Botswana’s Hidden Gems

In this article we will uncover some of Botswana’s hidden gems. With the current travel restrictions this would be an ideal opportunity to get kitted up and set off on an adventure around Botswana. Our Tourism industry has taken a knock as a result of restricted travel from outside the country. The industry is relying on local travel. So, we are encouraging you to support them!

We have set out a 15-day travel itinerary that we feel covers some of what our beautiful country has to offer. This will take you through some of Botswana’s iconic landmarks!

Here is a map to outline the route: 

The Route covers some of Botswana’s greatest tracks with some of Africa’s most iconic landmarks and heritage sites. Botswana is famous for the Okavango Delta which has been named as a World Heritage site. These routes host some of the most spectacular sceneries that you will ever experience. 


DAY 1 – Gaborone to Ghanzi

This is long stretch of road, therefore an early start to this leg of the trip is recommended. With a travel time of approximately 7 hours and covering a distance of approximately 645km. You will head towards the western side of Botswana. Ghanzi, known as the Capital of the Kalahari is home to some of the country’s largest cattle farms. We would not recommend traveling these roads at night. Although, most of the cattle in this region are kept in feed lots, there are smaller subsistence farmers in the region, who rely on moving their cattle to find water and food in the open plains of the Kalahari. These herds sometimes find themselves on the main roads. 

There are a few camping accommodation options in Ghanzi. Here are some options you can look at. 

Palm Afrique – is a lovely unique lodge that is more enjoyed by families with older children and couples, as well as backpackers. They have great camping facilities for those who want to pitch the roof top tent for the night.

Contact Information:

Email: palmafriquelodge@gmail.com

Tel: +267 76750668/ +267 74409266 / +267 72142221

Website: https://palmafriquelodge.com/

Thakadu Bush Camp – is a quaint little camp on the outskirts of Ghanzi, that gives the whole family a lovely introduction to the Botswana bush. Thakadu is suitable for the whole family!! They offer great camping facilities. 

Contact Information:

Email:  info@thakadubushcamp.com

Tel: +267 72120695

Website: http://www.thakadubushcamp.com/

Tautona Lodge – is a private game reserve located 5 minutes from the town Ghanzi. Ghanzi is a town in the western part of the Republic of Botswana in Southern Africa. Tautona offers some amazing facilities and a perfect setting for an over night stop. 

Contact Information

Email: res@tautonalodge.com

Tel: +267 75608359




DAY 2 – Ghanzi to Shakawe 

Another long stretch but this time to the Okavango Panhandle covering a distance of approximately 469km’s this particular leg of the journey needs an early start. The roads leading in and out of Ghanzi are known for the large number of livestock and wild horses on the road, we strongly advise caution on this stretch! 

Ghanzi to Sehitwa will take about 2 hours. The Sehitwa-Shakawe road will take approximately 4.5 hours. This stretch of road is badly damaged. The road is battered and covered with extreme potholes! We do advise precaution when traveling this stretch. However, some Tough Dog suspension will help for this part of the journey! We have a range of options available, and especially with the additional weight of your camping gear it is important to correctly spec your suspension. Tough Dog has a range of options to best suite your vehicle’s additional weight requirements. 

If you are going to be doing any night or early morning driving, we would suggest that an Oppositelock bull bar and set of Lightforce spotlights be fitted. This will ensure frontal protection and the excellent lighting capabilities of the Lightforce range means you can see into the future! We have a range of options which can be seen at our showroom in Gaborone.

DAY 3 & 4

Look forward to some relaxation, onboard the Kubu Queen Houseboat. This is a luxurious houseboat. They currently have residents’ specials, which you can find more information about on their website. They host an amazing experience in some of the most beautiful surroundings that this trip has to offer. There are some amazing things to see on the river. 

Seeing the night life on the river is also an incredible experience, not one to be missed. So, get yourself a good quality torch. The Fenix TK35 is in a class of its own and would be perfect to spot the crocs and other critters at night! 

Contact Information:

Email: oldafricasafaris@ngami.net

Tel: +267 71 563 273 / +267 72 306 822

Website: http://www.kubuqueen.com/

DAY 3 & 4 (OPTION 2)

The Okavango is well known for its bird life. If you are interested in something different and would like to experience the “birding paradise” of Botswana, Xaro Lodge is a spectacular location for such an experience. They offer a great deal of water and land-based activities to choose from. With loads of wildlife to be seen. This is definitely a bucket list item!

Something to consider while visiting Xaro is their Tsodilo Hills day trip. The Tsodilo Hills is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS), consisting of rock art, rock shelters, depressions, and caves. It gained its WHS listing in 2001 because of its unique religious and spiritual significance to local peoples, as well as its unique record of human settlement over many millennia. UNESCO estimates there are over 4500 rock paintings at the site. The site consists of a few main hills known as the Child Hill, Female Hill, and Male Hill. 




