Botswana Safaris


The information listed below is over & above that on the Botswana Climate & What to Take pages.

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Q - Accommodation

A - Most people stay in either lodges or camps. These vary enormously from luxury lodges and camps to a group of small tents around a camp fire. A tented camp comprises of a limited number of large luxury tents most with flushing toilet and shower or bath. Most camps have electric fans and one or two even have air-conditioning.

Q - Activities

A - In the Okavango Delta there are twice daily game drives of about four hours each. Night drives are not permitted in the National Parks only on the concessions. Water activities, motor boats and mokoro (canoe) depend on the season. Boating is normally always available but obviously limited when water levels are low. At some times of year fishing is restricted to maintain fish stocks. Walking is available all year around but may be limited when there is flooding.

Q - Animals

A - Will I see ‘The Big Five’? Sorry, but probably not. Rhinos were wiped out by poaching by the early 1990s. They were however reintroduced in 2001 to Chief’s island in the Moremi Game Reserve. They are gradually increasing and spreading although the actual numbers are kept secret. You will however see a great diversity of other animals.

Q - Children

A - A Botswana safari is a fantastic experience for older children. There are some camps who will not take children under the age of 16. Most camps will only take children under the age of 12 if they have a private vehicle which is expensive. Game drives are usually four hours long which children find tedious. However there are family safaris available. Consult your Africa expert for advice.

Q - Currency

A - The currency of Botswana is the Pula. Most major currencies are acceptable in the camps.

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Q - Duty Free

A - You may import: 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco. 2 litres of wine and 1 litre of spirits. 50ml of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette.

Q - Electricity

A - Generators in each camp provide 220v electricity. Due to their noise, these generators are normally used during the day, when guests are out of camp. In the evenings, the generator is switched off, and lighting is provided by traditional hurricane lanterns and battery powered lamps. If necessary, camera batteries may be recharged in camp during the day.

Q - Health

A - Health care in Botswana is good in the major towns but medical facilities and communications are limited in rural areas. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation to South Africa may be necessary. Emergency patients will only be accepted if you have full insurance cover.

Q - Honeymoons

A - A Botswana safari is a fantastic romantic setting. It is intimate, luxurious and exclusive. Many companies offer special honeymoon packages.

Q - Internet

A - Internet is not generally available. Some concessions do however have satellite internet access. It is nevertheless unreliable and slow.

Q - Language

A - Setswana is the national language. However, English is the official business language and it is widely spoken in urban areas with most written communication being in this language. However, knowing and using a bit of Setswana always helps and the Batswana people will be pleased that you have made the effort.

Q - Safety

A - On arrival at each camp every guest is given a very comprehensive brief. This is for your safety and to be adhered to rigidly. This is not a zoo or ‘Animal Planet’ you are in the wild for real. Animals wander freely through the camps. If you are nervous about this do not go on this type of safari. Incidents are very rare and when they occur it is usually because clients have not followed instructions. On the concessions, for walking tours, all the guides qualified for this activity are armed and very highly skilled. It is extremely uncommon for this expertise to have to be exercised as they recognise the bush signs to avoid danger.

Q - Shopping

A - Most camps have small interesting souvenir shops. They accept most major currencies and credit cards.

Q - Telephones

A - There are no telephones in the bush or mobile phone coverage. Camps have radio communications for their own use. If you need to be contacted in an emergency a message can be sent from their headquarters to the camp.

Q - Time Zone

A - The time zone is GMT +2. Botswana does not have daylight saving time changes.

Q - Tipping

A - At safari camps gratuities are not compulsory. If you have a particularly helpful guide or tracker the accepted tip is about USD 7 / GBP 4 / Euro 5, per person per day for a guide and approximately half that for a tracker. If you are there for a few days only tip at the end of your stay. Most camps have a ‘staff box’ where you can leave tips to be split amongst the rest of the camp staff. Again the amount depends upon how exceptionally you felt you were treated.