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General Information Before Travelling To Botswana

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Time Zone

  • GMT + 2 hours standard time
  • One hour ahead of Central European Winter Time
  • Seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time
  • Ten hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time

Country Info

Situated in the heart of southern Africa, Botswana is a landlocked country, bordered by Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south and east. At Kazungula, four countries - Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia - meet at a single point mid-stream in the Zambezi River.

Official Languages in Botswana

English is the official language, while Setswana (or Tswana) which is so spoken by 90% of the population is the national language. There are a number of different tribes who speak their own language, the oldest being the San. Most guides on a Botswana safari can speak multiple languages and are fluent in English.

Currency

Botswana's unit of currency is the Pula (P) however we recommend all travellers carry US Dollars as they are widely accepted in Botswana and easier to manage. Please Note: that US dollars pre 2006 are not accepted.

Electricity

Safari camps and lodges in Botswana rely on solar power or generators as they do not have access to electricity, due to their remote locations. In order to minimise noise, generators usually run for about three hours in the morning and again in the afternoon while guests are out on activities. In the evening lighting is by paraffin lamp and battery power.

Camera batteries and video equipment may be charged in the main office, reception or rooms during the day so we recommend you carry a spare battery. Travellers on a mobile safari should carry an inverter that plugs into the cigarette lighter of a safari vehicle. Plugs are three-prong, both round-pin and rectangular blade. Some camps may have a range of adaptors, however, to be on the safe side we recommend you pack your own plug adaptor.

The voltage supply is 220 - 240 volts.

Round Type D Plug Format
Type D Old British plug and outlet

Rectangular Type G Plug Format
Type G rectangular blade plug and outlet
       

Telecommunications

When you are in the bush there is no mobile reception, no direct dial phone, fax or email. Camps communicate between each other by radio and most camps have a satellite phone for emergency use. Disconnect to reconnect is something we strongly believe in.

Luggage & Luggage Allowance

Regional Flights

When flying from South Africa into Botswana hand luggage is limited to one item per passenger which should not weigh more than 5kgs and not be larger than 56cm x 45cm x 25cm.

Inter-Camp Transfers

Inter-camp transfers are by light aircraft and the charter companies are extremely strict when it comes to imposing the luggage allowance of 20kgs per person which includes hand luggage and camera equipment.
Luggage must be in a soft duffel-type bag which can easily be squeezed into the luggage pod of the aircraft.

Health

A yellow fever certificate is required by travellers entering from or having been in transit through an infected area or country where yellow fever is endemic – such as Kenya , Uganda, Central or West Africa and South America. Note: you should have a photocopy of your certificate in case you lose the original.

Malaria is prevalent in Botswana and we cannot stress too highly the importance of taking the correct precautions. Speak to your local doctor about the best course of malaria prophylaxis, as there is a period pre and post travel in which the prophylactic drugs need to be taken.

Tipping Guidelines

Tips are always appreciated and enthusiastically received. Tipping is only recommended if you are satisfied with the service you have received and is entirely at your discretion. Tipping guidelines are as follows:

  • Guide on safari from US$10.00 per person per night
  • General camp staff from US$5.00 per person per night stayed

General Advice

Respect local culture, dress modestly and avoid open signs of affection. Ask permission before taking a photograph of people and villages. A small token of thanks is always appreciated and if you say you will send a copy of the photo please don’t forget to do so.

Travel Insurance

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It is a pre-requisite of travel that all travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance . This must cover cancellation or curtailment of arrangements, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses, hospitalisation, repatriation, baggage loss and loss/breakage of valuables.

Visa & Passport

For detailed information on entry requirements please refer to:
http://www.gov.bw/en/Visitors/Topics/Before-You-Go/Before-You-Go1/


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