Okavango Delta with Children
A safari to Botswana’s Okavango Delta with children promises to be a memorable family holiday. An unspoilt landscape of lazy lagoons and grazing grasslands, the Okavango Delta is home to abundant wildlife ranging from elephants and big cats to monkeys and mongooses. The climate is generally dry and sunny, the delta water is clear and clean, and the malaria risk for children can be safely managed.
WHAT TO EXPECT
To make it easy for families to visit the Okavango Delta, there are many lodges which welcome children on safari. They have large family suites that sleep four or even five people and are equipped with electric lighting and private bathrooms. There are also smaller private camps that can be exclusively booked for larger families. Activities on safari – drives, walks and boating – are led by experienced professional guides and there are additional age-appropriate activities for younger children too. Facilities at these lodges have been designed with families in mind: you’ll find kids’ menus, a swimming pool and a games room, perhaps Wi-Fi or a free-to-use laptop, and a complimentary, same-day laundry service.
WHEN IS BEST TO GO?
It’s a good question when you have children on safari. Botswana’s dry winter season is the best time by far: the Okavango Delta sits under clear blue skies from late May to early October, a time that conveniently coincides with its highest water levels (making boating better and bringing thousands of animals into the area). The mid-winter months of June, July and August provide the mildest temperatures while the lack of rain during this time means very few – if any – mosquitoes.
HOW SAFE IS IT?
Much more than you might think. Although only few camps are fenced and wild animals do wander through the grounds, the camps are run by professionals with much experience in this environment. You’ll be briefed on safety when you arrive and escorted to and from your insect-proof suite if requested. And the suites, despite their canvas and thatch construction in some cases, are seen by passing animals as large solid objects to avoid – they are as safe as houses!
WHO TO USE
Among the top family safari operators in Botswana is Ker and Downey. Their three Okavango Delta camps are set in different areas to ensure a unique experience at each: Okuti Camp lies in a lush corner of the Moremi Game Reserve famous for its leopards and wild dogs; Kanana Camp and Shinde Camp sit in private concessions within the Okavango Delta. These are privately-managed conservation areas where guides are permitted to drive off-road for exceptional sightings as well as conduct spot-lit night drives and walking safaris. Combining these extra activities with morning and afternoon game drives as well as canoe and motorboat safaris delivers a very diverse and rewarding experience for your family.
In fact, safaris to the Okavango Delta with children have become so popular that Ker and Downey run a dedicated family safari programme operating out of the Shinde Concession. Designed for families with children aged 7+, the safari is based at an exclusive-use, fully-serviced camp – complete with private guide and chef – and ensures a completely personalised experience. Your children will enjoy exciting game drives on the lookout for lions and buffalo as well as boating and canoe adventures; extra kids’ activities such as animal tracking, fire-making and basket weaving are offered to enrich their safari experience as well as provide parents with a bit of down-time if needed!
Machaba Safaris is another great operator offering family safaris into the Okavango Delta. Founded by long-time safari professionals in partnership with local communities, Machaba’s two lodges – Gomoti Plains Camp and Machaba Camp – are also set in private concessions with extra safari activities on offer as well as game drives and boating. Gomoti lies in a game-rich area with a reputation for rhino sightings – extremely rare in Botswana – while Machaba overlooks the famous Moremi Game Reserve from its vantage in the exclusive Khwai River concession, one of Botswana’s wildlife hotspots. Both camps welcome children of all ages and both offer large, interconnected family suites as well as a small, private camp set close to main camp. With the capacity to sleep at least six people and with their own guide, vehicle and chef, these camps are ideal for a private family safari.
Another operator with a great deal of experience is Wilderness Safaris. They have a greater range of lodges than most operators and offer a ‘Bush Buddy’ programme to educate and entertain children on safari. Some of their camps welcome children of any age while others are better suited for older children. There’s a wide range of experiences at Wilderness camps too: toddler-friendly Seba Camp emphasises water-based game viewing – by motor boat and canoe – and its facilities include a sandpit and toy box! Tubu Tree Camp and Chitabe Lediba Camp are dry-land camps that focus on game drives and are aimed at families with older children, much like Little Vumbura and Mombo Camp (the upper-end of the accommodation offerings). Some Wilderness camps are small enough to be booked exclusively for a private family safari.
And then there’s Desert and Delta whose quartet of lodges rank among the longest-established and most successful camps in the Okavango Delta. Aimed at families with older children, Camp Okavango and Xugana Island Lodge deliver a water-based experience from private island settings; land-based Camp Moremi and Camp Xakanaxa conduct 4X4 game drives in the legendary Moremi Game Reserve and are famous for their wildlife sightings, especially predators like leopard, lion and wild dog as well as large numbers of the heavyweights: elephant, hippo, buffalo and giraffe.
WHO DO I CHOOSE & HOW DO I ARRANGE IT ALL?
Use Safari Online: we have travelled to the Okavango Delta extensively and understand the differences between the various camps and the different regions of the delta. Some camps are better for toddlers, others for teenagers, while some areas of the Okavango Delta have superior game viewing and so on. We know all this and can match your family’s requirements, the ages of your children and their interests to an itinerary. And since we are also the first to hear about any special deals on offer, you’ll be the first to benefit from them.
- Botswana Family Safaris – Main Page
- Travelling to Botswana with toddlers and babies
- Travelling to Botswana with children
- Travelling to Botswana with Teens
- Kids Activities In Botswana
- Is Botswana Safe for Children