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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
For Shinde & Edo’s you should leave the contact details for the Ker & Downey, Maun (+267 6860375 email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
What if there is a medical emergency?
SUGGESTED PHOTO EQUIPMENT (for the ‘keen’ photographer)
PACKING CHECKLIST – suggestion only
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