stretch of the imagination. Think of it as a hotel room under canvas. We have a team of 12 full-time staff that have been trained to handle everything from guiding to camp management, cooking, hospitality, housekeeping, maintenance, and more. You’ll enjoy:
A luxury tent (6m x 3m x 2.25m) with an en-suite bath and flushing toilet.
A main lodge with a bar, cozy seating area, lively fire circle, and dining area.
Gourmet cooking with multi-course meals for lunch and dinner.
Eco-conscious lodging, including no permanent structures, powerful solar panels, reduced plastic use, and more.
African Safari Holidays 2020 Deals
For a limited time, we’re offering special pricing as well as updated cancelation and reschedule policies for the 2020 safari season. Our once-in-a-lifetime pricing for any safari scheduled between June 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, is just $4,000 per person for 10-Days and $2,700 per person for 7-days. That’s up to $2,500 off per person!
As for our Book with Confidence promotion for 2020, you’ll enjoy ultimate flexibility. You can book now and pay later for a minimal deposit to hold your booking that can be rescheduled for 100% reservation credit. And you can change your trip at any time, without penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure.
African Safari Holidays 2021 Deals
If you’re not feeling comfortable enough to book an African safari holiday in 2020, we understand. The good news is that we also have a Book with Confidence promotion for 2021. This promotion is good for any safari departing from April 1, 2021, until March 31, 2022.
Reschedule (with 60 days’ notice) for any available departure date through March 31, 2022—for any reason and without penalty.
Enjoy reduced deposits to hold your booking.
Shoulder Season (April, May, June, November)
$400 for 6 nights / 7 days itinerary (per person)
$600 for 9 nights / 10 days itinerary (per person)
High Season (July, August, September, October)
$450 for 6 nights / 7 days (per person)
$650 for 9 nights / 10 days (per person)
African Safari Tour Customizations
Now, what if you’re looking for an African safari holiday that is outside the box? Do you have a big group? Would you prefer a private experience? Are you wondering if there’s anything special for a honeymoon? Do you have kids and want to know what type of safari would work best for them?
Brave Africa was built on the idea that travelers want incredible experiences with companies whose values match their own. We believe that if we stay true to minimizing the impact on the environment and maximizing our economic and social benefits to the local community, that safari-goers who value those same things will find our product compelling and “vote with their dollars.”
To remain true to ourselves, we are taking a moment to share our stance on the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that are happening around the world against racism and the excessive use of force by law enforcement.
We understand that this might be unpopular, and some readers might think and comment, “Brave Africa is a safari company. Stay in your lane. Do not get into politics.” However, it is because we are an African safari company in Botswana with Black employees and a Black co-founder and owner that we must make our position known.
One more thing: though corporate statements are an important step, it is a company’s actions that ultimately matter. Brave Africa has done our best to live up to our values before these important conversations ever came to their current boiling point, and we will continue to strive to be the change we want to see in the world.
Brave Africa began from community, diversity, and inclusion.
In Botswana, there is the concept known as botho, which in Setswana means that everyone is connected to the larger community as an extended family. That concept is vital to Botswana, and the idea that Brave Africa is a part of and affects the larger community compels us to be a part of the global conversation and to take action.
What you might not know is that Brave Africa was founded and is co-owned by three individuals from three different ethnicities:
Tabona Wina is Black Botswanan.
Kelly Vo is white American.
Patrick Vo is Vietnamese American.
This makes Brave Africa unique because the majority of the safari companies in Africa are owned and led by white Africans and white Europeans. We founded Brave Africa with the belief that Black Africans should be equally recognized for their talents and their contributions to building a business, that Black Africans should be given an equal opportunity to earn leadership positions and even ownership in the business built by their efforts, and that they should not be denied any of those things simply because of the color of skin they were born with.
Brave Africa believes that true strength is being able to acknowledge that we can do better.
We believe that no one is perfect. Therefore, true integrity and strength is to acknowledge our flaws and failings. Getting defensive and saying “we are not racists” shuts down any opportunity to address issues and become better. Having an honest conversation about our flaws is not to be negative, to cause division, to assign blame, or to tear people down, but we cannot pursue a better version of ourselves if we deny our flaws out of insecurity.
Brave Africa rejects racism and promotes inclusion.
First and foremost, we 100% reject racism and discrimination in all of its forms. It has no place in any aspect of our business, period.
We believe in inclusivity and equality for all individuals. We do not take into account the race, gender or gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or political affiliations of our employees or our guests. Everyone, staff, and guest is valued and is entitled to respect and compassion.
Racism has no place in how we treat our staff, and we will not accept racism from staff.
