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Botswana

The Best of Botswana: An In-Depth Safari Experience

Program No. 22424RJ
Venture into the Botswanan wilderness to witness elephants, lions, leopards and more, as a local expert teaches you about Botswana’s four unique ecosystems and their cultures.
Length
14 days
Rating (4.93)
Activity Level
Starts at
9,749
Flights start at
1,425

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 1 - Apr 14, 2023
Starting at
9,749
Apr 13 - Apr 26, 2023
Starting at
9,749
Oct 19 - Nov 1, 2023
Starting at
9,749
Oct 24 - Nov 6, 2023
Starting at
9,749
Nov 1 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
9,749
Nov 6 - Nov 19, 2023
Starting at
9,749
Mar 9 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
10,249
Apr 18 - May 1, 2024
Starting at
10,249
Oct 21 - Nov 3, 2024
Starting at
10,249
Oct 26 - Nov 8, 2024
Starting at
10,249
Nov 2 - Nov 15, 2024
Starting at
10,249
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 1 - Apr 14, 2023
Starting at
10,999
Apr 13 - Apr 26, 2023
Starting at
10,999
Oct 19 - Nov 1, 2023
Starting at
10,999
Oct 24 - Nov 6, 2023
Starting at
10,999
Nov 1 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
10,999
Nov 6 - Nov 19, 2023
Starting at
10,999
Mar 9 - Mar 22, 2024
Starting at
12,189
Apr 18 - May 1, 2024
Starting at
12,189
Oct 21 - Nov 3, 2024
Starting at
12,189
Oct 26 - Nov 8, 2024
Starting at
12,189
Nov 2 - Nov 15, 2024
Starting at
12,189

At a Glance

Join Road Scholar experts to discover the extraordinary wildlife of Botswana in its four highly contrasting but equally stunning ecosystems — riverine, savanna, delta and desert. Home to the world’s largest concentration of elephant as well as many rare species like lions, leopards and wild dogs, Botswana is a safari paradise. Travel from the verdant Okavango Delta to the ancient Kalahari Desert and the famed Chobe National Park, where great rivers meet and elephants roam freely. When you’re not exploring the Botswanan wilderness, take excursions to local villages to learn firsthand about their fascinating cultural practices and remarkable survival skills.

Extend Your Adventure

This program offers an optional program extension.

Extension: Victoria Falls

Thrill in the beauty of Victoria Falls as you explore Southern Africa’s natural wonders. Gain insight into the work of Dr. David Livingstone, as well as the elephant species.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Minimal walking. Participants must be able to endure bumpy rides in four-wheel drive vehicles for up to four hours. Elevations up to 5,575 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Get up close to some of the most incredible creatures on the planet with expert naturalists..
  • Explore the wonderfully diverse flora and fauna in Botswana’s four unique ecosystems.
  • Experience authentic Botswana culture on excursions to local villages to meet students and residents.

General Notes

This program features an extension on select dates: "Extension: Victoria Falls" (#22430).
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Sam Mushandu
Sam was born in a small village in southeast Zimbabwe. Growing up in the village gave him an appreciation for nature, particularly during holidays when he would herd his family’s cattle in the bush. Sam attended Bulawayo Commercial College and is an award-winning safari educator. He has lead learning safaris throughout southern Africa, including top destinations like Hwange and Kafue National Parks. Sam lives with his wife and family in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and enjoys history and fishing. (Be prepared to hear some fishing stories!)

