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Southern Africa Family Adventure

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2014 Last Updated:
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Introduction

If you’re crunched for time when it comes to a family holiday, make the most of it by taking your brood to Africa. Although there’ll be plenty of bird watching and game spotting, we put a focus on local culture immersion that you won’t get from similar trips. Your family will stay with the San Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert, and overnight on the Okavango Delta. Give your kids memories for a lifetime.

  • Marvel at the sight of Victoria Falls – "the smoke that thunders"
  • Spot game in Chobe National Park
  • Cruise the Okavango Delta in search of wildlife by mokoro
  • Watch the sunset on a boat cruise
  • Take guided walks through Ghanzi village
Duration: 8 days
Start/Finish City: Livingstone to Windhoek
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Family
Trips built for adventurers of all ages

Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn't mean your adventuring days are through. Family trips explore exciting locales — Tanzania, Thailand, the Galápagos, Europe and more — with age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Southern Africa Family Adventure (DZFA)

Day 1 Livingstone

Arrive at any time. Livingstone is great base to kick-off this southern African adventure, to see both some natural wonders and take part in some exciting activities.

The town of Livingstone is a regional transport center, being located near the borders of Botswana and Zimbabwe, and serves as a base for the many visitors to see this part of Africa, and the impressive Victoria Falls, a mere 12km from Livingstone.

Day 2 Livingstone (1B)

The Victoria Falls waterfalls occur in a country that is perfectly flat. From its source on the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zambezi River meanders for 1300 km across the wooded plateau of Zambia, eroding for itself a shallow valley on its mild descent to the site of the falls. The river eventually found a weak spot on the lower lip of the surface over which it passed, and forced a passage which was steadily deepened into an exit gorge. During the last half million years the river has scoured out eight of these cracks across its bed. The Victoria falls occurs where the river is 1688 m wide, presents the spectacle of an average maximum of 550 million liters of water a minute tumbling over the lip of the trench in five main falls, the Devil’s Cataract, Main falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow falls and the Eastern Cataract.
The highest of these is Rainbow falls, on an average 108 m high. A peak flood sees 750 million liters of water in one minute hurtling over the falls.

The name Zambezi comes from the Tonka tribe, also meaning Great River, but the Sotho-speaking Kololo people of the upper reaches of the river gave it the well-known name of Mosi o a Thunya (smoke that rises). The Lozi people call it by the same name but translated it into smoke that sounds. The Ndebele call it aManza Thunqayo (the water that rises like smoke). The Namibian people call it Chinotimba (a noise-making place like the distant sound of digging).

Day 3 Kasane (1B)

Today we journey to the area of Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant population in Southern Africa. The best way to appreciate one of Botswana's national parks and its thousands of resident elephants, crocodiles, and hippos, is on an optional sunset boat cruise on the Chobe River. You may also choose to embark on a game drive in search of lions, antelope, and of course elephants.

Kasane is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, near its mouth. This is where the Chobe and Zambezi rivers meet, creating a border area of four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park, and is situated along the Chobe River. It has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa and one of the world's last remaining sizeable wilderness areas. By size, this is the third largest park (11,000 sq km) of the country, though it is definitely the most diverse and spectacular.

The park is probably best known for its spectacular elephant population: with over 120,000 it has the highest elephant concentration of Africa. Moreover, most of them are probably part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population on Earth. The elephant population seems to have solidly built up since 1990, from the few initial thousands. By chance, they have not been affected by the massive illicit exploitation of the 1970's and 1980's. Elephants living here are Kalahari elephants, the largest in size of all known elephant species. Yet they are characterized by rather brittle ivory and short tusks. Damage caused by the high numbers of elephants is rife in some areas. In fact, concentration is so high throughout Chobe that culls have been considered, but are too controversial and have thus far been rejected. During the dry season, these elephants sojourn in Chobe River and the Linyanti River areas. During the rain season, they make a 200 km migration to the south-east region of the park. Their distribution zone however outreaches the park and spreads to north-western Zimbabwe.