We are incredibly proud to be a Black Botswanan-owned company dedicated to equality and inclusion. We hire, keep, and elevate employees based on their merit. And we can tell you, right now, that all of our employees are incredible individuals who we are proud to have on our team. They have been trained and will continue to be trained to recognize discriminatory behavior and how to resolve such situations.
Our Brave Africa staff Christmas picture.
Racism has no place among our guests, and we will not accept racism from guests.
The beauty and wonder of African wildlife are meant to be shared with and enjoyed by everyone. We want all of our guests and staff to feel safe and comfortable while on safari. Therefore, we ask that all of our guests treat every individual, whether Brave Africa staff or other guests, with respect and compassion, and we encourage any guest or employee to reach out to us if there is ever a problem so that it can be resolved swiftly.
Brave Africa declares that Black Lives Matter.
We are not saying that Black lives are more important than other lives. However, our society as a whole, through its actions, treats Black lives as though they matter less than other lives. We, therefore, declare that their lives matter just as much as the lives of others, we recognize the pain and suffering they have endured through being seen as less than equals, and we wholeheartedly support efforts and changes that seek to elevate Black lives so that they are treated as equals.
As such, Brave Africa fully supports the peaceful protestors who are making their voices heard around the world. We stand with you. We believe in your cause. We lift our voice with yours. We are committed to being part of change. We will continue to confront bias and racism whenever and wherever we see it.
Brave Africa believes in activism and understanding.
It is not enough to speak or to write this post. We must put actions behind our words.
As part of our support, we are providing a list of resources, causes, and movements that you can join, donate to, and learn more about racism and Black Lives Matter.
Black Visions Collective is a Minnesota-based (where George Floyd was murdered) collective committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence.
The NAACP and NAACP Legal Defense Fund are dedicated to ensuring equal rights without discrimination based on race. They focus on enforcing civil rights at all levels.
Split your donation between 70+ bail funds for protestors across the U.S.
We encourage everyone to seek a greater understanding of racism and its impact around the globe. It is pervasive and deeply rooted, and we must hold ourselves accountable for how we facilitate it or fight it.
Brave Africa is always seeking to do and be better.
The path forward for communities around the world is to have open and honest conversations about racial injustice. We cannot be bystanders that watch and do nothing.
Talking about racism is uncomfortable, but refusing to talk about it does not mean racism does not exist. It is systemic. It is ingrained. It is powerful. Ignoring it will not make the problem go away. We must acknowledge that it is a problem and continually fight to overcome it.
We all have inherent biases and prejudices. That is what it means to be human and imperfect. However, that does not mean we should accept the status quo. We can always work to do better, to be better.
At Brave Africa, we want to be known as a kind, caring, understanding, supportive, and considerate business. The pursuit of doing and being better will never end, but we continue pursuing those ideals every day.
That is what we are trying to do right now: be better. We are using our platform as an African safari to speak out against racism, amplify Black voices, and to let our Black team members know:
We hear you.
We see you.
We support you.
We care about you.
We believe in you.
We fight for equality beside you.
While we may not have all the answers, we know the path forward is to continue with these difficult conversations so that positive change can happen. Our promise is to show compassion and empathy every single day, and when we fail, we will acknowledge the failure and will try again. We honor and celebrate our differences because that is what matters.
So, how can you plan your African safari after the coronavirus?
The African Safari After Corona
The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the travel industry. In the short term, it’s completely shut down all travel with worldwide lockdowns and stringent restrictions across the globe. In the long term, people are going to think about traveling differently.
Suddenly, all travelers are going to have to consider what’s safe and what’s healthy before choosing a vacation. And it’s not just about the end destination. You have to get there, and plane travel has never been ideal.
What does the African safari industry look like after corona? It’s different.
Seeing the beauty of an African sunset is just one reason to go on safari after coronavirus.
Africa is, of course, ready and waiting for tourists to return. And while right now might not be the best time to travel, it is a great time to plan for the future.
If you’re willing to take a leap of faith and plan your dream African safari, you could take advantage of some major deals, flexibility, and pricing cuts. In fact, most safari operators are making it so there’s little to no consequences and only benefits to booking now.
5 Questions to Ask Before You Plan Your African Safari After Corona
There are just a few questions you need to ask before you plan your African safari after coronavirus.
1. Where do I want to go on my African safari?
Botswana is home to more elephants than anywhere else in the world—130,000 at last count.
First, you need to decide what country you want to visit for your African safari: South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. Each country offers unique experiences, amazing wildlife, and beauty.
During normal times, you couldn’t go wrong with any country—though we’re biased toward Botswana, of course—but these are not normal times. Instead, you need to consider your destination based on:
The impact of the coronavirus
For most people, South Africa is the gateway to Africa. Almost everyone flies into Johannesburg as a launching point for the rest of the continent. It’s the most common destination. That means that, until South Africa opens up its borders to tourists, getting anywhere in Africa could be difficult.