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Lisa Reed
Lisa Reed was born in Zimbabwe, spent her school years in South Africa, and now lives in Botswana. She has worked or visited most Southern and East African safari destinations, and has managed safari camps on her own and with others since being in Botswana. Lisa has a natural affinity with adults and children, and enjoys passing on her years of experience and knowledge to the next generation. She has been leading safaris for Road Scholar for more than 15 years.
Profile Image of Sam Mushandu
Sam Mushandu View biography
Sam was born in a small village in southeast Zimbabwe. Growing up in the village gave him an appreciation for nature, particularly during holidays when he would herd his family’s cattle in the bush. Sam attended Bulawayo Commercial College and is an award-winning safari educator. He has lead learning safaris throughout southern Africa, including top destinations like Hwange and Kafue National Parks. Sam lives with his wife and family in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and enjoys history and fishing. (Be prepared to hear some fishing stories!)
Profile Image of Onx Manga
Onx Manga was born in Maun, Botswana, the jumping off point for most safari destinations, and was drawn to the safari industry from an early age. He worked at Khwai River Lodge in Moremi Game Reserve and then became assistant camp manager at Savute Elephant Camp in Chobe National Park. He later worked at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge before returning to Botswana and the bush. Onx is a brilliant combination of real-life experience and studied learning. He is dedicated to nature and its conservation.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Africa, a Biography of the Continent
by John Reader
With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa.
Cry of the Kalahari, Seven Years in Africa's Last Great Wilderness
by Mark Owens, Delia Owens
The story of a family thrown out of Botswana for its stance on conservation. While their approach to conservation is controversial, there's no doubt that the Owens are dedicated to the wildlife of Southern Africa -- and are very good writers.
The Last Elephants
by Colin Bell & Don Pinnock
African savanna elephants--among the most magnificent and beloved of our fellow mammals--are an extraordinary, social, and intelligent species. The Last Elephants, an homage to these animals and a clarion call for their preservation, is based upon a shocking finding: savanna elephant populations across Africa are being decimated, with two to three murdered every hour for their ivory. Without action, these elephants soon will vanish from our world. They are a species in imminent danger of extinction, and it is up to us to save them.
Wildlife of Southern Africa
by Martin B. Withers
This Princeton Pocket Guide, featuring 400 color photographs by Withers and co-author David Hosking, covers all the birds, mammals, lizards and insects you are likely to encounter.
Twenty Chickens for a Saddle
by Robyn Scott
Haphazardly schooled by her free-spirited mother and left to roam the bush, Scott writes with warmth and candor of her unconventional upbringing in Botswana, commenting on her Grandpa Ivor (personal pilot to the first president of Botswana), physician father's work, unfortunate pets, siblings and adventures.
The Double Comfort Safari Club
by Alexander McCall Smith
Infinitely patient Precious Ramotswe and her prickly secretary (make that assistant detective!) Grace Makutsi, head to the Okavango Delta where there have been several unexplained and troubling events including the demise of one of the guests.
The Healing Land
by Rubert Isaacson
The author travels to the dry grasslands of southern Africa in search of the legendary Kalahari Bushmen and finds evidence of shamans, powerful religious rituals, tribal hunting practices, and much, much more.
Botswana, the Bradt Safari Guide
by Marcelle Bienvenu (Contributor), Chris McIntyre
With comprehensive coverage of history, flora, fauna and practicalities, this fourth edition presents Okavango, Chobe, the Kalahari and other popular destinations in detail.
Whatever You Do, Don't Run
by Peter Allison
Allison spins captivating tales of wildlife, camps and the life of a safari guide into a hilarious, slyly informative introduction to Botswana.
Botswana Map
by Reise Know How
A detailed map of Botswana at a scale of 1:1,000,000. Unfolded size: 27 x 39 inches.
Newman's Birds of Southern Africa
by Kenneth Newman
This commemorative 10th edition celebrates the late author with a fully revised and updated version. Edits were done by his daughter, Vanessa Newman, to reflect the latest research, taxonomy and common names.
A Natural History Guide to the Arid Kalahari
by Gus and Margie Mills
The landscapes and vegetation, the antelope, the hyenas, cats and other carnivores, the birds and the smaller creatures... all are included in this comprehensive guide. Plus: Tips and advice for getting the most out of your visit to the arid Kalahari. Not only is A Natural History Guide to the Arid Kalahari a wonderful guide to one of the most intriguing nature destinations in Africa, but you can read it like a book.
15 Reviews
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4.93 Average
(4) Review left 11/22/2022

Program is good but I will not attend or recommend road scholar to anyone. We paid a. Deposit originally before Covid-19 and we were refused a return of this deposit. However we learned from the other participants in the program that they have always had their deposit returned soon after their request In addition I never had anyone answer the phone when I called, always had to leave a message. I don’t want to have to wait around for a call back, I have other things to do.

(5) Review left 5/13/2022

I'd previously made a number of African safari trips, including to several lodges in Botswana as well as in other countries. This compact trip certainly matched the quality and variety of my previous trips--excellent variety of wildlife, fine photo opportunities, comfortable lodges, and a knowledgeable and personable group leader. Highly recommended if Botswana piques your interest!

(5) Review left 5/07/2022

This program was excellent. If this trip has always been on your “bucket list”, don’t wait any longer…just do it!

