What to pack and Notes for a Botswana Safari
The following is a typical list of what might be required while you are on safari. It is advisable to wear a number of thin layers to peel off as the day heats up. Winter or the dry season runs from May- October and weather typically is warm during the day and can be cold at night and early morning. September and October can become very hot preceding the start of the rains. Summer or the rainy season runs from November to April and as a guide is hot during the day and cooler at night with rain showers possible. Please pack using a soft bag and limit weight to under 20kg including hand luggage.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
- Outdoor clothing in neutral tones and natural fibres work best
- Light-weight cotton type long trousers/long-sleeved shirt (for cool evenings, to repel mosquitoes)
- Light wind proof jacket, sleeveless jacket or fleece – (for game drives/ boat trips/ winter nights and longer drives between camping areas)
- Comfortable walking shoes / sandals for camp
- Swimwear for permanent camps and lodges
- Sarong or multi-purpose cotton wrap-around – (useful also as sun screen or dust cover for cameras)
- Hat in neutral tones
- Sunscreen lotion / sunblock / lip-aid
- All Toiletries
- Small private medical kit
- Reading glasses / contact lenses / lens fluid / extra glasses for dusty conditions
- Insect repellent
- Flash light or head torch
- Camera or video equipment / extra batteries/ Memory card
- Books / reference books
- Passport / visas / travel documents / vouchers / plane tickets
- US$ for personal expenses and gratuities
- Cash in US $ for Visas/ International departure taxes
- Credit cards (please obtain latest info before traveling)
- Small container of detergent for underwear washing the camp staff do not wash underwear in all camps
- Plug adapters for South African 3 pin plug for invertors on mobile safaris or plugs in permanent camps and lodges
- Please check your visa requirements before travelling for all countries you will visit including in transit.
- You will be visiting malarial areas on your safari please ensure you discuss proper precautions with your doctor as well as having all applicable travel vaccinations for the countries you are visiting or are in transit.
- USD currency is the most widely used foreign currency in Africa for tourism. This is required for Visas, curios, gratuities and any extras. Some countries do accept GPB and Euros as well. In all cases small denominations are the most useful.
- If your itinerary includes any light aircraft transfers then the luggage limit is strictly 20KG in a soft bag including hand luggage.
Tipping and Gratuities in Botswana/Guidelines for Mobile safaris and Permanent camps:
- Guide: USD 5-10 per guest per day
- Camp staff: USD 5-10 per group per day per staff
In permanent camps and lodge the same applies for the guide and then about USD10-20 per group per day for the communal staff tipping box.
Mansoon Group from Sweden ( Nov 2016): “ We are home now with a lot of fine memories from our unforgettable safari to Okavango. We really enjoyed everything and we explored a lot of the beauty of nature. About wildlife memories to be mentioned, we really think about all the animal babies we saw as all newly born impalas, young elephants, lions, piglets, and wild dog and hyena cubs.”
Gorman Group from USA (Sep 2016): If I was going to rate our Botswana safari I would say A .We had a grand adventure, “We’ll never forget it. The key was our guide, Nelson. He was fantastic! He was very friendly and affable. He was also extremely knowledgeable. We asked him thousands of questions and he was able to answer them all. He was also patient, capable and professional. The accompanying crew were also excellent. The food was quite gourmet for being in the middle of the bush. We were amazed at the quality of the meals. We got tons of great pictures and saw everything we had our hearts set on, including leopards, lions and cubs and my personal favorite, the honey badger. I would recommend your company without reservation for Botswana travellers.
Brind Surch Photo Safari Sep 2016: “ many many thanks for a wonderful time in Chobe. Great guiding, superb knowledge and a wonderful experience…..the back up team looked after us so well, the tents were lovely and the food delicious. We were made to feel very welcome”
Africa Geographic Group (Sep 2016) : “ Everyone had the trip of a lifetime….well done SGS”
Jasprizza and Gately Group from Australia ( Sep 2016): I am writing to compliment you on the exemplary service that your company provides.
Our 9 day mobile tented safari with SGS and it was beyond all our expectations.
The camp crew (Chef Anthony & Jerry) ensured that we were well looked after and the meals that Anthony produced off a camp fire, continually astonished us.
Our guide/tracker Alex went beyond that normally expected of a guide and made our safari an unqualified success.
Not only is he very knowledgeable in regards to the animals and local flora, but his tracking skills enabled us to see virtually every animal on our wish-list, including the more elusive species such as Wild Dog and Cheetah. We spent 6 weeks in Africa with around 10 or 12 guides throughout our stay, and I would have to say that Alex was hands down, the stand-out of the group.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending SGS to anyone who wants to see the real Africa
Thank you for a wonderful experience.
Reed and George Group from Australia ( Aug 2016): As a first timer to game drives and camping the experience was first class. Arron was amazing in his level of understanding of the game and the bird life. He was informative and engaging. The support crew was equally impressive with nothing being too much trouble to organise We have so many lasting memories and amazing pics. Would highly recommend SGS to anyone.
George Group from Australia ( Aug 2016): ‘we had a fantastic time. Beyond expectations as before’
Constantine family from Switzerland ( July 2016): loved loved loved it!!!! The trip was fantastic, we were so happy with our holiday.
The safari was exceptional! Our guide Nelson and his collegues Gift and Henry were very kind and sympathic. We appreciate a lot
Sattler Family from Germany ( July 2016): They really enjoyed their safari and said it was highly recommendable.
Pippen Family from USA ( June 2016) I must let you know that this was a truly once in a lifetime experience for us. Every day was full of excitement and learning and laughing. We loved Alex. He made every drive and every mealtime just a complete pleasure. His depth of knowledge was always on display and his innate ability to locate and then teach about the animals is extraordinary. The experience your company offers is amazing and one we will not forget, your company is outstanding from the high caliber equipment to amazing service to extraordinary staff. Thank you and we will be traveling again with you.
Dance Group from South Africa ( July 2016):
The week was well organised and your staff on the ground tremendous.
The food was great. We Saw the big 4,and had Lions, hyenas and badgers in the camp, with elephants passing very close by.
Nelson was very knowledgeable on all the birds and plants, and had a great ability to find animals. We were very comfortable. Thank you again.
Bedworth Group from Australia ( June 2016):
We had an absolutely wonderful safari! It exceeded all our expectations.
Leonard was fantastic at spotting animals and then knowing
where to wait so they would quite literally walk right past (and even up to)
our vehicle. I cannot speak highly enough of his skills and he was wonderful
company. Maps, Shakka and Chris also did an amazing job. Food was lovely and they
were a great bunch of blokes. Tents were perfect. We hope to come again!
Pippen group from USA ( June 2016): We had a terrific trip and especially enjoyed the SGS mobile safari camping. Our guide Alex was perfect
Global Gypsies Group from Australia March 2016: “The tour was really fabulous, all the guests loved it, everything went incredibly smoothly & the organisation was impeccable. Many thanks for making it such a success”
BTTE Travel Agent Group from UK/Germany/Switzerland Dec 2015 “what a fantastic time we had in Savuti. Mobile Camping was one of the most exciting experiences I had in Africa …your camp was perfectly organized. Alex was one of the best guides I’ve ever had in Africa.
Buhaj Family from France July 2015 “congratulations and thanks to all SGS team for the high quality of your safari ! BUHAJ family were so enthusiastic ! They have traveled a lot, but they said that it was one of their best trips in all their lives !!
Boshung Group from Austria-Aug 2015 “your safari was difficult to top in all matters…..thank you!!”