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Botswana & Falls Adventure

About Botswana

View Itinerary

This trip offers a fully immersive, unyieldingly African experience in a compact eight-day package. Soak up the wildlife and vibrant colours and scenery of Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa, with wildlife walks and plenty of options for wildlife safari drives. Your rugged overland adventure vehicle (OAV) will get you to the sites safely and camping will allow you to fall asleep to the sounds of the wild underneath big African skies. Camp under the stars of the Okavango Delta and marvel at Victoria Falls, the adrenaline capital of the region.

What's Included

Okavango Delta overnight bush camping excursion. Entrance fee to Victoria Falls. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Camp in the Okavango Delta and track exotic wildlife, view the mighty Victoria Falls, try to steer a mokoro canoe, camp under the stars

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

2. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe customized safari truck for the long drives.

3. Sleeping bags can not be rented on any of our Africa overland or safari trips

4. It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to Botswana from a Yellow Fever endemic country. Entry into Botswana when travelling from the following countries (but not limited to) will require a Yellow Fever Certificate: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Zambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

5. An essential part of your safari is participation. The group is usually divided into small groups and given different tasks which change on a day to day basis, from kitchen duty group (helping in prepare meals and clean up afterwards), the packing group (sets up all tables and chairs outside) and the cleaning group (which cleans the truck by emptying the rubbish bin and brooming). it is all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your CEOs will do all the meal preparation, but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun! All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. All tents have built-in insect nets. Mattresses are also available, which are approximately 4cm thick, warm and comfortable.

Group Leader Description

On this tour, you will be accompanied by two Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) will be the group manager and leader, cook and driver. They will provide information on the places where we are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure.

All of our CEOs in southern Africa are experienced group leaders, with a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.

All of our overland adventure vehicle (OAV) drivers are experienced in the routes travelled, and highly skilled in dealing with different terrains. All of our cooks will organize and lead the meal preparation, and have experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

We also use local guides for some included activities where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.

Group Size Notes

Max 22, avg 18.

Meals Included

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Meals

As mentioned above, most of the meals on this tour are included in the tour price. When a meal is not included, this is because there are often many options available – we would like to give you the opportunity to explore a bit and test the local cuisine yourself. In these cases, your CEO will be able to suggest some good local restaurants or options for you to choose from.

All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for foodstuffs will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.

Our cook will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here, but will prepare a duty schedule for ensuring a fair, rotating participation from you and your group members in the meal preparation and dish washing duties.

Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.

Transport

Overland adventure vehicle (OAV), walking, mokoro, safari vehicle.

About our Transportation

We use our new custom built 24 seat overland adventure vehicle (OAV) named the Lando, to criss-cross through Southern Africa. The Lando allows the entire group, including your CEO, to travel together, and because of its height, is great for wildlife viewing and for enjoying the scenic landscape.

Road conditions can run the full gamut from new to being in very poor condition. This style of travel is by no means luxury but it allows us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and reaching some out-of-the way parts in Africa where the traditional safari crowd would not dare to go.

Here’s a quick look at the unique features of the well-equipped G Adventures overland adventure vehicle (OAV):
- Storage for your main luggage is accessible from inside the vehicle
- Day packs can be stored at your feet or on the luggage shelf above
- Onboard safety box for valuables
- Front viewing windows and large sliding windows, both great for wildlife viewing
- Reclining seats
- Fully equipped mobile kitchen
- Access to a 250L tank of drinking water
- Air-conditioning
- Inverter for battery charging (South African plug – 220-240V)
- USB charging ports for every traveller at their seat
- Wifi in selected countries, depending on the network reception

Please note that our Landos do not have on-board bathrooms.

This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Please take note of the travel times and distances in the above itinerary, and consider that this is often on poor quality, bumpy roads. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotel (1 nt), participation camping (5 nts), bush camping (1 nt).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room/Tent” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room/tent for all nights, except for the below.