Day 4 Nata (1B)

Enjoy a free morning at leisure in Chobe National Park, beforecontinue to the village of Nata, located near the bizarre salt pans of Makgadikgadi, an immense area devoid of anything but salt and shimmering horizon.

Makgadikgadi pan consists of two main pans, namely Ntwetwe and Sowa pan, both of which are surrounded by myriad smaller pans. Although it is totally devoid of any water, people used to live there before it was declared state land. Villagers were allowed to graze their livestock inside the boundaries during dry season.

Enjoy a village walk, in the afternoon which will be conducted by Nata’s village representative. All guests will be shown various aspects of village life such as visiting a Clinic, the “smouses”, the village entrepreneurs and viewing the ‘kgotla.’ We will also visit a primary school where the children will be dressed in traditional attire (opportunity to give donations to children in form of clothes/stationary etc. Time permitting and not possible in school holidays or weekends).

Time permitting, enjoy an optional sunset tour to the Sowa Pans, leaves around 16h00/17h00 latest. (Min 4 x pax) Guests will be transferred to the Sowa Pan for an open vehicle scenic drive. Sit amidst the wild, enjoy sundowner snacks while observing the amazing scenery and sunset.

Day 5 Maun (1B)

Depart this morning for Maun. The name of this village derives from the San word for 'place of the reeds'. As the gateway to the Okavango Delta, the area is filled with wildlife. We spend the afternoon looking for some of the wide variety of birdlife, before a sunset boat cruise. Make sure you keep an eye out for the wildlife as we glide between the channels on the delta. In the evening, enjoy a traditional dance and learn about local culture.

Day 6 Thamalakane (1B, 1L)

Leaving Maun, we spend the next coupel of days in the Okavango Delta as we drive in customized safari vehicles about 1-2 hours (depending on which dock we go to) to the "dock" where we hop into a mokoro, a dug-out canoe that will take us deep into the delta. After a 1-2 hour mokoro trip, we arrive at our basic “bush camp”. Enjoy game walks, mokoro trips (occasionally unavailable due to seasonality), birdlife and game viewing in the pristine wilderness area of the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta.

"Where all this water goes is a mystery", Aurel Schultz, 1897
The area of the delta was once part of Lake Makgadikgadi, an ancient lake that dried up some 10,000 years ago. Today, the Okavango River has no outlet to the sea. Instead, it empties onto the sands of the Kalahari Desert, irrigating 15,000 square km of the desert. Each year some 11 cubic kilometers of water reach the delta. Some of this water reaches further south to create Lake Ngami. The water entering the delta is unusually pure, due to the lack of agriculture and industry along the Okavango River. It passes through the sand aquifers of the numerous delta islands and evaporates/transpirates by leaving enormous quantities of salt behind. This precipitation processes are so strong that the vegetation disappears in the center of the islands and thick salt crusts are formed. The waters of the Okavango Delta are subject to seasonal flooding, which begins about mid-summer in the north and six months later in the south (May/June). The water from the delta is evaporated relatively rapidly by the high temperatures, resulting in a cycle of cresting and dropping water in the south. Islands can disappear completely during the peak flood, then reappear at the end of the season.

Day 7 Ghanzi (1B)

After our morning cruise on the Okavango Delta, we travel into the heart of the Kalahari. Get a glimpse of how the San adapted to the Kalahari Desert. Learn fascinating wilderness survival skills by local Bushmen on an optional Bushman walk.
Evening Sundowner drink at the “GAT” old quarry (included).

Ghanzi, located western part of Botswana on the northern rim of the Kalahari Desert, is the administrative center of Ghanzi District, and is also known as the "Capital of the Kalahari". Ghanzi is an intriguing town, and is primarily a farming community that supplies the Botswana Meat Commission with most of the required beef produce. In fact, it is the starting point of a 800 km long cattle trek—one of the longest in the world. Cattle are driven on horseback or by truck across the Kalahari southeastward to slaughterhouses at Lobatse.
Ghanzi mostly consists of a variety of ethnic cultures for instance the Bushman, Bakgalagadi, Baherero, Batawana as well as Afrikaners. Other spellings include "Gantsi," which is more consistent with the national language of Botswana, Setswana, "Ghansi," and "Gantsi."