As of May 27, 2020: South Africa has had 25,937 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 552 COVID-19 related deaths. Starting on June 1, 2020, the country will move into Level 3 of their coronavirus response, which will open up much of the economy. However, travel will not open until Level 2 or Level 1, for which there are no current timelines.
Countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe are almost completely dependent on South Africa’s reopening to restart safaris. Until that time, travel for safari is going to be difficult if not impossible.
As for safety, you might want to consider going on an African safari after coronavirus in a location where the pandemic had very little impact. For example, in Botswana, there have only been 29 cases of coronavirus recorded and one coronavirus-related death.
There is no bad time to visit Botswana. You’ll have incredible animal viewing in every season.
Depending on where you choose to go on your African safari that will help make your decision in regards to travel. Right now, most African countries are still closed to tourists and outside travel. Until borders open back up, you won’t be going anywhere.
While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to predict when you can go on an African safari after coronavirus, that doesn’t mean you should completely write-off 2020. If you are willing to push back your dates toward the end of the year—August and later—there is a chance that you could be one of the only people on safari.
Some experts are predicting that there could be a start to normalizing life at the end of 2020, and there could be nothing better than being on your own in the wilderness—just you, your guide, and the animals.
If that still seems too risky for you, you can plan your safari for 2021, instead. Just be sure to book early and quickly. Since many safari-goers who had planned to come out in 2020 had to push back their dates until next year, availability is becoming tight. If you want to get your preferred dates, you should book as soon as possible.
3. Are there any special deals, discounts, or policies for going on a safari after coronavirus?
Brave Africa has special coronavirus deals that you’ll want to chase down.
As we’ve said, the world has changed, and the African safari industry has changed with it. We understand that it’s a brave new world out there, and we’re doing our best to keep up with the times.
With how unpredictable the future is at the moment, many African safaris are doing what they can to offer travelers peace of mind and confidence when booking their safari. Not only are there revised cancelation and reschedule policies for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, but there are also some incredible discounts you can take advantage of.
For example, at Brave Africa, for a limited time, we are offering:
Once-in-a-lifetime pricing for any 2020 safari
2020 and 2021 Book with Confidence promotions
You can learn all there is to know here. But here are the highlights:
Our once-in-a-lifetime rates mean that guests who book a 2020 departure may enjoy a High season safari this fall for less than the price of low season. The price reduction saves the guests over $5,000 for a party of two!
Book with confidence. The deposit is only $400 (7-day itinerary) or $600 (10-day itinerary) to hold their spot for the entire party. It covers our own non-refundable costs for campsites—that’s it.
Book now; pay later. The remaining balance is not due until 30 days prior to departure.
As long as we get 30 day’s notice, guests can reschedule for any available date through December 31, 2021—any reason; no penalties.
If rescheduling for another date in 2020, there will be no difference in costs.
If rescheduling for 2021, guests rollover 100% of their reservation credit AND get a further 10% bonus towards their rescheduled booking. (As an example, if a party of two pays $8,000 for a 10-day itinerary in 2020 and reschedules for 2021, they will have $8,800 available in credit towards any available 2021 itinerary).
We designed this 2020 Book with Confidence policy so that, on a worst-case scenario, the most that guests’ risk is the $400 or $600 deposit if they completely walk away without going on their safari between the day they make the booking and December 31, 2021. Otherwise, if COVID-19 spread, vaccine delays, or any other circumstance forces guests to postpone their travel dates, they may roll over at least 100% of their investment into a new travel date for the next 19 months!
Book with confidence. The deposit is only $400 (7-day itinerary) or $600 (10-day itinerary) per person to hold their spot (deposits are usually 20%-30% of the entire reservation).
Book now; pay later. The remaining balance is not due until 60 days prior to departure.
As long as we get 60 days’ notice, guests can reschedule for any available date through March 31, 2022—any reason; no penalties.
Again, even though we are cautiously optimistic that everyone will return to a new normal by 2021, we want to minimize the stress from the uncertainty of the future. Worst-case scenario, guests lose a deposit much smaller than industry-standard if they completely walk away without going on their safari with us. Otherwise, even if COVID-19 or other life circumstances delay their original travel date, guests can roll over 100% of their investment into a new travel date through March 2022!
4. Is the safari operator taking the coronavirus seriously?
Brave Africa has social distancing built into our safari with a maximum of 12 guests and 6 tents.
Going on an African safari after coronavirus means that you will have to travel responsibly in the future.
