4x4 vehicle in Botswana.

Outstanding Campsites You Should Visit in Botswana in 2024

Botswana is a warmhearted and welcoming country in the centre of Southern Africa. Thanks to its diverse and pristine landscapes, it offers exceptional camping and self-drive experiences.

Renowned for its unspoiled wildernesses, Botswana is a top destination for adventurers seeking to immerse themselves in nature. 

The country has many areas and reserves with camping facilities, including the iconic Okavango Delta, known for its lush waterways and abundant wildlife. The Chobe National Park, another highlight, offers spectacular game viewing opportunities.

For those seeking a desert experience, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve provides a very different yet starkly beautiful backdrop. 

The oryx strikes a formidable pose against the backdrop of the Kalahari Desert

The oryx strikes a formidable pose against the backdrop of the Kalahari Desert

Each of these destinations offers established camping sites, allowing travellers to experience the natural world in a personal, very hands-on way. Here are six campsites that you should consider on your next self-driving trip to Botswana:

1. Xakanaxa Campsite- Moremi Game Reserve

Xakanaxa Campsite is set in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve, one of the best game-viewing areas in Botswana. It offers a truly authentic wilderness experience in Botswana.

The campsite consists of eight shaded individual sites in the Mopane Tongue, a dry peninsula covered in ancient mopane trees between the Mogogelo and Khwai rivers. The campsite offers a perfect blend of seclusion and natural beauty. 

Each site at Xakanaxa has basic facilities, including water taps, braai (barbecue) areas and communal ablution facilities. No power points exist, but solar panels provide hot water and lights.

Pack of curious African wild dogs in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana.

Pack of curious African wild dogs in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana.

Like all the camps in the Moremi, the campsite is unfenced, so we strongly recommend using a torch should you need to go to the loo at night! It’s much safer to wait till morning.

Xakanaxa also has three elephant bulls that visit the camp regularly to browse the vachellia (acacia) and marula trees. Just stay calm and leave them alone, and everything will be fine!

Available Activities:

  • Birdwatching
  • Game-watching
  • Boating trips
  • Mokoro excursions

2. Ihaha Campsite- Chobe National Park

Ihaha Campsite, situated on the Chobe River, offers an excellent riverside camping experience. The campsite consists of ten well-spaced sites that provide potable water, shade and braai (barbecue) areas but no electricity.

Solar panels provide hot water and lights, and there are communal ablution blocks with toilets, hot showers and baths. Campsites have to be booked, and please note that reservations are mandatory.

Ihaha Campsite overlooks a hippo pool with water even during the dry season. It offers a beautiful chance to observe these heavyweights in their natural habitat.

Hippos in Chobe River, Botswana | Photo credits: Toine Ijsseldijk

Hippos in Chobe River, Botswana | Photo credits: Toine Ijsseldijk

The Chobe Riverfront is also known for its large herds of elephants and buffalos that come to drink at the river. Chobe is also home to many more species, including roan and sable antelopes, and predators like lions, leopards and hyenas. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended to explore Chobe.

Available Activities:

  • Game viewing
  • Birdwatching
  • Fishing for tigerfish and bream
  • Guided boat cruises
  • Game drives

3. Savuti Campsite- Chobe National Park

Located about 4 hours from Kasane, getting to Savuti is an adventure and best done with a 4×4 vehicle. The trip will take you through scenic and excellent game-viewing areas.

The camp has 14 camping sites, each equipped with running water but no electricity. There are communal ablution facilities, offering showers and flush toilets. There’s a primary tuck shop at the camp where you can buy firewood.

However, there is no fuel or other facilities in Savuti, so you need to stock up with everything you need in either Maun or Kasane. Also, have cash to pay your camping and park fees.

Herd of elephants in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Herd of elephants in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Also, note that the camp is unfenced, so you must be alert to the wildlife, like elephants, lions, and hyenas, that wander through the camp, particularly at night.

