We found the information about cheap safaris in Botswana, and it brought us to the country with rich nature. A luxury lodge next to a national park and the dinner served at the lodge turned our budget backpacking trip into a gorgeous safari tour.
No visa is required for both American and Japanese.
Itinerary – Detail
* M = Morning, A = Afternoon, E = Evening
|Dec 13 A||Arrived at Kasane, Botswana|
|E||Arrived at Chobe Safari Lodge|
|Dec 14 M||Explored Chobe Safari Lodge and neighbors|
|A||Boat safari in Chobe National Park|
|E||Dinner at Chobe Safari Lodge|
|Dec 15 M||Game (4×4) safari in Chobe National Park|
|A||Moved to Katima Mulilo, Namibia|
The costs for 2 day were 3,656BWP for two or US$365.6 at the exchange rate of US$1 = 10BWP. The summary of costs by category is below.
The cost was for a boat safari (235BWP / person) and game (safari) drive (265BWP / person) in Chobe National Park. The prices do not include the park fee of 70BWP per person per day. If you take tours in multiple days, you need to pay 70BWP per person each day. We did not pay any tips for the tours because all tour guides left right after the tours without any time for us to pay tips.
Hot food was available at a supermarket within a walking distance (5 min) from Chobe Safari Lodge. We did not make any food at the lodge but purchased the hot food from the supermarket. The food was about 20BWP per person for one meal.
The cost of food was expensive because we had a buffet dinner at the lodge. The buffet dinner was 250BWP per person at a restaurant next to a swimming pool. We could see the sunset from our table as well as the view of the river we were around during the boat safari. The restaurant had not only great dishes but also a great quiet atmosphere to enjoy the time of vacation in nature. If your budget allows, we recommend having a dinner at the restaurant at least one night.
Lunch at Kasane on the day we arrived at Botswana was the other reason of the high cost of food. We paid 135BWP for a plate for each. Because of numerous European tourists in Kasane for Chobe National Park, eating at a restaurant is expensive.
We stayed at the camp site of Chobe Safari Lodge for two nights. Even staying at the camp site, all facilities (outdoor pool, restaurant, bar etc) at the lodge are accessible by campers. Although there were many bugs in the camp site, facilities such as toilets and shower rooms were clean and well maintained.
- Chobe Safari Lodge: Camp Site：95BWP / person / night
To stay at the camp site, you must have your own tent and sleeping bags. Since we went the lodge without reservation, we were originally told that there was no available camp site but later luckily the receptionist found a site for us. It sounds like the camp site can be full easily due to the full access to all facilities of the nice lodge. If possible, we recommend reserving the camp site in advance.
- Taxi from Botswana border to Kasane：US$3 / ride
- Taxi from Kasane to Chobe Safari Lodge：100BWP
- Shared bus from Kasane to Katima Mulilo, Namibia：100BWP / person
We heard that there were taxis at the border but there was none when we arrived there. Luckily local people called a taxi and offered us to share it to Kasane. The taxi ride was about 15 min and we paid US$3 for two of us because we did not have any Bostwana currency at the time. We were not sure if the price was equally divided by four passengers. If no taxi at the border, the officers at the border may help you since they were very nice and come to check with us if we were okay while we were waiting for the taxi.
A taxi ride from Kasane to Chobe National Park was about 10 min and the price should be less than 50BWP. However, our taxi driver took us to buy a tent and sleeping bags before heading to Chose Safari Lodge because we did not have them.
You can take a shared bus to Katima Mulilo at immigration office which is about 10- min walk away from Chobe Safari Lodge. No need to take a taxi. This time there were two shared buses that had about 8 seats each because of the number of people waiting for the buses. Once the bus came, no one was lining up but just running to the shared bus to grab a seat. You should be prepared to grab a seat for yourself if there were a lot of people waiting for a shared bus. We could not get into the first bus because we did not know it. But luckily the second bus came later and there were enough seats for all the passengers.
No visa is required for both American and Japanese.
We purchased a tent and two sleeping bags to stay at the camp site of Chobe Safari Lodge. The negotiation of the price started at 1,100BWP. We would recommend bringing your own because the price was not cheap and quality was bad. Also, they were big and difficult to carry with backpacks.
We only visited Chobe National Park in Bostwana this time. As we found on the internet, both boat and drive safaris were so exciting at inexpensive prices. Boat safari brought us to see many hippos and crocodiles, and drive safari showed a number of mammals including lions and jackals. Although we heard that Chobe was famous for elephants, we saw none from the two safari tours. However, we were full of excitement from the tours by seeing various kinds of mammals because we had already seen so many elephants in Loango, Gabon.
The accommodation was very cheap, and we got to enjoy the full access to the luxurious facilities which were not available so far during this trip. If you can stand with bugs, Chobe National Park and Chobe Safari Lodge can be one of the best destinations for safari lovers. You can spend a day in Chobe with only 150BWP per person for accommodation and food.
We definitely want to come back to Botswana based on our experiences. We would like to explore this country more other than Chobe National Park.