Botswana Travel, Tours, Gap Year & Volunteering
Botswana is one of the best destinations in Africa with incredible nature, exotic wildlife and amazing safari camps. Botswana is easily accessible from neighboring South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia and there are incredible activities and trips which can be booked all year round.
Trips, Safaris, Gap Year Programs & Volunteer Work in Botswana
Botswana Travel Guide
Find inspiration for the best things to do in Botswana if you would like to go travelling, backpacking, take a gap year or volunteer in Botswana.
- Capital: Gaborone
- Currency: Pula (BWP)
- Population: 1,640,000 (approx)
- Local Languages: Setswana + English
- International Dailing Code +267
Travel to Botswana
Botswana has incredible landscapes and nature home to some of the most beautiful animals on the planet. Local people refer to this country as 'The Land of the Giants' and you will be overwhelmed by how friendly and open the natives are to seeing and meeting you. Most people travel overland in the Southern area of this continent also visiting Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa - there are flexible trips available all year round. You will get to see herds of elephants and wildlife locations which are some of the best in the continent.
Bush camping holidays in Botswana which are very popular, you can experience sleeping under the impressive African sky and see exotic animals like elephants, cheetahs, rhinos, zebras and lions. If you are looking for something totally different you could train to become a nature / wildlife field guide and join tracking courses.
Best Places to Visit in Botswana
If you are currently looking at options for a meaningful holiday these are some of the best places you should add to your Tanzania travel itinerary:
- Safari in the Chobe National Park which is full of wildlife like elephants
- The 'Makgadikgadi Pan'
- Crossing the border to see the stunning Victoria Falls
- Selinda Camp
- Chief’s Island
- Linyanti Wildlife Reserve
- Abu Camp and Baines Camp
- Duba Plains
- Okavango Delta
- Tsodilo Hills
- Nxai Pan National Park
- Moremi Game Reserve
- Khama Rhino Sanctuary
- Tuli Block
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
- Mokolodi Game Reserve
On a group you will be able to get off the beaten track and see the true natural beauty of Botswana. We highly recommend going to explore the breathtaking Okavango Delta where you will experience a real connection with nature and wildlife. If you are looking for something more challenging you might want to go water rafting crossing the border into Zambia’s spectacular Victoria Falls or explore and camp in the Moremi National Park.
Prepare for a full dose of safari! Some trips kick off your adventure at a Botswana bush camp covering 25,000 hectares of land and home to a whole host of game, where you can opt to go on safari or a guided bush walk. Head on to camp at Chobe River, before taking in the wonders of Chobe National Park where you’ll be able to spot elephants, go on a game drive and set off on a river safari.
There are also combo trips available where you can travel overland throughout this region of Africa, you can expect friendly local people who are used to seeing tourists and most people speak English. You will get an experienced guide, see the best places, go off the beaten track to see locations difficult to reach, eat at the best local restaurants, enjoy a stress free journey and get an authentic local experience.
Botswana Budget Tours
We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on the cheap or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests.
Our website features lots of cheap tours allowing you to discover the highlights of the country and not break the bank. Trips are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide.
Most of our tours specifically cater for the 18-35 age group and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.
Botswana Wildlife Safaris
One of the most popular reasons to visit is to see exotic wildlife. These trips are incredible! You will get to see exotic wild animals like elephants and get photos and memories to last a memory. On most tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary between the tour and operator. Usually travellers of the same sex will share a twin room, but there is also the option to pay a little extra and get a private room. Accommodation can vary depending on the tour and location.
Botswana Gap Year
Botswana is a very peaceful country to visit which is most famous for its exotic wildlife and spectacular locations like the Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta. On a gap year which can be arranged through our website you can expect to see stunning landscapes and get close to wild animals like elephants.
Botswana is a landlocked country which is very peaceful and best known for it's diverse wildlife and spectacular scenery. On our website you can find exciting gap year programs. We have options for all nationalities, whether you are a student, graduate, planning a career break or would just like to do something like improving communities or helping animals. You might want to explore this fascinating country and make a difference to some really worthwhile local efforts.
Expect sunshine almost all year and a country full of natural beauty, one of the main highlights of the country is the Okavango Delta which is spectacular. Here you can jump on a canoe and get out to see the scenery and wildlife. This country has a tiny population of around 2 million people but you will be suprised to learn there is a lot you can do on a gap year here. There are various backpacker trips available with monthly departures, on some you can just see Botswana but there are longer trips available where you can travel throughout this region on a Africa gap year.
Volunteer in Botswana
If you are looking to volunteer in Africa we can't recommend this country highly enough, there are different projects where you can do a little volunteering and also experience the culture of the country. Various special programs are available and it’s not every day that you get to live and help in a country that is awash with exotic wildlife and natural beauty.
Many of the volunteers that participate are forever changed by their experiences there - not only because they are taking part in inspiring community projects that help people less - fortunate than themselves, but because they are able to soak up the lifestyle, culture and environment that they are in.
A lot of projects are operated in the capital Gaborone and the Northern Tuli Game Reserve and allow you to give back and really make a difference. So no matter what your experience in the past and what you want to do in the future there is always an excuse to get out to sunny Botswana and take part in a life changing experience. View our guide to working as a volunteer in Botswana and apply today for a life changing experience.
