Sleeping soundly- Botswana safari camps with air-conditioning

Going on safari during the warmer months does not mean giving up the comfort of a good night’s sleep.  We all react differently to warm climates and for some of us this means cool air is the only way to ensure a comfortable night. While all camps will feature ceiling and/or standing fans in the rooms, only a few will offer air-conditioning. Here we guide you through them.

It is worth remembering that most visitors to Botswana travel during the cooler months between May – September when a fan is sufficient for those who feel the heat during the day. October is the hottest month of the year- this is the last month of the dry season before the rains arrive in November and temperatures can reach over 40°C/104°F during the day. Once the rains arrive in November the temperature drops and the average high during the day sits around 30-34°C/86-93°F until April. See our full guide to the seasons.

For those daunted by the prospect of these hot months we have prepared a full list of the camps in northern Botswana with air-conditioning in the rooms. However please note the Chobe riverfront and Kasane lodges have not been included because air-conditioning is standard in those areas as these lodges are generally powered by the mains electricity.

Why don’t most Botswana safari camps have air-conditioning?

Air-conditioning requires a huge amount of power – especially as most of the lightweight rooms in these camps cannot hold the cool air generated, so the units are constantly working hard to maintain a cool temperature. Bear in mind Botswana safari camps are set in incredibly remote wilderness areas and under strict environment regulations. Power is supplied by solar as much as possible and supplemented by generators. Most of these solar systems cannot generate sufficient power for air-conditioning as well as run the camp. The fuel for the generators is brought by truck from Maun and can take days to reach the camp – and is not ideal for environmental reasons.

Some luxury camps with substantial infrastructure offer air conditioning or the evening breeze cooling system – an alternative to air conditioning which requires less energy but is still very effective. While air-conditioning cools the entire room the evening breeze system is a silent unit set above the bed and focusses simply on cooling the sleeping area.

The complete guide to Botswana safari camps with air-conditioning

The below luxury camps feature air-conditioning or the evening breeze system in all guest rooms – ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep or a cool rest during the siesta hour.


The luxury suites at Xigera Safari Lodge feature air conditioning

XIGERA SAFARI LODGE

Set within a private concession within the Moremi Game Reserve, Xigera Safari Lodge is one of Botswana’s most luxurious accommodations. Recently rebuilt in 2020 the camp has reopened with a new striking style and offers the most luxurious safari experience in Botswana. Each of the 12 airconditioned suites feature a bedroom, lounge, dressing room and private deck.  The deck is large enough to accommodate private dining as well as a daybed and gazebo.  Xigera has an impressive  energy centre with a Tesla solar photovoltaic diesel hybrid system with lithium ion battery storage and the bulk of the energy requirements are met by renewable solar energy.


Eagle Island Lodge rooms feature private pools and air-conditioning

EAGLE ISLAND LODGE

This modern retreat style lodge is located on the picturesque island of Xaxaba deep in the Okavango Delta, with quintessential Okavango scenery. During the months of June-September this becomes a wetland paradise. The luxurious Eagle Island Lodge features twelve large tents built on raised platforms overlooking the surrounding flood plains.  Thatched roofs offer much needed shade for the rooms along with air conditioning for the warmer months. Each room features a wide deck outfitted with an inviting plunge pool and the perfect space to privately relax and watch the wilderness around you.  The lodge is entirely run on solar energy.


Khwai River Lodge features a large pool and air-conditioned rooms

KHWAI RIVER LODGE

Blending into the leadwood and fig forest along the Khwai River floodplains sits the luxurious Khwai River Lodge. The location is perfect for exploring the game rich areas of the Khwai concession as well as the Moremi Game Reserve. This oasis of luxury has 15 stylish rooms facing the river each with a private deck as well as air conditioning.  All the rooms are under a thatched roof offering shade in the heat of the day as well as outdoor easy chairs and hammocks to make the most out of your siesta time in camp. Power for the air-conditioning is provided by solar.


