How to book campsites at Botswana s national parks

Winona Griggs

How

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Booking Campsites!

Booking campsites in Botswana’s national parks and reserves can be quite the puzzle. You see, there are different types of campsites. Some are managed by private companies, others by the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), and some even have a mix of both. So, if you’re dreaming of a trip to one of Botswana’s national parks, let me break it down for you.

Just a heads up: This article was posted back in 2012 but has been updated in August 2022 with all the new scoop on how to reach out and the latest prices.

How to book campsites at Botswana s national parks

Have you ever seen the Mmamagwa Baobab in Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve? It’s an incredible sight, rising up from a sandstone koppie like a rhino horn.

Here’s how to book your trip:

    1. First, decide on your ideal route and have some backup campsites in mind in case your first choice is booked. You can buy a map of Botswana or look online to get a general idea of where the campsites are located. This way, if your preferred campsite is not available, you can quickly check for availability at a nearby alternative.
    2. Next, it’s important to know which operators manage each campsite. If a campsite is already full, there’s no point in asking that operator for availability at another campsite they don’t manage. To make the booking process smoother, it’s helpful to have a list of the campsites each operator manages. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. You’ll find all the relevant information below.
    If you’re planning to stay at a combination of private and DWNP campsites, it’s smart to check availability at the DWNP sites first. You don’t want to book anything until your entire trip is confirmed, but once you have your DWNP campsites provisionally reserved, you can reach out to the private operators and see if they have availability. If the dates align, you can go ahead and book and pay for the private campsites. After that, you can return to the DWNP and pay for your bookings there. The great thing about this approach is that you can send the DWNP your private camp vouchers at the same time and pay for both the DWNP camping and park fees together. Just remember, you can only pay the park fees to the DWNP when all your camping fees – for both private and DWNP sites – are settled.
  • If you’re going to stay at DWNP campsites only (like during a visit to the Kgalagadi), you can pay for both the camping and park fees at the same time.
  • If you’re only camping at privately run sites, you’ll need to book them first and send your booking vouchers to the DWNP. After that, the DWNP will invoice you for the park fees. The exception here is park fees, which can usually be paid in cash at the gate, as long as you have a paid-up campsite booking voucher. Some gates might have credit card machines, but they don’t always work, so it’s best to carry cash just in case. Most park gates also accept Rands and major foreign currencies.

    How to book campsites at Botswana s national parks

    A lioness creeps through the winding paths etched into the golden plains of Moremi by herds of animals and hippos in Botswana.

    Let me tell you about the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks. They manage all the fees for entering the parks and even run campsites in some of them.

    Here are the campsites they operate:

    1. All campsites on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

    2. Eight campsites in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve: Matswere Gate, Tsau Gate, Xade Gate, Xaka, Kori, Deception, San, and Phokoje Pans.

    3. Two campsites in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park: Njuca Hills and Tree Island.

    Park fees in the Kgalagadi are P20 per person, plus P4 per vehicle. For the Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi, park fees are P120 per person, plus P50 per vehicle. Camping at DWNP campsites throughout Botswana costs P30 per person.

    If you need to get in touch with DWNP central reservations, you can reach them at Tel +267 318 0774 or [email protected] . The DWNP office in Maun is located at S19.98433 E23.42992.

    Private camps and community concessions

    1. Bigfoot Tours

    If you’re looking for campsites in Khutse or the Central Kalahari, Bigfoot Tours is the way to go. They offer campsites in Khutse as well as at Piper Pan, Letiahau, Lekhubu, Kukama, Sunday Pan, Passarge Valley, and Motopi in the Central Kalahari. You can contact them at Tel +267 395 3360, [email protected] , or www.bigfoottours.co.bw.

    2. Gaing-O Community Trust

    If you’re interested in staying at Kubu Island campsite, get in touch with Gaing-O Community Trust at Tel +267 297 9612.

    3. Kwalate Safaris

    When it comes to exploring the wild wonders of Botswana, Kwalate Safaris should be at the top of your list. I recently had the opportunity to experience their incredible tours, and it was an adventure like no other.

    During my stay in Chobe, I had the pleasure of visiting the Ihaha Camp. Surrounded by magnificent wildlife and breathtaking landscapes, it was the perfect retreat for nature lovers. The camp’s cozy accommodations blended seamlessly with the serene surroundings, providing a truly immersive experience.

    From there, I ventured into Moremi, where Kwalate Safaris had two remarkable destinations to offer: South Gate and Xakanaxa. The South Gate provided me with a gateway to the hidden gems of Moremi, while Xakanaxa dazzled me with its picturesque beauty. The knowledgeable guides enhanced my journey by sharing fascinating insights and stories about the region’s rich ecosystem.

    If you’re looking for an unforgettable safari experience, Kwalate Safaris is the answer. To get in touch with them, you can reach out through their telephone number: +267 686 1448 or email them at [email protected] You can also visit their Maun office located at S19.9778667 E23.4314333. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore the heart of Botswana with Kwalate Safaris.

    4. Xomae Group

    Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Look no further than the Xomae Group. With their exceptional offerings, you are bound to have an extraordinary experience in Botswana.

