Botswana Family Safari with Teenagers

Trip Code: UWFB

Why we love it

Get a load of Victoria Falls, an amazing thundering spectacle. Optional activities for those arriving early include white water rafting, canoeing and flying fox rides, Go wildlife-spotting along the river at Chobe National Park, home of the world's highest concentration of African elephants, Enjoy some truly unique accommodation in Elephant Sands. Greet elephants as they come to drink from the pool!, Get familiar with the fine art of 'poling' as you and your family ride a traditional dugout canoe through the waterways of the Okavango Delta, Camping on a remote island in the heart of the Okavango wilderness is an experience you and your family will never forget. As night falls, the sounds of the African bush are like nothing else, Support local conservation by visiting the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, the only place left in Botswana where both black and white rhinos reside

Is this trip right for me?

This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, setting up your own tent with some long travelling days. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. There will be some early starts and long travelling days.  It's as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland

Camping out in the Okavango wilderness means digging a bush toilet and going without a shower. For most travellers this is a small price to pay for such a gorgeous remote island location. It’s all part of the adventure.

The going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land. There are some long travelling days.

This is a participatory camping trip, so team spirit is key. You and your family will be helping out with camp setup, food preparation and cleaning.

Important information

1. Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

2. Minimum age for children on this trip is strictly 10 years old due to government safety restrictions in the Okavango Delta.

3. A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children under 17 years of age at time of travel.

4. This trip starts at 2PM on Day 1 with a group meeting at the campsite followed by a visit to Victoria Falls. On the last day you will arrive into Johannesburg late in the afternoon on Day 10. We recommend you don't book any departing flights until 8PM onwards

5. Travelling with children: Children travelling on a valid passport with one or both parents are no longer required to present a birth certificate, parental consent letter and other supporting documentation. To check the requirements for other situations, such as legal guardianship or unaccompanied travelling minors, visit the South African Department of Home Affairs.

6. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

7. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow and towel.

8. During this trip you can upgrade to a lodge/hotel at the campgrounds we are staying in along the way with the exception of our time in the Okavango Delta (Days 5 & 6). If you wish to upgrade you can organise this directly during the trip with your leader and pay locally. Prices start at BWP 740 per person. All updates are subject to availability.

9. With effect from 1 October 2014, parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa will be asked to show the child’s full birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, proof of parental or legal authority to travel with the child.

10. 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.

The new regulation has been put in place to protect children from being abducted, kidnapped and preventing child trafficking. The Department of Home Affairs has urged all parents to apply for unabridged certificates for their children. This is an requirement of the immigration regulation 6 (12)(a) for parents travelling with children. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa
or: www.dha.gov.za

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:
- Sleeping bag. We recommend a 3–4 season sleeping bag because it can get very cold at night in winter months in desert and mountainous regions. Sleeping bags are also available for hire (if pre-booked). Please speak to your sales consultant, at least 14 days prior to departure, if you wish to hire one.
- Pillow, travel pillow or pillow case (to put your soft jacket in)
- Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and/or 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 and neutral colors for when on safari. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for hiking. Consider shorts for summer. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is not recommended.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives (especially if travelling in winter)
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Although the trucks do carry lamps for meal times it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
- Towel (or travel towel)

RECOMMENDED:
- A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures.
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoeal, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, bandaids/plasters etc.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1 litre capacity. Our vehicle have large tanks of treated water for your refills.
- Camera with spare battery and/or power bank.
- Overnight bag. To take 2 days' worth of luggage on your Okavango Delta portion of the itinerary
- Binoculars
- For longer trips a small bottle of biodegradable laundry soap and string for hand washing and hanging your clothes
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring tent-mate
- A good book, a journal or smart phone with music for the long drives
- toilet paper and soap to carry in your day bag

OPTIONAL:
- Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
- Thermarest. While we provide a basic camping mattress for each client, some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
The weight limit for luggage on all overland vehicles is a strict maximum of 20kg.Your main luggage will be stored in a compartment at the back of the truck. Traditional, framed suitcases are not recommended as they are large and can damage other travellers belongings while on the road. Backpacks or duffel bags are an ideal choice. Some overland vehicles also have lockers for items that you may need more access to. We recommend a 20-30mm sized padlock.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. 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.

