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Botswana

SEASONS AND TEMPERATURES

Botswana is renowned for its superb wildlife viewing throughout the year. The rainy season - generally in the form of magnificent afternoon thundershowers - is from late December to the end of February, sometimes continuing into March. The sunlight after an African storm is incredibly intense and superb for wildlife photography. The summer rains also bring beautiful migrant birds to Botswana. March to May is spectacular as the vegetation turns green after the rains and many species of wild flower come into bloom. The Okavango Delta is generally at its highest flood levels from June to August. Daytime temperatures range between 24°C/75°F - 27°C/81°F lowering to approximately 6°C/43°F at night.. September to December tends to be dry and hot, the game viewing is excellent with wildlife congregating at various waterholes and along the Chobe River. The average temperature is 35°C/95°F, but can reach 40°C/104°F.

MONEY

Guests will be required to declare all foreign currency, in any form, when entering/exiting Botswana. We advise that guests only change money as required. Most international airports have banks where money can be changed, and facilities are usually available at hotels and lodges.  The acceptance of credit cards outside of the major centres is limited however, most lodges and hotels accept Visa and MasterCard.

CURRENCY

Botswana: Pula (1 Pula = 100 Thebe)

SECURITY

Guests are urged to carry a record of their passport number, airline tickets and travellers cheques, and must ensure that these items are kept in a safe place. Guests must never leave their baggage or personal items unattended, especially at airports. We also recommend that guests do not bring any expensive jewellery on safari.

DUTY FREE

Not available for travel between South Africa and Botswana.

Beer and cigarettes are freely available in the countries visited, although international cigarettes can be expensive or unobtainable in Zimbabwe. Imported wines and spirits can also be expensive.

The current duty free allowances are:

  • Botswana: 1 litre of alcohol; 2 litres of wine; 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 250ml eau de toilette; 50ml perfume.

MEDICAL PRECAUTIONS

Guests must consult their physician or health department for the latest health and anti-malarial precautions, which must be taken prior to their departure. Some countries require advance inoculations (and certificates thereof). We will advise you of these.

LANGUAGES

Botswana: Setswana (English widely spoken)

PHOTOGRAPHY

We recommend that guests use a telephoto lens (at least 80-300mm in size) for the photography of birds and game, as well as a wide-angle lens. As most game drives are in the early morning or late afternoon, high-speed film (200/400ASA) should be used. Please purchase films, bulbs and batteries prior to departure, as they are not always readily available and often expensive. For protection from dust we suggest that cameras are covered with a plastic bag.  Guests may also wish to carry a small camera cleaning kit. Please bring enough batteries for videos, as well as recharging equipment with a 12V cigarette lighter adapter.

BINOCULARS

We highly recommend that guests bring a pair of binoculars for personal use

 

INSURANCE

As comprehensive travel insurance is essential, please ensure that you arrange your own insurance for personal effects, personal accident, medical travel expenses, baggage, cancellation and curtailment prior to your arrival in Southern Africa.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE

As you will be travelling in vehicles and small aircraft with limited luggage capacity, your luggage is required to be packed in a soft bag (no hard suitcases will be allowed) weighing a maximum of 20kg (44 lbs). A reasonable amount of photographic equipment is allowed.

AGE RESTRICTIONS

An adult relative or guardian must accompany guests between 12 and 18 years old, and children under 12 years can only be accommodated on private safaris.

FIRST AID

We suggest that you bring a small, personal airtight container with a few well-chosen articles, such as: plasters; scissors; travel sickness tablets; antiseptic cream; antihistamine cream; pain relieving tablets for headaches; safety pins; indigestion tablets; sunscreen; eye drops; insect repellent; medication for upset stomachs; after sun moisturiser. We encourage guests who have an allergy to bee, hornet or wasps stings to ensure they bring along the required medication.  Guests who suffer from asthma to ensure their medication and pumps are also brought along.

TIPPING

We recommend you tender small amounts to your mokoro poler, safari and lodge/hotel staff. A safari guide is usually tipped approximately US$140 for the safari and the crew US$120. (This is a guideline per guest and completely discretionary). Where restaurant meals are involved, the tipping standard is 10% of the bill.

CLOTHING AND TOILETRIES

As a general guide, comfortable, casual and semi‑casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. Please note that bright colours are not suitable for game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon which can be cold, especially in winter

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