    In Moremi, the Xomae Group takes you to two extraordinary locations: Third Bridge and Gcodikwe 1 Island Camp. These hidden gems provide an oasis of tranquility in the heart of nature. As I explored the area, I was captivated by the stunning landscapes and the diverse wildlife. It was an unforgettable journey that left me in awe.

    Another destination offered by the Xomae Group is Nxai Pan. Here, you can discover the iconic Baines’ Baobabs and experience the beauty of the South Camp. The vastness and grandeur of the landscape will leave you speechless. It’s a place where you can disconnect from the world and immerse yourself in nature.

    Contacting the Xomae Group is easy. Simply give them a call at +267 686 2221 or send an email to [email protected] You can also visit their website at www.xomaesites.com. For any inquiries, their Maun office is located at S19.9769167 E23.4305. Get ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure with the Xomae Group.

    5. SKL

    If you’re seeking a safari experience that is both thrilling and unforgettable, look no further than SKL. They offer an array of extraordinary adventures in the breathtaking landscapes of Botswana.

    One of the key highlights of SKL is its remarkable tours in Moremi. Here, you can embark on a journey to discover the wonders of Third Bridge and Gcodikwe 1 Island Camp. These locations are a treat for nature enthusiasts, offering a chance to witness stunning wildlife and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.

    Additionally, SKL provides an opportunity to explore the magnificent Nxai Pan. Home to the world-famous Baines’ Baobabs and the South Camp, this destination will leave you mesmerized. The breathtaking sights and the serene atmosphere will rejuvenate your soul.

    For more information or to book your adventure with SKL, you can contact them at +267 686 1448 or email them at [email protected] Don’t miss out on the chance to create unforgettable memories with SKL. Explore the wonders of Botswana with them today!

    Chobe: Savuti and Linyanti
    Moremi: North Gate
    Makgadikgadi: Khumaga
    Contact: You can reach us by phone at +267 686 5365 or by email at [email protected] You can also visit our website at www.sklcamps.com
    Maun office: Our Maun office is located at S19.9664833 E23.4506167
    Cost: If you choose to camp, the cost is P210 per person.

    6. Khama Rhino Sanctuary

    If you’re near Serowe, we have campsites and chalets available for you. You can contact us by phone at +267 463 0713 or by email at [email protected] You can also visit our website at www.khamarhinosanctuary.org.bw
    Cost: Camping costs P93.50 per person and chalets start from P600 per unit. Park entrance fees are P71.50 per person and P88 per vehicle.

    7. Khwai Development Trust

    I want to tell you about some amazing camps and safaris in Botswana, where you can have an incredible adventure and get up close with nature. Let’s dive in!

    First up, we have the Khwai community concession. There are three fantastic options to choose from – Magotho Camp (perfect for self-drives), Matswere Camp, and Sable Alley (usually reserved for operators). To get in touch, you can give them a call at +267 680 1211. If you happen to be in Maun, their office is located at S19.9782667 E23.4243333. The prices are P300 per person for Magotho and P410 for Matswere and Sable Alley. It’s an excellent opportunity to explore the wilderness and create unforgettable memories.

    Next, we have Leap/Mababe Safaris. Their Tshaa Camp is a delightful place to stay. To contact them, dial +267 7386 3058 or visit their website at www.mababesafaris.com. The camping fee is P220 per person. It’s an affordable way to experience the wonders of nature and immerse yourself in the beauty of Botswana.

    Let me also tell you about Tuli Wilderness, another extraordinary destination. At Molema Bush Camp, you can have an authentic bush camping experience. To get in touch, give them a call at +2778 391 4220 or visit www.tulitrails.com. The cost for camping is P140 per person, which includes a P40 community levy. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with nature and discover the wonders of the wilderness.

    Now, let’s talk about money for a moment. It’s essential to know that Botswana uses the Pula as its currency. When planning your adventure, make sure to have enough Pula for your expenses. It’s always a good idea to check the current exchange rate before you go.

    I hope this information helps you plan an incredible trip to Botswana. Get ready for amazing wildlife encounters and unforgettable experiences. Enjoy your adventure!

    Hey there! Want some tips on using credit cards and managing your money in Botswana? I’ve got you covered!

    Credit cards are pretty popular in Botswana, and most places accept them. But, here’s the thing – in remote areas, you might find that credit card facilities are a little unreliable. So, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on you, just in case. You don’t want to get stuck without the means to pay for your padkos or emergency fuel!

    Speaking of fuel, it’s good to know that prices can vary slightly across Botswana. Generally, fuel is cheaper in the south and gradually gets a bit pricier as you head further north. Oh, and one more thing – while fuel might be cheaper than in South Africa, booze is actually more expensive here. Just something to keep in mind!

    Now, let’s talk money near the border. If you’re close to the South African border, you might find that some places accept Rands (that’s South African currency). You can even use Rands to pay for border permits! But once you move further north, you’ll need pula, which is Botswana’s currency. And if you happen to be on the Zimbabwean border, you’ll need US dollars. So, be prepared and have the right currency handy!

    Remember, it’s always a good idea to have some cash with you, just in case those credit card machines decide to play hide-and-seek. And if you want to stay up-to-date with all things travel, don’t forget to follow us on social media. We’ve got travel news, inspiration, and helpful guides waiting for you! You can even tag us to be featured. So, let’s stay connected!

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