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Best Person

The secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

On Safari

Safety in Botswana | Wild Animals | Local Laws and Customs | Health | Insurance | What to bring | Style Hints | Packing List | Footwear | Laundry

Safety in Botswana:
Botswana citizens have a reputation for being friendly and welcoming. We advise that you do not walk at night unless you know the area well. If you are driving yourself it is sensible to arrive at your destination before dark as animals enjoy lying on the roads at night.

It is always sensible when travelling to take precautions against theft. By far the best precaution is to avoid taking valuables with you on holiday. If you do carry valuables ensure you are discreet. Do not leave any valuables or luggage unattended in a vehicle, unless in a locked boot. Although your personal belongings are generally safe from theft in the camps and lodges, we recommend that you use the safekeeping facilities at reception.

Game reserves and other tourist areas are generally secure, but you should be alert to unpredictable behaviour by wild animals. You should follow park regulations and wardens’ advice. You should not bathe in rivers and lakes, because of the dangers from both wildlife and water-borne diseases.

If you intend travelling to remote areas plan your trip with care, make transport and accommodation arrangements in advance and seek local advice on what precautions to take. Vehicles should be stocked with emergency supplies and be properly prepared for off-road driving conditions. In major towns taxis are generally safe to take. You should agree a price before setting off.

Wild Animals:
Many of the camps we use are unfenced and particular care must be taken. It is essential that you always follow the advice of your guides, do not walk out on your own and do not touch any plants, animals or insects.

You should understand the risks involved and take responsibility for your own safety. Please note that the safari lodges will require you to sign a personal indemnity form and you must be prepared to sign these. Please be aware that your trip might bring you into close contact with wild animals, which can be a threat to your safety and your health.

Local Laws and Customs:
Drug taking and smuggling is an offence. The punishments can be severe.

Taking photographs or using video equipment near military and government installations is prohibited. Always ask permission before taking photographs of people in Botswana.

You should carry some form of identification with you at all times.

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. Private hospitals will not treat patients unless you can pay and health care may be expensive. Outpatients must pay cash before receiving treatment. Emergency patients will only be accepted if you have full insurance cover.

Malaria is common in the northern parts of Botswana, particularly during the rainy season (November-April). However, due to above average rainfall in February 2009, malaria transmissions may occur across Botswana. Malaria prophylactics are highly recommended. Please consult your medical practitioner prior to travel. The use of additional precautionary measures, such as insect repellents and wearing long sleeved clothing, long trousers and socks when outside at night, is recommended.

No anti-malarial medication is 100% effective in preventing the disease. However, if malaria is contracted whilst taking anti-malarial medication, the severity of the malarial infection is generally milder than in those where the drugs have not been administered.

N.B. All travellers to malaria areas should discuss their travel plans with travel health professionals i.e. travel clinics in advance of their departure in order to obtain the most appropriate anti-malarial medication.

Anyone returning from a high-risk malaria area experiencing influenza-like symptoms should seek urgent medical attention.

Any person entering Botswana from, or via, a yellow fever infected area must be in possession of a valid International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever There have recently been several reported cases of cholera in the region. If you suffer from acute diarrhoea and vomiting during a visit to Botswana you should seek immediate medical attention.

There are occasional outbreaks of anthrax amongst wild animals. You should seek advice locally from park officials and not touch dead animals or carcasses. If you suspect that you have come into contact with anthrax you should seek urgent medical advice. If you intend to camp or walk in the bush you should be aware of the risk of tick bites.

In the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 280,000 adults aged 15 or over in Botswana were living with HIV; the prevalence rate was estimated at around 23.9% of the adult population. This compares to the prevalence rate in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Botswana and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the local travel clinic in your home town

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling, including cover for medical evacuation. You should check any exclusions and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.