While there’s no definitive information about how risky it is to travel on an airplane during the pandemic, we do know that airports, TSA, airlines, and tourism gateways will all do what they can to decrease infection risk once the world starts traveling again. A key will be avoiding crowded settings as much as possible.
The good news is that going on an African safari is a guaranteed way to get away from crowds while remaining safe. Especially if you choose to safari in a place like Botswana’s Okavango Delta, you can expect the crowds to be small. Most safari camps and safari lodges in the area have a low maximum number of guests, tents, and vehicles.
For example, at Brave Africa, our safari camp’s maximum capacity is six tents (12 guests) at a time. Your safari vehicle is also maxed out at six guests (two guests per row—no occupied middle seat). This means that we’re already ideally set up for social distancing on vacation.
On top of that, because we are a mobile-tented safari, our main tent and vehicles are open-air, which greatly diminishes your risk of getting an airborne infectious disease—such as coronavirus.
But that’s just the bare minimum. If you want to feel comfortable going on an African safari after coronavirus, you also want to ask what the safari operator is doing to increase their health and safety measures. At Brave Africa, we’ve implemented additional processes and procedures, including:
Increased availability of hand sanitizer.
Masks available to use as-needed / desired.
Enhanced staff training on safety and health protocols.
Heightened cleaning and hygiene processes.
Our team will carefully wipe down and sanitize vehicle armrests, seats, and handles after every game drive.
All shared surfaces at camp will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
Sanitization of hard surfaces during daily guest tent cleaning.
In addition, every Brave Africa guest will receive a Health Amenity Kit upon arrival. This kit includes a mask, a personal hand sanitizer, and a personalized water bottle.
5. Is there any reason not to book my African safari now?
Brave Africa is waiting to welcome you on safari!
Finally, you need to really ask yourself if there’s any reason not to book your African safari right now?
With extremely low deposits required, flexible rescheduling policies, and great discounts, now is the ideal time to book your dream vacation. If you’re willing to go with the flow, change your plans as required, and go on safari sometime in the next 18 months, then there’s no reason to delay.
Many of the special safari deals and offerings are only available for a limited time. Once travel gets back to normal, so too will the booking policies of most safari operators.
Also, if you have been watching the news at all, you know how stir-crazy everyone has gone. When travel resumes fully, we can only imagine how busy things could get for a little while as everyone tries to get away from home. If you book early, you will have your choice of dates, locations, operators, and more.
By making the commitment right now to go on an African safari in 2020 or 2021, not only do you enjoy the benefits of the coronavirus deals only available for a limited time, you are also saying that you care about the African wildlife and are willing to commit to protecting it.
When you book a safari with Brave Africa, we donate $5 a day per guest to various charities dedicated to conservation.
Going on an African Safari After Coronavirus
There’s no reason not to go on an African safari after coronavirus! And there has never been a better time to plan for your dream vacation. Just be sure to choose your destination, safari camp or safari lodge, and timing carefully.
To visit Khwai Concession, you must travel to Botswana’s Okavango Delta and to the outskirts of the world-famous Moremi Game Reserve. It’s an enchanting area, most well known for the winding Khwai River. Offering a wildlife-rich patchwork of lagoons, shallow flooded pans, woodlands, and grasslands, Khwai Concession has a little bit of everything.
Without a doubt, it’s one of the most scenic areas of Botswana. And it’s a must-visit location for your safari in the Okavango Delta. There’s a reason why all of our safari packages take you to visit Khwai Concession.
1. Abundant Wildlife
Khwai is a predator-rich area known for having high concentrations of all types of wildlife. It’s an excellent location for viewing lions (in March 2020 on one of our safaris, guests saw more than twenty lions throughout their trip, including three kills), leopards, wild dogs, cheetah, and more. There’s even a hyena den, which makes it possible to see pups here.
Beyond predators, Khwai is one of the best places in the Okavango Delta for elephants. The beautiful Khwai River draws in healthy populations of elephants, buffalo, giraffe, red lechwe, impala, hippo, zebra, kudu, and more.
It’s difficult to go any stretch of time without running into some type of wildlife when you visit Khwai Concession. In particular, this is one of the go-to locations in all of Botswana to see wild dogs!
2. Impressive Birding
The Khwai Concession is known as the raptor capital of Botswana. You can find more than twelve species of eagles hanging out near the water, including the African fish eagle, bateleur, tawny eagle, martial eagle, and brown snake eagle.
And that’s just the start of the birding in Khwai Concession. Malachite kingfishers love the river, as do southern yellow-billed hornbills, cuckoo hawks, slaty egrets, rosy-throated longclaws, bee-eaters, and lilac-breasted rollers. It’s a birding wonderland with hundreds of species just waiting to be discovered.
Khwai Concession is home to excellent birding opportunities.