Stay in traditional bushman huts tonight.

Day 8 Windhoek (1B)

Leaving the Kalahari, it's a full day driving to get back to Windhoek. With a population of 230,000, and an altitude of 1654m, Windhoek is the capital of Namibia.
Windhoek was originally the centre of a Nama leader, Jan Jonker Afrikaner, who defeated the Herero inhabitants of the region in the mid 19th century. Windhoek became the seat of colonial rule in 1892, as the capital of the colony of South-West Africa (Deutsch-Südwestafrika). They built a fort that eventually spanned a town that grew under its protection. During World War I, Windhoek was captured by South African troops and became a British dominion. Until the independence of Namibia was inaugurated in 1990, Windhoek was recognized as the capital of South West Africa as administered by the South African government.
The city of Windhoek was traditionally known by two names: Ai-Gams, by the Nama people, which literally refer to the hot springs that were once part of Windhoek, while the second name, Otjomuise, meaning a place of steam, was given by the Herero people. Both traditional names refer to the hot springs.

Day 9 Windhoek (1B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Victoria Falls visit (Zambian side). Sunset boat cruise on Zambezi River. Open vehicle game drive in Chobe National Park, birdwatching walk. Mokoro trip in Okavango Delta. Morning Delta cruise.

Highlights

Marvel at the sight of Victoria Falls – "the smoke that thunders", spot game in Chobe National Park, cruise the Okavango Delta in search of wildlife by mokoro, watch the sunset on a boat cruise, take guided walks through Ghanzi village

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, travelling can be difficult, with long drives and poor road conditions at times. Despite this, most clients feel that the diversity of the African landscape, countries, culture and wildlife are all well worth the experience. We use a comfortable and safe air-conditioned vehicle for the long drives.

2. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

3. Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.

Group Leader Description

On this tour, you will be accompanied by a group Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and an expert driver. The Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will be the group manager and leader. All of our leaders in southern Africa are registered and licensed tourism guides, meaning they’ve studied to have a broad knowledge base of the region’s history, cultures, and wildlife, and are legally certified to lead/guide tours in the regions visited. Most of our leaders in the region are from South Africa, though it may be possible that you’ll have a leader from another country in the southern African region.

As the group manager and leader, the aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places where are travelling, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. He/she will take care of the small things so you can concentrate on enjoying your adventure. In addition, as an integral part of the team, your driver is skilled and experienced driver who has intimate knowledge of the vehicle and routes travelled.

We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, Avg 12.

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Meals

Eating is a big part of travelling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in southern Africa. All meals will be freshly-prepared, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes.

For the included meals, vegetarian meal requests and other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival.

Meal Budget

Allow USD150-200 for meals and drinks not included.

Transport

van, walking, boat, mokoro.

About our Transportation

Road conditions in the region can range from good to very poor. As such, we slow our traveling speed in the rough spots and enjoy some sand and bumps en route – something which is of course part of the adventure of traveling in Africa!

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (4nts), lodge (2 nts), bushmen huts (1nt).

About Accommodation

Guests can expect a high level of comfort on the Houseboat. She consists of 2 decks- the lower deck has eight en-suite cabins with sliding glass doors opening on to the pristine wilderness that is the Okavango Delta. This design offers our guests’ unrivalled views of the crystal clear waterways, abundant bird life and the seas of papyrus. The Upper Deck is approximately three meters above the waterline, where the dining area, bar and sundecks is situated. This design offers views that are simply breath-taking when having a sundowner, the privacy and convenience of cabins that are en-suite … and ample space for our guests to have some ‘alone’ time.