My Own Room Exceptions

Day 4

About Accommodation

Camping in Africa is truly an adventure. You will be able to get off the beaten track to get a first-hand experience of the beautiful wilderness and nature. While camping, we stay at designated campsites in national parks and outside towns. Campsite facilities in southern Africa are generally good, but can be basic in certain places. There are generally small restaurants and/or bars, washing facilities and occasionally telephones available.

The camps have flush toilets, and showers at some camps are outdoors, having simple reed enclosures for privacy. Additionally, warm water is available at most sites, but it is not guaranteed to always be warm when you take your shower; the warm water may be used up others who also use the camp. We usually set-up camp within close proximity to the toilet facilities, though occasionally to reach them you may to walk a short distance.

All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses, which are warm and comfortable. We supply dome tents and assembly/disassembly takes only 5 minutes. They are good quality, durable, industry-standard 2-person safari canvas tents. Please note that most adults will not be able to fully stand up inside the tents, though most travellers find these more than adequate, as they have a base area of approximately 4 square meters. These tents are regularly treated with a waterproofing agent, but under certain rainy conditions, the tent fabric may become saturated to the point where seepage or leakage may occur. All tents have built-in mesh insect netting on the windows and doors.

We travel with our own portable camp chairs with a comfortable back-rest, and we utilize our own cooking equipment to provide the group good quality camp meals.

In camping within the national parks and conservation areas, some camp sites are enclosed for keeping the resident wildlife out. Other camps are open to the natural environment – care must be taken, especially at night, when a torch/flashlight is recommended when walking around the camp area.

Despite the challenge that a few days “roughing it” may pose to some, the experience of being that close to nature, camping under the African stars, and seeing incredible wildlife at your tent door-step is not just gratifying but ultimately an experience of a lifetime.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

Please note that the Airport Game Lodge offers a complimentary airport pickup. This will likely be a shared transfer and you may have to wait between 20 minutes and 1.5 hours to either be picked up or for others that are also taking the transfer. In order to get this transfer you need to call the hotel directly upon your arrival in Johannesburg. They will arrange the pick-up.

If you have a pre-arranged, pre-paid transfer, look for a transfer person on walking out of international arrivals with a sign G Adventures and your name. Ask him/her what hotel he/she will take you to (do not volunteer this information). Then present your passport for proof of identity.

The difference between the pre-arranged transfer (paid transfer) through us and the “free” airport transfer through the Airport Game Lodge is that you cannot pre-arrange the free shuttle. You will have to phone the lodge upon arrival at the airport in Johannesburg and they will arrange a pick up point just outside the arrival building whereas our pre-arranged “meet&greet pick up” will have an assistant waiting for you with a board and your name on it upon walking out the luggage arrival hall.

Taxis are easily accessible at JHB International Airport. Please see that the taxi driver is a registered driver and has an ID card to show you. The transfer should cost between $25-$35. If you do plan on taking a taxi, it is advisable to print off a map of directions from the airport to the Airport Game Lodge for your driver before you depart.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.

There will be a ‘Welcome Note’ at your starting point hotel in Johannesburg to advise you of the start time of the Welcome Meeting on Day 1. Please look out for it on the notice board or ask reception.

At the Welcome Meeting you will meet your CEO and other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.

The tour departs Johannesburg on Day 2 at 06:30 am.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please call the local emergency contact numbers listed below for more information.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (South Africa)
From outside South Africa: +27 713823286
From within South Africa: 071 3823286

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.

For our camping style tours you will need to provide your own sleeping bag, small pillow and sleeping sheet (if you would like). We provide the tent and the sleeping pads.

Please note that the seasons in Africa is quite extreme. Winters (especially South Africa and certain parts of Botswana) can be really cold and summers will be really hot.
If you travel during winter months please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.

It is wise to bring plenty of layers for cool mornings and evenings. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.

Checklist

Additional Items:
• Sleeping bag and liner (Seasonally appropriate)

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Note: Seasons in Southern Africa are quite extreme. Winters can be really cold and summers will be really hot. If you travel during winter months (May to October) please ensure that you bring warm clothing and a suitable sleeping bag.

