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Travelling to Botswana with toddlers & babies

Travelling to Botswana with toddlers and babies on safari may seem a daunting prospect but with a bit of planning it is much easier than you think. For a safe and rewarding Botswana safari with activities for the whole family, it’s simply a question of when you go and where you go.

To set the scene: Botswana is perhaps the most politically and socially stable country in Africa; border-crossings are trouble-free, crime is very low, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornados are unheard of. Your main concerns as a parent of a toddler or baby travelling to Botswana are probably – in no particular order – the weather; malaria; dangerous animals; and the safety of safari transport and your accommodation.

Botswana Travel with Toddlers & Babies

Travelling to Botswana with toddlers is easier than you think – go at the right time to the right place.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TIME TO TRAVEL

Two of these concerns – malaria and the weather – can be dealt with right away. Travel to Botswana in winter – between the beginning of May and the end of August – and you’ll enjoy the year’s mildest and driest weather. It barely rains at all during this period, humidity is very low (down to 20%) and you won’t have to deal with the baking heat of summer. In fact, winter nights are cold – it can drop to below freezing in the Kalahari – and you’ll need warm clothes for your morning game drives when temperatures average 6°C (42°F). Things warm up quickly however to around 25°C (78°F), making the lodge’s swimming pool an afternoon option.

The cold weather and lack of rain mean also that the risk of malaria is at its lowest of the year. Indeed, malaria is always a fairly marginal risk for travellers to Botswana since safaris are always set far from urban centres which are the main centres of malaria infection. And now, without standing water to breed in and the chill of winter in the air, malaria-carrying mosquitos are in the dormant stage of their life cycle, leaving behind a mostly insect-free winter landscape. Nevertheless, it is still recommended that you consult a medical practitioner about malaria before you travel.

Botswana Travel with Toddlers and Babies

Botswana is all about close-up encounters with Africa’s famous animals within a safe & highly professional ambit.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT DESTINATION

Only a few safari lodges accept toddlers and babies on safari so your options are always going to be a little limited but the available accommodation is located in Botswana’s best wildlife destinations and are happy to welcome families of all ages.

The easiest destination in Botswana for a young family to go on safari is the Chobe River area. It’s where you’ll find hotel-type lodges as well as some of the best game viewing in Africa. Back at the lodge you’ll enjoy hotel comfort and convenience – air conditioning, kids’ menus, baby-sitters and activity centres – while out on safari you’ll be marvelling at elephants, hippos and giraffes by 4X4 and boat. You’ll need a private guide and vehicle – that’s easy to arrange from the lodge – and this will give you flexibility and independence when it comes to your safari activities.

Botswana Travel with Toddlers and Babies

You can usually watch wildlife from the comfort of your family suite on a Botswana safari.

Another good destination for families with toddlers and babies is Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and especially the delta’s dry-land fringes – the Moremi Game Reserve and Linyanti area. It’s excellent game viewing during the winter season and there are camps with family accommodation available in the form of large, insect-proof tented suites, raised above the ground and inter-connected for peace of mind. Complete with their own bathroom and lounge, these suites have the added bonus of electric lighting – useful to have in the middle of the night!

Kids, Toddlers and Babies

A typical tented suite in Botswana – all the comfort you could need plus plenty of room & a private bathroom.

 

SAFETY ON SAFARI

Botswana is rightly famous for its abundance of wild and potentially dangerous animals but there are very few incidents involving them and safari visitors. Some of our recommended accommodation for toddlers and babies is fenced to keep out large animals, but even those without fences rarely have a problem. Animals tend to steer clear of the lodges and even those that do wander through are uninterested in people. The lodges are extremely well-run with experienced local management: dealing with wildlife at camp is part of the daily routine; you’ll be briefed on arrival and escorted to and from your accommodation if you wish.

And although you may safer in a conventional hotel room, the tented suites of Botswana’s bush camps are seen as large, solid and immovable objects by animals – you are as safe in your tent as in the hotel room!

Kids, Toddlers and Babies

Botswana safari guides are very experienced & keen to share their knowledge – it’s a great learning experience for children.

Travelling on safari in Botswana generally means small aeroplanes and 4X4 vehicles: you’ll fly from lodge to lodge – a journey of typically between 20 minutes and an hour or so – in the hands of some of the most experienced bush pilots in the business; you’ll travel on land in open-sided but canvas-topped game drive vehicles. Roads are usually bumpy and can be dusty at this time of year but drivers are professional and speeds are low – especially on game drives. Safety equipment for toddlers and babies such as car seats and cots can be arranged as can dietary requirements – just make sure you give plenty of notice beforehand.

Further reading:

 

 

 

Why book an African safari?

The Kalahari’s meerkats are always a hit with children whether they are toddlers or teens – ask us which camps take you to see them.

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Reviews

Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Neena
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)