The luxury suites at Xaranna have their own private plunge pool airconditioned rooms

XARANNA OKAVANGO DELTA CAMP

Set in a stunning corner of the Okavango Delta, Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, showcases the beauty of the Okavango perfectly with lily covered waterways, tall palms and beautiful flood plains.  The area is transformed by the rise and fall of the flood waters, but it is always beautiful. Nine en-suite tents are all fitted with a luxurious outdoor sala, a private plunge pool, indoor bathtub and outdoor shower. All rooms are air conditioned and offer panorama views of the surrounding landscape making it possible to view game from the privacy of your own tent.  80% of Xaranna’s total energy consumption is provided by a solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid system incorporating a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and a Tesla Powerpack Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).


The rooms at Sandibe are inspired by the scales of the pangolin

SANDIBE OKAVANGO SAFARI LODGE

The 12 luxurious tents of the Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge are all located underneath a shady canopy of wild palms and fig trees in a highly game rich area of the Okavango Delta.  The design of this camp is strikingly unique and is inspired by the elusive pangolin. Game viewing is superb here but so is the guest experience. The camp features innovative live cooking and highlights include the focus on local food.  The rooms are all on raised decks with lovely views and feature an inviting plunge pool as well as the cool comforts of air conditioning. 70% of the lodge’s extensive energy requirements come from solar energy.


The swimming pool at Savute Elephant Lodge overlooks the waterhole

SAVUTE ELEPHANT LODGE

Located in the southern reaches of Chobe National Park, Savute Elephant Lodge is one of the most luxurious camps in Botswana. It has a superb location overlooking a lively waterhole allowing for dramatic animal sighting right from the comfort of your camp.  All the chalets are on stilts and perched along the banks of the Savute channel allowing for excellent views of elephants coming down to drink and bathe.  The spacious rooms feature four poster beds, a dressing room, en-suite bathroom and an outdoor shower.  Guests can relax during their siesta on well appointed large decks or in the cool climate of their airconditioned rooms. 95% of the lodge’s energy is provided by a state of the art solar plant.


Duba Plains camp lit at night

DUBA PLAINS CAMP

Located in the striking northern reaches of the Okavango Delta, Duba Plains is one of Botswana’s top luxury camps. The area has featured in many Nat Geo documentaries by the camp’s founders and now guests have the chance to explore these lands themselves. The camp consists of just  5 elegant tents inspired by the original 1920’s safari style. The tents are placed on raised platforms made of recycled railway sleepers with wonderful views of the game rich flood plains.  Each room features a lounge area that opens up to a private veranda with a plunge pool to enjoy during your siesta time.  Evening-breeze cooling is provided over the canopy bed.  The camp is run on a combination of solar and generator power


The rooms in the Duba Plains suite have air-conditioning over the beds

DUBA PLAINS SUITE

This private, elegant two-bedroom villa is tucked away in one of the most pristine areas of the Okavango Delta.  The Duba Plains Suite is raised on recycled railway sleepers and offers guests a continuous view of wildlife visiting the surrounding flood plain.  The soul of the villa is the spacious lounge and dining area which is connected to the two bedrooms which are fitted with their own private verandas complete with plunge pool and a shaded outdoor sala.  Evening-breeze cooling is provided over the canopy bed to keep a cooling resting climate.  The camp is run on a combination of solar and generator power


The luxurious rooms at Selinda camp feature an evening breeze cooling system

SELINDA CAMP

One of Botswana’s most exclusive camps, Selinda Camp, is situated in a spectacular private concession between the Okavango and Chobe. An area which really comes into its own during th dry months from May to October. This intimate camp consists of only 3 tents, making it one of the smallest camps in the country.  The design of this camp is inspired by different cultures and peoples along with the spirit of adventure.  The tents, which are more like spacious villas, sit below cooling thatched roofs and feature en-suite bathrooms, a private veranda with a swimming pool and hammock. Evening-breeze cooling is provided over the canopy bed and is solar-powered.


The Selinda suite is one of the most exclusive and luxurious safari camps in Africa

SELINDA SUITE

This exclusive two-bedroom villa is the epitome of luxury for guests looking for ultimate privacy – it essentially offers guests their own private camp complete with a private guide and chef. Set in the heart of the Selinda Reserve, between the Okavango and Chobe the Selinda Suite consists of two-bedrooms, both en-suite, a spacious lounge and outdoor deck complete with swimming pool and areas to relax and enjoy the surrounding environment and have even al fresco dinners.  Evening-breeze cooling is provided over the canopy bed and is solar-powered.