Contact Information:

Email:  reservations@xarolodge

Tel: +267 72 807 476 / +267 74 840 833

Website: https://xaro-lodge.com/





DAY 5 – Shakawe to Maun

Pack your bags and get ready to leave for Maun. You will be heading back down the Sehithwa road! Leave once there is light and take it easy with the potholes! A good strong set of tyres is highly recommended. We would recommend a set of Mickey Thomson ALL Terrain Tyres. They have a strong 3 PLY side wall which makes them a strong competitor for this road!
This will be a long day in the saddle, so make sure your fridge is well stocked for that roadside picnic! If you do not have a fridge, we do have a range of options depending on your requirements and the space you have available. 

Today’s estimated travel distance is approximately 376km with a travel time of around 5 hours 30min. Shakawe to Sehithwa will take approximately 4 hours 30 min and Sehithwa to Maun is about 95km which should take about 1 hour.

It is important to try to leave as early as possible, so that you have enough time in Maun, to stock up with supplies and get ready for the next part of this amazing adventure! We will be heading into the park for some heavy off-roading and camping experiences! 

You will need to be well stocked up and especially have enough water! If you have a Front Runner roof rack you can store water and fuel on the roof rack. Front Runner make easy to use accessories which bolt on easily when needed. Also consider fitting a long range fuel tank. These can be purchased at Canopy Centre and depending on your vehicle, can give you up to an extra 80L of fuel.

Something good to have fitted is a Front Runner Drawer System. This opens up a lot of usable storage space. You can arrange this so that you can easily access those much needed “on the go” items.

DAY 6 – Maun to Third Bridge (approx. 130km – 2/3 hours)

Get ready to go camping!! We will be spending the next few nights in some of Africa’s most remote wilderness areas, namely “The Moremi Game Reserve” and “The Chobe National Park” This is where your off-road rig will feel right at home! 

Depending on the time of the year, parts of this track will be covered with water! There are definitely a few accessories which we would suggest you have. Here is a list of some those items –

  • Snorkel – This serves a few purposes, not only for those deep river crossings, but also provides cleaner air on those long dusty roads. Definitely something you want to consider having on such a long dusty trip. Your rig will love you for it! 
  • Suspension – We recommend getting a suspension kit fitted to the vehicle. This will increase ground clearance and make those long bumpy, corrugated roads a pleasant experience. We offer Tough Dog as a first choice! Tough Dog is designed and made in Australia which has very similar road and temperature conditions, to what we have here. This makes it a strong competitor! 
  • Tyres – A good set of tyres is important. You do not want to get caught out fixing punctures all day! Especially in the soft sand! Remember to lower the pressure on your tyres when you enter the park. This will help extensively with driving in thick sand and will provide comfort over the corrugations. However, having a puncture repair kit is always advisable! 
  • Recovery gear – Good quality recovery gear is very important. Chances are, you will have to recover a fellow over-lander along the way! Make sure to speak to us on which recovery gear will best suit your rig. The weight ratings are very important to follow. 
  • Air Compressor – Thomas Air make a 12V compressor that works well under the extreme conditions of being under the bonnet. We always advise (vehicle dependent) having your compressor mounted under the bonnet. It is out of the way but still easily accessible. 
  • Water Tank – Depending on the time of the year, it can be extremely hot out in these regions. Its recommended to try and store as much water as possible. You can never have too much out there! 
  • Extra fuel – You can fit a long-range tank or carry jerry cans on the roof rack. Ideally you want to have both of these fitted. There are long stretches between filling stations so there will be a big need for extra fuel along the way! 

These are just some of the vitals, but honestly, the list goes on and on but these can be discussed and spec’d according to your specific needs. You are always welcome to come by our showroom to discuss the various options available.

DAY 7 – Third Bridge to Kwai (approx. 50KM – 1-2 hours)

Today we leave Third Bridge to Khwai, and halfway through the park! These parts of the world are known for their very special sitings. So, keep the eyes peeled for the BIG FIVE! Its preferred to sleep off the ground as these areas are still very much home to all kinds of wild animals. We would recommend a Howling Moon Deluxe roof top tent or the Eezi Awn Series 3 and depending on your vehicle and space availability the Alu Cab Expedition hard shell tent is a spectacular tent, in terms of its ease of use as well as its practicality. 

Make sure that you have stocked up on refreshments and snacks for this leg. It has long sand tracks and some water crossings. Keeping momentum on this track is key! There are designated picnic sites that you can stop at to refresh, along the way. Try use these rather than pulling off the beaten track! They have designated camp sites to choose from, and you can only camp out in these areas! 



KHWAI CAMPSITES: Khwai is a spectacular region. They have a total of 10 camp sites available to stay at. 

