Gaborone, Botswana

Botswanan Wildlife Conservation

Summer '25 Applications Open




3 weeks



Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information



3 weeks



Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview
Observe amazing wildlife and grapple with conservation challenges in one of Africa’s most picturesque destinations.

Explore the bushland, grasslands, and deltas in this world-renowned biodiversity hotspot alongside an expert guide and conservationist. Go on a game drive to view Africa’s iconic and elusive wild animals, like giraffes, elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras, leopards, and more. Examine issues in protecting Botswana’s wildlife and ecosystems while balancing human needs. Conduct interviews and document conservation techniques in action as you gain first-hand experience in wildlife conservation.

Experience Botswanan life through music, dance, food, the arts and meet up with local youth to discover what life is like for a teenager in Botswana. Stay and learn in a living lab—the Mokolodi Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Gaborone, Botswana’s capital. While on excursion to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and the Okavango Delta, camp in pristine parks and immerse yourself in the area. By meeting new people and delving into conservation in the real world, gain a level of self-confidence you could never get in a classroom!

The Take-Aways

Real-World Experience

Survey animal behavior, plant species, physical landscapes, human attitudes, and conservation efforts. Come home ready to get involved in wildlife and ecosystem protection in your community.

Credentials for Your Future

Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a portfolio of work to showcase your accomplishments, and service learning hours documenting your engagement with the community.

Life Skills and New Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved communication skills. Enjoy a broader world view and friends of different backgrounds from across the U.S.


Hours of Expert Instruction


Hours of Service Learning in the Community


Life-Changing Experience

The Destination
  • wilderness of gaborone
  • Group shot
  • Rhino in Gaborone

The Destination

Welcome to Botswana, the world leader in wilderness conservation. 

Botswana is one of Africa’s most beautiful and biodiverse countries. Located in southern Africa, it is dominated by the Kalahari Desert, creating an arid landscape in much of the country. Harboring diverse flora and fauna, the nation has a longstanding commitment to minimizing environmental impact. Thirty eight percent of its lands are distinctly reserved for conservation of its fragile ecosystems and teeming wildlife, including the Mokolodi Nature Reserve where you will live during your stay.

In the north of the country, the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, one of your excursions, is an unparalleled wilderness experience and UNESCO world heritage site. 

Cultural Awareness

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Gaborone.

Daily Life

Daily Life


Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places. 

  • Breakfast at the dorm 
  • Hands-on classes with expert instructors and conservation activists 
  • Lunch with your fellow Global Navigators 
  • Out and about for a cultural activity or workshop
  • Dinner at the dorm 


  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites 
  • Quality time with friends 

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program.     


Dorms at Mokolodi Nature Reserve, on the outskirts of Gaborone

24/7 Support

1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

Settle into your new community, discover Botswana’s ecological and conservation history, explore its physiography, engage in field trips, and go on your first game drive. Start your Project.

Explore Botswana’s biodiversity, conservation efforts and wildlife management challenges. Travel to Khama Rhino Sanctuary and witness how communities work together to save critical endangered species.

Travel for first-hand observations in the Okavango delta. Then, put your new skills into practice. For example, work with your group on the rural appraisal of a local village to examine how community livelihoods impact wildlife conservation and vice versa. Present your Project.

Program Blogs


Khama Rhino Sanctuary

By Sara Garrett at CIEE

The first stop on our journey to the northern part of Botswana was the Khama Rhino Sanctuary; established in 1992, the sanctuary is a “community based wildlife project” aimed at... keep reading


Botho "people are people because of people"

By RaeKenya Walker at CIEE

Botswana culture is built on collaboration, community and consultations. Botswana prides itself for being a peaceful country and many say it's because of the spirit of Botho. Botho means people... keep reading


Dijo Di Monate

By Sara Garrett at CIEE

Dijo di monate (translated to “the food is nice”), is a commonly practiced phrase among some members in our group to describe the cuisine. The type of cuisine in a... keep reading


Sample Activities

Group shot

Just Imagine All the Fun You’ll Have!

  • Share the rhythms of Botswana during dance and drum lessons. Marimba, too.   
  • Help out at a sanctuary for rescued animals—maybe you’ll get to feed an orphaned baby elephant or care for a wounded vulture.   
  • Enjoy a game drive, and if you're lucky, see rhinos, hippos, impalas, kudus, and a wide variety of animals!
  • Try your hand at playing traditional Botswanan board games, like mhele and morabaraba.  
  • Experience Setswana traditional life at Bahurutshe Cultural Village and participate in kgotla (public meeting) activities.

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

What Students Are Saying

  • "I met some of the best people I would've never had the chance to meet otherwise and experienced things that most people only see in National Geographic or on Animal Planet."

    Chloe M., Global Navigator Alum

  • "I really enjoyed seeing all of the animals on my trip. There was one day where we went on a game drive at Khama Rhino Sanctuary and saw many giraffes, zebras, rhinos, impalas as well as other animals. It was very exciting and wonderful to see these beautiful creatures in the wild."

    Cameron M., Global Navigator Alum

  • "I can't believe I got to experience the trip some people save for and dream of their whole lifetime at 16 and with an amazing price/scholarship. I got to see and do so much and make some amazing friends both from Botswana and all across the US. Honestly probably the highlight of my life so far!"

    Gemma S., Global Navigator Alum

  • "The most memorable experience for me was going to the orphanage. It was a very heartwarming experience. I definitely think this was the high point for many students on the trip."

    Bella C., Global Navigator Alum



  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.  
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.
  • This program involves engaging in moderate to high intensity physical activities such as nature walks, and extended observational time outdoors. 

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.  

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Program Summer Session I 2025 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $5,850
Program Summer Session II 2025 3 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $5,850

What's Included

Interactive Classes


3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our Staff

Our Staff

Basetsana Maposa

Center Director

Basetsana Maposa returned to Botswana in 2008 after spending 10 years living in the United States. She has extensive experience working in health, youth leadership, human rights, and educational development.

Ready to change your life?

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