1. What are the accommodations like?
In Botswana, we offer a wide range of accommodations; from traditional African Dome tents with bucket showers and long drop toilets, to luxurious camps with all the fittings of a 5 star experience. Speak with your trip planner to choose the right option for your tour.
2. Do I need a converter/ adapter for the electricity?
Botswana uses 220 volts electricity and requires a 3-pin (square) plugs (Like that of Great Britain or Hong Kong), South African style plug (three large round pin) plugs, or European-style (two round pin) plugs but this is relatively rare. Travelers will need a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. It is best to travel with your own adapters. It is not possible to use appliances such as hairdryers or electric shavers in the tented rooms as most of the camps in Botswana have low wattage fuses which will trip.
3. Are meals included?
While on safari in Botswana, all meals will be included from lunch on day 1 until departure.
4. What are the tour leaders like?
All of our guides are exceptional! They are fluent in English and local languages. They are from the local areas where they guide and are among the very best guides available in each region. Out tour leaders treat our travelers like friends, showing visitors both the major highlights and the local treasures.
5. What type of food is typical in Botswana?
While on safari, western style fare is available each day and fresh, local fruits and vegetable are incorporated into the meals. Please let your trip planner know about any food allergies or dietary concerns as we can accommodate all kinds of preferences with notice.
6. What type of transportation is used?
Typical transportation in Botswana is open air 4x4 vehicles that are designed to give travelers all round visibility. There are some exceptions to this in order to accommodate certain environmental conditions such as excessive dust and/or hear, or in temperate climates where they may use closed vehicles with viewing hatches.
7. What is the climate like?
The weather in southern Africa is generally pleasant through the year- warm to hot days, and cool to warm nights. Summer is from November to the end of May and usually brings very high temperatures. This is also the rainy season. Winter days, May to the end of August, are invariable sunny and cool to warm, however nights can drop below freezing at night, we recommend packing a winter coat, hat and gloves during this time.
8. What is the typical age range for these tours?
Our Africa tours tend to attract all ages. The minimum age to join a set departure trip is 12, if you have travelers younger than 12, speak to a trip planner about booking a private departure. You must be able to climb into and out of a safari vehicle, so these trips are not suitable for travelers with mobility issues.
9. Are these trips suitable for children?
Safari options are definitely suitable for children as young as 6 (12 on set departures). Please note that this depends on the child and is the responsibility of the parents to determine whether this type of program is suitable for their child. There are long drives on Safari (sometimes lasting 6-8 hours) and the roads can be very rough. Some accommodations will not accept young children, so speak to your trip planner to find appropriate programs.
10. Are these trips a good choice for solo travelers?
Yes. A solo traveler is welcome to join any set departure date for the safaris. Please note that safaris are only confirmed with a minimum of 2 travelers. Should the minimum not be met, the scheduled trip will be converted into a private departure and may incur additional costs.
11. Do the rates include international flights?
Tour rates do not include international flights. We find that it is usually less expensive for travelers to book these separately and this also allows you the flexibility to choose the schedule and routing that is most convenient for you. You can purchase international flights on your own, or we can certainly help you arrange these flights with an airfare consolidator who specializes in international flights to Africa.
12 How do I get to the hotel from the airport when I arrive?
You will be met by a Safari representative once you clear customs and the baggage claim. They will transfer you to the first lodge or hotel.
13. How much should I budget for tips?
Tips are not required on any of our tours. However, it is customary in Africa to offer a tip for exceptional service. Here are some guidelines for your trip to Botswana:
Camp or Game Lodge Guides, Specialist Guides, & Butlers - $10 per person per day.
Mokoro Paddlers and Trackers - $5 per person per day.
General Safari Camp / Lodge Staff - $10 per person per day. This should be placed in the communal tipping box to be distributed equally among all the staff.
Portages - $2-3 per guest per movement.
Please remember that tipping is at your discretion and should be based on the service you receive.
14. How far in advance should I book?
You can book your Botswana tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early, 10-12 months or more is recommended, though 4-6 months prior to departure is certainly manageable.
Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available.
15. Are tour dates flexible?
Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.
16. Can I extend or change my stay?
Check out our Africa Extensions for ideas. Let us know how you would like to customize your trip and we will do our best to accommodate you.
17. What should I pack?
You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book.
On Safari, luggage should be limited to one item of baggage per person weighing less than 44 lbs. This weight limit includes camera equipment and hand luggage. The maximum dimensions of the soft bags which can be accommodated are as follows: 10 inches wide x 12 inches high x 24 inches high.
18. How safe is Botswana?
Botswana is known to be one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. However, travelers should take the same precautions that they would in a major city in the US. Don't wear expensive accessories or watches, and don't carry large sums of cash. Take particular care with your passport. Pay attention to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception and take common-sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night. Guides will monitor your safety in cities and in the game areas. From time to time generalized travel statements are issued concerning travel conditions in the area. For current Department of State announcements and Consular information see travel.state.gov
19. What time zone is Botswana?
Botswana is on Botswana Standard Time Zone, GMT +02:00.
20. Is the water safe to drink?
Tap water is generally safe to drink throughout southern Africa. However, bottled and filtered water is readily available. Water will be provided in the safari vehicle and at camp.
21. Can I use US dollars, or do I need local currency? What is the local currency, exchange rate, etc.?
The local currency of Botswana is the Pula (P) which is made up of 100 Thebe. Botswana banks only accept US Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euro, and South African Rand in cash. Any cash payments made to camps for curios or gratuities need to be in one of these currencies. Check out a Currency Converter like, www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
for the latest exchange rates.
22. Should I bring cash or Traveler's checks? Are ATMs available? Can I use credit cards?
ATMs are readily available in the larger towns and cities, but hard, if not impossible to find elsewhere. Traveler's checks are not recommend as they are hard to exchange, and fewer retailers are accepting them. Although it is helpful to bring a credit card along for emergencies, don't count on using it for most purchases.
23. Can I use my cell phone?
Check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information.
24. What immunizations are recommended/ required?
No immunizations are currently required for visiting Botswana. You should be up to date on our routine vaccinations, including Tetanus. The CDC is currently recommending the following vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Malaria, & Typhoid. Travelers must bring along their International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) as proof of vaccination.
You may also want to consider the following vaccinations: Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever and Rabies.
Please note that some countries, such as Botswana, require a yellow fever vaccination if traveling directly from an affected country (such as Zambia). Please check with the Center for Disease Control for information for your onward travel from Botswana.
For the most current information, please consult your doctor and/or check out the Center for Disease Control web-site
25. Do I need a visa/passport?
Travelers will all need a passport valid for at least 6 months after they depart Botswana, and have at least 3 consecutive black pages (4 is recommended if visiting more than one country). Currently, Botswana does not require a tourist visa for travelers from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Travelers from other nationalities should check with the Botswana Embassy for visa information. We recommend obtaining any visas prior to arrival.
Entry requirements change with surprising frequency. It is each traveler's responsibility to check with the consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
26. Is travel insurance recommended?
It is a condition of booking that all clients must have, and must demonstrate to Adventure Life prior to their departure, adequate insurance for the duration of the tour. Such insurance should fully cover personal injury; medical expenses; repatriation in the event of accident, illness or death; cancellation or curtailment of the tour by the company or client; and loss of, damage to, or theft of the clients' personal property. Activities with a greater inherent risk, such as mountaineering, animal tracking on foot and white-water rafting should be covered. Theft, personal injury or any disruption to arrangements should be reported immediately to the company and to the nearest police station.
We work with a travel insurance company that provides reasonably priced insurance for trip cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost bags, etc. Check out more details at www.adventure-life.com/insurance