Joining Instructions

***Please note that any pre-booked arrival transfer will pick you up from the international airport in Livingstone, Zambia (LVI). There is a domestic airport located in Zimbabwe (airport code VFA) that serves the Livingstone area, but there is an additional cost for this service. We highly recommend you double check your arrival details into Livingstone and make sure you are flying into the correct airport.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Operator (South Africa)
After Hours Emergency number:
From outside South Africa: +27 82 5757 434
From within South Africa: 082 5757 434

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase (please avoid a hard-top case), or sports bag, maximum 15kg, plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable. During the winter months (May to October), the temperatures can get quite cold in Botswana. It is wise to bring plenty of layers for cool mornings and evenings.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
-Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
-Windproof/waterproof jacket
-Small towel and swimwear
-4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
-Long-sleeved shirt or sweater for evenings
-1 pair of shorts
-2 pairs of long trousers
-1 pair hiking pants/track pants
-Comfortable shoes
-Sport sandals
-Sun hat, Bandana
-Sunblock
-Sunglasses
-Watch or alarm clock
-Water bottle
-Pocketknife
-Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
-Money belt
-First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin , Malaria pills, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, Antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhoea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
-Toiletries (biodegradable)
-Hand sanitizer gel/Sanitizer wipes
-Toilet paper
-Camera and extra memory card/film
-Extra batteries (recommended)
-Electricity Plug Adapter

For donation: notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children

Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks

Documents:
-Passport (with photocopies)
-Travel insurance (with photocopies)
-Yellow fever certificate
-Airline tickets (with photocopies)
-USD cash, Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
-G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
-Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Please note that you will be on the move a lot, and as such there will not be a lot of time for same-day laundry service. Please ask your guide/CEO to arrange if any laundry needs to be done, so that he / she can advise or make arrangements for you.

Visas

All countries require travelers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity), and you are required to acquire the entry visas for each of the countries visited.
Please double check with your agent and/or visa agent what the visa requirements is for each country that you will be traveling to. Some countries do require that you get your visa before arrival. If you show up at a border and should you not have the required visa you will be denied entry to the country and be send back to the closest embassy/high commission to get the visa. All arrangements and expenses for that will be at your own cost. The CEO will assist you with travel arrangements but will not be able to accompany you. You will also have to catch up with the group at their next destination at own cost.

The information provided here is to be used as a guide only. Please consult with the relevant embassy or your travel agency before you travel. We cannot take any responsibility whatsoever for the use of this information.

Zambia
***Important Note: you will need a double entry Visa for this trip****
http://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=118
http://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92&Itemid=117
Most nationals can purchase their visas upon arrival. Some nationals do have to obtain a visa before arriving in Lusaka such as Greek, Turkish, Indian, Chinese. But please double check with your agent and/or closest embassy.
Visas issued at ports of entry or missions abroad
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Britain, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Congo Brazzaville, Cook Islands, Costarica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, German, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourgm, Madagascar, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, Saotome and Prince, Slovakia Republic, Slovenia Republic, South Korea, Spain, St Lucia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America, Uruguay, Western Sahara, Venezuela, Vietnam

Countries not requiring a visa
Anguilla, Antigua and Bermuda, Australian Antarctic Territory, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Cook Island, Cyprus, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Falkland Islands Dependencies, Fiji Islands, Gilbraltar, Grenada, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Niue, Norfolk Island, Pitcairn Islands, Romania, Ross Dependency, St. Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, Serbia-Montenegro, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Turks and Caicos Island, Uganda, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Zimbabwe
Types of VISAS and the Applicable Fees – Please use as guideline only.
Single Entry- US $50.
Double Entry- US $80
Multiple Entry- US $80

For a daily visa update visit, please have a look at www.the-gsa.co.za.

Botswana
http://www.botswanaembassy.org/index.php?page=visa-consular
http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/entryFormalities.php
Visas cannot be obtained at the border.
Countries that does not require a visa for Botswana
Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil,Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Holy See, Hong Kong, Hungary,Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liechtenstien, Latvia, Lithuania, Luzembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia,Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway & Colonies*, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marico, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea (Republic Of), Spain, St. Kitts And Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Gurenadines, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States Of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Countries that do require a visa for Botswana
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola,Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Columbia, Comoros, Congo (Republic Of), Congo (Democratic Republic Of), Cote D’ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equitorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (Dem. Peoples Rep), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan (Kirghizia), Laos (Peoples Dem. Rep), Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morroco, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Phillippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sumatra, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Vietnam, Yemen
Visa costs
Please enquire from your agent and/or embassy

For a daily visa update visit, please have a look at www.the-gsa.co.za.

