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Wildlife & Wilderness of Botswana Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Botswana, Zimbabwe
Programmes:
Wildlife
Trip Code:
WZT
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

16 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Take a journey into the wilds of Botswana. Glide along the Okavango Delta in traditional makoros and admire a billion stars from the otherworldly and eerily silent Makgadikgadi Pans. Search for Africa’s emblematic wildlife on the Savuti Marsh and the Moremi reserve and take to the Chobe River, known for having the highest concentration of elephants anywhere. Finally discover why David Livingstone, upon seeing Victoria Falls, declared ‘scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.’

Temporary changes in Botswana due to COVID-security measures (information on Zimbabwe to follow)
Last updated: 29th December 2020

At Exodus we acknowledge our responsibility to have the most up to date information on anything that will affect our customers on holiday, and to communicate this to our customers as effectively as possible.

Our general global COVID security measures are described in our Travel Safety Charter, and changes will be made to these measures as required by the global pandemic situation.

However, we also expect there to be specific requirements, measures and sometimes itinerary changes that apply to certain trips only, and may well be temporary measures. We have highlighted all known changes in the section below. 

Entry requirements.

For all trips, having the correct documentation and visa, if required, remains the customer’s responsibility based on their own nationality. We therefore encourage all travellers to check entry requirements using the travel advice of their home nation for the relevant destination. For UK passport holders that is https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

In order to meet the new immigration requirements for Botswana you should note the following:
• On arriving in Botswana, you must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival. After arrival, you will have to remain in contact with the local health authority for a period of 14 days for self-monitoring.
• If you’re a returning citizen or resident and do not meet these requirements you will need to undergo 14 days mandatory quarantine and testing at your own expense. If you’re not a returning citizen or resident and do not meet these requirements, you will be denied entry.
• All travellers, including children, will also be required to undergo an additional cost-free COVID-19 test at Botswana border points to gain entry to Botswana.
• If the test is positive or you show COVID-19 symptoms, you may need to undergo 14 days isolation or quarantine at your own expense.
COVID-19 entry and exit requirements may be announced and altered at little notice. You should monitor the government of Botswana’s Facebook page for the latest developments or contact the government of Botswana’s 24 hour COVID-19 helpline on 16649 / 0800 600 111.

Local COVID restrictions
Local regulations or guidelines in Botswana require visitors to:
• Wear non-medical face coverings at all times in shops, public areas and on transport when social distancing is not possible.
• Maintain social distancing where possible, at a standard distance of 2 metres
• Adhere to nationwide curfew during the hours of 7pm – 4am and stay indoors.
Your leader will reconfirm the latest local government advice and requirements on arrival.

Itinerary changes
There are no planned itinerary changes. However, customers should be prepared for occasional short notice changes as required by local authorities or recommended by the Exodus Leader to maintain COVID-security for the group.

At a Glance

  • 11 nights full-service camping (in two-person tents with camp beds and mattresses provided) 2 nights in hotel, lodge or chalet.
  • Travel by Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Some long and bumpy roads
  • Staying in some remote locations

Trip Highlights

  • Gliding along the Okavango Delta waterways in Mokoro canoes and wild camping in the wetlands
  • The other-worldly silent beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pan
  • Good chances of seeing both Africa’s emblematic wildlife as well as some of its lesser species
  • Game viewing by foot, by safari vehicle and by boat
  • The mighty Victoria Falls

Is This Trip for You?

Expect some long and hot drives as we travel between game parks in this large country. On some days we travel on tarmac roads, but a lot of distance is covered on dirt and sand roads. Depending on water levels, driving in the delta can also be challenging. As a full-service camping safari, we have a separate supply vehicle with a camp crew who set up camp for us. The camp crew will also cook the food, wash the dishes and attend to all camp chores so that you can sit back and enjoy the wilderness experience. We normally use Botswana Tourism (HATAB) sites, which are only available for private groups. There are no facilities so we use bush toilets and a bush shower. These sites are not fenced and have no running water. We carry a water supply on our vehicles and fill up daily from public sites. There is plenty of water to wash with but we must be sparing; this all adds to the remote wilderness experience! Other nights will be spent in developed camp grounds with facilities usually including toilet blocks, a bar and, sometimes, a swimming pool. October and November are the hottest months, but are also good for game viewing, please see the weather section for more information. Legal Note: all group members joining this tour will be asked to sign an indemnity form at the start of the holiday. This indemnity form is a requirement of the South African Tourism Service Association which our local supplier is a member of. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

There will be one tour leader who normally also arranges the meals and cooking. The tour leader is assisted by a driver / guide, and for larger groups there will be a support vehicle with two staff.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Maun.