Laundry

Laundry can be done at most campsites by the local women. The price can be different from area to area. Please be aware that the clothes get washed in unpurified water, and this can lead to ringworm infections and irritable skin conditions. It might be better to bring some eco-friendly soap with you on tour, as well as some clothes pegs, and do your own washing.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

South Africa

The information provided here is to be used as a guide only. Please consult with the relevant embassy or your travel agency before you travel. We cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information.
This information is based on the following assumptions:
• Is for non-South African passport holders only
• The requirements are based on tourist and not business applications
• You have the necessary funds/ tickets/ paperwork

The applicant’s passport should remain valid for a period of 6 months after the applicant’s departure from South Africa.
Visa requirements for entering South Africa
You will need the following:
• A valid visa, if required.
• Sufficient funds.
• A return or onward ticket.

Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
Foreigners who do not need a visa
For stays up to 90 days

If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 90 days:

African Union / Unity Laissez Passes, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States of America, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica
For stays up to 30 days

If you are a passport holder of the following countries/areas you do not need a visa for stays of LESS THAN 30 days:

Antigua and Barbuda,Barbados,Belize,Benin,Bolivia,Hong Kong,Hungary,Jordan,Lesotho,Malaysia Cape Verde,Costa Rica,Cyprus,Gabon,Guyana,Peru,Poland,Seychelles,Slovak Republic ,South Korea,Swaziland,Thailand,Turkey,Zambia

Botswana

Please note that starting June 1, 2017, Botswana will be implementing a $30 USD entry tax for visitors entering the country, except for residents and citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states. This entry tax is payable at all points of entry into Botswana and will be valid for 30 days and includes multiple entry. For further information please visit the BTO website www.botswanatourism.co.bw/tourismlevy

Whilst African Travel Gateway does not arrange visas, the following information has been provided to assist you in finding out the visa requirements for the passport that you are holding. While every effort is made to keep this information updated, it is subject to change.
All nationals of foreign countries, except those from countries which have reached visa abolition agreements with Botswana, require a visa for entering Botswana.

Nationals not requiring visas:

Members of all Commonwealth countries (except the nationals of Ghana, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh), Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, German Federal Republic, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Samoa (Western), San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA and Yugoslavia.

Any visitor – whether visa exempted or not that wishes to stay more than 90 days should apply for prior permission for the extended period to the Chief Immigration Office in Gabarone. No visitor is allowed to work or seek employment in Botswana
One should first however, check if there is a Namibian Consulate in your country of residence. This will make the process of applying for a visa a lot simpler

IMPORTANT:
Minors travelling through Botswana are required to produce an Unbridged Birth Certificate (birth certificate containing the particulars of the minor and those of his or her parents) in addition to the standard requirement of a valid passport and valid Visa (if required) at all ports of entry and exit.

In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.


Zimbabwe


PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO ZIMBABWE***

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Zimbabwe. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.


It is the responsibility of the traveller to check with their nearest Embassy and confirm the requirements for entry into Zimbabwe***

Please be sure to do your research to determine if your nationality requires a Visa, can purchase one upon arrival or must apply for one in advance.

A Visa to enter Zimbabwe is required by several nationalities, please read the full details listed below.

There are 3 categories:

CATEGORY A:
Countries whose nationals do NOT require a Zimbabwe Visa.

Antigua & Barbuda, Angola, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Cayman Islands, Congo DRC, Cyprus, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Leeward Islands, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Samoa Western, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turk & Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia

CATEGORY B:
Countries whose nationals are granted a Zimbabwe Visa at port of entry on payment of requisite visa fees.

Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Cape Verde Islands, China, Comoros Islands, Cook Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominic Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, French Polynesia, French West Indies, Gibraltar, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Indonesia, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Marshall Island, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana, Norway, Palau Islands, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome, Serbia, Slovak, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Virgin Islands


Canadian Passport holders can ONLY get a Single entry Zimbabwe Visa at the port of Entry.

CATEGORY C:
Countries whose nationals are required to apply for and obtain a Zimbabwe visa prior to travelling (single entry Zimbabwe visa ONLY).

Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Conakry, Cote de Voire, Djibouti Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Korea (DPRK), Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norfolk Islands, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen Republic, Yugoslavia

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have purchased a single entry visa upon arrival and then decide to leave Zimbabwe (even for a few hours) you will need to buy another visa to re-enter Zimbabwe. In this instance you should buy a double entry visa upon arrival as it works out cheaper. Multiple entry visas cannot be obtained at the port of entry into Zimbabwe. You may enter Zimbabwe on a single entry visa and then obtain a multiple entry visa from the town office – but this may take up to 7 working days to be issued. Alternatively, a multiple entry visa can be obtained from the Zimbabwe Embassy in your country prior to departure for Zimbabwe.

Information accurate as of July 1, 2016

Detailed Trip Notes

REGIONAL INFORMATION
Climate
Southern Africa is renowned for its excellent outdoor living climate. The winter months are from May to September and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from October to April and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. Rains generally only start from mid to late December and last until March; this period is hot and humid. Large parts of Southern Africa are desert environment, so you will have to come prepared with a three-season sleeping bag and appropriate clothing for the winter season (nights only).

Local Currency South African Rand; Botswana Pula; Zimbabwean Dollar. We recommend that you bring US$ or South African Rand for personal expenses on this trip. Traveller’s cheques are not recommended. Electricity 220-240V, 50Hz. Electric plug types come in two sizes and are standard throughout the countries. The two and three round pin standard plugs are acceptable in most parts of these countries. Language There are multiple official languages in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, although English is widely spoken. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout different parts of these lands.

ZIMBABWE
Full country name: Republic of Zimbabwe (and formerly Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe Rhodesia)
Area: 390,757 km²
Population: 16 111 699
Capital cities: Harare
People: The country is made up of Bantu-speaking ethic groups, with the majority of the population comprised of the Shona and Ndebele groups.
Languages: Zimbabwe has three official languages: English, Shona (the Bantu language with the most native speakers), and Ndebele (also a Bantu language). In total Zimbabwe as 16 officially recognized languages.
Religion: The majority of Zimbabweans are Christian.
Major industries: Mineral, gold and agricultural products make up the majority of Zimbabwe’s exports.
Currency: The Zimbabwean Dollar

Officially the Republic of Zimbabwe and formerly Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia, the Republic of Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe Rhodesia) is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe began as the British crown colony of Southern Rhodesia, created from land held by the British South Africa Company. President Robert Mugabe is the head of State and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Morgan Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister. Mugabe has been in power since the country’s internationally-recognized independence in 1980.

BOTSWANA
Full country name: Republic of Botswana
Area: 600,370 sq km (231,800 sq mi)
Population: 1.6 million Capital city: Gaborone (pop 192,000)
People: Botswana 60%, Bakalanga, Basarwa, Bakgalagadi
Languages: English, Setswana
Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 50%
Government: parliamentary republic
President: Festus Mogae
Major industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, salt, soda ash, potash, livestock processing, sorghum, maize, millet, pulses, groundnuts (peanuts), beans, cowpeas, sunflower seed, livestock
Major trading partners: EU, Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Zimbabwe

The first inhabitants of Botswana were the San (Bushmen). They still populate the country, but the Tswana tribe is now more prominent. Other tribes include the Kalanga, Nbukushy, Yei and the Herero. The Herero women still wear the full-length Victorian-style dresses, which were introduced to them by German missionaries in the late 1800’s, however it is now a tribal trademark. The British controlled Bechuanaland (as Botswana was then known) from 1885 until the country received their independence on September 30th 1966. Ironically diamonds were discovered in Botswana in 1967! Interesting fact – Botswana’s diamonds do very well on the International market as they are classified as “Blood free,” meaning they are not used to fund guerrilla warfare. Botswana has the strongest economy and currency in Africa, mostly due to their diamonds and livestock. The European Union put many stipulations on their imported meats and Botswana’s tight veterinary checks, aiming at controlling foot and mouth, mean that the EU are happy to buy their meat. Agricultural income will improve when they have combated the problem of widespread drought. They are currently installing irrigation systems around the country to try to feed the most water-deprived areas. Botswana handles it’s international debt much better than any other African country with the interest being paid with one months export earnings, rather than the six months earnings it takes most other African countries. With the amount of for ex the have saved up the country could survive with no income for 36 months. Botswana has the world’s highest birth rate at 3.5%, and average women have 5 children. The country has a strong currency, the Pula meaning rain and the Thebe meaning raindrop. Government policies and poaching: Their policy on tourism is “high cost and low impact” therefore rather having a few less tourists and charging more money for the privilege of a visit to a park or similar. The country has a very good army, which has an anti poaching unit. Poaching has in the past been a problem in the country but in now almost under control. The army is allowed to shoot to kill without asking questions if you are caught poaching. Rhinos are very few due to poaching and they have breeding programs in place.

