Namibia Safari vs Botswana Safari Compared
Nothing beats the thrill of jetting off on an African safari, regardless of whether it’s your first time or your fifth. The promise of vast, open landscapes, the opportunity to get up close and personal with extraordinary wildlife, the chance to experience activities that will set your pulse racing, the list goes on and on.
Before you get down to the exciting work of packing your suitcase and reaching for your passport, you’ll first need to decide which destination to visit and for many that’s the hardest part. From South Africa to Kenya, Botswana to Namibia, the incredible continent of Africa is truly blessed with an eclectic mix of top safari destinations, each of which boast their own distinctive charm and appeal.
Amongst the most popular questions we get asked here at Secret Namibia is ‘which is the best safari destination- Botswana or Namibia’? Today, we’re going to attempt to answer that question once and for all.
From comparing the wildlife in each country, to assessing the difference between accommodation options, we’ve listed everything you need to know below.
Namibia Safari vs Botswana Safari Wildlife Comparison
A landlocked nation in Southern Africa, Botswana is home to three national parks and seven game resorts, meaning wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful. Experts believe there are around 170 species of mammals in Botswana, and you’ll find over 20 species of antelope, including the gnu and duiker.
Botswana is also famed for its native species including the bee-eater and Cape Vulture whilst bird lovers will be pleased to know that over 500 avian species have been observed in the country.
Comparatively, Namibia has 26 parks and reserves and is famed for the diversity of its wildlife offering, as well as the quantity. Estimates put the number of mammal species in the country at around 114 and all of Africa’s iconic big 5 can be spotted here, with many residing in the iconic Etosha National Park.
Each year thousands of visitors are drawn to Namibia to witness its extraordinary desert-adapted wildlife, including zebras and elephants. The enchanting Skeleton Coast region is also home to huge colonies of Cape Fur seals, whilst 640 bird species are thought to roam Namibia’s skies.
Namibia Safari vs Botswana Safari: Landscapes and Landmarks Compared
One of the main selling points for any safari adventure is the landscapes on offer. Few places in the world, let alone Africa, can compete with Namibia when it comes to the richness and diversity of the typography.
From epic crimson sand dunes in the Sossusvlei region to the majestic Epupa Falls, Namibia has it all. The ‘Soul of Africa’ is also home to the second biggest canyon in the world, The Fish River, as well as the oldest dessert in the world: The Namib.
The enchanting coastline, which encompasses the eery Skeleton Coast, is also a stand-out highlight. Further, the cosmopolitan capital Windhoek and bustling Swakopmund are also popular safari stop-over destinations, both of which are renowned for their impressive German-inspired architecture.
Botswana, although landlocked, still boasts an alluring landscape that’s best described as serene rather than striking. The iconic Okavango Delta acts as the county’s centrepiece, a place characterised by sprawling grassy plains and sometimes-flooded lakes. Salt pans and vast fossil river valleys are also typically found here, which are fascinating to explore.
Namibia Safari vs Botswana Safari Accommodation Options
Regardless of whether you’re considering a self-drive safari, fly-in safari or guided safari, you’ll no doubt want to find out more about the accommodation options on offer in both countries. After all you’ll need a place to lay your head after a long game drive!
Fortunately, both Namibia and Botswana are blessed with a wide variety of stunning lodges and accommodation options that cater for a whole host of different tastes and preferences.
For high-end luxury, and all the amenities you could possibly wish for, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Little Kulala and Oguma The Fort are all incredible options in Namibia. Sossuvlei Desert Lodge boasts several stunning villas that overlook the vast expanse of the Namib Desert. Here you can take a dip in your private swimming pool, enjoy first-class cuisine at the lodge’s restaurant, and there’s even a wellness centre where you can enjoy a spa treatment or two.
Similarly, Little Kulala and Oguma The Fort offer similar levels of luxury; the latter houses guests in a private Moroccan-style chalet and from here you can admire stunning views of Etosha National Park.
Botswana is also home to an abundance of exceptional lodges; some which are suitable for budget-conscious travellers, but really it’s the luxury market that’s catered to more. Mombo camp epitomises this sense of luxury; here guests can relax in a copper-laden bathtub as they soak up views of the Delta. Cocktails are also served around the clock and the staff will weight on you hand and foot.
Namibia Safari vs Botswana Safari Cost
The cost of a safari to Botswana varies a lot, influenced by factors such as the time of year you visit, which activities you’d like to try, and how you’d like to travel around the country. Generally, safaris to Botswana tend to be at the higher end of estimates owing in large part to the extravagant accommodation options and the fact that some reserves are extremely private, permitting only a restricted number of visitors per year.
The price of a safari to Namibia also varies, again depending on factors such as time of year and whether you decide to opt for a self-drive safari or fly-in safari. However, with more game reserves and plenty of incredible places to visit, you’ll be able to pack in a lot more on your safari trip to Namibia.
Remember, here at Secret Namibia we craft bespoke safaris, and we can design an itinerary that’s suited to your exact tastes and preferences. You can view some popular examples of luxury safari itineraries here or get in touch with one of our safari architects today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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Our seasoned team specializes in designing personalized safaris in Namibia. From top-notch accommodations to memorable wildlife encounters, we tailor every aspect to suit your preferences. Whether you're a safari veteran or a first-timer, our commitment to excellent service promises an unforgettable adventure.