We are insured by Kalahari Insurance Brokers

Kalahari Insurance Brokers is a privately owned Brokerage established in 1994. They have offices in Francistown and Maun and offer services throughout the country. They pride themselves on offering a professional and personalised service based on their knowledge of the industry and of Botswana in general.

Please visit their website for more information

What to bring :
What you bring on a trip to Botswana will depend on your own personal preferences, length of your trip, where you travel and the time of year.

We can give you some tips, based mostly on personal experiences, and you can then improvise accordingly.

Style Hints:
Dress on safari is functional and casual, yet neat and presentable in the lodges. Your choice of color is important. As a general rule of thumb, khaki is your best bet. During game drives we suggest that you dress in subdued colors to avoid alerting animals. Khaki, brown, olive and beige colours are best for safaris and game walks.

White is not a suitable colour for these activities. Firstly it increases your visibility quotient to the animals that you want to get a closer look at, and secondly, it will get dirty very quickly. Wearing neutral-colored clothing will also reflect the sun, keeping you cooler.

A fleece or sweater and a windbreaker are necessary for game drives. It is highly possible that you may go out on a hot day, but be faced with a chill evening on your return. Some areas have a steep temperature gradient, i.e. very hot days and very cool nights. Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.

Packing List:
• A hat, sunglasses, sun screen, moisturiser, lip balm, strong insect repellent, anti-histamine cream and tablets should always be carried. All camps have shampoo and body lotion.

• Pack a medical kit with painkillers, bug repellants, anti-diarrhea pills, bandages and antiseptics for yourself.

• Clothes - all camps have a daily laundry service, so do not bring too many outfits.

• Binoculars - one pair per person is a must.

• Torch - one per person is a must (with spare batteries).

• Glasses - if you wear prescription glasses bring a spare pair. If you wear contact lenses bring a pair of glasses as well since dust can be a problem.

• Camera equipment
- an adapter for recharging. Telephoto lens (minimum 200/300mm).
- Flash for night photography.
- Camera cleaning equipment and a good dust proof bag.
- Videos - bring spare batteries.
- Spare batteries, camera battery and storage cards

In the summer months, between October and April, it is very hot, with temperatures regularly reaching 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). The recommended clothing items during the day are shorts and a T-shirt. If you sunburn easily consider taking long-sleeved T-shirts for day wear. Choose clothes with neutral colours. In the evenings, when mosquitoes are active, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.

When travelling with a companion, we recommend “cross-packing”, i.e. pack two outfits of your clothing in your companion’s luggage and vice-versa, in case one bag is delayed.

• 2 pairs of khaki cotton pants
• 2 pairs of sturdy shorts
• 1 skirt or dress slacks for hotel evenings (optional)
• 3-5 short-sleeved t-shirts
• 2 long sleeved shirts (for sun protection as well as warmth)
• 1 light sweater or sweatshirt
• 1 lightweight raincoat/windbreaker or a waterproof poncho
• 1 pair of worn-in walking shoes or trainers/sneakers
• 1 pair of sandals or rubber thongs (for showers and boating)
• underwear (Ladies we highly recommend a sports bra for the bumpy roads)
• swimming costume
• 2-4 bandannas or handkerchiefs (many uses!)
• 1 hat with a broad brim

Between May and September the weather is dry and relatively cool. The daytime temperatures range from 23 - 28 degrees Celsius (73-83 Fahrenheit). While you will be comfortable wearing T-shirts and short sleeves for most of the day, early mornings and evenings can be very cold. Early morning game drives and boat trips usually return to camp after sunset, so it is important to dress suitably. Layers are the most practical for the fluctuating day/night temperatures of Botswana.

In addition to the list of clothing above, in the cooler months you should also carry:

• track suit
• extra sweater or fleece
• warm jacket

Be sure to include good walking shoes that are comfortable and already broken in. We recommend you bring a pair of rubberized sandals for mokoro rides, showering, wearing around the lodge, and general warm weather use.

All the camps offer a laundry service. However, the camp staff does not wash underwear owing to local traditions.

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