Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous





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  1. #1
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    Default Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    I was doing a bit of research as Iím keen to go back to Moremi and Chobe for about 10 days at some point in the future. Then, after calculating the costs of the campsite to the private operators, and then also the daily costs to DWNP, its in the region of R1400 a day for my wife and I to camp.
    On top of that is still the fuel costs and any other activities like boats trips at 600 Pula an hour.
    I just cannot afford that....the prices are seriously expensive for camping.
    i understand itís a special experience, but come on !!!
    Iím not Rockefeller, Iím the other fellar. Gone are the days that many overlanders will be able to afford that type of holiday.
    I could probably fly to Europe for a weeks holiday, than it costs to camp in Botswana.
    What are your guys thoughts?

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Iíd rather go to Botswana again than Europe 🤣
    Yes I feel your pain, its ridiculous if you think what you actually get with regards to infrastructure. But they know there will still be a waiting list even if they double the price. Supply and demand...

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by MrTolbos View Post
    Iíd rather go to Botswana again than Europe 🤣
    Yes I feel your pain, its ridiculous if you think what you actually get with regards to infrastructure. But they know there will still be a waiting list even if they double the price. Supply and demand...
    I camp in Botswana ..wife and myself Pula 140 ..in prime wilderness and best lions in Africa ..in 1965 when Moremi was just proclaimed as a schoolboy ..There were no camps like 3rd Bridge and no other people ..we camped for free ..I live with the memories

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Bots is not interested in you and me... itís the overseas market they are targeting. Those overseas youngsters in those 4x4 rentals rushing from place to place and their older folk who prefer the lodges, all with their foreign currency....that is who they want! Because of our geographical location, over-landing for us will always involve distance. New and more affordable over-landing trips are the countries north of namibia and botswana....they are still happy to see you and your money.....my 2c

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    With the lockdown I hope they will come to their senses and make it affordable for visitors from Africa. They must all be suffering right now with zero income as borders are closed

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Botswanas model is low volume high value so we are unlikely to see a reduction in prices

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  13. #7
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by WayneMan View Post
    I was doing a bit of research as I’m keen to go back to Moremi and Chobe for about 10 days at some point in the future. Then, after calculating the costs of the campsite to the private operators, and then also the daily costs to DWNP, its in the region of R1400 a day for my wife and I to camp.
    On top of that is still the fuel costs and any other activities like boats trips at 600 Pula an hour.
    I just cannot afford that....the prices are seriously expensive for camping.
    i understand it’s a special experience, but come on !!!
    I’m not Rockefeller, I’m the other fellar. Gone are the days that many overlanders will be able to afford that type of holiday.
    I could probably fly to Europe for a weeks holiday, than it costs to camp in Botswana.
    What are your guys thoughts?
    You are camping at the wrong campsites and using the wrong boats for your trips. I do it for a lot cheaper for my customers when I take them there on Safari.

    Boat trips on the big boats from places like Chobe Safari Lodge costs around P350 - 400 for a 3 hour trip. They leave at 15h00 and return at 18h00

    In National parks, DO NOT BOOK CAMPSITES run by private operators!!! Only book DWNP run campsites. The same site, with NO facilities other than maybe a shower enclosure and toilet enclosure can cost between P30 to P90 (depending on the park) from the DWNP. The private operators will charge between P250 and P400 per campsite.

    Use a agent such as NDM or Botswana Footprints to do your bookings for you, tell them you do not want to camp in privately run campsites, only in DWNP campsites. They do a pretty good job and will charge you P500 for the service. It is well worth the money spent for this service.

    Both Botswana Footprints and NDM are in Maun, both do daily visits to the Maun DWNP offices, both are known to the members of this website and they do sometimes post here too. Do a Google search for their name plus Maun, you will find their contact details. It makes life easy if they do all your Botswana bookings, then you make only one payment - to them, not to a host of providers.....

    Hope this changes your perspective of the Botswana costs.....
    Last edited by mvcoller; 2020/05/02 at 03:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    We also booked through an agency in SA. P120 a night for the two of is. We were told that the higher up in Bots you go, the more expensive it gets.
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by WayneMan View Post
    I was doing a bit of research as Iím keen to go back to Moremi and Chobe for about 10 days at some point in the future. Then, after calculating the costs of the campsite to the private operators, and then also the daily costs to DWNP, its in the region of R1400 a day for my wife and I to camp.
    On top of that is still the fuel costs and any other activities like boats trips at 600 Pula an hour.
    I just cannot afford that....the prices are seriously expensive for camping.
    i understand itís a special experience, but come on !!!
    Iím not Rockefeller, Iím the other fellar. Gone are the days that many overlanders will be able to afford that type of holiday.
    I could probably fly to Europe for a weeks holiday, than it costs to camp in Botswana.
    What are your guys thoughts?
    The guys have given a number of very good options to camp cheaper in their posts above!

