This is a question a lot of people ask! To answer it in a sentence, it is because its an exclusive and remote destination. To answer the question more comprehensively, when Botswana developed their tourism model, which was done more recently than most African countries, they analysed the success and failure of other safari regions and decided on a low-impact, low volume model but higher price approach. Considering it is a semi-desert environment, and highly sensitive, they did not want to repeat the 'mistakes' made by other countries where severe damage to habitats was overlooked for financial gain. In Botswana's private concession areas as well as their publicly accessed parks and reserves, they limit the number of guests in any one area. Chobe NP is one of the few parks where mass tourism is allowed and many boats and vehicles enter the park each day from Kasane, mainly because the park is easily accessed from main roads. For the rest of the parks, you either need to get there by 4x4 or fly in on a light aircraft. So this is where another of the major expenses appears, getting to the camps and reserves. Light aircraft flying limited numbers of people, are expensive to run! In addition, the remote nature of the camps make it very expensive to get materials to build lodges, to get the food there, to get staff in and out.
So that is what makes Botswana expensive but what you also get is 'pure wilderness' - no phone lines, no power lines, no dogs barking, no cell phone coverage and then you have the most beautiful habitats in the world, amazing big game, wonderful people, incredible birdlife, game drives, boat trips, mokoro (kayak) trips, nature walks, balloon trips, helicopter trips, horse rides, quad bikes and so much more!
Come and find 'pure wilderness' with us!