Conservation & Animal Volunteer Projects in Botswana
Apply to join projects where you can help wildlife and the environment. Working with animals like elephants and leopards and keeping them safe from poachers is a magical experience. You can partake in hands-on conservation in the African wilderness. Days are spent out in vehicles or on foot tracking and monitoring the area's amazing wildlife, and evenings in true bush style, by a camp fire under the star-lit sky in a wonderful, rustic river-side camp.
These projects offer a truly rustic African experience. Based in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, bordering the great Limpopo River in the eastern part of Botswana, and home to more than 1800 elephants, the isolated location and sheer size of the area means little is known about the wildlife within. You will get the opportunity to study wild animals in this wilderness environment including eland, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, impala as well as the predator population of lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted and brown hyena and to collate scientific data to be used in other research projects in Africa and beyond.
Expect a really hands-on experience, during this experience you will be given practical instruction in wildlife tracking, animal behaviour, bird and plant identification and astronomy and will spend their days out in vehicles or foot tracking and monitoring the amazing African wildlife in this area. Projects are also actively involved with local schools and operates week camps for the local children, helping them to develop an interest in conserving these fragile ecosystems in the future.
Some volunteering projects focus on two main areas: elephant behaviour and predator activity. Days are planned by the project co-ordinator and volunteers may venture out on foot or in the game viewer vehicle to track and observe the animals and collect data on them as well as on birds, vegetation and tree population and growth to meet specific project needs. Volunteers will learn bush skills such as identifying animals and birds by their behaviour, plant identification and tracking.
Telemetry is used to locate the lions, leopard and wild dog and provides excellent viewing opportunities. Volunteers may also get the opportunity for bush sleep-outs - what an experience! The data collected is added to the camp database, which is shared with ongoing research projects to further knowledge of the wilderness areas and the animals. You might also like to view our volunteer programs in South Africa for more options.
"I joined a wildlife conservation program helping elephants and baobas in in Botswana with Projects Abroad. I loved every minute of the trip and found the whole experience really exciting especially being able to contribute to conservation. I would really recommend this project to anyone, just apply!" - Martina, Italy
Community Volunteering Projects in Botswana
Botswana has a lot of people infected with HIV and Aids, many children have been left without parents and orphanages are run to house the young population. Children often live in really harsh conditions and you can do a bit to help if building projects don't interest you. Many orphanages and community development initiatives in Botswana are really understaffed and could do with skilled and un-skilled volunteers to help with daily activities and teaching programs.
You could work with children in a small rural town like Maun where you will be able to certainly see and experience more than just your average holiday experience. There are various teaching placements to apply for, education standards in this destination are not high and you could work with local teachers improving children's English or helping with fun games. There are also various conservation initivies available where you can help, track, monitor and help animals living in the wild.
Every project is different but if you are working on a wildlife or community program this is what to expect:
- Volunteers usually wake and meet at around 8am
- From 8.30 hrs volunteers do a bush walk
- At 9.00 hrs you have breakfast.
- Teaching lessons start from 9.30 hrs till 12.00 hrs.
- Then you have lunch and everyone is off till 2 o'clock.
- At 2.00 hrs the lessons start again and will go on until 4.30 hrs.
- At 4.30 hrs volunteers feed animals again
- Dinner is around 7 o'clock at night.
All volunteers usually work 5 days a week, from 7-8h in the morning until dinner time with a break at lunch time, when you will be able to enjoy the swimming pool. You will have time off on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday and will be able to take this opportunity to visit the surroundings. A trip to town is organised every Saturday and volunteers will enjoy meeting up with the local community.
On wildlife and conservation projects dedicated volunteer camps are set up by the riverbed consists of rustic huts (shared, single-sex) with communal outdoor bathrooms and a central kitchen/dining area. There is usuall a separate braai (barbecue) area to make a fire each evening. Power, lighting and hot water is available. Camp are generaly unfenced and in the heart of the wilderness so different wildlife visits the camp on a regular basis. It may also be possible to spend time at a tented safari camp (also unfenced) at the floodplain of the Limpopo River. All tents have two single beds, fans and both electric and hurricane lamps. On community projects you will usuall stay with other participants in shared housing.
To be eligible most projects will require you to be aged 18 and over but there are special summer taster 2 week volunteer trips available for teenagers aged 16 and 17. You will need to be able to speak basic English to communicate with local staff and also be outgoing, adaptable and be able to fit into a new schedule. Only medical placements working directly with people will require you to have specific skills / experience.
How to Apply
Some programs will require you to pay a fee to participate, this usually form part of a structured package which includes:
- Return transfers to and from the airport
- Accommodation and Food
- All transportation and equipment required to carry out project work
- Support and guidance from the project management team
- Orientation on arrival
There are some free / low cost volunteer opportunities in Botswana, you will need to be independent and apply to local NGO's. Sometimes you will need to give a donation which goes to the running of local projects which usually have no funding especially when it comes to working with animals, charities and wildlife organisations rely on donations/fees to pay staff and keep projects running