(5) Review left 5/07/2022

This is a two part review. Both the program and airfare were booked through Road Scholar. Our flight home (UA-187)on April 26 was cancelled. Seven other RS participants were impacted by this cancellation. RS was made aware of the problem. We were met after our flight from Maun by your representative. We immediately went to United counter and tried to reschedule and were told that MAYBE we could be booked on a flight home after May 5. Then the RS rep took us to City Lodge Hotel. That was the end of RS help even though RS was our travel agent. The next day we taxied back to airport. 5 of us were able to book flights to USA on Emirates. My travel companions and I had booked Business Class with United. The only seats available were First Class on Emirates. We felt totally alone and abandoned and only had my iPhone for communication. (T-mobile--$3.00 a minute. 60 minutes used to alert our husbands and family to our dilemma.). This was my 19th RS trip and had full trust that you would be there to help. The actual program was great--Sam was an outstanding guide, the accommodations were first-rate, the game drives were amazing. This was a trip of a lifetime but ended on a sour note. Respectfully, Barbara Williams

(5) Review left 5/06/2022

This was one of the best trips I've ever taken. Everything surpassed my expectations: the quantity of animal and bird life; the lodges we stayed in; the wonderful group leader and the knowledgeable guides we had in each place we visited, the comraderie shared with group participants; the fact that we were a small group (only 11); the scenery, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and incredible cloud formations. I could go on and on. The only negative was at the end, when United Airlines cancelled our flight home due to fuel shortages. I felt that Road Scholar and Explore could have done more to ease the pain of trying to get flights home. it took me two extra days to get home. Nevertheless, this probably was a one-time screw-up. Don't let it affect your enthusiasm about taking this trip. It truly was a one-of-a-kind experience.

(5) Review left 11/23/2021

This tour is a sampling of the diverse landscape of Botswana. The lodges were very nice to stay at and the wildlife drives and boat rides gave us closeup views of the amazing animals. You will totally enjoy this tour from sunup to sunrise the next day.

(5) Review left 11/10/2021

We have just returned from the trip of a lifetime! We took our family to Botswana, for a trip none of us will forget. We had an outstanding guide, great accommodations, and a wealth of wildlife. I cannot recommend it enough. And it was comfortable all the way; I am 81 and would love to do it again!

(5) Review left 11/05/2021

I think it is wall organized. I don't know what I would change

(5) Review left 3/13/2020

Every aspect of this program was first rate. I cannot imagine anyone being a better guide than Honest. The depth and breadth of his knowledge was awesome. In addition to everything included in the program, there were delightful unexpected moments--such as encountering and conversing with a bushmen family walking along the trail, and the birds flying closely alongside our vehicle at eye level, snatching up insects stirred up by our vehicle. These are only two of many unexpected moments. If you have a desire to visit Africa and observe animals in their natural habitat, I don't think you can do any better than this.

(5) Review left 12/02/2019

Fabulous trip! This was a longtime dream come true - even better than hoped.

(5) Review left 6/17/2019

An unforgettable experience! From the up-close wildlife we saw thanks to Sam and the local guides, to the unique lodges and exceptionally friendly staff, to the wonderful Road Scholar travel mates, it was an outstanding program. For me, the trip of a lifetime.

(5) Review left 5/22/2019

Traveling to Botswana was a true joy, and I was able to see many wonderful wild animals, as well as to make many new friends on the trip! The accommodations were excellent and I would recommend this trip to everyone who loves wild animals!

(5) Review left 5/14/2019

This trip ranks among the best I have ever taken. We saw so many animals and birds. It was a thrilling experience.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 5/05/2019

What is better than fantastic? I went 2 days early, to avoid bad weather here in Chicago. Lovely motel to stay in. Buffet breakfast was provided. They were serving a buffet dinner for an additional fee. I did not have to order out from a local place they had suggested, nor did I have to go by bus and driver to the local mall. All very easy and relaxing. Rest of trip was superb. Our resident guide, the drivers of all our vehicles, the staff at every camp were all very attentive. Every lodge was clean, quiet and exceedingly comfy. I wear hearing aids, and had difficulty hearing our afternoon lectures. Don't know if some kind of microphone/speaker is practical. I gleaned all information from my guide later. Also, any further information I needed, I was able to get from our drivers. I didn't miss out on anything. My guide was very gracious and understanding. Also, he began posting a handwritten schedule for the next days activities, so I/we were aware of changes. I came home exhausted, with wonderful memories and even more wonderful photos. Lenore Persky hupuplenore@comcast.net PS. I particularly liked not having phone service the whole time!!!!

(5) Review left 5/03/2019

The Best of Botswana safari experience fulfilled a life long dream and exceeded my expectations. It was everything I hoped for and more than I imagined.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.