Southern Africa's Diversity: Namibia, Botswana & Zambia

Southern Africa's Diversity
February 14, 2019
21 Days
Wildlife Adventure
8 Guests
From $25,980

Additional departure: February 8, 2020

Before You Go

Travel will be mostly by small charter aircraft and game-drive vehicles. Game drives can be long and strenuous and over bumpy surfaces. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. Most nights on safari are spent in deluxe tents, which are quite spacious, with plenty of headroom. These tents are en suite and are designed to the highest standards, with hot and cold running water and shower outlets in the adjoining bathroom area. All of the safari camps have separate lounge and bar areas that often overlook waterways, which adds to the excitement of being in the bush. Please note that there are no fences around the camps, and animals of all sizes are sometimes encountered within the camp boundaries. Temperatures during the summer season are generally pleasant with ranges from 80° – 90°F in Namibia and Botswana during the day, but nights are much cooler. Temperatures in Zambia will be 10°F cooler overall, on average.

Activity Level & Accommodations

Travel will be mostly by small charter aircraft and open 4x4 game-drive vehicles. Game drives can be long and strenuous and over bumpy surfaces. Most nights on safari are spent in deluxe tents, which are quite spacious with plenty of headroom. These tents are en suite and are designed to the highest standards, with hot and cold running water and shower outlets in the adjoining bathroom area. All of the safari camps have separate lounge and bar areas that often overlook waterways, which adds to the excitement of being in the bush. Please note that there are no fences around the camps and animals of all sizes are sometimes encountered within the camp boundaries.

This program does not require a high degree of physical fitness. For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. However, a certain amount of agility is required to get in and out of boats, safari vehicles, and small planes. Some of the camps and lodges used during this program are laid out over large areas, have uneven steps in and out of buildings, and no handrails. To fully enjoy this program, participants should be in good general health and able to walk reasonable distances, as there may be occasional safaris on foot.

Arrivals & Departures

Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight to Windhoek three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.

Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates. However, if you are arriving prior to the group arrival day and have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, a transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided.

Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.

If you are booking your own flights or accommodation, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.

Baggage Allowance

For your international flights to Windhoek and from Lusaka, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.

Internal Air Baggage Restriction
Due to restrictions on the charter flights within this program, baggage is restricted to one soft-sided bag per person and one carry-on; each participant is allowed 33 pounds (15 kilograms) of total weight.

  • 1 Soft-Side Luggage
    • Maximum Dimension: 10 inches (25 centimeters) wide x 12 inches (30 centimeters) high and 24 inches (62 centimeters) long.
    •  Only soft bags will be accepted—no wheels, frames or rigid structures can be transported as inflexible bags may impede loading of the aircraft. 
    • Weight: 22 pounds (10 kilograms).
  • 1 Carry On
    • Maximum Dimension: 10 inches (25 centimeters) wide x 12 inches (30 centimeters) high and 24 inches (62 centimeters) long.
    • Only soft bags will be accepted—no wheels, frames or rigid structures can be transported as inflexible bags may impede loading of the aircraft. 
    • Weight: 11 pounds (5) kilograms.

If you purchase items en route, you may need to arrange to have the items shipped back in order to remain within these limits. 

IMPORTANT: Please take these weight restrictions seriously as it will delay the group if any participants have to unpack and reorganize part of their belongings. Local authorities set the weight limit for these small bush planes. There are no exceptions to the limits listed above, and your pilot reserves the right to refuse overweight bags. All luggage will be weighed and any weight over the limit will not be carried. The bush planes used between camps operate within a limited body and luggage weight allowance. Most airfields are at a higher elevation and in warm/hot climates. This, in addition to their physical size, reduces capacity on these flights. These restrictions are in place for your safety. 

PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.

We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the flight, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary, so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.

Climate

This expedition will occur during the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere. Temperatures can range from 78-90ºF (25-32ºC) during the day to low 60ºF (15ºC) in the early mornings, evenings, and nights in some locations.

The following are average high/low temperatures ºF(ºC) in February/March for selected locations on our itinerary:

LocationHighLow
Windhoek, Namibia84ºF (28ºC)76ºF (15ºC)
Okavango Delta, Botswana90ºF (32ºC)65ºF (18ºC)
Lusaka, Zambia78ºF (25ºC)64ºF (17ºC)

Currency

As of September 2018, the exchange rate is as follows:

$1 U.S. dollar (USD)14.90 Namibian dollar (NAD)
$1 U.S. dollar (USD)110.80 Botswanan pula (BWP)
$1 U.S. dollar (USD)10.59 Zambian kwacha (ZMW)

Only Visa and MasterCard may be used at our camps. However, it may be impossible to get cash advances off any credit or debit cards at lodges or camps.

If spending any time in South Africa before the start of this expedition, you may wish to obtain a supply of South African rand. The rand is frequently accepted in Namibia and Botswana, and exchange rates for their currencies are tied to the rand. Please note, you will receive your change in BWP.