    Some thoughts on going to Europe:

    I am not sure how the world will look after corona ban has lifted with regards to airplane flight prices, flight companies that did survive or not. So could be getting more expensive to fly or even get more difficult or not, no one knows.

    ZAR is 20 to the Euro at this moment, not a fine rate to travel to Europe in my opinion.

    BW is - if you follow the advise of the guys above - maybe better affordable than going to Europe in this perspective and it is "at your doorstep"....

    kind regards, Rik

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    We were in Savuti and Moremi Jan, campsites were quiet , just us at a sighting, worth every cent. Already planning next trip
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    Last edited by Wise one; 2020/05/02 at 12:20 PM.
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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Lots of Botswana bashing here and the headline is misleading. Botswana is big and if you want to camp cheap, there are campsites cheap around, aware from prime area. The headline say BOtswana, so we will consider Kanye, Serowe, Sehithwa being still Botswana. I travel very much to RSA and i tell you what? If im going to RSA why would i book a hotel in Sandton because its expensive and i cant afford. Just that a hotel is expensive in Sandton and i want to stay in Sandton, doesnt mean RSA is expensive.
    If you cant afford Moremi, Savuti or Khwai, why not visit Kanye, Rakops, Sehithwa, Francistown because they are Botswana too. Botswana has not changed park fees for yeeeeaaars, and i think is 1992, the last time park fees were changed.
    This issue of saying we no longer wants people from SADC and wants foreign internationals is totally bogus. Most of the campsites i know have SADC rates including the likes of AUDI and even advertise in RSA magazines with Discount for South African.
    Lastly travelling is not all about campsites, its about fuel, food prices etc. If you look at Namibia food prices compared to Botswana, you look at fuel prices compared to Botswana and tell me the average costs adding camping.
    Last edited by PAT n WOLF; 2020/05/02 at 02:14 PM.

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Interesting thread with some good info. Depending what the virus does, we are looking at a Botswana trip in December and want to do it as low budget as possible. Don't mind roughing it, but fuel is already enough of a expense, don't want to go pay thousands for camping as well.
    Last edited by bigboy529; 2020/05/03 at 10:20 AM.
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    If you want expensive camp sites and park fees - try Zambia. Then you gladly pay up for Botswana fees.
    Planning is key and research helps to get you what you look for.

    Tanke the fuel price, it is abut 30% cheaper than SA so you can save a few pennies there

    Take what Malcolm and Pat are saying and you will be fine.
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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by PAT n WOLF View Post
    Lots of Botswana bashing here and the headline is misleading. Botswana is big and if you want to camp cheap, there are campsites cheap around, aware from prime area. The headline say BOtswana, so we will consider Kanye, Serowe, Sehithwa being still Botswana. I travel very much to RSA and i tell you what? If im going to RSA why would i book a hotel in Sandton because its expensive and i cant afford. Just that a hotel is expensive in Sandton and i want to stay in Sandton, doesnt mean RSA is expensive.
    If you cant afford Moremi, Savuti or Khwai, why not visit Kanye, Rakops, Sehithwa, Francistown because they are Botswana too. Botswana has not changed park fees for yeeeeaaars, and i think is 1992, the last time park fees were changed.
    This issue of saying we no longer wants people from SADC and wants foreign internationals is totally bogus. Most of the campsites i know have SADC rates including the likes of AUDI and even advertise in RSA magazines with Discount for South African.
    Lastly travelling is not all about campsites, its about fuel, food prices etc. If you look at Namibia food prices compared to Botswana, you look at fuel prices compared to Botswana and tell me the average costs adding camping.
    Pat to be fair when planning a holiday one is normally looking at the prime areas. Just as when coming to SA people do not go camping in Pofadder just because it is cheap. People go to Kruger/Kgaladi etc. The fact is also that most prime areas have a lot of camps run by private companies. Unless you are fortunate to book 12 months in advance you can't always book the DWNP sites. Added to this in certain areas (I think Savuti is one?) you only have private operators.

    Comparing Kruger to Chobe, Moremi etc the pricing is MUCH cheaper. On average a camp site is R350 per night and accommodates up to 6. Conservation fees are R100pppn if I'm not mistaken. So for an average family of 4 in Kruger you will pay R750 per night.

    Just working off the CKGR pricing I was using recently you are looking at P120 for the campsite + P120 park fees, remember that spending one night in a park results in a double fee of P240 because of the calculation being per calendar day. These are also calculated per person and not per site. You also pay P50 per vehicle. I stand to be corrected but I think this was.also per day and not a once off fee?

    For a family of 4 you therefore pay P1 490 (R2 347) per night.

    If you manage to stay on a DWNP site you are looking at P1 130 (R1 780) per night.

    Factually, camping in Botswana's prime areas is very expensive.

    Having said that it does not mean I will advise people not to go to Botswana.