SOUTH AFRICA
Full country name: Republic of South Africa
Area: 1,221,037km2 (447,443mi2)
Population: 47,432,000 (July 2005 estimate), 44,819,278 (Census 2001)
Capital cities: Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Admistrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial)
People: Zulu, Afrikaners, Xhosa, Basotho (South Sotho), English South Africans, Bapedi (North Sotho), Indian/Asian, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi, Ndebele, others
Language: Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda
Religion: Zion Christian 11%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8%, Catholic 7%, Methodist 7%, Dutch Reformed 7%, Anglican 4%, other Christian 36%, Islam 2%, none 15%
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Major industries: mining (world’s largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metal working, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, food stuff, commercial ship repair.
Major trading partners: U.S., UK, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, China, France, Saudi Arabia, Iran (2004).
Currency: Rand (ZAR), consisting of 100 cents

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The South African rand is also an accepted form of payment in
Namibia.

The Namibian currency is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is equivalent in value (in Namibia only) to the South African Rand. NAD is not accepted as payment in other countries.

In Botswana, payments at supermarkets, post offices etc are to be with Pula (BWP) but activities and drinks at campsites can be paid for in USD

The official currency of Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean Dollar (ZWD). It is advisable to pay in US$ in Zimbabwe, as it is not that easy to get a good exchange rate. However, change you receive will then be in ZWD.

USD is widely accepted in Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya but some supermarkets might only accept local currencies.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

All passengers are advised to check the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe website for updated information on applicable departure taxes for Zimbabwe: http://www.caaz.co.zw/.

Tipping

Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.

Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward.

The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:

CEO: $5-8 USD (per day, per person)

Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day)
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day)

Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill

Okavango Delta polers: 50-100 BWP (Botswana Pula)

Optional Activities

Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.

Health

We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travellers should also carry a basic first-aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes on their travels. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your tour leader of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Your tour leader will be able to inform you of local health advisories (e.g. drinking water quality). Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.
 
 
Yellow Fever Certificate Note: (Updated: May 2017)
 
It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to the following G Adventures-visited countries from a Yellow Fever endemic country:

-           Botswana
-          Ethiopia
-          Kenya
-          Madagascar
-          Malawi
-          Mozambique
-          Namibia
-          Rwanda
-          South Africa
-          Swaziland
-          Uganda
-          Zambia
-          Zimbabwe
 
For some of these countries, proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is also required for passengers who have travelled more than 12 hours through the airport of an endemic country. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited after visiting an endemic country, then a Yellow Fever certificate may still be required on entry. Please check country-specific regulations before your departure.
 
 
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is present in some regions in Africa. Risk of malaria can increase during periods of heavy rain, during the rainy seasons, and in densely populated areas of Southern & East Africa. To prevent malaria, we recommend speaking to your doctor about taking preventative medication (prophylaxis), combined with regular use of insect repellent spray/cream. Please check updated travel health advisories specific to malaria before your departure.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Please take the following precautions when in Victoria Falls:
*Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), traveller’s cheques, flight tickets and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit at the hotel reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures clients.
*Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewellery, cameras etc.
*Please don’t wander through the city to unknown areas especially at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
*People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people!

  • Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are con men and will ask you for money.
  • People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often con men, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari.