Detailed Trip Notes

REGIONAL INFORMATION
Climate
Southern Africa is renowned for its excellent outdoor living climate. The winter months are from May to September and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from October to April and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. Rains generally only start from mid to late December and last until March; this period is hot and humid.

Electricity
220-240V, 50 HZ, Most electrical plugs are 15 amp 3-prong with round pins. International adaptor are called for, they can be purchased locally (approx 2 U$).

Language
There are multiple official languages in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, although English is widely spoken. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout different parts of these lands.

Botswana:
Full country name: Republic of Botswana
Area: 600,370 sq km (231,800 sq mi)
Population: 1.6 million Capital city: Gaborone (pop 192,000)
People: Botswana 60%, Bakalanga, Basarwa, Bakgalagadi
Languages: English, Setswana
Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 50%
Government: parliamentary republic
President: Seretse Ian Khama
Major industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, coal, salt, soda ash, potash, livestock processing, sorghum, maize, millet, pulses, groundnuts (peanuts), beans, cowpeas, sunflower seed, livestock
Major trading partners: EU, Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Zimbabwe

The first inhabitants of Botswana were the San (Bushmen). They still populate the country, but the Tswana tribe is now more prominent. Other tribes include the Kalanga, Nbukushy, Yei and the Herero. The Herero women still wear the full-length Victorian-style dresses, which were introduced to them by German missionaries in the late 1800’s, however it is now a tribal trademark. The British controlled Bechuanaland (as Botswana was then known) from 1885 until the country received their independence on September 30th 1966. Ironically diamonds were discovered in Botswana in 1967! Interesting fact – Botswana’s diamonds do very well on the International market as they are classified as “Blood free,” meaning they are not used to fund guerrilla warfare. Botswana has the strongest economy and currency in Africa, mostly due to their diamonds and livestock. The European Union put many stipulations on their imported meats and Botswana’s tight veterinary checks, aiming at controlling foot and mouth, mean that the EU are happy to buy their meat. Agricultural income will improve when they have combated the problem of widespread drought. They are currently installing irrigation systems around the country to try to feed the most water-deprived areas. Botswana handles its international debt much better than any other African country with the interest being paid with one months export earnings, rather than the six months earnings it takes most other African countries. With the amount of for ex saved up the country could survive with no income for 36 months. Botswana has the world’s highest birth rate at 3.5%, and average women have 5 children. The country has a strong currency, the Pula meaning rain and the Thebe meaning raindrop. Government policies and poaching: Their policy on tourism is “high cost and low impact” therefore rather having a few less tourists and charging more money for the privilege of a visit to a park or similar. The country has a very good army, which has an anti poaching unit. Poaching has in the past been a problem in the country but in now almost under control. The army is allowed to shoot to kill without asking questions if you are caught poaching. Rhinos are very few due to poaching and they have breeding programs in place.

ZAMBIA
Full country name: Zambia
Area: 752,615km2 (17th largest in Africa)
Population: 10.4 million
Capital city: Lusaka
Largest Towns: Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone, Kabwe, Kitwe.
People: Bemba, Tonga, Nyanja, Ngoni, Lozi plus many other different groups as well as Colonial ex-pats and people of Asian descent
Official Language: English
Other Languages: Bemba, Tonga, Nyanja, Lozi
Religion: Christian, ZCC and Islam
Government: Multiparty parliamentary democracy
President: Rupiah Banda
Currency: Kwacha
Major industries: Agriculture (mainly subsistence farming), mining, tourism

• Formally called Northern Rhodesia, Zambia gained its independence from colonial Great Britain in 1964.
• By the end of 1970, Zambia has become one of the poorest countries in the world due to corruption, mismanagement of the economy and a fall in the world copper price.
• In the 1990s Kuanda, the president since independence, was forced to amend the constitution, legalizing opposition parties and setting full elections in 1991. They were defeated by Frederick Chiluba. However, Zambia’s situation has not improved.
• The country has three distinct seasons: cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry in September and October and rainy between November and April.
• The majority of the population are subsistence farmers and there are also some large commercial farms growing sugar cane.

