Top Safari Tips

GO LOCAL!

Rely on someone who lives in these areas and spends their time out there. It is of absolutely no use to you if an Agent tells you that they visited a specific country once 5 years ago – things change – climate changes, areas change, fires occur in the bush, camps and lodges get upgraded (or become run down!), management changes – all these things will directly affect your safari experience. Africa Inbound Safaris prides itself on knowing every single one of the properties that we send people to. We visit them regularly so as to keep up to date with any changes / improvements / drops in standard.

Research your seasons.

We are here to advise you on the best time to travel to these destinations. However, it is important that, before making your enquiry, you have a pretty good idea of when NOT to travel – for example, the rainy season or when it is particularly hot over here

Flights.

Do NOT book your flights prior to confirming your safari! Often people will book their flights and then have a look around for a safari – this is a disaster, as in many cases availability of properties is an issue and by changing dates by a day or two, we are then able to book your perfect safari. What you don’t want to happen is to miss out on a special that is running or an amazing deal simply because you are not flexible with your travel dates.

Travel Insurance.

It is vital that you are insured when traveling abroad – both medically along with incidentally. Africa Inbound Safaris includes an Okavango Air Rescue Insurance Cover in your price. Should a medical situation arise, this will get you from anywhere in the bush in Botswana to Maun in a helicopter, with a doctor on board who will then ensure that you are medically stable. However, from Maun onwards is when your own insurance will need to kick in. Inform your Insurance provider that you will be traveling and ensure that you are fully medically covered in the event of an emergency! In addition, you don’t want to be stuck without your luggage arriving and no way to replace what you need for your safari or having missed a flight etc. Ensure that your insurance covers you for these eventualities.

Payment methods.

It is important to know that American Express is not usually accepted in Africa. When paying for a safari, it is standard practice to pay via Wire Transfer (your safari will be made in two payments – 50% deposit to confirm your safari and 50% balance of safari, 60 days prior to arrival in Africa). Credit Cards in general charge crazy amounts of commission and this bumps up the price of your safari. Most companies in Africa prefer not to accept credit card payments.

Ask questions.

Your safari should be tailor-made to suit your specific requirements – having had a look at our website, please realise that the packages available are absolutely NOT the only deal out there, merely a guideline on what is on offer. We pride ourselves on getting to know you and understanding exactly what it is you are looking for. Understand that we are passionate about sharing what our country has to offer with you and we welcome as many questions as you may have.

Provide Information.

Remember, the more information about you that we are armed with the better we can design a safari to suit you. For example, if you have trouble walking due to an injury, this is not a problem at all – we request a room closer to the main areas of the lodges or camps that we’ll send you to. If you are a businessman who needs to be in contact with folk back home – easy – we make sure that you visit properties that have internet to provide you with the communications you need. If you have any allergies or dietary requirements, we will ensure that the properties you visit are aware of these and cater to your needs. Information, information, information!

Know your budget.

A great tip is to be honest with your Travel Agent – instead of giving them the minimum amount that you want to spend on a safari, rather let them know your budget range – this will allow them to put together the best option available to you, as opposed to sending you on a safari which you will not enjoy at all.

Children.

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. In addition, parents travelling with children under a certain age will be required to book private activities. Africa Inbound Safaris can assist you with alternative safari ideas.

Inoculations.

If you are travelling through certain countries like Zambia, you are required to have a Yellow Fever Inoculation Certificate – these are the kinds of vital pieces of information that Africa Inbound Safaris can assist you with!

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.

Inter-camp Transfers

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

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.
  • Good sunglasses.
  • Sun hat.
  • Sunscreen.
  • 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).
  • Shorts.
  • Light long sleeve shirts.
  • Short sleeve shirts.
  • Sandals / strops.
  • Closed hiking boots / tennis shoes.
  • Bathing suit.

Winter Months (April – September)

  • Warm jacket for the evenings and early mornings.
  • Sweater.
  • Long sleeve shirts.
  • Short sleeve shirts.
  • Shorts.
  • Long trousers.
  • 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.

Budget

Packages

…from $2,628

Standard

Packages

…from $3,988

Superior

Packages

…from $5,190

Deluxe

Packages

…from $10,071

Premier

Packages

…from $18,375

Contact &Bookings

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+267-71866373