Botswana has more age restrictions for children compared to other safari destinations in Africa.
Due to remoteness and most camps in Botswana not being fenced, every lodge and camp has its own child policy. Some camps do not allow children under 12 years. Other camps allow children but only let them go on excursions if they are older than a certain age. Ultimately, guides will always have the final say in whether a child is allowed to join a certain activity.
Most camps have an age minimum of eight years old or twelve years old.
When deciding whether or not to take children on a safari, safety, consideration for other guests, and practicality are taken into account. In Botswana, camps prioritise safety above all else. If an animal encounter poses a risk, they want you to worry only about yourself and your well-being. Additionally, many camps are raised on platforms and lack fencing, making them unsuitable for a peaceful vacation for parents. It is challenging for the camps to accommodate extra beds and provide lower rates because all the camps are boutique and government laws limit the number of beds that can be used. In addition, there’s the obvious problem of wildlife nearby and other visitors, who also come expecting calm.
There are only a handful of family-friendly camps in the Okavango Delta.
Other camps may require you to have your a private game-drive vehicle—that is, one that you do not share with other guests. This is an extra cost. Camps stipulate this due to their recognition that wildlife drives are erratic. Guests who are content to track a leopard for three hours patiently may have entirely different needs than a family with a young child. Whilst having a private vehicle is an extra cost, it is more handy because you have more flexibility. You can return to camp sooner or later, and you can have shorter game drives to relax by the pool when you come back.