Top Safari Tips
Passports, Visas and Travel Documentation
Your passport must have at least 6 month’s validity before the expiry date and 6 empty pages (not including the endorsement pages). The onus is upon you to ensure that your passports and visas are valid for the countries visited.
Please be aware that if you are travelling with children through Southern Africa, you will be required to have certified copies of their unabridged birth certificates and passports on hand. If you are not their legal parents, or if only one of you is travelling, you will need to have the consent in the form of an affidavit giving you permission to travel with the child.
Please note: The Botswana Government is trying to implement a Tourism Levy which is payable upon arrival at any airport or border in Botswana. The levy is $30 per person. This levy has, however, been postponed until further notice. If it is implemented before your travel date, Africa Inbound Safaris will send you a notification.
Due to the vast distances involved in travelling in the remote areas of Southern Africa, your itinerary may include road, boat and air transfers in small aircraft.
On shared air transfers, all the flight times between lodges are arranged a few days before the flights take place to avoid endless schedule changes. The lodge or camp where you are staying will be advised of your departure time the day before travel and will ensure that you are at the airstrip on time. Although every effort will be made to ensure that guests are transferred together in one vehicle / aircraft, this cannot be guaranteed, especially with larger groups. The aircraft used for inter-camp transfers vary in size from 3, 5, 7 and 12 seater aircraft. We recommend that guests susceptible to motion sickness take appropriate precautions due to flying conditions.
Weight & Luggage Restrictions
There are strict luggage restrictions in place on any itinerary, which includes light aircraft transfers for safety reasons. Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20kg per person travelling on seat rates. Only soft bags will be accepted – no hard suitcases or bags with wheels can be transported, as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft.
The maximum dimensions of the soft bags that can be accommodated are as follows:
25cm / 10 inches wide x 30cm / 11 inches high and 62cm / 24 inches long.
Please keep in mind that the baggage compartments on the light aircraft are only 25cm high, so the pilots must have the ability to manipulate the bag into the compartment. Note that laundry can be done on a daily basis at most camps and lodges.
Should you arrive with excess baggage without prior warning, your baggage could be delayed, as we may have to fly the baggage into camp at a later stage with a considerable cost to you. However, should you notify us in advance that your baggage will exceed the limit, we may be able to assist you with alternative arrangements, i.e. storage or purchase of additional luggage allowance.
Lost luggage on international flights is a common problem facing travellers today. We suggest that you pack a small bag with your essentials, including any life sustaining medication, which can be carried with you as hand luggage. If travelling as a couple or family, we suggest that you split your clothing between bags so that if one bag gets lost, you will have basic items on hand to see you through the first couple of days while we try and recover your lost baggage.
Please note that whilst we try our utmost to locate and re-unite you with your bags, that there may be charges involved in getting your bags to remote areas, which would be for your cost. Please remember to report lost luggage to the airline as soon as you make the discovery – the airline will issue you with a Baggage Claim Form, which you will need in order to us to trace the bag.
Health and Dietary
Please note that you are travelling to a Malaria-risk area. Please consult your doctor for medical advice prior to travel.
Although usually safe to drink, we do not recommend that you drink the tap water. Filtered water is available at the camps and lodges.
The camps are isolated and generally have limited power supply and access to supplies. Please notify us in advance of any special dietary requirements, medical conditions and medical equipment you may need with you. Please carry critical medication in your hand luggage.
Yellow Fever Certificates – are only required if you have travelled to a Yellow Fever area (Botswana is NOT a Yellow Fever area) as designated by the World Health Organisation. Please check with your Travel Clinic or doctor well in advance of your departure date.
General Travel Information
There is no or limited electricity and cell phone coverage in the camps and lodges excluding major towns and cities. All camps do make provision for charging cameras and electronic devices.
Please ensure that you do not pack any valuables, cameras, cash, laptops etc in your checked in luggage – these should be kept on your person at all times.
Please notify us immediately of any changes to flight arrival and departure details as this affects onward transfer arrangements.
Please note that most camps and lodges in Botswana do not have double beds. Twin beds are pushed together to make up a double room.
Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules, the company reserves the right and in fact is obliged to occasionally change routes and camps on safaris as dictated by changing conditions or unforeseen circumstances.
By confirmation of the booking, you acknowledge that you have been made aware and accept that the tour carries inherent risks, and that you voluntarily assume all risks which are associated with the tour. You will be required to sign indemnities at the various camps and lodges and service providers and abide by their operators code of conduct in order to ensure your safety.
Please ensure that you have the relevant travel and medical insurance before leaving home.
If you have any cause for complaint while travelling, you should immediately bring it to the attention of the camp manager and / or our Maun office who will then attempt to resolve the situation immediately.
Do not remove any animal artefacts, flora or fauna from any of the areas that you visit as there are strict international regulations on the export of such items.
RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST
As all lodges and camps offer a daily laundry service which is included in all the packages that Africa Inbound Safaris offers, along with the fact that our fixed wing flights do restrict luggage to 20kg per person (to be packed into a soft, bendable bag please), packing light is the way to go.
Here is what I recommend you do not leave home without:-
A good pair of binoculars.
Camera and spare memory cards, battery chargers etc.
A backpack to not only use as hand-luggage for long trips, but extremely convenient to carry on games drives, boats and other activities.
Flashlight with spare batteries.
Clothing is dependent on season:
Summer Months (October – March)
Very light jacket.
Long Trousers for evenings (to hide from mosquitoes).
Light long sleeve shirts.
Short sleeve shirts.
Sandals / strops.
Closed hiking boots / tennis shoes.
Winter Months (April – September)
Warm jacket for the evenings and early mornings.
Long sleeve shirts.
Short sleeve shirts.
Sandals / strops.
Closed hiking boots / tennis shoes.
Please bear in mind that all camps provide mosquito repellent and ponchos for rain in summer and also lined ponchos for the cool winter mornings and evenings.
Even at the 5 star luxury camps, dressing formally for dinners is not required. Comfortable safari clothing is perfectly acceptable.