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.
Going on an African safari is an entirely unique experience. It’s unlike any other holiday, which means people tend to have a lot of questions. And unfortunately, sometimes getting answers can be a struggle.
There is no one single authority on the African safari. Instead, there’s both an overwhelming amount of information and not enough specific information. That’s why at Brave Africa, we’re making it our mission to answer all of your frequently asked questions (FAQs) about an African safari.
Common African Safari Questions
We want to provide you with a one-stop resource that provides you with a basic overview of what it’s like to go on safari and how to plan for your first African safari.
What is an African safari like?
Every day on an African safari is an adventure. Each moment is a new experience that’s unique for that single moment in time. No two animals are the same, and animal behavior is always changing. As for the scenery, you’ll experience everything from sweeping savannahs to lush marshlands, dense forests, and arid plains.
As for what it’s like to actually go on safari, let’s break it down.
Most African safaris are multi-day experiences. At massive public parks, such as Kruger, you can do what’s called a day safari (start a little after sunrise and end before sunset), but if an African safari is your dream vacation, this isn’t what you want. Seven to ten days on safari is most common, and that includes two to three locations.
You’ll stay at a lodge or camp in the bush. This means you’ll be in a remote location in the African wilderness accessible by car or air. How luxurious your room is, depends on your budget and operator.
Every day you’ll go on game drives to see the animals. Most African safaris take you on twice-a-day game drives (3-4 hours in the morning and 3-4 hours in the afternoon). These game drives can happen in open-air or enclosed vehicles (this depends on where you go on safari and your operator). And it’s during these game drives that you leave your camp/lodge to drive around the bush and find animals.
It’s an adventure, not a zoo. The animals are not waiting for you. You have to go out and, with the help of your professional/local guide, find the animals.
An African safari is all-inclusive: African safaris are not cheap, but the price includes all meals, game drives, guides, room, and board. Often, all drinks (including alcohol) are encompassed in the price as well.
At Brave Africa, you can enjoy a 7-day or 10-day Botswana safari holiday in either two or three locations in the Okavango Delta. We also take guests on all-day game drives, which means you’ll spend 12 to 13 hours with the animals in the bush instead of six to seven hours. Our camp is comfortable and luxurious with large tents, plush mattresses, private bathrooms (with flushing toilets), and a professional camp staff that takes care of all your needs.
Every day on safari is different—you’ll never experience the same wildlife or scenery—but there is a schedule you can rely on. We’ll outline what a day on safari is like with Brave Africa and all-day game drives. This differs from the traditional safari schedule, where you spend three to four hours in the middle of the day back at camp.
5:30AM: Wake up around sunrise for a light breakfast prepared by our team and time to get ready for the day.
6:00AM: Start your all-day game drive. Your guide will look for fresh animal tracks from the night before. At first light and during the cool morning hours, animals are most active.
9:00AM: Take a short break in the bush for coffee, tea, juice, and snacks. If you see incredible animals, morning tea will be pushed back or enjoyed earlier. It’s up to the animals and the guests.
12:00PM: Your safari guide will find a beautiful location in the bush underneath the shade to enjoy a bush lunch. Lunch is a full meal, including alcohol (if desired), prepared by our chef.
1:30PM: Continue your afternoon game drive and your search for animals.
6:00PM: Take another short break at sundown for a snack and alcoholic drinks at sundown. This is your chance to enjoy the sunset and last-minute animal sightings before it gets too dark.
7:00PM: Arrive back at camp as it grows dark. Either take an early shower or wait until after dinner.
7:30PM: Enjoy a delicious chef-prepared meal that pays homage to both local and continental cuisine. Our chef will meet any dietary restrictions you have.
9:00PM: Enjoy time around the fire, reminisce about your day, spend some time gazing at the star-speckled beauty of the night sky, and then head to bed early for another full day tomorrow!
Ready for your sunrise safari game drive!
Where should I go on an African safari?