    Those on the group flight arrive in Maun and transfer (30 mins) to our campsite located on the banks of the Thamalakane River. The campsite has hot showers, bar, swimming pool, and the restaurant is known for its good food and ambience. Those not on the group flight can arrive any time.
    Audi Camp or similar

  • Day 2

    To Okavango Delta.

    We pack minimal gear for 2 nights into a smaller bag (bag provided), before a 4x4 transfer into the Okavango Delta. At the 'polers' station' we meet a new team of local staff from a nearby village who will look after us during our stay in the delta. With them we travel in mokoros deep into the Okavango Delta. We have lunch at our campsite on the banks of the river, and in the late afternoon we head out on our first game walk. We return to camp before sunset and enjoy our first meal in the African bush.
    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Morning game walk; sunset dug-out canoe trip on the Okavango Delta.

    We get up early this morning for a game walk with a guide from the poling team. There are never any guarantees whith wildlife, but there is the chance of seeing elephant, buffalo, and other smaller game. We return to camp for a well deserved brunch and some time to relax. In the afternoon we take a short mokoro trip on the river to view the sunset before returning to camp.
    Okavango Delta Wild Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Return to Maun; free afternoon.

    This morning we board our mokoros for the trip back to the polers' station. We meet our vehicle and transfer back into Maun for the night where we will purchase supplies for the days ahead. The afternoon is free to relax by the pool or take an optional scenic flight over the Delta.
    Audi Camp or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit Makgadikgadi Salt Pan.

    After a relaxed breakfast we head east to the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pan. Depending on the season or if the pans are wet, we will camp wild on the pan or one of the campsites nearby. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pan covers an area over 16,000 square kilometres and forms the bed of an ancient lake - now dried up. The sunsets on the pan are truly spectacular.
    Makgadikgadi Pan wild camp or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    To Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.

    A long drive north before crossing into Zimbabwe to the town of Victoria Falls situated minutes from the waterfalls of the same name. At the Kasangula border we complete the border formalities and continue to our accommodation for the next two nights. The falls themselves are over 1,700m wide and 100m tall making them the largest waterfalls in the world and are one of Africa’s most famous highlights. We will have the opportunity to find out more about the various activities on offer available for tomorrow.
    Premier Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Free day for optional activities at Victoria Falls.

    Today is a free day to partake in one of the many optional activities on offer ranging from white water rafting to flights over the falls and various others.
    Premier Lodge or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free morning to visit Victoria Falls; afternoon to Chobe; optional boat trip.

    This morning there is an opportunity to view Victoria Falls themselves from the Zimbabwean side. From here we drive back to Botswana. A short drive from the border to the town of Kasane where we camp on the banks of the Thebe River, a tributary of the mighty Zambezi. The afternoon is free, with an option to view game on the famous Chobe Waterfront by taking an exciting river cruise on the Chobe River. This is widely regarded as one of the best game cruises in Africa with a very good chance of seeing the elephant herds coming down to the river to drink before the sun sets.
    Thebe River Camp or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Discover Chobe N.P; visit Savuti.

    We take an early morning game drive back to the Chobe Waterfront area. Chobe is famous for its large population of elephants, but is also home to plenty of other exciting game including lion and wild dog. After exploring the Northern end of this huge park, we head south into remote and rugged terrain, passing in and out of the national park, before finally reaching the Savuti area at the southern edge of Chobe National Park.

    The Savuti Marsh, often dry, is fed by the Savuti river channel which alternately flows and then dries up for years at a time. Recent flooding has given this area new life. This area is also home to plenty of game, but is especially well known for its lions, and the large numbers of elephant that walk enormous distances to find fodder.
    Zwei-Zwei or Savuti Wild Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 10

    Full day game drive on the Savuti Marsh.

    We take morning and afternoon game drives on the Savuti Marsh. There is a good chance to see lion, cheetah and hyena that follow the seasonal zebra migration through this area. Large secretary birds and kori bustards are often seen strutting around the Savuti marsh and small red-billed francolins provide a noisy morning wake up call.
    Zwei-Zwei or Savuti Wild Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 11

    Game drive on the way to Moremi.

