FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How safe is Botswana?
What type of travel documents do I need?
Who will meet  me on arrival and where?
What type of  clothing will I need on my Yoga Safari?
Is the water  safe to drink?
What type of  aircraft will I be using on safari?
What type of  safari vehicles will I be game viewing in?
Is electricity  available in the safari camps?
How long does  it take to get from one camp to another?
What about  tipping?
Is a safari  strenuous?
How much  baggage can I bring on safari?
How much money  will I need?
What about  insects or snakes?
What contact  details should be left at my home/office?
What if there is a  medical emergency?
What to bring?

 



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 theives. It’s a good idea to use luggage locks when flying.

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What type of travel documents do I need?

A valid passport is required for international travel, when travelling into Southern Africa your passport needs to be valid for a minimum requirement of 6 months after your entrance date as well as have 2 blank pages, side by side left n the book. Citizens of certain countries need 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 departure. Please note that it is your own responsibility to ensure all necessary visas are obtained prior to entry.  Yoga Safari cannot be held responsible if you are refused entry into Botswana because you omitted to purchase a visa.

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Who will meet me on arrival and where?

You will be met at the airport in Maun. After passing through customs, you should look for Deborah Carter (see her photo on the images page) or a Yoga Safari representative with a sign showing your name. They will then transfer you to your flight to camp.

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What type of clothing will I need on safari?

Depending upon the time of year you come to Botswana, lightweight clothing of cotton and cotton/blends is most suitable. During the winter months (Mid May – mid to late August) it can be very cold and a warm jacket will be needed for early morning and evening game viewing and Yoga activities. During the summer months (Sept - mid May) bring a lightweight water/windproof jacket in case of rain, otherwise temperatures are very warm. For evenings bring lightweight long sleeved clothing as protection from mosquitoes. Mosquito repellant is provided in the camps.
Neutral colours such as khaki, beige/cream or olive green are appropriate, and are less conspicuous to the animals when on safari.  Your normal Yoga clothes will suffice for your Yoga practice.  Laundry is done daily in camp, so it is not necessary to over pack. It is recommended that you carry a change of clothing (e.g. t-shirt and underwear), any prescription medicines and your valuables (documents, camera, wallet, binoculars) in your carry on bags in case of lost luggage or luggage delays from connecting international flights.
Should your luggage go missing, Yoga Safari will assist you where possible in calling the airlines to monitor the progress of your luggage claim which, in most cases, arrives the following day.  However please note that sometimes it is beyond our control to locate your bags and your best precaution is to pack all your essential items in your hand luggage.

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Is the water safe to drink?

Yes. Water supplies in the camps are filtered to city standards. Water jugs in each tent are replenished on a daily basis. And bottled water is readily available at each camp. You can help yourself or ask a waiter to assist you.

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What type of aircraft will I be using on safari?

Flights are generally in Cessna 206 light aircraft, the most reliable and efficient craft available, able to take off and land in the remote bush airstrips with ease. Depending upon factors such as occupancy, distance and destination, both the charter company and the type of aircraft used may vary.

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What type of safari vehicles will I be game viewing in?

Toyota Land cruisers and Land Rovers, which have been specially built for game viewing and photography are used at the camps. 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 a cool box for refreshments.

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Is electricity available in the safari camps?

As our camps are situated in remote areas we need to generate electricity, for the most part by generator and in some instances solar power. Due to their noise, these generators are normally only run when guests are out of camp on activities. In the evenings, the generator is switched off, and the camps run on the inverter system where batteries provide lighting in each room at Shinde and Edo's Camps. Please note that at San Camp there is no electricity generated and lighting is paraffin lamps and solar or battery powered lamps. If necessary, batteries may be recharged in camp during the day. 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 spare battery for use whilst the other battery is being charged in camp, to avoid missing out on any photographic opportunities.  Please note that it is not possible to use appliances such as hairdryers.

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How long does it take to get from one camp to another?

Most of the inter camp transfers are provided by light aircraft. Transfer times take between one hour and one hour twenty with the minimum being 30 minutes for a flight from Shinde to Maun. Flights are booked on a 'seat rate' basis which allows us to offer a more economical transfer than a private charter. This means that flight times are scheduled by the charter company the day prior to fit in with their flying schedule.  All requests are taken into consideration for flight times and international flights are guaranteed to be met provided correct information is provided by the guests. Meals and activities are planned around the flights and transfers. Road transfers from Maun to Edo's Camp are also possible, approximately 2 ½  hours in duration in a closed vehicle with refreshments provided en-route. The road is tar for the bulk of the journey with the last 20 minutes being on a dirt road and thus comfortable travelling.

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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 - $20 per guest, per day.

Customarily, $5-10 per day will go to your driver/guide directly and $5 - $10 per day can be placed in the Tip Box provided in the camps, Camp Managers distribute the latter among the camp employees. It is a fair distribution system ensuring that the 'behind the scenes' staff is also rewarded.