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  25. #15
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    DWNP vs KNP, remember that the DWNP camps are unfenced, basic, fairly isolated, very close to wilderness areas as possible. KNP not so much. So yes, you decide what you prefer and then pay for that.

    BUT, the privatization of some of the prime camps in Botswana has pushed the rates up drastically and you don't get much more in the sense of facilities if thats what you want.
    Last edited by Luka; 2020/05/03 at 09:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    I refer specifically to moremi and chobe. If u stay inside the park you are forced to go through the private operators and have no choice bit o pay dollar prices. I also refer to the informal boat rides inside moremi, these are not regulated and P600 an hour is expensive, I dont car what you say.
    Yes, the cheaper options are staying in community run camps, or private camps like Audi, and paying the dwnp daily fee.
    At the private camps like Gomae, SKL their fees of US$30 is not cheap for SADC visitors. Let's compare that to Kruger national park....camp fees are about R300 for anyone. SAN Parks dont charge foreigner visitors or SADC visitors a dollar rate camping fee through private enterprises - why are we as SADC members forced to pay international rates for their parks ?

    Im well aware of booking directly through DWNP for places outside of moremi and chobe, like mentioned in a one of the other posts, but Central kalahari is a different experience to Moremi and chobe.

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    You are camping at the wrong campsites and using the wrong boats for your trips. I do it for a lot cheaper for my customers when I take them there on Safari.

    Boat trips on the big boats from places like Chobe Safari Lodge costs around P350 - 400 for a 3 hour trip. They leave at 15h00 and return at 18h00

    In National parks, DO NOT BOOK CAMPSITES run by private operators!!! Only book DWNP run campsites. The same site, with NO facilities other than maybe a shower enclosure and toilet enclosure can cost between P30 to P90 (depending on the park) from the DWNP. The private operators will charge between P250 and P400 per campsite.

    Use a agent such as NDM or Botswana Footprints to do your bookings for you, tell them you do not want to camp in privately run campsites, only in DWNP campsites. They do a pretty good job and will charge you P500 for the service. It is well worth the money spent for this service.

    Both Botswana Footprints and NDM are in Maun, both do daily visits to the Maun DWNP offices, both are known to the members of this website and they do sometimes post here too. Do a Google search for their name plus Maun, you will find their contact details. It makes life easy if they do all your Botswana bookings, then you make only one payment - to them, not to a host of providers.....

    Hope this changes your perspective of the Botswana costs.....
    Spot on Info

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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Quote Originally Posted by mvcoller View Post
    You are camping at the wrong campsites and using the wrong boats....

    Boat trips on the big boats from places like Chobe Safari Lodge costs around P350 - 400 for a 3 hour trip. They leave at 15h00 and return at 18h00

    In National parks, DO NOT BOOK CAMPSITES run by private operators!!! Only book DWNP run campsites....
    The OP is referring to Moremi and Chobe. The DWPN run campsites in Moremi and Chobe are:

    1. ?
    2. ?
    3. ?

    Boat cruises in Moremi, which he is also referring to, is pretty much standard rates.

    And I am sorry, the DWNP run sites in the CKGR are simply not the prime campsites with maybe the exception of the Kori sites.

    Bottom line, if one wants to camp in prime areas, you will pay the price. And as KS rightly said, try Zambia if you want to see steep prices.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/05/03 at 11:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Waynneman, This following is not quite true, or at worst, only half of the true situation:

    "camp fees are about R300 for anyone. SAN Parks don't charge foreigner visitors or SADC visitors a dollar rate camping fee"

    Have you seen what the SAN Parks daily conservation fees are:

    R100 pppd - SA Citizen with ID to prove it
    R200 pppd - SADC with Passport to prove it
    R400 pppd - Foreigner

    Now add that R400 per person for a family of 4 Adults to one night's camping and see how that scares them off going to SAN Parks for 10 days.......

    Also remember, here at SAN Parks, if you take a campsite, you pay around R400 for two people, and pay an extra R100 per person for additional people up to 6 people.

    In Botswana you pay a daily entry fee of about BWP 120 pp and in DWNP camps around P30 (Mebuasehube) and P90 (OK P270 in a privately run campsite) FOR UP TO EIGHT PEOPLE!!!! for the camping...,
    Last edited by mvcoller; 2020/05/03 at 05:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Camping prices in Botswana is ridiculous

    Pat n Wolf
    Please help me out with regards to park fees not increased over a looooong time. I remember, not long ago, six to eight months ago, we used to pay per NIGHT in the park, thus arriving at ten in the morning, departing the next day at ten in the morning, 1 Night. Same scenario currently, arriving at ten in the morning, leaving the next day at ten in the morning, AND GOING TO ANOTHER PARK THE SAME DAY, you pay for two days at first park, although only one night, and you pay again for the second day at another park. Where am I missing the non increase in park/vehicle fees? Please correct me, as I might have this completely wrong. (Just asking and corrections , no slandering) Rudy

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