INTERESTING FACTS
1. Zambia is the fourth-largest supplier of copper in the world and the leading producer of cobalt. Combined the mining of these two minerals accounts for 75% of Zambia’s foreign exchange and 5% of employment in the country.
2. There are 73 officially recognized ethnic groups living within Zambia’s borders, each with their own culture and language.
3. Unlike many African countries, Zambia’s borders do not adhere to any logical language or tribal boundaries.
4. Unlike neighbouring Botswana the Zambian government does not have a comprehensive anti-poaching policy and poaching remains a major problem facing Zambia’s wildlife.
5. Approx 750 different species of bird have been recorded in Zambia. 6. The Victoria Falls on the Zambian side is known as “Mosi oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders).

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

In Botswana, you pay with Pula (BWP) and the official currency of Zambia is the Zambian Kwacha, denoted by ZMK.

It is advisable to pay in US$ in Zambia, as it is not that easy to get a good exchange rate, however, change will then be in Kwacha.

The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR).

Each currency can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need.

The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.

If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.

Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.

Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.

Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.

Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

There is currently no departure tax leaving Zambia.

Tipping

Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory and optional (up to the discretion of the group/guest) - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s). You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required); Driver / CEO: up to the discretion of the guest.

Optional Activities

PERSONALIZE MY TRIP
Extras are specially designed for travellers with unique interests, they are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure.

Extras available on this trip:
OKAVANGO DELTA FLIGHT
Okavango Delta, 45 minutes

Get a fresh perspective on the vast wilderness of africa with a once-in-a-lifetime view only a select few will ever see.

Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

All prices are in US dollar amounts.

ZAMBIA/ZIMBABWE
Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions.

All prices are per person and are listed in Zambian Kwacha with an approximate exchange in USD amounts. These prices are subject to change and the activities are subject to availability.

Livingstone:
Breakfast Cruise USD55
Lunch or Sunset Cruise USD70
Lady Livingstone Sunset Cruise USD85

White Water Rafting:
River conditions are vary depending on the seasons. Low water season generally runs from August to January each year - this is when the Zambezi is at its very wildest. High water season is from about February to July with a "closed season" for a few months, usually in March, and April, depending on the season's rains. During this time rafting on the river is not permitted.
Full Day (Low Water) - inc lift USD185
Half Day AM (Low Water) - no lift USD160
Half Day PM (Low Water) or High Water - inc lift USD160
White Water Rafting / River Boarding Combo
Full Day (Low Water) - inc lift USD225
Half Day AM (Low Water) - no lift USD195
Half Day PM (Low Water) or High Water - inc lift USD195
Overnight White Water Rafting
2 Days, 1 Night Rapid 1 - 25 USD345
3.5 Days, 3 Night Rapid 1 to Moemba Falls USD1110

Raft Float on Upper Zambezi USD100

Upper Zambezi Canoe:
Half Day USD120
Full Day USD155
Overnight Canoeing USD285

Abseiling:
Full Day USD162
Half Day USD139
Gorge Swing - (single / tandem) USD95/116
Flying Fox or Cable Slide (excl transfer) USD58

Vic Falls Bungee:
Big Air Experience (Combo) USD198
Bungee jump USD157
Bridge Swing USD157
Bridge Slide USD47
Bridge Tour USD70
*Excludes transfers

River Safaris
Morning / Lunch / Sunset *$10 Park fee to be paid direct USD100
Jet Boating * includes cable car USD116
Fishing Safaris
Half Day AM/PM USD145
Full Day (with lunch) USD296

Game Drive USD65
Zambezi Elephant Trail (AM/PM Ride) USD195
Lion Encounter (AM/PM Walk): USD160
Chobe Game Park (Kasane - Botswana) Day Trip (Excludes Visa Fees) USD190

VICTORIA FALLS:
Falls Tour (Zambia) (Excludes Visa Fees and USD20 park fee) USD35
Falls Tour (Zimbabwe)(Excludes Visa Fees and USD20 park fee) USD50
Flights over the Falls:
Helicopter Short flight (approx 15mins) USD185
Helicopter Long flight (approx 30mins) USD370
Microlight Short flight (approx 15mins) USD175
Microlight Long flight (approx 30mins) USD350
Livingstone Island (Devil's Pool)
Morning Breezer USD90
Lunch USD150
High Tea USD120
*Excludes transfers

Livingstone Tour USD50
Mukuni Village USD50
Visit a typical African village, purchase food from the local market, enjoy a cooking lesson, interact with the Tokayela people and learn their rich culture while having lunch with them. In your tour prize a donation to the village community project is included.