Available Activities:

  • Exploring ancient San rock paintings
  • Wildlife watching at night

4. Tree Island Campsite- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

Remote Tree Island campsite lies on the edge of a salt pan and presents a truly rustic camping experience. There are three primary camping sites equipped with a fire pit and bucket shower, but you have to supply your water as there’s no water on site.

The campsite is accessible with 4×4 vehicles, and the nearest towns are Gweta, Nata, Maun and Rakops.  It’s crucial to note that visitors must bring all their own supplies, including food, fuel, firewood and water. 

The Makgadikgadi Pans themselves are a spectacle to behold. In the dry season, they present a mesmerising, lunar-like landscape. But during the seasonal rains, the pans transform into lush wetlands that attract a plethora of wildlife, including migratory birds like flamingos and pelicans, offering amazing birding.

Makgadikgadi Salt Pan - Photo Credits - Travel Gigolo

Makgadikgadi Salt Pan – Photo Credits – Travel Gigolo

Other wildlife in the area include zebras, wildebeest, lions, cheetah, elephants, hyenas, eland and gemsbok (oryx). 

Available Activities:

  • Game drives
  • Game viewing
  • Quad bike excursions
  • 4×4 trails
  • Hiking
  • Guided walks
  • Stargazing
  • Birdwatching
  • Visits to local communities (e.g., Gweta village)

5. Baines Baobabs Campsite- Nxai Pans National Park

Named after Thomas Baines, the Baines Baobabs Campsite offers a unique camping experience against the backdrop of these ancient and majestic trees. At sunrise or sunset, this unique setting provides extraordinary photographic opportunities in one of Botswana’s most iconic landscapes.

The campsite offers basic ablution facilities, including a pit latrine and bucket showers. It’s important to note, however, that there’s no water available on site, so campers must bring their own water and supplies. The road to the campsite is not good, so 4×4 vehicles are essential. 

Baynes Baobabs in Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana.

Baines Baobabs in Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana.

Available Activities:

  • Birdwatching
  • Self-drive safaris
  • Game viewing during the rainy season

6. SKL Camp Khumaga- Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

SKL Camp Khumaga is situated on the banks of the Boteti River, roughly halfway between Maun and Nata on the Francistown Road. The area is mainly well known for the great zebras and wildebeest migration, providing excellent game viewing opportunities.

Other animals in the area include elephants, white rhinos, giraffes, a wide variety of antelope species, including gemsbok, and predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals and hyenas. 

The campsite comprises ten shaded campsites, each equipped with a tap, braai area, and solar power. Ablution blocks with hot and cold showers and flushing toilets are also available.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Boteti River on the outskirts of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Please note that the water is supplied from a borehole and isn’t suitable for drinking, so campers must bring their own drinking and cooking water. 

Due to the rough and sandy roads in the park, access to the campsite is most accessible with a 4×4 vehicle. Campers must also be self-sufficient regarding fuel, food, and other supplies and be very careful of the wildlife as the camp isn’t fenced.

Available Activities:

  • Game viewing
  • Game drives
  • Bird watching
  • Guided walks

At Drive South Africa, we pride ourselves on taking customer satisfaction to the next level. As you plan your camping and self-drive adventure to Botswana, it’s important to remember the right rental vehicle is key to a successful trip.

We offer a convenient solution for overseas visitors or South Africans preferring to rent a vehicle rather than use their own. Our range of vehicles is ideal for navigating Botswana’s diverse and often challenging terrains.

Aerial view of a group of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Khwai river, Moremi National Park in Botswana, Africa.

Aerial view of a group of African elephants in Khwai River, Moremi National Park in Botswana, Africa.

Whether you’ll be traversing the vast expanses of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans or camping in wildlife-rich Chobe National Park, we’ll have the vehicle you need to ensure your camping experience in breathtaking Botswana is safe, comfortable and unforgettable for all the right reasons!

Check out our impressive range of campervans and 4×4 vehicles we offer for your self-drive adventure in Botswana.

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