August 10

Top 10 Luxury Safari Lodges in Botswana in 2022

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By Ian Rowett on
August 10, 2022

From world-class architecture and design to expert safari guides and service, we've selected our top 10 luxury safari lodges in Botswana. They made our list not only because of the Swarovski safari binoculars or the foie gras but for the entire experience, from start to finish. Our best-of list includes anything from mobile camps to royal villas and everything in between. So, no matter your safari style and in no particular order, here's our handpicked list of the top luxury safari lodges in Botswana. 

Sunset near Chief's Camp in Botswana

Explore Botswana's top luxury safari lodges with us, Image Credit: Chief's Camp

1. Little Vumbura

Little Vumbura is Vumbura Plains Camp's sibling camp, both located deep in the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta's northern permanent channels. With just six suites, Little Vumbura is one of Botswana's smallest luxury safari lodges, which means you can expect a personalised, exclusive safari experience.

Whether it's your honeymoon, a family safari or a group celebration, this piece of Botswana heaven will deliver. Furthermore, lavish living aside, your setting on a private island offers year-round water and land safari activities for a classic Okavango Delta experience no matter what time of year you visit.

Aerial view of Little Vumbura - one of the best luxury safari lodges in Botswana

Surrounded by untouched nature, Image Credit: Little Vumbura

Who’s it for?

Little Vumbura is ideal if you want the complete luxury Delta experience – on land, water and in the air. It's also perfect for romantic pampering and small group celebrations.

Highlights

  • Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, boating safaris, mokoro excursions and fishing
  • Exceptionally good game viewing thanks to the varied habitats surrounding you
  • Great food and warm, friendly service on a private island in the Okavango Delta
  • Take it to the sky with hot air balloon rides and helicopter flights

2. Jao Camp

Jao Camp is one of the more dramatic luxury safari lodges in Botswana. Its bold and exciting design complements the extraordinary wildlife extravaganza and its glorious island setting.

Furthermore, its location in a huge private concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta guarantees exclusive access to the pristine wilderness and sensational wildlife sightings. Offering land, water and airborne safari activities, Jao Camp is the ultimate full-featured luxury Delta experience.

Water activities at Jao Camp in the Okavango Delta

Discover the area in a traditional mokoro, Image Credit: Jao Camp

Who’s it for?

With all the privacy and luxury your heart could desire, Jao Camp is an excellent choice for honeymooners and for celebrating romantic milestones. The game viewing activities and the varied habitats also make it a safari destination dressed to impress. Therefore, when it comes to luxury meets adventure, Jao Camp offers the best of both.

Highlights

  • Sophisticated and innovative luxury safari lodge – think double-volume exhibition space around a fully reconstructed giraffe skeleton and a variety of construction materials and textures (including living trees)
  • Ultimate privacy, from your personal safari guide to private plunge pool as well as your own campfire pit and outdoor shower
  • Luxury amenities include a health spa, gym, library, gallery, museum, swimming pool, air conditioning, salas and hammocks
  • Excellent game viewing in a private concession straddling the transition between Kalahari woodlands and the Okavango Delta's waterways

3. Sanctuary Chief's Camp

Sanctuary Chief's Camp is renowned for its exceptional wildlife and is one of the most reliable places to see lions, leopards, African wild dogs, elephants, rhinos, buffalo… in other words, the Big 5 and its entire supporting cast. And that's not to mention the prolific and varied birdlife!

With a sublime setting beneath ancient trees on a Delta island and offering the utmost luxury, Chief's Camp is indeed a refined and exhilarating experience. Fit for royalty, this is undoubtedly one of the best luxury safari lodges in Botswana.

Chief's Camp, one of the best luxury safari lodges in Botswana

Relax and enjoy the views of the Okavango Delta, Image Credit: Chief's Camp

Who’s it for?

Chief's Camp is a high-end safari lodge offering an exciting game-viewing safari experience. It's ideal for families, couples, honeymooners, and small group milestone celebrations.

Highlights

  • A luxury safari lodge with aircon, plunge pools and private dining
  • Go for the Kent suite for the full monty of luxury, privacy and personal service
  • Famous game-viewing area with plains and channels affording the full range of Delta safari activities
  • Renowned for service that goes above and beyond, excellent guides and extensive features, including family-oriented activities, a health spa and even a gym

4. Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

With palatial tented suites and a five-star amenities list, Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp blurs the line between an authentic tented safari camp and an upmarket, state-of-the-art hotel. The camp is in its own wildlife concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. Therefore, you can expect exclusive access, including night drives, walking safaris, off-road traversing and a whole lot of pristine wilderness all to yourself. Plus, your family will love it too because Nxabega is a family-focused safari lodge welcoming and catering to children of all ages.

Vying for the top spot as one of Botswana's most luxurious safari lodges, andBeyond's Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp offers incredible game viewing, pitch-perfect hospitality and luxury amenities.

Nxabega Okavango Camp at sunset overlooking the floodplains

Perfect for a romantic getaway, Image Credit: Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

Who’s it for?

Families, couples and small groups will all appreciate the personal service and attention to detail. Furthermore, serious wildlife and birding enthusiasts will enjoy the game-rich variety of habitats and the exceptional safari guides.

Highlights

  • All-round luxury safari with excellent game viewing and a reputation for guiding excellence 
  • Family-focused, welcoming children of all ages with special activities and facilities
  • Wellness spa, interactive coffee bar, complimentary binoculars and Wi-Fi
  • A birder's paradise with over 400 species, including the elusive Pel's fishing owl

5. Chobe Under Canvas

From ultra-luxury safari lodges to mobile camps, andBeyond is renowned for creating exciting, authentic safaris that go over and beyond your expectations (pun intended!). Chobe Under Canvas is one such mobile safari camp, situated right by the river deep inside Botswana's Chobe National Park.

This might be considered a camp, but don't let that fool you. Your every need is taken care of, from the expected essential comforts include full-size walk-in tents (just five for an intimate safari experience), very comfortable beds with luxury linen, hot-bucket showers and flushing en-suite toilets. Food is expertly prepared over an open fire and served in a lantern-lit al fresco mess tent. Moreover, the camp is entirely solar-powered, which adds to the authentic African adventure atmosphere. 

Chobe Under Canvas Camp with view of elephants roaming in Chobe National Park - one of the best luxury safari lodges in Botswana

Sunset cruise on the Chobe River, Image Credit: andBeyond

Who’s it for?

This mobile camp – relocated every five days – is ideal for experienced safari-goers looking for an immersive, adventurous bush experience. It's also a great add-on option when staying at their classic luxury safari lodge. Chobe Under Canvas is an adventure in itself, but then you also get to go out on game drives and river safaris.

Highlights

  • One of the very few safari accommodations inside Chobe National Park for exclusive early and late game drives
  • Authentic safari where you can feel the bush beneath your feet, hear the crickets at your doorstep and the lions' roars that fill the night
  • Excellent big game safaris with elephant, buffalo, crocodile and hippo sightings along with lion, leopard, hyena and plains game galore
  • You can enjoy a specialist photographic boat safari on the Chobe River

6. Camp Moremi

Camp Moremi is an effortlessly charming safari lodge and one of our favourite luxury safari lodges in Botswana. A classic safari lodge with thatched roofing, it has an elevated deck flooring and open sides that spill out into the Okavango Delta wilderness. And not to mention that the suites are gloriously enormous!

It's found inside the Moremi Game Reserve on the permanent Xakanaxa Lagoon (pronounced "Kakanaka"), surrounded by floodplains and woodlands of varying habitats. As a result, you can expect incredible safaris! On land and water, all year round, the game viewing, birding and general beauty of this magical place are all simply sensational. 

Relax in the comfort of your own luxury tent at Camp Moremi

Relax in the comfort of your own luxury tent, Image Credit: Camp Moremi

Who’s it for?

Camp Moremi is an unassuming luxury safari lodge that places your safari experience front and centre. Ideal for couples, families, groups, birders and avid wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

Highlights

  • Warm and intimate safari camp with communal dining and friendly staff
  • Land and water safaris all year round in a wildlife-dense area of the Okavango Delta
  • Excellent game viewing with diverse habitats in the Moremi Game Reserve
  • Great for families and children over six years old can join the activities with their parents

7. Chobe Game Lodge

Chobe Game Lodge is one of our favourite luxury safari lodges in Botswana for its many unique features. First off, this is the only permanent safari lodge inside Chobe National Park. Therefore, this means earlier and later access than if you were to stay outside the national park. The safari lodge is total luxury with all mod-cons, including air conditioning in lavish, north African-themed suites and a variety of dining and sundowner settings along its extensive river-facing decks and boardwalks.

Another noteworthy feature of Chobe Game Lodge is its progressive environmental and social policies. Famous for its all-female guiding crew and electric safari vehicles and boats, the lodge also produces much of its own electricity and recycles its wastewater. So, with a clean conscience, you can enjoy exhilarating game drives and river safaris. And this area will certainly deliver on sightings as it's rife with elephants, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, lions, African wild dogs and the general game densities that rightly make Chobe one of the most famous national parks in Africa.

Chobe Game Lodge's suite pool in Botswana

Relax in your private plunge pool while watching Botswana's wildlife, Image Credit: Chobe Game Lodge

Who’s it for?

Chobe Game Lodge is great for families with so much on offer for children of all ages. It's also great for couples wanting some anonymity and downtime to contrast the intimacy and personal attention of the smaller, exclusive safari lodges in your itinerary. Enjoy a spa treatment and a romantic al fresco dinner for two after a day of game drives and river cruises while the children run riot in the young explorers club.

Highlights

  • The only permanent safari lodge inside Chobe National Park, and it's on the Chobe River, so you can't be better placed for a best-of-Chobe experience.
  • A progressive safari lodge with an all-female guiding team using electric vehicles and boats
  • Great for families with land and water activities for all ages
  • Elephants, elephants and more elephants!

8. Little Machaba

As far as luxury safari lodges in Botswana go, Little Machaba casts a modest, hyper-intimate, ultra-light footprint. Four classic tented suites – enormous by any standards – comprised of two doubles and two family tents sleep a maximum of 12 guests. But that's the only part where "Little" applies. Every other aspect of this delightful safari camp is larger than life.

Deep in the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the 180,000-hectare Khwai Community Concession, Little Machaba is a veritable wildlife festival. As a result, it makes sense that the safari guides and game-viewing activities are the headline act. Elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards and African wild dogs lead an all-star cast of varied Delta wildlife and birdlife that will have you shouting "Bravo! Encore!" after day one.

Leopard in a tree on safari with Machaba, one of the top luxury safari lodges in Botswana

Get close to Botswana's amazing wildlife, Image Credit: Machaba Camp

Who’s it for?

With such a light footprint, Little Machaba retains the adventurous spirit of an authentic luxury safari. It's ideal for couples, families and small groups wanting to connect with nature and Africa's incredible wildlife.

Highlights

  • Intimate, personalised and very special experience
  • Eco-camp for an authentic safari and a light footprint
  • Full-featured activity list with exceptional game viewing in the Khwai Concession
  • Cultural village visits (usually the lodges are too remote), birding, game drives, night drives, and seasonal mokoro water tours on offer

9. Linyanti Bush Camp

If game viewing were star-rated, Linyanti Bush Camp would be a six-star behemoth. As it happens, this small, intimate safari camp packs just enough luxury and first-class service to make it one of the best luxury safari lodges in Botswana. The rest is dedicated to a first-class safari experience.

The Linyanti Marshes are the only permanent water source inside a private concession in the remote northwest of Chobe National Park. As a result, this is a best of all-worlds position to experience vast herds of elephants and buffalos as well as a variety of plains game, including lions, leopards, African wild dogs, hippos, crocodiles and rare antelopes. The birdlife is astounding, and with the full range of safari activities, your wilderness experience at Linyanti Bush Camp will be nothing short of sensational.

Outdoor bath at Linyanti Bush Camp

Unwind and enjoy the view from your outdoor bath, Image Credit: Linyanti Bush Camp

Who’s it for?

With its purposefully low environmental and social impact, Linyanti Bush Camp presents an authentic, complete safari experience suited to adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. Families are well-catered for, and the intimacy of this camp lends itself to small group celebrations.

Highlights

  • A full range of safari activities, including guided walking, game drives, night drives, boating and helicopter excursions (seasonal)
  • The Linyanti Wetlands, between Chobe and the Okavango Delta, is an exceptional wildlife area – even by Botswana's standards
  • Small and intimate safari camp with an emphasis on personalised safari experiences
  • Family-friendly and small enough to book the whole camp for a wow-inducing celebration

10. Khwai Leadwood

Khwai Leadwood is a finely tuned mix of adventure and refinement. On the edge of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, the Khwai Community Concession sees the great game viewing of its neighbouring national park. It then raises the bar with additional safari activities and features.

One of the very few safari lodges in Botswana welcoming children of all ages, Khwai Leadwood offers walking safaris, day and night game drives, birding, and mokoro trips during high-water peak season. The wildlife in this area is phenomenal, with reliable sightings of elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, hyenas, rare antelopes and the full complement of plains game and nocturnal predators.

Khwai Leadwood exterior view in the evening - one of the most popular luxury safari lodges in Botswana

A great place for romance and wildlife sightings, Image Credit: Khwai Leadwood Lodge

Who’s it for?

Khwai Leadwood is an excellent all-around luxury safari lodge within a stunning setting. Welcoming children of all ages and with dedicated safari activities for them, this is the perfect family safari camp when visiting Botswana. Furthermore, the exceptional game viewing and birding also make Khwai Leadwood a great option for first-time safari goers wanting guaranteed sightings of, well, everything.

Highlights

  • Great safari camp for the whole family with a scenic setting overlooking the Khwai River
  • Full range of safari activities, including bush walks, night drives, off-road traversing, boating and helicopter flights (seasonal)
  • Exceptional service, food and generous tented suites
  • Excellent first-time safari option with village visits and cultural interaction at this community-run concession and reliable sightings of big game

Ready to Book Your Luxury Botswana Safari?

Botswana is well-known for its high-end luxury safari lodges. Many are lavish five-star oases of unabashed comfort and refinement, while others, maintaining luxury credentials, focus their attention on the wilderness experience.

Whichever style on the luxury safari lodge spectrum you favour, our Travel Experts provide the latest, first-hand advice, planning and booking services. Contact us to start planning your tailor-made Botswana safari with the World's Leading Safari Company.

Featured Image: Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp

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About the author 

Ian Rowett

Born in Zimbabwe and, having bluffed his way through a Journalism Degree at Rhodes, Ian turned his reluctantly nomadic life into a successful career as a travel writer. With stints in Harare, Joburg, Cape Town, Swakopmund, Port Shepstone and Greyton, he has travelled the length and breadth of southern Africa. Now living in Knysna, Ian combines his innate tendency to write for a living with a deep-rooted love of Africa’s wilderness and a keen interest in the hospitality trade.

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