POWER:
Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Some campsites have electricity and charging of devices is advised before checking out the following day. We also recommend power banks and multi country power converters.

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., SLEEPING BAGS:
You will be required to bring your own sleeping bag on this trip.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Victoria Falls Rest Camp and Lodges - PEAK Southern Africa, Stand 5 Parkway, Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE, Phone: +26 3773496695

Joining instructions

If you have pre-booked a transfer please look out for our representative holding a board with your name at the arrival terminal. Please do not go with anyone else.

If you are making your own way to the hotel, there is a taxi stand outside the airport building. A taxi should cost approximately 20USD. It is a 21km drive from the airport to the hotel.

Finishing your trip

Holiday Inn Rosebank, The Zone Phase 2, 187 Oxford Rd, Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 2196, SOUTH AFRICA

The Holiday Inn Rosebank is a comfortable modern hotel conveniently located just a short walk from the Rosebank Train Station and Zone Shopping Centre. The hotel facilities include an outdoor pool, a well-equipped gym and nearby golfing facilities. Guest rooms are fully air conditioned, include a TV with satellite channels, ensuite, tea and coffee maker and free WiFi. The Holiday Inn Rosebank is located 25kms from Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport.

We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details.

If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your exact departure transfer time. For international flights your transfer driver will be at reception 3.5 hours prior to the flight departure, while for domestic flights the driver will be there 2.5 hours prior to departure. If you need to contact the transfer provider, please call Page Corp Transfer Services on +27 84 400 8896.

If you want to make your own way to the Airport from our hotel in Johannesburg, you will need to catch the train from Rosebank station to Sandton Station. From here the Gautrain is a fast and inexpensive option. Please note that the train only operates between 05:30am and 20:30pm daily. The train journey to O.R Tambo International Airport from Sandton takes 15 minutes and costs approximately 125.00ZAR one way. During Peak hours the trains depart every 12minutes (05:30-08:30 & 16:00-19:00).

Alternatively the hotel can help organise a taxi for you. This will cost around 400-650ZAR which is payable to the driver. Depending on the time of day and traffic conditions, a transfer or taxi may take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 8

Dinners included: 8

By travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your leader prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping.

Your leader will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day.

If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking, and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.

A typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, cereal, something hot such as eggs or pancakes, as well as tea and coffee. Lunch is almost always a sandwich with healthy salad and assorted fillings, sometimes with fruit to follow. On occasion there will be the opportunity to buy your lunch to allow you try the local cuisine or provide some variety to sandwiches. Dinner might be a BBQ, rice dish or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some African food such as ugali and stew.

One thing is sure - you definitely won't go hungry or lose weight on your safari! When you aren't camping you will have the freedom to decide where, what and with whom you eat.

Climate & seasonal information

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.

WINTER MONTHS:
Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring a warm sleeping bag as well as warm winter clothing such as a wool pullover, jacket and woolly hat. It's also a good idea to check the weather reports prior to travel.

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

Camping accommodation on this trip is mainly in two-person canvas dome tents with camping mattresses supplied. A sleeping bag is not included but is available for hire if you do not wish to bring your own. Please advise your booking agent if you would like to hire a sleeping bag.

‘Camping with facilities’ means that there are facilities, but they usually aren't to the same standard you would find in western countries. For example the bathroom facilities can be very basic (the toilets may be a squat-style hole in the ground). There is rarely toilet paper provided and shower facilities can be as simple as a hose pipe spurting out cold water. Nights indicated as ‘Camping with no facilities’ means that there are no facilities. Not all campsites are as basic as this description - it's just to make sure there are no surprises for you.

Transportation


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