3. Incredible Landscapes
Khwai is an incredibly beautiful area with many diverse landscapes. In a single game drive, you can enjoy marshes, lagoons, forests, grasslands, and more. These ever-changing landscapes are essential for the wide variety of wildlife you get to enjoy.
And the beautiful Khwai River rules over it all. It flows through this vast 1,800 km of land, creating an exceptional water source for migrating animals and powerful predators. There is always a high concentration of game along the river.
Visit Khwai Concession for incredible landscapes you’ll never forget.
4. The Flood
If you’ve ever watched a nature documentary about Botswana, you know the flooding of the Okavango Delta is one of nature’s most incredible spectacles. When you visit Khwai Concession, you get a front-row seat to the annual flood cycle and how it affects everything.
Every year, the Angolan rain floods down through permanent swamps and rivers upstream to transform Khwai. Between June and August, Khwai River is filled with nutrient-rich floodwaters, which brings incredible game viewing.
5. Khwai Village
Khwai Village is one of the highlights of the Concession and 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. They transformed their old hunting grounds into one of the best-managed conservation areas for eco-tourism. They actively protect the environment and manage the Concession.
There are also potential tours of Khwai Village that can be arranged with us before your safari. If you’d like to see first-hand how communities live in the area, speak to villagers, and learn about their traditional way of life, a visit to the village is a must.
All proceeds from tourism in the Khwai Concession go directly to helping the local people and local projects!
A traditional building that you can see during a Khwai Village visit.
6. Private Game Reserve
When you visit Khwai Concession, you’re visiting a private game reserve. Why does this matter? Not only does it provide a more intimate wildlife experience, but there are also specific opportunities and activities exclusively available outside the main parks (Moremi Game Reserve).
For example, Khwai Concession does not have hard open and closing times (sunrise and sunset). Instead, you can stay out on game drives as late as you want or get started as early as you want. This gives you more flexibility.
We’ll talk more about the benefits of a private game reserve in reasons seven, eight, nine, and ten.
7. Nature Walks (Walking Safaris)
In Khwai Concession, you can go on nature walks with your safari guide. These unique walking safaris allow you to see the African bush in a whole new way. Your guide will carry a gun just to be safe (our guides have never had to fire their guns in more than 20 years in the bush) and take you on a walk to get up close and personal with some of your favorite animals on foot.
These walking safaris are only possible because the Khwai Concession is on private land that allows you to be more adventurous. Just make sure you go on a safari with Level 3 guides, like our Brave Africa guides, or you won’t have the necessary qualifications to be able to do this.
Our president and expert safari guide, Tabona Wina, taking a guest on a private walking safari.
8. Mokoro (Boating Safaris)
The Khwai River also makes this area a great location for mokoro safaris. This tranquil and idyllic safari activity places you in a two-person, dugout canoe to get a look at the Okavango Delta in an entirely new way.
Your mokoro guide will propel you through the calm waters of the Khwai Concession (staying in shallow waters) to get you up close and personal with incredible wildlife and the natural beauty of your surroundings. It’s a great safari activity for relaxing and focusing on the lush scenery that Botswana has to offer.
9. Night Drives
After the sun sets, Africa’s wildlife does not go to sleep. In fact, many things start to wake up and explore. When you visit Khwai Concession, you have the opportunity to see life after dark on a night game drive.
Since there are no closing times in Khwai, you can stay out with your Brave Africa safari guide long after the sun sets to keep exploring the wilderness via spotlight. This unique safari activity offers an entirely different experience that can be rather eerie and awe-inspiring.
It’s a thrilling experience that gives you the opportunity to see animals and sightings that are rare during the day. Discover porcupines, civets, bats, bush babies, owls, and more. It’s terrifying, fascinating, and exciting all at once.
There’s even an opportunity to stop in the bush under the stars for a quick lesson on the sky in the southern hemisphere.
On a clear night with no moon, Botswana’s night sky is a heavenly sight.
Khwai Concession also provides you more freedom on your game drives. In public parks, such as the Moremi Game Reserve, off-roading is not allowed. The parks require all guides and guests to drive only along pre-set paths, which can get you almost anywhere but can limit you when animals are just out of reach.
In Khwai Concession, you don’t have to worry about that. If the path turns right but the lions when left into the middle of a field, your Brave Africa guide can take your vehicle off-roading to get you as close as possible to the action.
Don’t worry, we still care for the environment and are very careful not to cause harm, but the ability to leave designated tracks and explore deep into the wilds gives you more possibilities than ever to find the wildlife wherever they may be.
Brave Africa’s safari vehicles can handle almost any kind of off-roading, including going through deep water.
