|WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO SAFARI IN BOTSWANA?
Safari season in Botswana
runs from March 1 through November 30, most of our camps are closed
between December – February, contact our reservations office for
details. The best time to visit depends on what safari experience
you are looking for and your tolerance of the varying weather
Winter months June, July and August are, marked by
cloudless days and mild temperatures (aver 5-27 degrees C). In
the delta, the floodwaters from Angola start to fill the countless
lagoons and streams and the landscapes outside the Okavango Delta begin
their drying process, gradually fading from lush green to dry khaki
In the spring month, late August through September
is a wonderful time to visit Botswana between the cold of winter and
intense heat before the rains, temperatures 15-31 degrees C. It
heats up toward the end of September and into October where highs can
reach above 40 degrees C. Game viewing is excellent due to the
lack of thick vegetation and the water holes are drying up.
The summer months of November, early December
through to March, with temperatures averaging 16-35 degrees
Celsius. These months include the rainy season (generally
Jan/Feb), when you may encounter brief, but heavy rain and
thunderstorms. This period can offer excellent game viewing and
you may be lucky to witness the miracle that the rains bring,
transforming the dry land to a vibrant abundance of lush greenery.
Autumn months April and May are marked by moderate
temperatures, 15-30 degrees Celsius, which is a lovely time to visit
Botswana with the lands lush and green after the summer rains.
HOW SAFE IS BOTSWANA?
Botswana is considered a safe travel
destination. It is both financially and politically stable.
It has been spared much of the unrest and turmoil, which plagues so
many countries in Africa. As is the case elsewhere, the larger
cities and population centres generally have the most crime, but once
you are on safari, such problems are all but non existent. It is,
however, a good idea to leave your valuables (expensive watches,
jewellery, etc.) at home, thus eliminating the temptation for possible
thievery. Luggage locks are always advisable when flying.
WHAT TYPES OF TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION DO I NEED?
Citizens of certain countries are required to obtain
visas for entry into Botswana. As this list of countries changes
from time to time, it is important to check with your travel consultant
regarding current visa requirements, well in advance of your
WHO WILL MEET ME UPON MY ARRIVAL, AND WHERE?
You will be met at the airport in Maun. After
passing through customs, you should look for a uniformed Ker &
Downey representative with a sign showing Ker & Downey on it.
The Ker & Downey representative will then transfer you either to
your flight to camp, the Ker & Downey offices, your hotel or other
WHAT TYPE OF CLOTHING WILL I NEED FOR SAFARI?
Depending upon the time of year you safari in
Botswana, lightweight clothing of cotton and cotton/blends are most
suitable. During the winter months it can be very cold and a
warm/windproof jacket will be needed for early morning and evening game
viewing activities. During the summer months bring a lightweight
water/windproof jacket in case of rain, but otherwise temperatures are
very warm. For evenings bring lightweight long sleeved clothing as
protection from mosquitoes. Neutral colours such as khaki and drab or
olive green are appropriate, and are less conspicuous to the animals.
Laundry is done daily in camp, so it is not necessary to over
WHAT TYPE OF FOOD WILL I BE EATING?
Dining on safari is a treat in itself. You
will enjoy a wide variety of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts.
A typical day’s menu might be as follows:
Breakfast ~ assorted fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurts,
homemade toast with preserves, tea, coffee and fruit juice and a cooked
breakfast to order.
Lunch ~ mushroom quiche, quiche Lorraine, Italian
pizza, Greek salad, carrot and green pepper salad, beet root and orange
salad, homemade bread or rolls, tea, coffee and soft drinks.
Dinner ~ tomato leek and basil soup, coq au vin, creamed potatoes, glazed carrots, green beans and lemon soufflé.
We will make every effort to cater to special dietary requirements, with advance notification.
WHAT MEDICAL PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR TRAVEL TO BOTSWANA?
When travelling to any foreign destination, we
strongly suggest that you check with your local immunization authority,
public health facility or personal physician to find out what
immunizations and medications are required/suggested for your
travels. Botswana is considered a malarial area, and preventative
medications should be taken. You should bring any personal
medications or prescription medications.
WHAT IF THERE IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY?
