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The differences between National Parks, Game Reserves, and private concessions.

Perhaps you have wondered, as many others have, ‘just what is the difference between a National Park, a Game Reserve, and a Private Concession?’

All three are important areas of conservation and your stay in any one will contribute to the continued preservation of these vital wild regions. The differences between them are simple but may offer notable changes to your safari experience.

A national park is owned and managed by the government, whereas a private game reserve is owned and managed by the private sector, usually by the lodges operating within it. A concession is a specially provisioned area within or adjacent to a national park. The Linyanti Wetland Reserve is an example of a private concession in Botswana. While some concessions are separated from the rest of the national park by fences, others have none allowing animals to roam freely. 

So what does that all mean for you? There are key advantages to each:

  1. National parks are often cheaper to access.

  2. National parks may be in key wildlife viewing areas that are not otherwise accessible.

  3. In general, the regulations in game reserves and private concessions are more relaxed. This gives guests in these areas the opportunity to take part in more varied activities such as night drives, walking safaris, and off-road driving. This can offer more opportunities to see nocturnal animals and get closer to sightings.

  4. Private game reserves and concessions often strictly limit the number of visitors, giving an exclusive experience.

Our team have first-hand knowledge and can offer advice on which will best suit your needs based on where you are visiting and your interests.

Credit: Hans Jurgen Mager


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