Khwai is well known for the amount of Hyenas in the area. A Good point to remember, is good lighting at night. You want to keep your camp as light friendly as possible. This helps to keep eyes on your surroundings. Lightforce does a great roll-up flexible LED strip light. This works well, as it is easy to mount or hang anywhere in your campsite. We also have a fish rod light from Lumeno which extends up to three meters above the ground which is also very bright and keeps the glare out of range. 

Contact Information:

Email: sklcamps@botsnet.bw           

Tel: +267 686 5365


Email: bookings@botswanafootprints.com

Tel: +267 74 952 318

If you are up for a little luxury you can have a look at some of the lodge offerings in the area. There are some extravagant places out there! 

SAGUNI LODGE – Saguni Safari Lodge is situated in Moremi East in the Okavango Delta. It is nestled in an island of mature riparian trees, typical of the Okavango Delta. The Lodge overlooks the ‘Mbudi Lagoon’, in the beautiful game-rich area of Khwai. The name ‘Saguni’ is a bushman name for Khwai, meaning “an area with abundance of game and spectacular sights”

Contact Information:

Email: sales@africanwildlodges.com

Tel: +267 684 0838 / +267 568 4264


no images were found

KHWAI BUSH CAMP – Set on the banks of the Khwai River in a forest of sycamore and leadwood trees, Khwai Bush Camp offers spectacular views into the untamed wilderness of the famous Moremi Game Reserve and is home to the authentic Botswana luxury safari adventure.    

no images were found

Contact Information:

Email: contact@africanbushcamps.com

DAY 8 – Khwai to Savute (approx. 94km – 3/4hours)

Today you will leave Moremi Game Reserve and head into the Chobe National Park! Although this a seemingly “short” 100km leg, don’t be fooled, it is a long hard drive. You will spend long periods of time in low range! So be prepared and have your recovery gear easily accessible. Today will come with some fun and exciting challenges! A very useful recovery gear item to have is a set of MaxTrax. These work well for sand recoveries. These can be easily mounted to the roof rack using either a flat mount kit or the side mount kit. This makes it easy to access and quick to use when needed. 






SAVUTE CAMP SITE – This unique and remote area is home to some of Africa’s wildest animals. You are guaranteed an amazing experience in this part of the world. Savute is famous for the large herds of Buffalo. These herds can stretch into the thousands and can make for an incredible sighting. The lions in the area prey on the buffalo, so they will always be close by. 

Contact Information:

Email: sklcamps@botsnet.bw           

Tel: +267 686 5365 / +267 686 5366


Email: bookings@botswanafootprints.com

Tel: +267 74 952 318

no images were found

SAVUTE SAFARI LODGE – Stretching from the Linyanti River all the way to Savute Marsh, the winding waterways of the Savute Channel have pumped life into the western section of the Chobe National Park for many thousands of generations. In this Savute Marsh on the channel is where you will find Savute Safari Lodge.

Contact Information:

Email: info@dersertdelta.com

Tel: +267 680 1494

no images were found

GHOHA HILLS SAVUTE –Within the Chobe National Park lies the fascinating game rich Savuti area. Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge is ideally positioned on the edges of the Ghoha Hills overlooking the Savuti Plains. Designed and built to blend into the natural surrounding environment and the elevated position assures spectacular unparalleled 180-degree views.

Contact Information:

Email: reservations@ghohahills.com

Tel: +27 63 613 9144

no images were found

DAY 9,10 & 11 – Savute to Kasane (approx. 160km – 4-5 hours)

Today we get started with the last leg of the journey through the park! With still loads to see along the 160km track to Kasane, be sure to keep eyes peeled for wildlife! 

Before setting off make sure to do a check on your rig and your equipment. Check tyre pressure with the Honest Digital tyre pressure gauge. Everyone has their own preference on ideal tyre pressure, and you should consider the weight of your rig. You do not want to go too low and run the chance of popping the bead off the rim, but you also do not want to be too hard, as this makes it tough for soft sand driving. By letting your pressures down, you are increasing the tyre’s footprint which increases the traction.

Make sure your wheel nuts are all tight. If your vehicle has diff lock, only use this when necessary. The use of diff lock can put your drivetrain under huge strain, if used over long periods of time. If you used your recovery gear and your snatch strap got wet, leave that out overnight laid out straight and flat to dry. The kinetic strands in the strap need to regenerate. This will help prolong the life of the strap and also make it safer for use! You never know what you may find on today’s track 😊


CHOBE SAFARI LODGE – Chobe Safari Lodge therefore offers an excellent gateway to the Chobe National Park and surrounding area. The safari lodge has a wonderful open restaurant that features the indigenous and rich flavours of Africa. Scrumptious buffet dinners offer a wide variety of meals from exotic game meats, roasts, barbecues, stir-fries, Indian cuisine, or vegetarian dishes 

Contact Information:

Email: res@matriarchafrica.com 

no images were found

If you looking to do some activities while you are in Kasane, Flame of Africa have a wide range of activities to offer. From day trips to Victoria Falls, to sunset boat cruisers, to game drives in the park. They have something for everyone. 

