A dirt road in Botswana.

6 Outstanding Botswana Campsites to Visit 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 in unspoiled wildernesses. It’s a top destination for adventurers seeking to immerse themselves in nature on their own schedule.

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 along the Chobe River. Then, there’s the desert experience of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, featuring a very different yet starkly beautiful backdrop.

At Drive South Africa, we’ve put together a list of some outstanding Botswana campsites you should visit in 2024, covering everything from the Delta to the desert Read on to learn more.

A hippo yawns in 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. 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. It 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. Like all the camps in Moremi, the campsite is unfenced, so we strongly recommend using a torch should you need to go to the loo at night! In fact, 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

Elephants walk through Chobe National Park.

2. Ihaha Campsite: Chobe National Park

Ihaha Campsite, situated on the Chobe River in Chobe National Park, 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 in advance and please note that reservations are mandatory.

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

Available Activities:

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

A watering hole with elephants in Botswana.

3. SKL Camp Savuti: Chobe National Park

Located about four hours from Kasane in Chobe National Park, it’s a real adventure getting to Camp Savuti and it’s best done with a 4×4 vehicle. The trip will take you through scenic and excellent game-viewing areas. The camp has 14 sites, each equipped with running water but no electricity. There are communal ablution facilities with showers and flush toilets.

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. 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

Camping with a 4x4 in Botswana.

4. Tree Island Campsite: Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

The remote Tree Island campsite lies on the edge of a salt pan in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park 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. Other wildlife in the area includes 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)

Baines' Baobab in Botswana at night.

5. Baines’ Baobabs Campsite: Nxai Pans National Park

Named after Thomas Baines, who famously painted these massive trees, the Baines’ Baobabs Campsite offers a unique camping experience against the backdrop of these giants in Nxai Pan National Park. 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. 

Available Activities:

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

A meerkat at Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

6. SKL Camp Kumaga: Makgadikgadi Pans National Park

SKL Camp Kumaga is situated on the banks of the Boteti River in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, roughly halfway between Maun and Nata on the Francistown Road. The area is mainly known for the incredible zebra migration, providing excellent game viewing opportunities. Other animals in the area include elephants, white rhinos, giraffes, a wide variety of antelope species, and predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas.

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

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

Available Activities:

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

An elephant crosses the road in Botswana.

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.

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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