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FAQ – Tours, Africa, Botswana

faq

Botswana Game Reserves & National Parks

 

The game reserves, national parks and historic sites of Botswana are all natural and untouched. The wildlife in the game reserves is really wild, the parks are not fenced like in other countries where animals are bound to live in a way the park wardens deems fit for them. In Botswana the wildlife has been left to be as wild as they are supposed to be. 

The animals are free to migrate to any place the feel it suitable for them at their own convenient time and they are not stopped by anything whatsoever. 

 

Botswana

 

The country lies between longitudes 20 and 30 degrees east of Greenwich and between the latitudes 18 and 27 degrees approximately south of the Equator. Botswana is bordered by Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south and southeast. 

Botswana is an independent, democratic and politically stable African country with a population of about 1.7 million people. It is a landlocked country surrounded by South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Because of the Government’s serious and dedicated commitment to conservation it hosts some of the largest animal herds in Africa. Most of the country is made up of semi-desert, large salt pans, indigenous forest to the north and the Okavango Delta, one of the largest inland delta’s in the world. With these vast tracts of pristine land Botswana offers the visitor a truly unique African experience.

The Okavango delta which is one of the largest inland deltas in the world is very attractive and totally unique. Botswana is a combination of the desert, water lands and rivers. With all the big five found in its national parks. We have unspoilt wilderness and natural resources. Our tourism is based on low volume high income as to conserve our natural resources. Botswana is part of the great Kalahari Desert. Most of the area covers a semi-desert – a thirsty land without any surface water, except the famous Okavango Delta – the largest and probably the most beautiful wildlife oasis of Africa.

Botswana is a highly democratic country, with a few corruption cases and no civil wars. It is one of the Africa’s most politically stable countries. When tourists book with us they are sure of a good stay in Botswana without fear of waking up one day in danger of one thing or the other.

The Batswana are very friendly people, with always willing to help people and one is sure not to get lost when ever in a country like Botswana. 

 

About Us

 

Most people would like to travel but money is the issue. Now with our system, we allow people to choose from self catered safari to a fully catered safari. Clients have a chance to choose from these two main safaris at the prices they can afford. 

With the self catered camping safari, you hire a vehicle with a professional guide and other camping equipment from us and still be able to travel to places of your interest very cheaply. But we make sure that we supply you with a professional guide to lead all excursions.

 

Typical Camping Tour Itinerary

 

Game drives which are done in 4×4 game view open vehicles twice a day are in charge of professional Botswana guides. He is in charge of all the vehicles and the laws of the national park or game reserve. Game drives are done early in the morning with a wake up tea at 5.30 – 06.00 am. This is followed by an early game drive while the wildlife is still active accompanied by picnic baskets. The drive takes about4 hours before you come back to camp between 1130 and 1330 when you will find lunch ready. There are waitresses who will be serving you in each meal.

Then relax or sleep until 1500hrs when there will be afternoon tea with biscuits, water and soft drinks or you can have your shower for easy relaxation.

Afternoon game drive is done at 1500hrs until 1830 for you to watch sunset while at your game drives, then you come back for shower and dinner around the camp fire.

After dinner relax and get briefings around the camp fire before you go for bed where you can share your night with the sounds of the wilderness. Africa at its best………..sounds of lions, jackals, and elephants. The hyena always visits the camp at night.

On your last day you wake up early for tea then depart the camp for your last game drive of the day. When you come back the camp is already dismantled. Lunch will be served at 1000hrs that day before you drive straight, slowly out of the park to Maun.

We are really different. Our prices as compared to other companies are very low and affordable. We offer fully catered luxury safari at an affordable price. We are owned and run by local people who have been born and raised in this tourism hub town. They have learned their skills right in the field, learning what they do the right way in the field, practically.

The director of We are, Mr. Kenson Kgaga, has a very good experience of running a safari. He has worked in numerous safari companies since his boy hood and has also owned a few safari companies before starting up. We have worked in safaris and tourism all of our life. 

 

Our Guides

 

Our Manager, Mr Kgaga Kenson, is a member of the Botswana Guides Association (BOGA). In fact, he is the President of the Association so you know straight away that we are professional, skilled and we select the best Guides in Botswana. We also strive to protect the rights of our Guides and ensure their working conditions are looked after.

As we are a local, family business based in Maun, we use local guides only. Our Guides have lived in the Okavango Delta all their life, around the animals and the plantations of the Okavango. They have grown up learning from the animals at a young age. They have seen a lot and are calm and centered in all situations.

They have also completed the 1 year Professional Guiding Course of Botswana, where they learn the behavior of the animals, their patterns, the signs to look out for, and learn to be astute wildlife trackers. They must pass exams to be awarded their Certificate in Professional Guiding.

Once graduated, they know the patterns of the animals which gives you piece of mind knowing that you’re in safe hands, but also it will get you to see the animals because our Guides know where the animals go in different seasons and times of the day. These skills are not learned over night. They are learned over many years, living with the animals, learning their traits and behaviours, and then actually being out there, first hand, seeing them every day of the year. Our Guides are the finest there are in Africa for this reason.