African Culture tour (markets, cooking lunch, languages) USD60
Learn about the African culture on food and the basic languages used in the Livingstone area. It also offers clients an experience of shopping at an African market the way the Africans do it plus an overview on the history of Zambia and Livingstone town.

Chobe River (Kasane – Botswana)
Photo-safari ($120USD)
The experts will show you how the cameras work and advise you on how to frame the subject to capture a truly great image. We set ups the camera for you, to suit the conditions and even beginners will have no problem. The fact that the Chobe is such a game rich environment and that the Nikon D7000 is such a fantastic and user-friendly camera means that in no time you will be taking some images that truly do justice to your safari in the Chobe. Highlights along the river include elephants, hippos, crocodile and ample birdlife. This tour includes: transfers, park fees, drinks, camera usage (Nikon D7000 With 150 - 500 mm Zoom lens), photo permit, exclusive photo seat on Photo boat.

This is a world famous wildlife photography area, a "jewel" according to National Geographic, and a backdrop for lots of African wildlife documentaries. This is a amazing opportunity to take great pictures with a very good camera and zoom lens - the memory card in the camera is yours to keep!

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure. Travelers should also carry a basic first-aid kit, hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes. Travellers to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia should observe similar precautions to those taken elsewhere in Africa. Medical facilities are basic throughout these countries. For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you advise your CEO of any medical condition that may affect you while travelling with the group. Be aware that all safaris enter malaria areas. Your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor.

Yellow Fever Certificate Note:

It is compulsory to show a valid Yellow Fever Certificate if you are travelling to South Africa from a Yellow Fever endemic country. Entry into South Africa when travelling from the following countries (but not limited to) will require a Yellow Fever Certificate: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This rule is also applicable to airport transit. If other countries not endemic to Yellow Fever have been visited (such as Botswana and Namibia), after visiting an endemic country such as Zambia, then a Yellow Fever certificate will still be required on entry into South Africa.

According to guidelines effective from October 2011, entry into Zambia, from South Africa also requires a yellow fever certificate although South Africa is a not endemic to Yellow Fever.

A valid Yellow Fever Certificate is also needed for entry into the following countries when coming from a Yellow Fever endemic country:
Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Malawi and Zambia.

BOTSWANA: Water in the towns and villages, reassuringly, is perfectly safe to drink. It is recommended to visitors, though - those who want to take sensible precautions - that they are vaccinated against hepatitis A & B, which are common diseases, before entering the country. BUT Bottled water is the safer option when travelling in Botswana, Zambia, and Namibia. Malaria Area - please take malaria tables when travelling to Botswana.

ZAMBIA: Vaccinations for cholera and tetanus are advised. Malaria is virulent in the low lying areas of the country which include most of the good wildlife destinations. Take prophylactics two weeks before arrival and continue two weeks after leaving. Your chemist or doctor can advise you of the most suitable drug available as certain drugs lose their effectiveness.

Tap water in the major towns is purified and perfectly safe to drink. In the more remote areas always boil it first, except if you’re staying at a lodge or hotel where drinking water is boiled already.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

GENERAL: Look after your personal items. Do not leave your valuables visible in a car or hotel room. Lock your hotel room door when you enter and when you leave. Do not carry large amount of cash on you. Avoid displaying flashy jewellery and carry your camera in its pack on your shoulder rather than around your neck. Keep your passport, airline tickets, money, important documents locked up in your room/safe - do not carry it with you.

ZAMBIA: Theft, however, is rife in the bigger towns and cities. Don’t walk around with things you can’t do without, like your passport or airline tickets. Carry minimum amounts of cash and keep it hidden or in a money belt and if possible. This is less of a problem in the rural areas.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.