11. Great Camp Sites
The Khwai Concession also offers some great campsites. We have a few of our favorite spots, which are completely private, and offer incredible views. You’ll go to bed, wakeup, and eat meals right on the Khwai River where animals regularly come to drink and relax.
At our Khwai campsites, we often have a resident hippo who provides a backdrop to camp. And at any given time, you could have breakfast or dinner with a herd of elephants, impala, zebra, wildebeest, red lechwe, buffalo, and more. Not to mention the soothing tranquility of running water.
Elephants visit our campsite in the Khwai concession and give our guests an amazing wakeup from the comfort of their tent.
We’re definitely a little biased—okay, we’re a lot biased. We run a safari in Botswana, so of course, we think it’s the best vacation idea ever!
But we know that we don’t speak for everyone. So, we’ll try to break down what it’s like to go on an African safari and then let you decide if an African safari is worth it for you.
Safaris Are Expensive: What Do You Get for the Price?
Dollar for dollar, African safaris are probably one of the most expensive vacations you’ll ever have the pleasure of going on. In many cases, a high-quality African safari can cost as much as a car ($5,000 to $50,000 USD).
So, is it worth the price? What do you get for the cost of an African safari?
Most African safaris are all-inclusive. This means that the nightly price for your lodge/camp covers everything else while on safari, including food, game drives, and most of the time, alcoholic drinks.
The good news is that an African safari isn’t Disney World. Once you pay for your hotel, you don’t also have to pay for park entrance fees, meals, and more. So, you can more easily budget your safari upfront and know what you’re getting yourself into.
At Brave Africa, your all-inclusive safari cost includes:
All meals, snacks, and in-house beverages (including local beers and wines)
One premium liquor a day
All-day game drives
Additional safari activities, including mokoro, village visits, walking safaris, etc.
Daily laundry services
Road transfers between locations/camps while with Brave Africa
$50 or $35 nonprofit donation per guest
Along with the high cost of an African safari, you can expect exclusivity. Safaris are off the beaten path. You won’t be in the middle of thousands of tourists at the Eiffel Tower or pushing your way through crowds at Hobbiton in New Zealand.
A safari is a different experience that is really about you, the animals, and nature.
The value of an exclusive African safari experience cannot be overstated. It’s a chance to truly get away from it all: turn off the cell phone, disconnect from WiFi, say goodbye to people, and get in touch with Mother Nature. The key is choosing an African safari experience that focuses on exclusivity.
In March 2020, Brave Africa went out on safari with just a single guest—for a highly private and personalized experience.
Ask about how many people the safari operator puts in each vehicle. Budget operators will stuff ten people or more in a vehicle, which means your dream safari could wind up with you in the middle seat—very uncomfortable and disappointed. Some camps might also pack in the tourists to make more money. If you’re going on safari for exclusivity, ask about the size of the camp.
Note: Botswana’s safari tourism model is fewer tourists and better experiences. At Brave Africa, our vehicles max out at six guests (two per row) and six tents (12 guests total at camp and two safari vehicles).
You Can See Animals in a Zoo: What Makes a Safari Better?
Beyond price, the next question many guests have about whether an African safari is worth it has to do with the experience. You can see wild animals in a zoo, what’s so great about an African safari? How much better is the experience, especially when animals are not guaranteed.
Let us start by saying the experiences are NOT comparable at all.
An African safari is an adventure. It’s your chance to see animals in their natural habitat. This makes all the difference.
Animals on a safari are engaging. They eat, walk, play, fight, chase, run, and interact in a thousand different ways. This means that you can see the same type of animals every single day and every time it’s a new experience. Natural animal behavior makes a huge difference.
And then there’s the variety of wildlife. Yes, a zoo has all types of animals from all over the world, but the difference of an African safari is that the animals are all together. You can sit in your safari vehicle and watch elephants right alongside hippos, impala, zebra, and wildebeest. And in the next second, you can run across lions or wild dogs.
Just make sure you choose an exceptional location for your African safari where wildlife is plentiful. Not all destinations are created equal.
For example, Botswana has almost double the elephants of ANY other country in Africa—over 130,000—along with 163 other species of mammals, including the usual suspects: lions, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, wildebeest, zebra, rhino, etc. The country is also home to more than 550 species of birds, including many rare and endangered species you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Beyond the wildlife, an African safari is about pristine and stunning landscapes. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature’s most impressive theater on a breathtaking scale. It’s about exploring vast swaths of wilderness where everything is raw, rugged, and stunning.
Africa boasts a vibrant ecosystem with everything from dusty red deserts to lush swamplands, sweeping floodplains, expansive savannas, and vibrant forests. You’ll drive through rivers, explore lagoons, have lunch at elephant watering holes, hike rocky outcrops, and more.
Brave Africa’s vehicles can handle almost any terrain, including water.