 

Getting to us

 

Maun is the Botswana tourism hub, and we are based in Maun. For you to get to Maun, the most direct route is via Johannesburg in South Africa. Then is easier for you to get a flight to Maun or via Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana via www.airbotswana.co.bw. You can also try www.zambianairways.com to fly to Livingstone for a cheaper alternative to Botswana Airlines, then make your way to Maun by public bus or start one of our tours from Kasane.

 

Best time to visit 

 

For great safari wildlife tours, the best time to visit is from April to September. During this time, access to the parks are much easier. Toward the end of the dry season (August, September) the water holes dry up so the animals are easier to find as they all go to water especially at the end of the day. Having said that, April to July is a great time to visit as the flora is flowering and looks amazing… everything is green and lush. Any time during April to September is a great time to visit because you always see different things and you get to see the different faces of Africa.

From October to March is rainy season and most safaris are closed. When it rains, the parks and game reserves roads are impassable and animals have dispersed to open grass lands since there is water everywhere.

 

What to bring on a safari 

 

  1. Though Botswana temperatures are very high, Maun can sometimes become very cold and temperatures can go down to 9 degrees celsius. So it is advisable to bring very warm clothing. Long sneakers, binoculars, enough batteries for your cameras, assorted camera adaptors to be able to fit in our charging system.
  2. Clients are advised also to take their malaria medication, to bring mosquito repellants. The Okavango delta have a lot of mosquitoes which breeds in this water lands but carriers of malaria.
  3. We do not prepare visas for our clients, so clients are advised to get their own visas when they book with us.

Please, remember the following items (and many more) coming on safari to Botswana:

  • Your passport
  • Valid visa if necessary
  • Malaria tablets (consult with your doctor or tropical clinic)
  • Tropical strength insect repellent
  • Inoculations are not required but some might be advisable: hepatitis, tetanus….
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • In winter warm clothing such as thermal tops and long cotton tops
  • Comfortable shoes, good walking shoes that covers up to the heels.
  • Good flash light with batteries and spare batteries
  • Photo or video camera with spare batteries and enough film or memory cards, tapes, and chargers. When out in the wild, you will need lots of spare batteries and memory cards
  • Binoculars, especially if you are interested in birds
  • Guests need to have travel insurance and medical aid. We need to be informed of medical aid details in advance 

Dos and don’ts 

 

Bear in mind that most animals allow vehicles to approach them much closer than people on foot. If you get out of your vehicle or walk towards animals they become more nervous- with unpredictable results. It is illegal to get out of your vehicle in National Parks and Game Reserves, except in designated areas.

Most of waters though regarded as safe for drinking, check with your Guide however we recommend you to buy and drink purified water.

Wear “neutral” or bush colors if on a guided walk: khaki, olive-green, even grey and brown. Camouflage might Be considered a little excessive… The color of what you wear on your game drives in vehicles or in boat or Dug-out canoes are not as important.

DON’T Approach dangerous animals too closely (even those seemingly unconcerned by your proximity). Give them room to maneuver.

DON’T speak too loudly or shout in the bush in the presence of animals. You don’t have to be quite like mice, but loud voices can make animal’s nervous, move away quickly or, in the case of potentially dangerous animals, even aggressive.

International flights  

 

We do not organize international flights but, we do assists clients with their travel documents and flight bookings where possible. As we are in the tourism hub of Maun, we can assist you with local information as well as info on Botswana and Africa.

Why Botswana over other African countries

 

Botswana is one of the best places to see lions, hippos, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos and all the other animals. Why???? Because there aren’t as many people in Botswana compared to say the Serengeti. Rather than have 80+ vehicles around a pride of lions, which can happen in the Serengeti or more popular places in Africa, you can often be the only vehicle around the animals.

Tour numbers – we can take 4-20 people on tour. The more people you can organize yourself in a group, the cheaper it is for you. This is a rare opportunity for you. In most other tour companies, don’t necessarily get rewarded for bringing more people with you or organizing your own tour.

If you prefer to go in a small group to minimize costs, then let us know as soon as possible, so we can see if there are any other people who can go at the same time as you.

 

Why are the lodges so expensive in Botswana?

 

One of the main policies of the Government is to have high costs and low numbers of tourists in Botswana. The Government has chosen this as a way to preserve the wilderness of the country, protect the animals species and try to increase the natural diversity of nature in Botswana. So this is great news for the animals and natural resources. For tourists this means it seems quite expensive compared with other countries.

The difference is though, Botswana is a politically safe place to visit, it’s actually cheaper in terms of transport and food supplies than neighbouring countries such as Zambia, and yet you’re guaranteed to see an abundance of wildlife.

Our tours are the most affordable in Botswana. Once you experience local service, you’ll see that supporting such small family run businesses is vital to our survival and you’ll have an amazing time in our backyard!

 

More info… specials, news, glossary, links

 

We currently have tours leave on a weekly basis. Contact us to find out whether you can fit onto one of our tours or we can create one especially for you. We’ll need to know the date you will arrive. How many days you have, which tour suits you 5 or 3 star or self catered, and where you want to go or at least what you want to see.