    After breaking camp we drive all the way to Moremi Game Reserve. We pass through a variety of habitats including the Mbabe depression, Mopani forest and past great Acacia trees before arriving at Khwai village and the North Gate entrance of Moremi Game Reserve. Moremi National Park is the jewel in Botswana's wildlife crown. Protecting much of the northern part of the Okavango Delta, it is made up of waterways, marshes, islands and open grasslands.
    Moremi Wild Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Full day safari in Moremi Game Reserve.

    We'll go on morning and afternoon game drives through this beautiful protected area, trying to find the large variety of animals that live here. Despite its wet reputation, there is plenty of dry land in Moremi, which allows our game drives to cover significant distances while spotting game in the sometimes dense vegetation. As well as elephant and lion, Moremi is a good place to spot leopard and cheetah, and the red lechwe, a water dwelling antelope, often seen grazing amongst the lilies.
    Moremi Wild Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 13

    Morning game drive in Moremi; to Maun.

    We go on a final game drive through the park this morning before travelling back to Maun, and back to our riverside campsite. We can enjoy the swimming pool before our last dinner at the campsite restaurant.
    Audi Camp or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Maun.

    Those on the group flights will be taken to the airport in time for their flight home. The trip officially ends after breakfast for those not on the group flights.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Camping

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You will spend 11 nights full-service camping and 2 nights normally in chalets or lodges at the Victoria Falls.

This is a full service camping safari. This means that your tents will be erected for you. Most of the nights will be spent wild camping and a few nights will be spent in public campsites. We supply all the camping equipment with the exception of your sleeping bag and pillow. The tents are spacious and comfortable (2.4 x 2.4 x 1.8 meter). We supply camp beds with mattresses, which are about 5cm thick, warm and comfortable. The camp chairs have a backrest and we use standard plates, cups and cutlery. Most of the public campsites have swimming pools. Please note that the HATAB campsites in Chobe Game Reserve are located throughout the Savuti area and may include the Zwei Zwei pan. As this trip mostly involves wild camping, wifi is rarely available.

Single supplement available. Please note that on the nights in the Victoria Falls you might share a chalet/cabin with another member of the group. However, you will still have a single room to yourself.

 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £245.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners included.

Breakfast - cereals, coffee and toast and the occasional fried breakfast / brunch.
Lunch - cheese, cold meats, salads, bread or rolls.
Dinner - potjies (stew), braais (barbecue), stir-fries, etc.
Please be aware that we need at least two weeks notice to deal with special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies.) For this reason if you did not indicate these on your booking form please advise the Exodus office as soon as possible.
The trip leaders do all the shopping and meal planning for each group. He/she will always try to obtain fresh produce wherever possible. Each tour has 1 cool box for the meats and the fresh produce only and 1 cool box for cold drinks.
We will supply the following drinks: squash, tea or coffee served with meals. All other beverages will be at your own expense.
We supply drinking water which is perfectly safe to drink. This is not bottled water, however, and whilst we encourage you to drink this water rather than buy plastic bottles, some people do not like the taste of the local water. If you decide that you would rather buy bottles of water rather than drink the water provided, we encourage you to buy large 5L bottles and refill your drinking bottle.
Please note that on some days where early morning game drives are included lunch may be substituted for a large brunch on return from the game drive - this is customary. We will always ensure that the number of meals detailed in the trip notes are provided.

The water provided on this trip is safe and clean drinking water, normally coming from bore-holes. It is not bottled water, however. If you would rather have bottled water then this will be at your expense, though we would encourage you to make use of the safe drinking water provided as this helps diminish plastic consumption.

Transportation

Travel is by a long-wheelbase 4WD vehicle, seating 12 in 4 rows of 3. The vehicle has a solid roof to protect the group from the sun and canvas sides that are mostly kept up for great game viewing. We use this vehicle as it is perfect for wildlife viewing which is the main focus of our trip. It does mean, however, that it can get windy when on road transfers between safari parks. When we have small group sizes we will use a trailer for our equipment, for large groups, there will always be a support vehicle. The vehicle has evenly spaced foot holes for access to the back (rather than doors) and is manageable for any reasonably fit person.