In the case of a genuine medical emergency, a Medivac aircraft can be dispatched to camp
immediately. Depending upon the needs of the patient, he/she will
be transported either to a hospital in Maun or Johannesburg for
treatment. Minor medical needs can be treated in camp.
NOTE: Our Medivac coverage is restricted. It does not extend to
those who have pre-existing conditions, are pregnant or are over 81
years of age. It is imperative that you arrange your own comprehensive
travel/medical insurance policy prior to travelling.
IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK?
Yes. Water supplies in camp are filtered to
city standards. Water jugs in each tent are replenished on a
daily basis. Bottled water is readily available at each
camp. You can help yourself.
WHAT TYPE OF SAFARI VEHICLES WILL I BE GAME VIEWING IN?
We use Toyota Landcruisers which have
been specially built for game viewing and photography. All have
completely open seating areas and cabs for unhindered
photography. Each has ample seating (although we normally keep
occupancy to six or less in each vehicle!), with seat pockets,
reference books, snacks, bottled water, toilet paper, insect spray and
a cool box for refreshments.
IS ELECTRICITY AVAILABLE IN THE SAFARI CAMPS?
Generators in each camp provide electricity.
Due to their noise, these generators are normally used during the day,
when guests are out of camp. In the evenings, the generator is
switched off, and lighting is provided by traditional hurricane
lanterns and by solar lamps. If necessary, batteries may be
recharged in camp during the day. (But be sure you bring an
adapter with you.) Depending upon the electricity needed for camp
operations, it may be possible to recharge video cameras during the
day, but this will be at the discretion of the camp manager. Be
sure you bring a 3 prong, round point adapter with you.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET FROM ONE CAMP TO ANOTHER?
On our standard fly in safaris, inter-camp transfers
are provided by light aircraft (generally Cessna 206). Transfer
times are minimal averaging 30 minutes, but can be longer to areas
outside the delta.
WHAT ABOUT TIPPING?
Tipping is not obligatory. It is, however,
appropriate if you feel that the measure of service you received
warrants a show of your personal appreciation. This is purely
discretionary. The average tip amounts are approximately $10 per
guest, per day. Customarily, $5 per day will go to your
driver/guide directly and $5 per day is placed in the Tip Box provided
in the camps, Camp Managers distribute the latter among the camp
IS A SAFARI STRENUOUS?
No. Getting into and out of vehicles and light
aircraft as well as some walking is the most strenuous activity you
will encounter. Our safaris are considered 'soft adventure'
HOW MUCH BAGGAGE CAN I BRING ON SAFARI?
Since most safari travel is done in small aircraft,
each passenger is limited to one soft-sided bag, weighing no more than
12 kgs, plus a typical sized camera bag. Bear in mind the door to
the luggage pod is only 25 x 75cm, so luggage must fit within and there
is a laundry service in camp. Excess baggage is subject to additional
baggage/charter charges. Soft type duffel bags are ideal and are
required. If necessary, your excess baggage can be stored at Maun
until the end of your safari.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I NEED?
Most major currencies are accepted throughout
Botswana. You will not need large sums of cash while on safari,
as our camps are all inclusive. However, some guests enjoy
shopping in Maun. Each camp has a small gift shop stocked with
various curios, safari items and film; credit card can be used (Master
or Visa cards). Otherwise, you may need money for any
accommodations, meals and shopping before or after your scheduled
safari as well as for visas (Zimbabwe etc) and taxes. The amount
needed, of course, is your personal decision.
WHAT ABOUT INSECTS OR SNAKES?
Surprisingly, there are very few insect or snake
problems in Botswana. Insect repellent is provided in all tents
and safari vehicles. However, for your personal comfort, we
recommend you bring some insect repellent of your own. It is also
a good idea to bring some sunscreen.
WHAT CONTACT DETAILS SHOULD BE LEFT AT MY HOME/OFFICE?
Leave the contact details for the Ker & Downey Maun office.
You can be contacted in the camps by radio from Maun
in the case of an emergency. Our booking form asks for an emergency
contact for your next of kin, in case we should need to send an urgent
message through. Kanana and Shinde also have satellite phones providing
guests an option to call home if required, this service carries a
charge which clients settle direct in camp based on the length of time
on the phone call.