FLAME OF AFRICAPromoting responsible tourism and an authentic travel experience to Southern Africa. When booking your next African Safari, contact us for inspiration. We provide a one stop booking process for your dream holiday. Flame of Africa has a variety of different travel packages on offer as well as day to day activities. Below are some of the packages on offer:

Contact Information

Email: kasane@flameofafrica.com

Tel: +267 625 2248 / +267 73 750 380


There are a number of accommodation options available in Kasane. The Chobe National Park is a magical place, which has some the most amazing experiences on offer. At this point, it’s safe to say that for the next 3 days you can give your rig and family some time to put their feet up, relax and enjoy everything that Chobe has to offer before moving onto the next leg of your journey through magical Botswana!

DAY 12 Kasane to Elephant Sands (approx. 483km – 3 hours 10 min)

Time to leave Chobe’s paradise! Today we are heading to the Makgadikakgadi Pans to experience the breath-taking scenery, which Elephant Sands, has to offer! Today’s journey will be a fairly relaxed day. With no real challenges on the road, you can take it easy and take in the scenery. The stretch between towns can sometimes be quite a distance. Set yourselves up with a Front Runner under rack stainless steel table for the roadside snacks! The table fits in under the rack, so it is easy to slide in and out when needed. 

Elephant Sands is a beautiful lodge located near the great Makgadikakgadi Pans. The pans are one of the largest salt pans in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up tens of thousands of years ago. Covering an area of over 30 000km2 the pans are by far some of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. You will need to be cautious about driving on the pans. They form a crust on the top layer of the soil, and depending on the time of the year you go, the ground below this crust can be wet and if so, forms what we all know as black cotton soil. You do not want to get caught in that! 


Generally, the road leading in and out of Elephant Sands will be good. However, if you do decide to head off the beaten track, be cautious of the soft spots! Tyre pressures will be important on the pans. You can use your compressor to re-inflate your tyres when needed! Try to avoid driving on tar with low tyre pressure, as this will chew up your tyre treads, as well as increasing tyre temperatures causing them to exceed their safe working parameters, which could lead to blowing a tyre.

Ideally you want to be running these accessories off of an auxiliary battery, which is wired in with a battery management system. A good system to have is the Intervolt DC-DC charging system. This system manages the power to your auxiliary battery and depending on the type of battery will keep optimum charge to the aux battery when the vehicle is running. This allows you to run your fridge and lighting without any affect on your main starter battery

Contact Information:

Email: bookings@elephantsandsbotswana.com

Tel: +267 73445162

DAY 12 &13 Elephant Sands

From Elephant Sands you can do some exploring if you like. You could move onto Nxai Pan or the famous Baobab Forest of Baines Baobabs. Yes! A baobab forest! These are spectacular areas to visit and definitely should not be missed. They are both approx. 3 hours 40min from Elephant Sands. So, you would need to book a night stay at either of the camps. 





DAY 14 & 15 Nxai Pan / Nata Bird Sanctuary

Nxai Pan National Park is a national park in north-eastern Botswana, consisting of Nxai Pan, which is one of the Makgadikgadi Pans’ salt flats. Nxai Pan National Park lies just north of the Maun-Nata main road and adjoins Makgadikgadi Pans National Park on its northern border. So, depending on your time frames and what the family feels like, there are some cool things to see out there! 

Another great option is the Nata Bird Sanctuary which is about an hour from Elephant Sands. You could head off here and spend a night or two in Nata before heading back home. They have some amazing activities and now one of the three breeding grounds of flamingos in Africa, is the largest. It has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the “largest breeding sites of lesser and greater flamingo in the world” and a site of international importance. This place is incredible and should definitely be considered! 

Contact Information:

Email: marketing@underonebotswanasky.com

Tel:  +267 625 033

This wraps up our estimated 3213km journey around Botswana. These are only some of the places to see and explore. There are loads of amazing places to see in Botswana. So, this definitely will not be your last trip around this beautiful country we get to call home! They say in our industry “when the bug bites, it bites hard!” See you soon! 

For all of your camp, park activities, and lodge bookings we would recommend Botswana Footprints. Friendly staff always eager to assist! You can contact them using the following contact information.  

Office: +267 680 0745
(Office Hours: 9am to 4pm)

Email: admin@botswanafootprints.com
Telephone: +267 75106530

Email: bookings@botswanafootprints.com
Telephone: +267 74952318

Email: info@botswanafootprints.com