 

Drive times:

Maun to the Okavango Delta and back about 2hrs each way

Maun to Makgadikgadi – about 4hrs

Makgadikgadi to Victoria Falls  – about 7hrs including border crossing 

Victoria Falls to Kasane – about 2hrs

Kasane – Savuti – about 8hrs, mostly game drives, some transfer

Savuti safari – about 6-8hrs all game drives

Savuti to Moremi – about 8hrs mostly game drive, some transfer

Moremi safari – 2 game drives about 3hrs each

Moremi to Maun – about 3hr game drive + about 2hrs transfer to Maun

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

There is no best time to go in terms of game viewing or conditions in the Delta, as the Delta flows all year round, despite its flood periods. The wettest season is January and February when travel on dirt roads becomes difficult. March to September, although dry and bright, can be cold at night (in June and July it really can be chilly on occasions so bring appropriate gear). Water levels in the Delta will be at their highest in July. From December to June water levels in the Zambezi are at their highest, and the spray can be seen several miles away as it soars sometimes as much as 500 feet in the air. October and November are the hottest months, and midday temperatures can be very uncomfortable. The rains normally start slowly in late November. December can be wet, but it does not rain for long periods and should definitely not put anyone off travelling, as there is always plenty of sunshine.

Weather Charts

Maun

Maun

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 16 Days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of South African Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 14 days starting and ending in Maun

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Maun in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight - please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

If you would like us to organise a private transfer, the cost is £30/$50 per person or £35/$60 per couple and is payable before departure. Please ensure that you provide us with all relevant information at least 2 weeks before departure.

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about 30 should you decide to make your way independently.

Location start:
Maun
Location end:
Maun

What to Take

Essential Equipment

In addition to your 'normal' daily clothes ‐
Neutral coloured clothes (for the game walks)
Long sleeved clothing and long trousers to wear when the sun goes down to protect skin from mosquito bites
Some warmer clothes, windproof jacket and warm fleece for the winter months (June‐August temperatures at night can drop to freezing)
Lightweight walking boots or trainers
Sunhat
Sun cream

Sunglasses

Insect repellent

2/3 season sleeping bag (lighter weight sleeping bag for October/November)
Camping pillow, or similar
Daypack
Emergency toilet paper
Wet wipes or hand sanitizer gel
Towel
Head torch (with spare batteries)

Water bottle

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn't yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip, we have decided to include drinking water in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe filtered drinking water will be available throughout which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to re‐fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

If while packing you find a spare bit of space in your bag please be sure to check out our partner ‘Pack for a Purpose’ to identify items that are needed locally by schools and medical clinics. Your Tour Leader can assist with donating the items. http://www.packforapurpose.org

Optional Equipment

Binoculars and a camera with a zoom lens (at least 300mm) if you want good animal shots.

It is possible to get laundry done in Maun and Victoria Falls.

Reading List

Lost World of the Kalahari
L Van der Post
A fascinating examination of the bushmen of Botswana and their home in the Kalahari Desert.

History of Southern Africa,
K Shillington (Longmans 1987)
Good, readable history of the region

Livingstone
T Neal
Authoritative biography of the famous explorer.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
Alexandra Fuller
An autobiography about growing up in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Collins Field Guides to the Birds and Mammals of Africa are highly recommended

Fodor's guidebook to Southern Africa covers Botswana and Zambia

Maps

The best maps at present are the 1/4000000 scale Michelin map number 955 that covers all of
Southern Africa, and the Geocentre map of Southern Africa.

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Practical Information

Visa

Botswana

Currently British and Commonwealth and European passport holders do not require visas for Botswana.

If you are transiting through South Africa and are a non UK passport holder you may require a transit visa. Please check before travelling.

Please be aware that children under the age of 18 must provide a full birth certificate (a short one won’t be accepted) as well as a valid passport. If the child is travelling with only one parent or with another adult, the missing parent (or parents) will have to provide an affidavit giving their consent for the child to travel. If flying via S. Africa you may have to pass immigration between flights and the same regulation is needed for entry into S. Africa.

 

Zimbabwe

Most nationalities, including British require a visa to visit Zimbabwe.  This can be obtained from the Zimbabwean Embassy in London but it is a lot easier to get it on arrival in Zimbabwe.  The current charge for a single entry visit visa issued on arrival in Zimbabwe is £35.00 or US$55.00, although this could change. If you have not obtained a visa before travelling, you should bring enough cash with you to pay for your visa on arrival. You should ensure you have small notes as immigration officers may not be able to provide change.

If you plan on visiting Zambia as well then there is the UNIVISA (a shared visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia) that will allow you multiple entries into Zimbabwe.

