A Guide to self drive safari camping in Botswana
Embarking on a camping trip in Botswana requires a good deal of planning and preparation. You will be going to remote areas, accessible only by four-wheel drive, where water, petrol or food may not be available. You may often be driving on rough terrain, and through heavy sand, in conditions very different from those you are used to.
As a general rule, take all food requirements to last your stay. Take at least 20 litres of water per person, preferably more; for desert destinations, carry between 50 and 100 litres. Carry at least 100 litres of petrol in long-range tanks or in metal jerry tins. Take spare vehicle parts for breakdowns.
As campsites within game reserves and national parks are usually not fenced, it is important for campers to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure their safety, and to abide by the information provided by wildlife officers.
The following basic camping rules should be strictly heeded:
- Only camp in designated campsites.
- Always sleep in your tent, roof tent or vehicle. Make sure your tent zips up well.
- Don’t sleep with legs or arms protruding from the tent.
- Use rubbish receptacles at the campsites; if there are none, carry away all rubbish until you get to the next town.
- Cigarette butts should be well extinguished and placed in a rubbish bag, not thrown on the ground.
- Make sure the campfire is well extinguished at the end of the evening, or after use, and cover it with sand.
- Don’t sleep on bridges or animal paths, particularly those of elephants and hippos.
- Bury all faecal matter and burn all toilet paper.
- Don’t bathe or drink from still bodies of water; there is the danger of bilharzia.
- In the Okavango, don’t swim in lagoons or streams; there is the danger of crocodiles and/or hippos.
- Children must be constantly supervised. Never leave them alone in the campsite. Never allow children to nap on the ground or in the open.
- Don’t stray far from the campsite, or walk in the bush, unless with a qualified guide.
Driving is on the left side of the road. The national speed limit on tarred roads is 120 km/h and 60 km/h in towns and villages. Watch out for wildlife and domestic animals on the roads. In the National parks always stay on the established tracks in order to avoid the ugly scars left by off-road driving. Stay below the 40km/h speed limit for the safety of wildlife and yourselves.
The general rule of thumb for camping in Botswana is – take only memories, leave only footprints.
One of four sites spread out alongside a side track in Deception Valley. Each is under some small acacia trees that offer privacy.
Xade campground in Central Kalahari Game Reserve is 9km east along the main track from the park gate towards Xaxa and the heart of the park.
Xaxa Camp is located opposite the waterhole on thick sand and has no facilities whatsoever. There are only two campsites available.
This public camping site is situated in the lovely Passarge Valley and has limited facilities.
This camp is an exposed site on the edge of Leopard Pan with a pit latrine, bucket shower, and fireplace.
Situated close to Piper pan, under a couple of the tallest trees in the area. The camp is unfenced and has a pit latrine, a bucket shower, and a fireplace.
The shaded site is just off the main track from Deception Valley to Piper Pan. Situated in a small clump of Acacia trees on a small rise. No facilities.
These Botswana camping options are situated in Deception Valley both Deception and Kori Campsites offer the same facilities, cleared land, shade, fire pit, long drop toilet, and bucket shower.
The Phokoje camp in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve has basic facilities that include a fire pit, toilet & shower combined.
This shaded campsite is situated a short distance from the track from Deception Valley to Piper Pan.
In the north of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, three campsites are situated far apart, near Motopi Pan.
These two camps are perched on a hill overlooking the artificial waterhole at Sunday Pan. Camp facilities include a pit latrine, bucket shower, and fireplace.
Situated in the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana, Xakanaxa is a great place to camp. All the camps in the Reserve are unfenced.
These shaded campsites are situated at the southern entrance (Makwee Gate) to the Moremi Game Reserve. The great...
Camping in the Nxai Pan, which is an extensive grass plain, part of the old lake bed, and generously covered with...
Nxai Pan itself is an extensive grass plain, part of the old lake bed, which is more generously covered with acacia...
Njuca Camp is located in the northwest of the region and the campsites are out in the far east of the Makgadikgadi...
The vast salt pans and grassy plains the Makgadikgadi creates a unique oasis and the perfect setting for Nata Lodge....
Kubu Island is locally known as Lekhubu, it is a unique, untouched empty, and wild tourism attraction. You need a 4x4...
Considered to be one of the best game viewing areas in Botswana, the flood plains of the Khwai River are home to a...
The campground derives its name from the Setswana of Acacia Erolba or Camel-thorn - these towering giants grow in...
Khumaga Wildlife camp is situated on the banks of the Boteti River in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and is part of...
Ihaha Campsite is on the Chobe Riverfront. The campsite overlooks a hippo pool in the dry season while in the high...
Elephant Sands is a bush lodge & campsite in the north-eastern part of Botswana. Come and enjoy viewing the...
Visit Camp Savuti to experience the thrill of getting close to top predators and to watch them in their natural...
Baines Baobab overlooks Kaudia Camp Pan on the Southside of the Nxai South camp. Although the pans at Baines Baobab...
Audi Camp has changed a lot over the past two decades and we’re looking pretty fancy these days. We have a great bar –...