The landscapes on an African safari will enchant you as much as the wildlife. And the best part is that you’ll get to enjoy these gorgeous landscapes without worrying about crowds—if you go to the right safari locations.
Regardless of where you choose to go on your African safari, we can almost guarantee you’ll be talking about the beauty of nature for years to come.
What You Need to Know About Going on Safari Before You Book
If you want an African safari to change your life or be “the best trip you’ve ever taken,” not just any safari will do. You have to be VERY careful with what you book, otherwise it won’t be worth the hype.
For example, when two of our co-founders went on their first safari in South Africa, they had a small budget and had to choose a location and camp based on what they could afford. And while the experience sparked their love for safari, it wasn’t until they returned and went on safari in Botswana with a larger budget and more research that they had the trip of a lifetime.
Saying you want to go on an African safari is like saying you want to go on a hike. It can mean a thousand different things depending on what you want, where you go, and who is in charge of your safari.
So, if you want to make sure your African safari is worth it, pay attention to these five safari tips.
Choose the Right Location (Country and Region)
Forget about the name. You might have heard about Kruger and the Serengeti the most because they are well-known safari locations, but that doesn’t automatically make them the best. Most of the time, it’s the lesser-known parks and locations that offer a better experience with fewer crowds and more wildlife. After all, animals don’t like to be around people so popular is not always better.
For example, Botswana’s Okavango Delta might be a lesser-known safari location, but the experience is far superior to the crowded national parks in South Africa. In Botswana, you’re more likely to have untouched wilderness and wildlife that are not used to cars. It’s not a zoo experience at all. You’ll go off-road and hunt for the animals in order to get that once in a lifetime picture.
It’s crucial that you do your research about all the different safari areas in Africa and then choose the destination that best fits your needs and wants.
Your African safari experience will vary greatly depending on the camp, lodge, or self-drive experience you choose for your trip.
Do you have a tight budget that will limit where you stay or are you willing and able to splurge for some luxury experiences? The bargain safari mindset isn’t the best.
The truth of the matter is that an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people, and so planning to do it right is essential. If you want a picture-perfect African safari that exceeds all of your expectations, you need to choose a safari lodge or safari camp that fits what you want.
There are a few things to consider.
What luxury amenities are essential to your happiness? Do you need flushing toilets? Is WiFi a must? Are you willing to sleep on a cot, or do you want mattresses? Are you comfortable in a luxury tent, or do you need a lodge? Do you need daily laundry services?
What features does your safari vehicle offer? Beyond the camp, you’ll be spending most of your time inside your game drive vehicle. How nice are their vehicles? Are they new? Do they have charging options, refrigeration, windows, open-air, etc.?
How good are the staff? Unlike a big chain hotel, the staff on an African safari play a huge role in your experience. You’ll interact with the staff regularly, especially the guide and camp manager, so you want to choose a safari camp where the staff receive good reviews and are focused on customer service.
How important is the food? Not all African safari operators have a permanent chef on staff to create inspired meals that you’ll love.
Brave Africa is an all-inclusive and exclusive mobile lodge focused on providing quality experiences.
Do you want to change operators between locations or stick with the same operator, guide, staff, the entire time? A mobile lodge, like Brave Africa, offers a consistent experience for guests even while changing safari locations. A traditional lodge requires you to pay for transportation—usually via plane—to get to each new destination.
Is caring for the environment important to you? There are many environmentally-friendly operators who use solar power, reduce their plastic use, and give back to conservation efforts.
What is their game drive experience like? We’ll discuss this more in a little bit, just remember the entire point of an African safari is to see the animals and get out on game drives. Don’t focus so much on the luxury of your tent that you neglect the most important element: their focus on wildlife viewing.
You’ll spend nine to twelve hours a day with your safari guide. They will end up being one of your best friends on your trip and will 100% make your African safari worth it. Without a great safari guide, you might as well head to your local zoo and walk around yourself.
Focus on Game Drives: That’s What You’ve Paid Big Money For!
The ENTIRE point of going on an African safari is to go on game drives. Only when you’re in the safari vehicle and driving away from camp in search of animals are you actually experiencing the value of your safari. People often forget that the purpose of a safari is to offer the BEST wildlife experiences and not just luxury camping.
For example, when the Points Guy went on his safari in Tanzania, he ended up VERY disappointed because while he paid top dollar for a luxury camp, the game drives failed to deliver. This ruined his entire trip and made his African safari not worth it.
Creature comforts are only one piece of your safari. If you unknowingly compromise your African safari experience by asking for WiFi and forgetting about game drives, you won’t be happy in the end.
Think of game drives like going to a theme park.