Please note that if flying via South Africa you will probably have to pass immigration there. New regulations, as of the 1 Oct 2014, mean that children under 18 will have to have an unabridged birth certificate showing the names of both parents. If the child is travelling with only one parent they will need to have an affidavit from the other parent, of no more than 3 months, confirming the child can travel with the other parent; a court order granting full legal guardianship of the child; or a death certificate of the deceased parent.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Botswana

Vaccination against Yellow Fever is necessary if you are coming from a country with Yellow Fever, and you must bring a valid certificate of vaccination. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Zimbabwe

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential on this trip, and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Botswana's Timezone:
Africa/Gaborone CAT (GMT +02:00)
Zimbabwe's Timezone:
Africa/Harare CAT (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Botswana's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types D,G & M; establishments can often take UK plugs and/or the large South African round pin plugs.

Zimbabwe's Electricity:

Zimbabwe has two types of sockets, the most common being the same as the one used in the UK, the other being one with large round pins (also used in South Africa).

Clients can charge camera batteries at the Maun, Kasane and Victoria Falls campsites. The vehicle is also fitted with an inverter to allow you to charge your batteries on driving days.

Plugs are normally either similar to S. Africa (with 3 large round pins) and require a special adaptor or some are similar to the UK 3-flat pin plugs.

Money

Botswana's Currency

The national currency of Botswana is the Botswana Pula (BWP), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (July 2020) of approximately 14 to the GBP,  11.6 to the USD, 8.5 to the CAD, 13 to the EUR, 8 to the AUD and 7.4 to the NZD.

Zimbabwe's Currency

The national currency of Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD). The exchange rate at the time of writing (July 2019) is 1GBP = 450ZWD, 1EUR = 400ZWD / 1AUD = 250ZWD / 1NZD = 240ZWD / 1CAD = 270ZWD / 1USD = 360ZWD.

Zimbabwe uses the Zimbabwe Dollar as it's legal currency though South African Rand and US Dollar are also widely accepted. The US dollar is accepted for the visa on arrival, many of the optional excursions we offer as well as food and drink at the majority of the properties that we stay at.

It is possible to change USD and GBP in Zimbabwe at Harare airport as well as local banks and bureau du change in major towns. Try to bring small notes as they are more likely to be accepted.

Please note that this advice is subject to change.

ATM Availability

Credit cards can be used at the ATMs in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Maun and Kasane in Botswana to obtain cash; these are the only places that have ATMs. Credit cards are accepted for all optional activities in Victoria Falls and Maun, however, please note that a 5% surcharge may be charged by some operators.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Meals not included: allow approx £10/US$15 per person for an evening meal.

Incidentals: we suggest you allow about £5 ‐ £7/US$7‐$10 per day.

Optional Excursions (approximate costs, depending on group sizes) 

Boat Cruise on Chobe River BWP340 and BWP70 for the park entry fee
0kavango Delta Flights US$120 per person (for 5 people)

Victoria Falls activities:
Entrance fee into Victoria Falls US$30
Helicopter flight over falls (12‐13 mins) US$150 +park fees US$15, or (25 mins Game/Scenic Flight) US$284 + park fees US$15
White water rafting US$130 for half day and US$235 for the full day
Sunset Zambezi cruise US$50 + park fees US$10
Sunset Zambezi cruise and dinner US$85+ park fees US$10

Tipping

If you feel that your leader and support team have performed well over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide we suggest generally around US$5 per person per day for the whole staff, smaller groups may wish to give more.

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Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we will spend most nights full-service camping and 2 nights in chalets or lodges. We predominantly use small businesses for accommodation in order to keep investment local and benefit the communities we visit directly. Campsites used are either locally owned, or a percentage of their income goes towards, schooling, nature conservation or community projects. We strive to always leave a campsite in a better condition than when we arrived and to use gas whilst cooking instead of using limited firewood resources. Almost all meals are provided and our tour leaders ensure that we use fresh local produce wherever possible.

Our local partner supports the Save our Sausage Trees initiative in Botswana, which aims to address the issue of depleting forests in the area. The Mokoro is a traditional mean of transport for the people of the Okavango Delta which is crafted out from a single mature Kigelia Africana tree (or sausage tree). Although increased tourism brings some obvious benefits to the area, it has also caused a higher demand for Mokoro boats. A normal wooden Mokoro only lasts for about 5 years hence, hundreds of sausage trees are used per year to meet the increasing demand. Realising that wooden mokoros are not sustainable in the long run, our local operator consulted the Okavango community and have agreed to fund half the cost of a fiberglass mokoro whenever a poler decides to purchase it in order to minimise the number of trees used.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.