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Please do not take photo’s of Police stations or at Cross borders Airports, army barracks and personnel or any Government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated. In rural areas it is generally much safer, but you should always take your cue from your CEO, who will advise when to be extra vigilant and when to relax. Botswana is relatively safe for travellers. South Africa can be unsafe in the larger towns and cities like Johannesburg. Please take precautions as set out above.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

Max Pax

22

Group Leader

2 Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) throughout as head guide/cook and driver, local guides.

PRODUCT_LINE: DAJL, ID: 23173

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.


Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Johannesburg

    If you arrive a day or two early, we recommended booking an excursion to Soweto or the Apartheid Museum.

    Additional Notes:
    Please make sure you have all of the necessary visas for this tour by the time of the welcome meeting. It is very important to read the visa section in our trip details to make sure you have all visas you will need, if any. Please note that not all nationalities are able to obtain visas upon arrival at the border.

    Included Activities:
    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

  2. Day 2 Johannesburg/Serowe (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Today’s travel takes us through a very desolate part of central-eastern Botswana. We cross into Botswana and finish the day at a campsite within the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, a unique community-based initiative in wildlife conservation. Barring delays along the way, we will arrive in time for an optional rhino wildlife safari drive.

    Transport:
    Lando (8.00 hour(s), 524km)

  3. Day 3 Serowe/Maun (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Leave Khama Rhino Sanctuary and head to Maun. Opt to take a scenic flight over the delta.

    Additional Notes:
    Please note: if you have pre-booked the Okavango Delta Flight, today’s likely the day for this activity! Your CEO will give you final confirmation when it will take place, as it is subject to change.

    Transport:
    Lando (6.00-7.00 hours, 524km)

  4. Day 4 Maun/Okavango Delta (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Begin an exciting 2-day/1-night excursion into the delta on a safari vehicle to the “dock” where we hop into a mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, that will take us deep into the delta. After a couple of hours in a mokoro, we arrive at our basic bush camp.

    Additional Notes:
    Pack a small bag for this overnight excursion; we’ll leave our big bags with the overland vehicle. Please note that there are no showers or running water for toilets. Bring along 5 litres of water for both drinking and cleaning.

    Included Activities:
    Okavango Delta Excursion

    Transport:
    Safari vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
    Mokoro (1.00-2.00 hours)

  5. Day 5 Okavango Delta/Gweta (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Enjoy sunrise over the delta, then get up early to cruise back down the crystal clear channels of the Okavango Delta. We return to Maun with some time to freshen up before we continue our journey to Gweta.

    Additional Notes:
    Enjoy the towering baobab trees found around tonight’s campsite and go for a dip in the pool if you need to cool off.

    Transport:
    Mokoro (1.50-2.50 hours)
    Safari vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
    Lando (6.00 hour(s), 420km)

  6. Day 6 Gweta/Kasane (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Today we journey to Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant population in southern Africa. The best way to appreciate one of Botswana’s national parks and its thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles, and hippos is on an optional sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. You may also choose to embark on a open vehicle safari drive in search of lions, antelope, and, of course, elephants.

    Transport:
    Lando (6.00 hour(s), 410km)

  7. Day 7 Kasane/Victoria Falls (1B, 1L)

    Cross the border into Zimbabwe, then continue on to the town of Victoria Falls. Get up close (and wet from the spray) to the awesome Victoria Falls, opt to raft the whitewater of the mighty Zambezi, or bungee jump (with Victoria Falls in sight).

    Additional Notes:
    Your accommodation is in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and NOT Livingstone (Zambia). Please make sure you have the necessary visa.

    Included Activities:
    Border Crossing (Botswana – Zimbabwe)
    Victoria Falls Visit

    Transport:
    Lando (0.75 hour(s), 20km)
    Lando (1.50-2.00 hours, 65km)

  8. Day 8 Victoria Falls (1B)

    Depart at any time.

    Additional Notes:
    Victoria Falls is frequently used as a base for travellers wishing to participate in the many activities and excursions available in the area. Please contact your booking agent if you would like to book post-tour accommodation.

    Included Activities:
    Departure Day

Contact our travel experts for more details

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