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Is a safari strenuous?

No. Your Yoga practice and getting into and out of vehicles and light aircraft as well as some walking are the most strenuous activities you will encounter. Some of the road terrain can be bumpy as it is 'off road', this is part of the experience, however if you have a back problem please do advise us in advance so we can check for suitability for a safari of this nature.

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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 (26 lbs), plus a typical sized camera bag. Bear in mind the door to the luggage pod is only 70 x 25 cm (25.6 x 10 ins). Soft duffel type bags are ideal and are required. Excess baggage may be subject to additional baggage/charter charges and please note it is optional to store your excess baggage in our Maun office at no extra charge until the end of your safari (this option is only available if your safari starts and ends in Maun, otherwise alternate arrangements will need to be made).

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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 programs are all inclusive. However, some guests enjoy shopping in Maun. Selected camps have a small gift shop stocked with various curios, safari items and credit cards can be used (Master or Visa cards). Otherwise, you may need money for any accommodations, meals and shopping before or after your safari.

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What about insects or snakes?

Surprisingly, there are very few snake problems in Botswana, normal common sense avoids contact with snakes (i.e. don't go crawling through dense bushes!). Insect repellent is provided in all tents. However, for your personal comfort, we recommend you bring some insect repellent of your own and take malarial prophylaxis (please consult your local travel medical specialist for the medication best suited to you). It is also a good idea to bring some sunscreen as even in the winter months the days are warm and clear and as you spend a large part of the day outside on activities, there is a risk of sunburn.

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What contact details should be left at my home/office?

For Shinde & Edo’s you should leave the contact details for the Ker & Downey, Maun (+267 6860375 info@kerdowney.bw) office in order that you can be contacted in the camps by radio from Maun in the case of an emergency. For San Camp you should contact Uncharted Africa info@uncharted.com. Our booking form asks for an emergency contact for your next of kin, in case we should need to send an urgent message through and please note that Shinde has a satellite phone for use by guests (charges apply).

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What if there is a medical emergency?

In the case of a genuine medical emergency we call Medical Rescue International who are based in Maun and they will arrange to have a Medivac aircraft dispatched to the closest airstrip to come and assess the needs of the patient.  Depending upon these needs, the patient will be transported either to a hospital in Maun, Gaborone 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 therefore imperative that you arrange your own comprehensive travel/medical insurance prior to travelling.

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What to bring?

ACCESSORIES

  • Good binoculars
  • Flashlight
  • Book/Magazine
  • Travel scrabble/playing cards
  • Pen and paper or journal/diary
  • Locks for luggage

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

  • Passport with appropriate Visas
  • Health Certificates as recommended by your physician for your specific destination(s)
  • Airline tickets (always reconfirm reservations 72 hours in advance)
  • Traveller’s cheque

SUGGESTED PHOTO EQUIPMENT (for the ‘keen’ photographer)

  • 35mm cameras or digital (possibly one standard and one auto-focus)
  • Standard lens, 35-50mm range
  • Wide angle lens, 24-35mm range
  • Zoom lens, 70-200 or 100-300mm range
  • Long lens, 200-400mm range, with f3.5 or f4 speed if possible
  • Miniature 35mm or digital camera for “happy snaps” and campfire shots
  • Charger
  • Camera batteries
  • Camera cleaning equipment (dust can be a problem)
  • Pack your equipment in a good, soft-sided case, and carry it on the plane with you.  Africa can be dusty and you should protect your equipment well.  Plastic bags or cloth pillowcases are ideal means of covering and storing your photographic equipment during your safari.

PACKING CHECKLIST – suggestion only

CLOTHING
3 Pair of lightweight trousers (women may prefer skirts)
3 Sets of Yoga clothes
6 Shirts  - 3 long and 3 short sleeved
2 Pairs of shorts
3 T-shirts
1 Pair of comfortable walking/tennis shoes or lightweight hiking boots
1 Fleece  for evenings and early mornings
7 Underpants/knickers
1 Pyjamas 5 Pair socks 1 Swimsuit (for doing Yoga on hot days) 1Sarong 1Protective sun hat 2 Pairs flip flops/sandals 1 Lightweight rain jacket (November – April) 1 Warm & windproof jacket (May – August, & gloves/warm hat as well
TOILETRIES
  • Prescribed medication
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen (factor 20 or more)
  • Plasters
  • Extra pair or prescription glasses or contact lenses
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Aspirin/paracetamol
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Eye and nose drops/moisturizer
  • Antihistamine if you suffer from allergies/hay fever as the pollen levels can be quite high
  • Shaving kit
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush/Comb
  • Soap/Shower gel
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Personal toiletries
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Moist towelettes
  • Water free hand cleanser
  • Small sewing kit
  • Shower cap

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