Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Botswana

Walking beside cheetahs or tracking rhinos through the brush, Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Botswana will gift you with unforgettable experiences. Rolling hills, fantastic activities and an eye on conservation, makes this private reserve great for the whole family. 

  • Best Time to Go

    May - September

  • Average Safari Cost

    $50-$700 pp/day

  • Highlights

    Cheetah interactions, rhino and giraffe tracking, reptile center, night drives, over 300 bird species

Why Visit Mokolodi Nature Reserve

With activities such as cheetah interactions and rhino tracking, Mokolodi Game Reserve offers a wonderful experience. The reserve can resemble a zoo in some aspects, however this is what makes it great for the entire family.

Cheetah interactions are possible due to the two tame cheetahs that are present in the reserve, however, tracking white rhinos and giraffes are the main activities in this private nature reserve. There is a small herd of elephants as well, and they are said to be semi-tame, which may allow for a closer approach than usual (please consult your guide before attempting any interaction with wildlife).

Night drives are available to those who would like to see nocturnal animals such as porcupine, wild cat, brown hyena, serval and aardvark. Leopards, while not exactly nocturnal, may also be spotted more frequently in the evenings.

For those who are more active and seek to add some adventure to their safari, there are three mountain trails that’s are perfect for cycling. Remember to carry plenty of water while cycling, as the warm climate can cause dehydration.

Furthering their role in conservation, Mokolodi also runs a white rhino breeding program, and has opened a reptile center, which also serves an important educational role. The reserve can get quite crowed during the December school holidays, which provides a great opportunity to educate youth on the importance of conservation.

Pros and Cons

While all adventures are defined by their challenges, we hope to provide all the information that you need, so that you can choose the destination that is right for you.
  • Rhino and giraffe tracking
  • Easy to get to
  • Affordable accommodation
  • Family-friendly
  • Cheetah interactions available
  • Mokolodi can seem more zoo-like than wilderness
  • Can become crowded in December-January due to school holidays

Best Time to Go

Mokolodi Nature Reserve is great to visit all-year round. May to September is the best time of the year to visit the reserve as the weather is less hot during the day, and the thinner vegetation makes animals sightings great. It can get chilly at night and early morning drives will require warm clothing.

October to April is the wet season, but it is only marginally less pleasant to visit, and it has the added benefit of baby animals. This is also the best time of the year for bird watching, with migratory birds presents, and the resident birds will be nesting or in their breeding plumage. This time of the year does coincide with the December school holidays, which could cause the reserve to become quite busy, and the heat can be oppressive, while the rain will hamper game drives.

For more information when to visit see our Botswana Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife and Birds

Wildlife watching is wonderful in Mokolodi. There are tame cheetahs, semi-tame elephants, large populations of hippo, giraffe and zebra, and the white rhino is also present. Tracking rhinos and giraffes is the main activity; however, night drives are fantastic as well. Bird watching is great in the reserve, although avid birders should self-drive to not be disappointed. Notable birds include the Secretarybird and the Short-clawed Hawk.
List of Animals
  • Elephant
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Hippo
  • Hyena
  • Giraffe
  • White Rhino
  • Kudu
  • Zebra
  • Baboon

Mokolodi Nature Reserve offers wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities, from white rhino tracking, to cheetah interactions. Game drives provide the chance to see wild cat, serval and porcupine, and semi-tame elephants allows for an up-close visit with these magnificent creatures. Other commonly seen wildlife include zebra, baboon, hippo, impala, klipspringer and waterbuck.

Infrequently Seen Animals

  • Leopard, wild cat, serval, aardvark, porcupine, kudu, klipspringer, honey badger
    • Frequently Seen Animals

      • Elephant, giraffe, hippo, zebra, white rhino, hyena, cheetah, impala, waterbuck, baboon,

There are over 300 recorder species of birds in Mokolodi, including the Cape Vulture and the vibrant Little Bee-eater. We recommend that avid birders choose a self-drive instead of a guided game drive, as the guides will focus on wildlife, not birds. You will be able spot both Kalahari and bushveld specials, and the climate ensures that bird watching is great all-year round. However, the best time for bird watching is from November to April, with migratory birds present, and resident birds can be seen in their spectacular breeding plumage.

Endangered Birds

For a complete list of endangered birds in Botswana see here.

Endemic and Near Endemic Birds

  • Burnt-necked Eremomela, Cape Vulture, Cut-throated Finch, Great Crested Grebe, Iceterine Warbler, Little Bee-eater, Maccoa Duck, Purple Heron, Red-crested Bustard, Secretarybird, Short-clawed Lark, Short-toed Rock Thrush, Southern White-crowned Shrike, White-throated Robin-Chat

Getting There and Safety

Botswana’s main airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport and is in the capital of Gaborone. Mokolodi National Park is located 12km (7mi) from Gaborone, which makes it a quick and easy to reach destination.

You can take a guided safari (2 hours) to Mokolodi, or you can go independently on a self-drive. You could also take a bus from the city, which will drop you close to the park’s entrance.

If you are on a guided safari tour, your operator will collect you at the airport and see to all transportation for the duration of your stay. If, however, you are on a self-guided safari, you can acquire a 4x4 at the airport.


For the flights to Botswana, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights.

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights.


For more information on visas see our Botswana Safari - Complete Country Guide.

Vaccinations and Malaria

Malaria is not a concern in Mokolodi, however, there are parts of Botswana that are high-risk zones. We recommend that you take proper precautions when travelling in high-risk regions.

Check your local travel health authority for more information:

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Botswana. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.

What to Pack


  • Sunscreen
  • Wide-brimmed sunhat
  • Warm clothing will be needed for May to September – nights and early mornings are chilly.
  • Camera
  • Spare rechargeable batteries
  • Battery charger
  • Spare memory card for camera
  • General clothing
  • Trail shoes and hiking boots
  • Personal medication
  • Small backpack (for game drives)
  • Toiletries

If you are visiting from October to April, wet-weather gear might be necessary:

  • Waterproof backpack
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Waterproof hiking boots

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.

Drinking Water
The water in hotels are mostly safe to drink, however, it would be best to enquire beforehand. To be safe, always ensure that you have bottle water. Avoid water getting into your mouth while showering, and make sure that ice cubes are made using bottled or boiled water.