For most of us, we wake up early, get to the park at open, spend the entire day at the park riding as many rides and enjoying as many experiences as possible, and then only leave the park as it closes. The goal is not to waste a second of our theme park ticket because it’s expensive, and we want the most bang for our buck.
On most traditional safaris, game drives only happen in the morning and evening for three to four hours each outing. This means that—in the middle of the day for four to five hours—you’re sent back to the hotel to wait. The theme park (wilderness) isn’t closed at this time; you just don’t get to enjoy it.
This reason is why we created Brave Africa. When our co-founders went on their first safari, they were disappointed by how much time was spent at camp and how little time was spent out with the animals.
So, at Brave Africa, we do ALL-DAY game drives. This means, from sunrise until sunset, you are out on safari to see the animals. We maximize your chances to see something incredible and experience all that Botswana has to offer.
After all, we believe if you’re worried about how much money it costs to go on safari, your money should at least go toward what you care about most: the animals.
Spend Enough Time on Safari
Last, but certainly not least, make sure you plan enough time for your African safari if you want it to be worth it. If you can only spend three to four days on safari, it’s probably not worth the travel and cost. While even a day is amazing on safari, it’s the extended time out in the bush that makes the biggest difference.
Since every single day and hour is unique on an African safari, the more time you have to explore and see what the wildlife has to offer, the better.
Three days is barely enough time to get a taste of what an African safari is truly like. Instead, we recommend planning at least seven days and six nights on safari. This will give you enough time to truly immerse yourself in Mother Nature.
If you love animals and adventure, then you need to give yourself the time required to experience it. Remember, National Geographic documentaries are filmed over months. Their photographers spend weeks at a time in the bush to get that once-in-a-lifetime shot. You can’t expect to go out in a few days and see it all.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Brave Africa team was lucky enough to be out in the Okavango Delta for 18 days in March with a guest. Throughout the trip, they had many incredible Botswana safari sightings. Still, one lion sighting really stood out: a small pride of lions versus a lone hyena fighting over a buffalo kill.
Here’s the story of our incredible lion VS hyena battle from our co-founder and expert guide, Tabona Wina.
Flooding in the Okavango Delta
The bush was amazing!
It was so beautiful, and the game was incredible. While we can almost always say that about the Okavango Delta, during such an early and robust flood season, it is even more true.
Water was everywhere while we were on safari. In fact, it was so flooded that if it weren’t for COVID-19 closing down everything anyway, there’s a good possibility that the government may have had to close down certain sections of the Moremi Game Reserve and Khwai for safety reasons.
It was actually difficult to drive to many areas because the water was so deep and spreading. It was a marsh wonderland, which brings many interesting challenges and opportunities.
When it floods early, the areas where the game roams shrink drastically. Basically, the floods create hundreds of small islands where there’s no water, and it’s possible to hunt and forage. This brings the predators and their prey into close proximity, which can provide some amazing Botswana safari sightings.
It’s especially true for the animals in the Okavango Delta who are highly adapted to flooding. They know how to cross from island to island in search of safety and food. As a safari guide, if you know where to go and can get there, there’s no end to the incredible sightings you can have.
Lion VS Hyena
Lion King pitted lions vs hyena and made the hyena out to be the bad guys. That’s not quite true in nature. While lions and hyena do not get along—they are both predators and thus competitors—they aren’t necessarily enemies that will kill each other at the slightest provocation. And that’s something we got to see in person.
One morning, after our usual coffee and breakfast, we headed out to the bush in search of something special, and within a few minutes, we found it.
The lions’ buffalo kill.
We discovered a small pride of three lions—two females and a male—huddled around a buffalo kill. They were enjoying their successful hunt, immensely, and eating as much as possible. Of course, with blood on the air, it was inevitable that hyenas would show up.
Two male hyenas prowled at the edge of the kill, well out of the way of the much larger and dangerous lions, but they were just biding their time. And eventually, they found their chance. When the male left the kill—bellies full—and found a bush in the shade to rest, the one bold hyena tried his luck.
It was like a National Geographic sighting. The bold hyena went straight up to the buffalo carcass and started eating. While the females weren’t happy and circled the kill and the hyena a few times, as long as they stayed on opposite sides of the body, they allowed the hyena to enjoy the kill, too.
Eventually, one of the lionesses even relaxed enough that it seemed like she didn’t care at all that the hyena was there at her kill. But that was NOT the case for the male.
From the shade, he watched the entire situation played out, and after a while, decided that he might be full, but he would not allow a hyena to eat what was his. He broke away from the shade and chased the hyena off.
From that point forward, the lions decided that the hyena was no longer allowed around the kill, and no matter how persistent he was, he was chased off over and over and over again.
It was beautiful to watch, and we spent the entire morning with the lions and hyena.