Most of your expenses have been paid for; therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller USD denominations.

Documentation

You will receive your pre-departure information—including a complete packing list and gear certificate—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.

Electricity

The electrical currents are as follows:

  • Zambia & Botswana                           230V/50Hz with electrical outlet types D & G
  • Namibia                                                220V/50Hz with electrical outlet types D & M

However, as there is insufficient electricity available at the permanent tented camps to power appliances, we ask that you not take them on safari.

There will be facilities for recharging camera batteries at the camps. At these locations, you will need to bring a European, round, two-prong adapter and a converter if your equipment is not compatible for charging 220V electricity.

PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage and don’t require an adapter and converter. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.

Flight Information

International flights are not included in the cost of expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Windhoek and Lusaka/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.

Health Information

A yellow fever vaccination is only required for Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia IF travelers are arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. Yellow fever vaccinations, valid for life, must be given at official centers designated by your state’s health departments.

We suggest that you contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and rabies vaccine. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.

Drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. By preventing dehydration, you may prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.

Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as we will not have access to pharmacies while in the remote areas of this expedition.

In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes $100,000 of emergency evacuation cover and $25,000 cover for medical expenses. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm

The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.

Internet & Phone

Please note, due to the remote nature of the area you will be traveling, you will not have access to communication. Should your family need to reach you, they will contact our local operator who will get messages to the camp as soon as possible. It is highly unlikely you will have cell service during this departure. Iridium phones have been known to work on occasion but are not reliable.

Local Time

Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American west coast:

7:00 a.m.Seattle, WA (PST)
10:00 a.m.New York, NY (EST)
5:00 p.m.Namibia, Zambia & Botswana (CAT))

Meals

Professional cooks prepare the food on all safaris. Southern Africans pride themselves on delicious, full-bodied, hearty meals. All safari camps also feature a fully stocked bar. All beverages are included on game drives and boat trips, as well as complimentary beer and house wines at lunch and dinner. Additional beverages are in fact included (spirits such as whisky, gin, rum, liquors etc.)  The only beverages for which extra charges are made are expensive, imported wines and spirits of which there is a minimal choice.

Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.

Packing Suggestions

General Information
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.

Laundry service is available and by using it, you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing. Please note that for cultural reasons, some of the camps you will be visiting do not launder undergarments.

Expedition Clothing
Rugged, lightweight, comfortable, and casual clothing that can be layered is most suitable. Bring light materials (denim is discouraged). A lightweight jacket will be needed for mornings and evenings, as well as a lightweight rain jacket should we encounter a rain shower or two.

Dress in the safari camps and in the lodges is casual and informal. Your clothes for safari should be in neutral, muted colors such as tan, khaki, and bush green. Navy blue and black can attract insects, and bright colors like white, orange, and red should be avoided, as they alert wildlife to our presence and can cause them to shy away. Camouflage-patterned clothing is not allowed as it is associated with the military; your hat should also be neutral colored.

Prepare yourself for warm weather, strong sun, and cool mornings and evenings. Bring adequate sun protective clothing and gear. Wear hats and polarized sunglasses, and use sun block, as we will be outside for extended periods of time. Comfortable walking or jogging shoes or lightweight hiking boots are suitable. You may change to more casual shoes in the evenings. Thongs or sports sandals, such as Tevas, can double as slippers. You may also want to pack a swimsuit, as some of our lodging will have swimming pools.

For protection against insect bites, long pants and long-sleeved shirts are useful. Bring insect repellent with a high concentration of DEET. You may also consider permethrin spray, which can be applied directly on to your clothing before departure and lasts up to three washings, or clothing with insect-repellent already bonded to the fabric, such as Buzz Off clothing.

Passport & Visa Requirements

Passport
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six (6) months after you return home, through September 6, 2019. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of 2 blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages if necessary.

As of January 1, 2016, the U.S. State Department no longer allows additional pages to be inserted into passports. If your passport is nearly full, and you have insufficient pages for this expedition, then a new passport must be obtained. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.

Visas
Namibia: Visas are not required of U.S. nationals for entry into Namibia for stays under 90 days.

Zambia: Tourist visas are required of U.S. nationals for entry into Zambia. Visas are available upon arrival for stays under 90 days and cost $50.00 (USD), which must be paid in cash. Your passport must also contain two blank pages for the visa.

E-visas are also available prior to departure by visiting https://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/ - /. You will need a copy of your e-visa, and your passport must contain at least two blank pages for entry into Zambia.

Please note that U.S. citizens must pay an airport departure tax in local currency. This departure tax is included in the cost of international flight tickets.

Botswana: Visas are not required of U.S. nationals for entry into Botswana for stays under 90 days.

If you are traveling independently from the group or to any other countries prior to our expedition, please check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.

PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.

Payments & Cancellations

Reservations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.

Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:

  • 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
  • 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
  • 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare

Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.

Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.

With Our Compliments

We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.