A safari in Botswana may be unlike any other holiday people have experienced before – even if guests have been on safari elsewhere in Africa. It is important for their enjoyment and satisfaction that what they find here approximates what they expect to find, and that they are properly equipped and prepared to reap the maximum benefit from what we hope will be the experience of a lifetime, and one which will be repeated, as many do, time and time again.
Perhaps the first thing is to help people properly understand the environment. Botswana is Africa in the raw, and people will find themselves closer to nature than they may have ever been before. Guests need to be prepared for what they may consider to be close encounters – with animals small and large, with insects, with reptiles and with people. Rest assured that a Botswana safari is not particularly dangerous, but it may challenge preconceptions of what is and what is not dangerous.
Any holiday is full of hope and expectation. Guests may have had a friend or family member who described an experience or place that they wanted to capture for themselves. Unfortunately, Botswana’s wilderness does not provide the same opportunity twice. What the environment has in store varies drastically from day to day, season to season and year to year. Please keep that in mind and remember that every step of the way guests will be guided by people who are passionate about sharing the untamable wilds of Botswana. And when they share their stories with friends and look back at their time in the bush with us - they will know that those adventures are theirs and theirs alone.
We understand that you have chosen Footsteps in Africa to ensure a welcoming and professional safari experience. Everyone within the Footsteps in Africa collection is dedicated to good service. We believe that begins from the moment we receive a booking request and that it does not end until guests have safely left our care. We maintain close relationships with all of our travel partners and our partners within the collection.
Before traveling we ask questions about guest preferences. Answering those questions is essential for us to tailor each safari to the guest and to help meet their unique expectations and needs. To that end, your role as an agent is essential to the guest experience. Please help us to fulfill our commitment to the guest by sharing their preferences with us.
As far as our water camps are concerned, please be advised that the use of mekoro depends on a number of factors beyond our control – water levels, vegetation growth, changes in the Okavango’s channel-structure, and hippo activity, amongst others. These can and do change quickly and unpredictably. Consequently they may not be able to offer mokoro trails due to practical constraints or safety considerations. If this is the case they will recommend to guests that they stay in camp and enjoy other daily activities.
On arrival in Maun or Kasane Delta Air ground staff will welcome each flight. Inter-camp transfer times will be communicated the day before your departure from them.
Inter-camp transfers will be effected by single and/or twin-engined ‘bush’ ‘planes – aircraft designed for the short, dirt strips that serve the various camps and lodges. Most of these aircraft have baggage pods underneath the fuselage, which assist in keeping the weight centralized. This is why it is essential that luggage is in SOFT bags WITHOUT WHEELS that can be manipulated into the baggage pod.
Transfers are usually flown at 1000 – 1500 ft above ground level, affording good views of the passing terrain and, sometimes, wildlife. Flight sectors are typically 15 – 60 minutes long. Wherever possible transfers are arranged so you will not miss an activity on the day, but every day’s schedule is different. If you would like to guarantee a set departure time a charter flight must be purchased.
It is a regulation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana that each passenger’s weight is submitted on the necessary paperwork before flying. This is in order to determine a safe carrying capacity for each Delta Air flight and to ensure safe carriage of every passenger. We do need to have this information in advance of travel.
Luggage is restricted to 20 kilograms, including hand luggage, in SOFT bags WITHOUT WHEELS. Luggage needs to be stowed in the hold. A small camera bag that fits on the lap is allowed in the cabin. It is for the safety of the guests that baggage weights are strictly adhered to. Any overweight luggage will be charged at a per kilo rate. Should the plane guests are traveling on be full, excess baggage will be sent to them either on the next available plane or by private charter at their cost.
If entering South Africa, however briefly, at any stage of the safari, travelers must ensure that they have two blank pages side by side in their passport with a minimum of six months validity from the date of return home. Upon entry into Botswana most nationalities will be given a visa for up to 90 days. There is no fee for this visa. In some cases a visa will need to be arranged in advance. Please double check should you have guests traveling from outside of Western Europe, North America or Australia.
Traveling families need to make sure that they carry an unabridged birth certificate for each child. If traveling without one of the parents the absent parent will need to prepare a notarized letter stating their approval and detailing the specific travel. Children will not be able to enter South Africa or Botswana without these documents.