Africa is not a country; it’s a continent! And it’s massive. There are so many great countries and locations for safari—Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe (just to name a few)—and they all offer unique experiences.
Then, there’s Botswana. It’s a lesser-known safari location known for the Okavango Delta. The experience is all about untouched wilderness, luxury camps and lodges, incredible wildlife, and fewer crowds. Also, Botswana has almost double the number of elephants of any other country in the world—around 130,000. It’s where you go on safari if you are “in the know.”
In the end, where you choose to go on safari is up to you. We suggest you do your research carefully and choose the location that fits your needs and wants. Some areas are extremely crowded, whereas others, you pay for privacy. It’s completely up to you.
How do I choose an African safari operator?
If an African safari is on your list of dream holidays, you know that it can feel like an impossible task to choose the right African safari operator for you. The right or wrong operator can drastically impact your entire vacation, so it’s important to choose wisely.
First, you need to decide your budget. Typically, this is a couple of thousand dollars (per person) at the minimum. And we do not recommend a “bargain safari” mindset. This can get you into trouble and make you feel like you wasted your holiday.
What luxury amenities do I need? Is WIFI a must? Do I need flushing toilets, mattresses, daily laundry, premium alcohol, etc.?
What type of safari vehicle do I want? You’ll spend most of your time in the safari vehicle, make sure your operator offers a vehicle with the features you want, such as technology charging stations, drink refrigeration, open-air, etc.
How well-trained are the staff? You’ll interact with your safari team regularly, especially the guide and camp manager, make sure they receive good reviews.
How important is food? Not all safari operators have a chef or create inspired meals that you’ll love.
What are safari guides, and why do they matter?
A safari guide is your host in the African bush. They have spent years studying everything there is to know about the wildlife, plants, safety, and scenery. They are experts in their field and can make or break your safari experience. They’ll track the animals, answer your questions, explain what you’re seeing and experiencing, and ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
Ensure your safety during every step of your journey.
Consider the wildlife for a sustainable and eco-friendly safari experience.
Take you on walking safari to see the wildlife up close and personal.
Track wildlife using footprints, excrement, sounds, and more.
Wow you with their knowledge of the bush. You can test them against any guidebook.
Provide you with incredible hospitality.
Share their experience as a local in the area.
Take you off the beaten track for the chance to witness the extraordinary.
Keep even kids entertained and safe in the bush.
At Brave Africa, we have two exceptional guides with immense experience.
Tabona Wina has been a safari guide for 11 years, and for the last two years, he was a VIP guest guide. He has distinguished himself as someone who always delights his guests and provides a quality experience.
Moses Teko has been a safari guide for the past 12 years, and a bush guide trainer for two years. He’s known his meticulous attention to detail and for specializing in children’s safaris.
Tabona Wina (left) and Moses Teko (right)
How much does a safari cost?
In general, a safari is not cheap. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people, and it is priced accordingly. The cost of your safari can also vary greatly, depending on its location, when you go on safari (low season, shoulder season, or high season), how luxurious it is, and how long you go on safari.
A low-end African safari starts at around $300 a night per person.
A mid-level African safari costs around $600 – $800 a night per person.
A high-end African safari costs $1,000 – $1,300 a night per person.
An ultra-luxury African safari can cost more than $2,000 a night per person.
These prices typically do not include the cost of your international flights or the bush flight costs between camps, which are another $200 – $400 per person per flight.
Brave Africa is a mid-level African safari that costs between $500 and $750 a night/person depending on the season you choose to visit Botswana.
How do I budget for an African safari?
If you are willing to spend more than $7,5000 per person, you can enjoy almost any type of African safari experience, except for the most luxurious accommodations. However, if you have a budget of around $3,000 to 5,000 per person, you’re going to have to make some decisions on what you MUST have and what you are willing to give up.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
If possible, spend at least six nights on safari. Three nights is not enough time to really soak in the African safari experience. So, if you have to stay somewhere more affordable for more time, do it.
