Botswana doesn't offer the infrastructure of South Africa but offers unparalleled wildlife particularly in the dry season (between May and August). This means that it's challenging to get around the country and most visitors end up taking light aircraft from one place to another.
An alternative to constantly getting into planes is to be driven in an itinerant safari.
This is a trip of several nights so you do need the time to do it. However, many of our clients find that whilst a lodge-based safari with all the trappings of swimming pools and air conditioning is great, one can feel a bit ‘divorced’ from the very nature one has come to see. So the combination of a mobile safari (which is a fully immersive wildlife experience) coupled with a bit of luxury either end in a lodge makes a perfect compromise.
Accommodation on itinerant safaris is in standing height dome tents which are erected for you by the safari team every night. They have proper beds (no dodgy air mattresses!) and private en-suite bathroom tents (with a shower and a toilet). The beds have proper linen and pillows (no sleeping bags) and you even get a side table and reading lamp! Of course the safari is fully catered, driven and guided. You literally don’t lift a finger, so this is really a ‘glamping’ set up.
To give you an idea of costs and time budget, an itinerant safari on this scale is going to be at least ten days. It’s possible to start either in Maun or in Vic Falls and go either ‘clockwise’ or ‘anticlockwise’. The driving distances are not large (the longest is 600km) but the driving times vary from 4 hours up to 10 hours (if you want to include the Central Kalahari GR because it’s just so remote and vast). Of course these driving times assume a sedate pace so you can see what you’re driving through and past (which is the whole point) and you don’t drive every day.
You can adapt the mobile safari to your preferences. A 10 – day trip in a private safari (i.e. just you two with a guide and driver/chef) will be US$5,305 per person in August. Costs drop substantially if you join an existing group, though.