Botswana is one of Africa’s best safari countries, home to deserts, grasslands and forests. Tourists flock the place to see animals and birds in their natural habitat, wild and free. Preparing for the wild, however, is no easy feat. Here’s some of what you should bring to make your survival trip a little more comfortable.
Before your trip, pack these at the airport or at home:
All-important paper works and IDs
Bring valid IDs, your passport and your plane tickets. It is also recommended you bring the originals of your travels agency information, lodge confirmations and travel insurances and make copies of them.
Adapters and sim card for your phone
You can just buy a sim card for your phone in the Botswana airport or from street vendors. You can buy adapters before your trip but make sure you buy the correct ones. Botswana uses a mix of the British-type plug (Type G – three rectangular pins) and the South African type plug (Type M – three round pins).
The local money is Botswana Pula. You can exchange your currency in airports or withdraw in ATMs in the airport.
The dimensions of your carry-on should be 25cm (10 inches) wide x 30cm (12 inches) high and 62cm (24 inches) long, this is so it can fit in the luggage box in light aircrafts. Don’t pack bulky and heavy things but wear them. Checked on luggage has a weight restriction of 20kg. Carry on needs to be small and soft sided and weigh no more than 7kg.
In your bag, pack the following:
Always bring a waterproof bag to store your electronics and protect your documents. It is especially a must if you want to go to mobile, particularly on a Mokoro safari.
Pills and medications
Aside from any maintenance medicines and vitamins you are already taking, be sure to take some for motion sickness tabs if you are traveling between camps in Okavango Delta using short charter plane rides, and medications for stomach ache and headache just in case.
Insect repellent and insect repelling accessories
It is a given that insect repellent is a must on these countries. Long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks still work as one of the most effective ways to prevent insect bites though. It is also helps protect you from the sun.
One with a hood and with a stand up collar is better too. You can opt to just wear it already or just tie it at your waist rather than stuff it in your bag as it is pretty bulky and heavy.
Clothes suitable for Botswana
Loose layers is the way to go to battle the rain and sun and biting insects. Never mind formal clothes, all events, even at upscale lodges and buildings are pretty low-key and casual. Zip-off pants and pants that convert to shorts are better to pack as morning game drives are colder and the day only gets hotter as soon as the sun comes up. Try not to pack denim, it doesn’t dry quickly and is heavy to pack. Pack track suits and instead. For women, sport bras are great for the outdoors.
Durable pair of shoes
A good pair of walking shoes and flip-flops is all you need. Walking on wooden boardwalks and sandy paths is best done with flats and showers and boating trips will be best done with flip-flops. Bring shoes that are already broken in if you don’t want blisters on your feet.
Other essential accessories
A day bag is helpful to keep things when you go away on game drives. Bring a torch for the night and a hat, sunblock and polarised sunglasses for the sun. Binoculars are also an option.