Location can be key to cost, but it can also be key to an enjoyable experience. More affordable locations are also far more crowded. You might be in a line of cars to see an animal, and it may feel more like a zoo. The more private and remote your wildlife experience, the more you’ll have to pay.
Time of the year can greatly impact your budget. There are typically three seasons with three costs. You can save as much as $100 per person per night by changing your trip dates.
Low season is December – March and is the most affordable.
Shoulder season is April, May, June, and November, and costs in the mid-range.
High season is July – October and is the most expensive.
Save money with a mobile safari. A safari lodge is like a luxury safari hotel that remains in a permanent location. You fly/drive to the lodge, stay for a few nights, and then fly/drive to your next location. Lodges are more expensive and have added transfer costs (which can be $300 – $400 per person for a bush flight). On the other hand, a mobile safari is a luxurious camp that moves with you between locations. It’s more affordable because there is less overhead for the operator and you don’t have to pay for additional transfers.
What’s the best month to go on safari?
The best month to go on safari depends on what you want to see, experience, and do. Every month offers something different for visitors. And in general, most safari destinations can be visited year-round. However, the weather does change each season, particularly when it comes to rainfall and thus game-viewing.
January & February: These are the two wettest months of the year; you have a good chance of getting rained on. However, the vegetation is green, flowers are in bloom, and water is abundant. These months are incredible for bird watching, many migrations are in full swing, and many antelope give birth so predators can be abundant.
March: This is the greenest month of the year, water is high, but rain is less likely. Some areas may be inaccessible due to too much water, but this also means animals can be found concentrated on dry land. This is also birthing season for many animals.
April & May: These two amazing months offer warm days, cold nights, and little rain. It’s great weather with beautiful green scenery, fewer tourists, and more affordable pricing.
June & July: These two months offer flawless blue winter skies, warm days, and cold nights. Game viewing is exceptional because the foliage is sparse. Don’t expect a lot of greenery (vegetation is beginning to yellow and die), and book your trip in advance as these months are popular.
August, September, & October: These are the three most popular months to go on safari. Days are hot and dry, and nights are sultry. There’s lots of sunshine and amazing game viewing. In fact, these are some of the best months to have spectacular animal sightings. However, this is high season, so prices are at a premium, and availability is limited.
November & December: These two months welcome the first rains of the wet season. The weather is hot and humid, with lots of mud and periods of heavy rain. However, this is an excellent time for newborn calves and migrant birds.
Is an African safari safe?
When you go on an African safari, you are dealing with wild animals and remote regions. This is not a zoo. Everything is untamed and unexpected. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t safe.
From the moment you begin your safari, you’ll be given rules and guidelines that you’ll need to follow and listen to at all times. It’s about respecting your safari guide, respecting the animals, and being smart.
Listen to the advice of your safari guide at all times. They understand animal behavior and will know-how and win to approach animals and what to do in every situation. Trust your guide to take care of you.
Do not leave your tent at night without supervision. After dark, you will always have an escort around your camp or lodge to keep you safe.
Do use the provided safety gear (including an air horn) if you need to call for help at night when you are inside your room. This device is there for emergency purposes only.
Do not wander around alone just because you do not see any animals nearby. Your safari guide or camp staff need to check nearby areas for your safety.
So, is an African safari safe? Yes, it is. Your safari operator will always put your safety first, so as long as you listen to their guidance, you should have nothing to worry about.
How long should I go on safari? How many days do I need?
Three days is not enough time to really enjoy an African safari. It’s barely enough for a taste. Instead, we recommend planning at least seven days and six nights on safari. This will allow you to visit at least two different locations, which is important, and truly immerse yourself in Mother Nature.
The truth is that the more time you spend on safari, the more time you’ll have to see something truly amazing. Remember, National Geographic documentaries are filmed over months, if not years. They spend weeks upon weeks at a time with nature to capture their amazing pictures and movies. You cannot expect to spend just a few days on safari and see it all.
