Premium Botswana

Trip Code: UBPB

Why we love it

Take a morning game drive in Chobe National Park – home to Africa’s largest concentration of elephants, this is one of the world’s great wildlife destinations., Spend two magnificent evenings at your Feature Stay camp. Perfectly positioned on the Namibian banks of the Chobe River, join a full-day boat cruise through lesser-explored channels and islands., Uncover the unique beauty of the Makgadikgadi Pans during an Exclusive Experience – a 4x4 excursion through the sprawling landscape, stopping for drinks and snacks as the sun goes down., Enjoy Exclusive Experiences at the Boteti River, including morning and night game drives and a guided nature walk on a private conservancy. Here, lions, leopards and wild dogs are regular visitors., Meet a family of Meerkats on the edge of the Ntwetwe Salt Pans and watch them go about their morning rituals as the sun rises.

Is this trip right for me?

As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Important information

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement does not apply to Days 5 & 6 in Boteti River and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.
4. Our operator has advised that customers with the J&J vaccine and no booster may have difficulty crossing the border into Botswana (and potentially Zimbabwe) without a negative test result. This information conflicts with various government travel advice websites. We recommend you check with your local consulate before travel to ensure you have the most up to date information.
5. Border crossing delays in the region have been sporadic and difficult to predict as travel rebounds. What takes an hour one day may take four hours the next. This may affect the order of activities in the itinerary. We understand this uncertainty can be frustrating, and we strongly recommend packing a bit of patience and flexibility.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED:
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable.
- Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Camera with spare battery or power bank.
- Binoculars

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate.
- A good book, a journal or smart phone with music player.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER:
Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery or powerbank just in case.

CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:
In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches., PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA
While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned.
Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Chobe Safari Lodge, P.O. BOX 10 Kasane, Kasane, BOTSWANA

Joining instructions

"An airport arrival transfer is included from Kasane International Airport, 4.2 km from the city center. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel.
Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall at the Information Desk, holding a board with the Lodge name on it - Chobe Safari Lodge. If you are unable to find your driver please phone +2676250336 - Chobe Safari Lodge.
If you have not pre-arranged a transfer, taxis are available at the Information Desk, in the main airport entrance. Taxis will cost around BWP 50.00."

Finishing your trip

Thamalakane River Lodge, Sexaxa Ward, Maun, Botswana, Maun, BOTSWANA

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 6

Lunches included: 5

Dinners included: 6

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

LODGE-PACKED MEALS:
There are a number of days on this itinerary where your breakfast or lunch will be a ‘packed picnic meal’ provided by our lodge or tented camp. Packed meals usually consist of a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a juice, and a snack such as potato chips/crisps, nuts, muffin, or a muesli bar. This usually happens when we have early morning game drives and want to get into the park by sunrise, are out in National Parks all day, or in some instances, en-route to our next destination when there is little or no alternatives along the way.

Climate & seasonal information

Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring warm winter clothing such as wool pullover and a jacket. Also consider thermals, gloves and a woolly hat.

WEATHER IN BOTSWANA
The Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe are Botswana's most popular parks. The best time to visit them is from May to September, during the dry season and winter, resulting in more moderate temperatures. There is also less vegetation and animals tend to concentrate around waterholes and rivers, making wildlife easier to spot. The Okavango Delta is also in full flood. The skies are clear, rain is rare and there are fewer mosquitoes. It does get cold at night and in the mornings. Packing warm winter clothing during June, July and August for the cold morning game drives is advisable.

In September and October temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. However, October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C.
November is difficult to predict, as it can sometimes be a continuation of October's heat, whilst sometimes it's cooled by the first rains; it's always an interesting month.

November to April is known the wet Season and Summer. Although wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, you'll still see plenty, including newborn animals and migratory birds. Except for January and February, rains are mostly short afternoon showers and seldom have a negative impact on your trip.

The water from the Angolan Highlands starts to push into the Delta in the late summer and early autumn months with winter offering the highest levels. The Okavango water levels start receding towards the end of the winter months and into spring, with the summer months offering up the lowest levels. Please be aware that this can affect some water activities such as mokoro or boat trips.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid's local Operator: +27828229407

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

If you require a Sleep Apnea Machine to sleep please ensure that it is battery operated. Lodges and Permanent Tented Camps are often powered by generators which are turned off during the night.

Transportation


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