The luxurious rooms at Zarafa offer great viewing from the deck

ZARAFA CAMP

Zarafa Camp overlooks the permanent Zibadianja Lagoon, the source of the Savuti Channel in the private Selinda Reserve. A flagship luxury camp and Botswana’s first Relais & Chateaux property with Just 4 suites making this a very exclusive safari experience. The suites are set under a canopy of ebony trees on raised decking with flowing canvas walls.  The décor is inspired by vintage safari style, with intricate wood and Persian Carpets.  Each suite features a very large bedroom, complete with an air conditioning system over the bed, an open plan bathroom  and an outdoor space complete with swimming pool and relaxation areas. All the camp’s electricity comes from its solar farm and a bio-gas system converts vegetable waste into usable cooking gas.


The Zarafa Dhow Suites offer air-conditioning over the bed canopy for the warmer months

ZARAFA DHOW SUITE

Situated next to its sister camp on the beautiful Zibadianja Lagoon, the Zarafa Dhow Suite is a luxurious 2 bedroom villa offering one of the most exclusive safari experiences in Africa. Guests enter their villa through vast Lamu doors, into a lavish space decorated in deep reds and browns.  The open planned rooms are breezy with billowing canvas and for the warmer months there is an evening breeze cooling system over the bed. All the camp’s electricity comes from its solar farm.


Dumatau is a luxury safari camp overlooking the Osprey lagoon in Botswana

DUMATAU

Overlooking the magnificent Osprey Lagoon, DumaTau is a luxury camp located on the northern frontiers of Botswana in the Linyanti private reserve. Fresh from an extensive rebuild the camp reopened in June 2021 and as premier safari camp. DumaTau has modern, sophisticated style and boasts some of the largest rooms of any safari camp, all well positioned to along the waterway to enjoy the Linyanti’s renowned mega-herds of elephants as they come to the Lagoon to drink.  The rooms also feature a large outdoor deck with a private plunge pool and the beds are fitted with an evening breeze cooling system ensuring a comfortable night during the warmer months. DumaTau runs on 100% solar energy.


The stunning pool and relaxation area at the wellness centre at Little DumaTau

LITTLE DUMATAU

With only 4 tents, Little DumaTau is an intimate version of its bigger sister DumaTau camp next door, also set along the banks of the Osprey Lagoon. Little DumaTau is a luxurious retreat style camp with an impressive spa facility for pampering between safari activities. Each tented room has its own lounge and plunge pool for guests to enjoy during siesta time.  The bedrooms are en-suite and feature both indoor and outdoor showers as well as an air conditioning system above the bed.  The camp runs on 100% solar energy.


The shaded swimming pool at Jao camp in the Okavango Delta

JAO CAMP

This flagship luxury camp lies in the north western floodplains of the Okavango Delta, an area defined by the Jao flats which transform into a wetland oasis with the arrival of the annual floods.  Jao Camp has both suites and villas all featuring private plunge pools, lounge and dining areas. The bedrooms are fitted with isolated evening breeze cooling systems over the bed to create a cool climate over the sleeping area. The suites also feature a raised sala with spectacular views of the nearby channel so guests can watch for animals from the privacy of their own rooms. The camp is powered entirely by solar.


The shaded swimming pool at Jack's Camp offers a welcome break from the desert heat

JACK’S CAMP

As one of Africa’s most famous camps, Jack’s Camp is an oasis of luxury among the endless salt pans of the Makgadikgadi. The camp is styled to capture the adventure of original explorers and encapsulates the elegant taste of the 1940’s colonial era.  The lavish bedouin tents cover more than 270 square metres of wooden decking with striking views of the lunar like surroundings.  Each tent features a lounge area extending out to a deck with a private plunge pool, a bedroom and a large open planned bathroom and dressing area complete with a chaise long and twin basins. All 10 tents also feature an air cooling system to aid your sleep during the warmer months in the desert. The camp is 100% solar powered.

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