Is an African safari worth it?
Yes. It’s entirely worth it. An African safari will be an experience that you’ll never forget. However, to make sure that you don’t spend above your means and that you get the most for your money, we recommend carefully planning your trip to get the exclusivity, scenery, animals, and experience you want.
What that means is choosing the right location, the right operator, the right guides, and the best time of the year to go on safari. And, most importantly, focus on the game drives! You can pay top dollar for a premium resort and have a lack-luster experience if they don’t focus on amazing game drives.
Are safaris bad for the animals or the environment?
Safaris are CRITICAL for taking care of the environment, promoting sustainability, and animal protection. Safaris bring in money to the communities where they operate and encourage conservation and taking care of the environment. Also, many safaris go above and beyond to donate to conservation within their countries.
Without African safaris, there would be more poaching and fewer reasons for the government to spend money on conservation. Just be sure to choose a safari operator that cares about their impact on the environment.
At Brave Africa, we focus on being eco-friendly by using solar power, providing guests with personalized metal water bottles and filtered water to reduce plastic, and reducing our waste. We also do not have any permanent structures. We go, set up camp, and then pack everything up again, leaving behind only footprints and taking away only memories.
Plus, we donate $50 or $35 per guest to a conservation-focused nonprofit to promote eco-tourism.
Brave Africa uses solar power for environmentally-friendly charging.
Choose safari clothing that is comfortable and practical. You will be spending long days in an open-air vehicle with lots of dust, heat, sun, and potentially rain. Worry less about being fashionable, and more about wearing clothes that make sense. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Wear clothing in neutral colors: beige, brown, and green. Do not wear camouflage, but do not worry if you wear blue, red, purple, black, or white. Just try to avoid very bright colors and patterns, and you’ll be okay.
Wear layers that you can take on and off as the weather changes. It is typically cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon, and cold again at night. Bring jackets or wear layers that you can take on or off as you need.
Take advantage of daily laundry. At Brave Africa, we offer daily laundry service, so you don’t need to pack a lot of clothes. Three to four outfits are more than enough, even for a ten-day trip.
Plan for sunny days. Botswana has more than 300 days of sun a year. Bring sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat for the sun.
Wear comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. You will need to walk through nature, and there are bugs, dust, thorns, and bushes. Hiking boots or solid walking shoes will protect your feet.
Can kids go on safari?
Yes, kids can go on safari. In fact, they can have an amazing time and learn so much. Family safaris are a great idea. However, age and maturity are factors.
Most safaris only accept kids who are at least seven years old for their safety. They need to be able to follow directions, sit in a car for long hours, sleep in a tent at night, and remain calm and quiet when required.
To ensure you have the best African safari experience with your kids, be sure to choose an operator who is set up for families. At Brave Africa:
We offer a large family tent that can fit up to four people.
Our chef can make exclusive children’s dishes such as meatballs, fish and chips, chicken nuggets, pizza, and pasta.
We offer families the exclusive use of a safari vehicle so you can go as slow or as fast as your kids want.
We offer Junior Guide activities, especially for kids. Your kids will learn:
Tracking and survival skills
How to handle our safari vehicle (with supervision—of course)
Wildlife art drawing
Botswana sling shooting
We also have a one-of-a-kind Brave Africa passport that we created so your kids can collect stickers to commemorate their safari experience.
Brave Africa Passport with collectible stickers!
Collect stickers and check off animals throughout your safari.
What animals will I see on safari?
There are so many animals you can see on safari. In Botswana, there are 163 species of mammals and 550 species of birds. Botswana also has almost double the elephants of any other country—over 130,000. There’s almost no limit to what animals you might see.
You could see all of Africa’s Big Five: lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinoceros. You could also see 23 different types of antelope, including impala, red lechwe, kudu, wildebeest, waterbuck, sable, and more. Other animals you might see include: