Safari insider: Namibia or Botswana?

Tuesday, 1st November 2016

Destination Specialist

botswana okavango delta aerial istk

Namibia and Botswana are polar opposites in terms of safari destinations, so which one do you choose? Having travelled extensively in both countries, our Southern Africa Travel Specialists give their insights into where to go on an African adventure.

Magic of the Okavango

When deciding where to go on safari, there is so much choice, so many highlights and so much diversity that it can be daunting. Many people gravitate to what they think they know from lazy Sundays watching Sir David Attenborough in some of the most iconic wildernesses left on the continent. Botswana’s Okavango Delta is an obvious choice, for first time safari goers – huge concentrations of game, some of the best conservation areas in Africa and service levels so finely tuned that each and every moment of the safari is beautifully organised. Botswana’s reputation is rightfully world-renowned and for many people, I would encourage them to start their African love affair in this animal bonanza.

Etosha and the Namib Desert

Namibia, on the other hand   something so special that it is very hard to put into words. Namibia will open your eyes to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes you can witness in the world. It will redefine your sense of space and freedom, it will leave you not just with memories of a fantastic safari, but with tales of an epic adventure. Namibia is road trip country at its very best; vast, wild, emotive and importantly safe, friendly and welcoming. Wildlife is spread thinly in this desert environment and you will gain a new appreciation for the importance of water and how incredibly adaptive nature can be. The jewel in Namibia’s diverse crown of delights is Etosha National Park, which in my humble opinion provides the best game viewing anywhere in Southern Africa. Its waterholes, not only support a huge density of animals, but give self-driving visitors some of the clearest views of majestic beasts anywhere in the wild.

Wildlife wonders

Both countries offer amazing wildlife, cultural interactions and scenic pleasures, but the style of safari differs dramatically and this is where your choice comes in. Botswana is fabled for its flying safari; exclusive lodges in remote and wild places. Visitors will be swept from game drive vehicle, to poolside with cold drink in hand effortlessly. You will dine with other guests, your guides and lodge managers and talk of the day’s wildlife viewing and meet travellers from all corners of the globe. The guiding is second to none and you will learn bush skills, tracking animals by their behaviour and spoor, getting that all-important glimpse of Africa’s big cats. Fly between remote camps getting a vulture’s-eye-view of the Okavango’s waterways, the ‘hippo highways’ and ‘elephant junctions’.

Safari styles

In Namibia, in stark contrast, you take control of your own journey and you will write your own script. Take to the quiet roads, wind your way through mountains of rock and sand and arrive at unique and stunning lodges with a sense of accomplishment. Drink the ‘welcome juice’ and drown in the view. Take a sundowner drive as the desert transforms from baked moonscape to big night sky. Stroll along the Atlantic Coast as the heat of the day drains over gigantic dunes back out to sea. Head to the floodlit waterhole, with a blanket to ward off the evening chill and let Africa’s night come alive for your very own live documentary. In Namibia your adventure will be earnt; your luxury and comfort comes at the end of the day, when you are served exquisite meals, in romantic and intimate settings, by warm, hospitable people. Your journey through Namibia will stay with you forever and if you’re anything like me, you will want to go back…

Feeling inspired?

For first-hand tips on planning your perfect safari holiday, send us an online enquiry or call the team on 01737 214 250

Browse our full range of Namibia and Botswana holidays.

Popular blog posts

UPDATED Aurora Prediction Alert – December 2018!

In October our northern lights experts predicted the chances of seeing the northern lights would be extremely high from the 2-7 November 2018 due to a strong auroral storm occurring. It happened and looks likely to occur again in early December...
  • Northern Lights

Friday, 9th November 2018

Jess Weatherson

Cathy Harlow: Hiking in East Greenland Tour Highlights

In summer 2019, Wanderlust award-winning guide Cathy Harlow is travelling again to the wild and remote East Greenland coast to guide our nine-day ‘Hiking in East Greenland’ adventure. There’s so much about East Greenland that inspires Cathy but there are a few truly special experiences that make this trip stand out, read on to find out more…
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me

Wednesday, 24th October 2018

Cathy Harlow

Icehotel 2018/19 Designs Unveiled!

With every new year comes a brand new edition of Sweden’s iconic Icehotel and after months of deliberation, the designs for the 29th Icehotel have finally been revealed (we heard one was even designed on the back of a napkin!). Let us give you a sneak peak of what is to come!
  • Icehotel

Tuesday, 21st August 2018

Becky Masih

Selected Posts

5 Reasons to Book your Namibia Holiday Now!

Southern Africa Travel Specialist, Rhys, reveals 5 reasons why Namibia is increasing in popularity as a holiday destination...
  • Destination Insiders

Friday, 4th August 2017

Destination Specialist

A Typical Day on Safari

Ever wondered what it’s like to go on a safari? Dan Bjork has travelled extensively in both Namibia and Botswana and has been lucky enough to have been on many game drives. Here, he tells us all about one very special safari experience in Namibia...
  • Wildlife

Monday, 13th February 2017

Destination Specialist

Is this the Year of the Big Trip?

Think big! A month-long motorhome odyssey in New Zealand perhaps, or a polar cruise around Spitsbergen. How about delving into British Columbia’s leafy wilderness in search of grizzly bears. Read on to start planning your next Big Trip...
  • Inspire Me

Thursday, 8th February 2018

Will Gray

Namibia’s Desertscapes: A Photographer’s Paradise

Our in-house photographer, George Turner, takes us on a journey across Namibia's mesmerising landscapes...
  • Inspire Me
  • Travel Stories

Friday, 9th March 2018

Destination Specialist