You are soon to depart on an amazing safari adventure in a country oozing with magic – Botswana! The wildlife here is exquisite, with elephants, lions, giraffes, leopards and cheetahs in the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. Throughout our stay we fly with small planes between four small and luxurious lodges, all with great locations offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the African nature and wildlife.
Botswana is a land without coasts surrounded by Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Most of the country is desert, but there is also a fantastic water world consisting of the world-famous Okavango Delta and areas around the Chobe River. This makes Botswana a varied landscape with an exciting wildlife. Botswana's national animal is the zebra and the national bird is the lilac-breasted roller
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
The climate is semi-dry, with warm winters (April - September) and hot summers (October - March). The rainy season generally falls between December and February. During this time, Kalahari turns into a green oasis that invites groups of animals to find food, and with the grazing animals comes the predators. In the Okavango, the rain often falls in short, heavy showers. When the rain falls, nature comes to life and we get to see a prosperous wildlife. Note that despite very hot days, the nights can sometimes get cool. In March/April, temperatures are approx. between 19 – 30ºC.
The electrical outlets in Botswana are round 3-hole plugs (220 volts). The sites we will visit are located in hard-to-reach areas where they produce their own power. Two of the lodges are 100% powered by solar power plants. The generators are running when we are out on activities but are generally switched off when we return to give us peace and quiet in the camp. Please note, it is not always possible to use a hair dryer or electric shaver at the lodges.
Please notify PolarQuest in good time before departure if you are allergic to any food, are a vegetarian or similar.
It is mandatory to have a full medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance, covering the entire period you are away from home.
We will use small planes for our flights in Botswana. Maximum weight for luggage on these flights is 20 kg with hand luggage and camera gear included. Please note that your bag must be soft - no hard bags or bags with hard frames are allowed. We are aware that packing light is a challenge, so when you pack, please keep in mind:
- All the lodges provide toiletries.
- It is possible to have your laundry done at all lodges but Kalahari Plains due to water saving reasons. Only informal clothing is necessary, please see the equipment list.
Lost luggage is beyond PolarQuest’s control. Please pack a small bag with your essentials, including any life sustaining medication, to carry with you as hand luggage. If you have a travel companion, we recommend that you pack a few items in each other’s luggage. If your luggage goes missing, you will still have some of your items and a change of clothes available.
Please notify PolarQuest in good time before departure if you have a health condition that should be noted. This includes any regular medication or allergies.
MOBILE PHONE AND INTERNET
Please note that you will find yourself in difficult-to-reach areas where there are only sporadic telephone connections and Internet access. Botswana's international country code is +267. It is expensive to call home from Botswana. Check with your mobile operator about their coverage and prices in Botswana.
In general, MasterCard and Visa are accepted as payment in Botswana, but do not take for granted that they will accept other credit cards. Please note that the lodges do not accept American Express or Diners Card.
You will not need any large amounts of cash, but we recommend that you bring US Dollars in smaller denominations. You can pay with US Dollars at all lodges.
PASSPORT AND VISAS
International visitors need a valid passport together with onward travel documents. Please contact your nearest embassy to find out if a visa is required.
Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date and that you have enough blank pages (four is recommended) in your passport. The passport cannot be damaged or broken. We suggest that you make a copy of your passport that you can carry with you as identification. A copy would also ease the process in case you need to get a new passport. The passport itself should be left in a safe place at the hotel or in a safety box.
The places we visit are in general secure, but common sense and precautions are recommended, especially in cities. We recommend everyone to leave valuable jewellery at home.
All gratuities are included in the trip’s price.
At the safaris we will use more traditional safari cars that are open. From these we have good visibility and can look for the exciting animals found here. Between our lodges we will fly with smaller aircraft. It is an incredible experience to see southern Africa from above. In the Okavango Delta, we will have the opportunity to view both flora and fauna during a trip in traditional mokoro canoes.
There are several vaccinations that are recommended for your trip. Some of the areas we visit are risk areas for malaria. Please consult your vaccination centre about which vaccinations you should take and if you need malaria tablets.
It is important to drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of dehydration. There is always drinking water available both during transport and on safari. A good advice is to bring fluid replacement. Drinking water is also provided at the lodges, we do not recommend drinking the tap water.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE TRIP’S PRICE
Personal expenses, travel and cancellation insurance, specified alcoholic beverages, any visa costs.