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Great guides about travel tips/etiquette on safari in Botswana/So. Africa

Great guides about travel tips/etiquette on safari in Botswana/So. Africa

Old Jun 28th, 2007, 08:38 AM
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Great guides about travel tips/etiquette on safari in Botswana/So. Africa

Hi everyone - is there a definitive guide besides Fodors/Frommers for safari in Botswana and/or So. Africa (or better yet, Southern Africa)?

We're going to some pretty nice places in Botswana and So Africa (And rounding it out in Capetown). My fiancee is a little concerned about proper clothes for safari and for nighttime activities (we've heard casual, but one of her friends told her that people dress up for dinners at the lodges, etc.).
Any tips or references would be much appreciated!

I also heard that it's wise to bring a way to transfer your digital photos either to a separate memory stick or to an ipod - Apple sells a connection wire that I think I may purchase unless anyone thinks that its not a wise move.

Thanks, Tim
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 08:48 AM
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There's a good Bradt guide to Botswana
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Why don't you let evryone know where you are going, and you can get suggestions, but generally camps are quite casual.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Dress-up might simply be "nice casual."

Unless you're going out on a night game drives, where you need safari clothing and warm coverups, night activities will be dinner!

Why not list your itinerary and accommodations, time of year... we can better advise.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Hi, everyone - thanks for the quick replies - any other general advice on any of the locations below would be much appreciated!

Royal Livingstone, Livingstone (Victoria Falls – Zambia)
14 Aug
Date Out: 15 Aug
(located within the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River)

Aug 15-18 Vumbura Plains, Moremi/Okavango Delta

Aug 18-20 Ntwala Island Lodge, Zambezi River – Namibia

Aug 21-24 Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve (So Africa)

Finish the trip in Capetown at the Cape Cadogan
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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you can read my report on Ntwala Island Lodge. search ntwala and it's #2 I think. Very nice rooms are all I'll say for now.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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You don't have to "dress" for any of the properties above. Because of weight limits, you'll find comfort and interchangeability is "de-rigeur" As mentioned above, some choose nice casual or anything other than safari tan/khaki/brown... for dinner.

Nothing fancy... for women: black/brown slacks, nice sweater with some costume jewelry; for men: casual slacks, a shirt, maybe a sports jacket. I do recall seeing some young women in slip dresses for dinner. However, as one should be covered between dusk/dawn... mossie biting time, this isn't the smartest idea.

Generally, fter a full day, returning from afternoon/evening game drives with little time before dinner, many stay in their same clothing. Others grab a quick shower and wear fresh safari clothing, as they plan to wear next day.

Few travelers look as if they stepped off the safari pages of Vogue or Harper's. In fact, those who do, actually look out of place!
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Thanks, Sandi! looking forward to the trip
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Old Jul 10th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Do not take dressy clothes ... nice, clean casual will do. After two game drives a day, you'll be thinking of a drink and dinner ... you'll be quite happy to throw on something casual. This is based on four trips to Botswana, hitting many of the camps in the Okavango and Linyati areas. Have a ball!!
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Old Jul 11th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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You have a good itinerary with a nice mix of locations and you are going at a good time. Vumbura would be where you could do water activities like a boat or mekoro trip, if you are interested.

I keep my photos on the card until I get home. But I do delete many every couple of days. Vumbura will transfer your memory card to a CD for a nominal charge.

As the others have mentioned, casual is fine. It is cool at night so you'll likely be wearing a jacket over whatever your outfit is.

Since you mentioned fiancee, is this a honeymoon trip? If so, be sure that is evident because camps offer nice little extras for such special occasions.
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Old Jul 11th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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Just back from two of the places you're going - Vumbura and Royal Livingstone. It was so cold in the evening, that we wore multiple layers, and didn't look remotely smart. We'd taken some quite nice clothes, and never wore them at all. (Evenings at VP were about 3 or 4 degrees, and while the outdoor heaters are great, I still wore my fleece and had a blanket wrapped round me throughout dinner).
At the moment, Vumbura can't transfer your photos onto CD, as their machine is broken. Had a fantastic time there, and can thoroughly recommend it (though I probably wouldn't recommend the Royal Livingstone, where the service was truly truly appalling. Was good other than that though. I wrote a trip report yesterday on VP, and hopefully should have finished on Vic Falls by the end of the week).
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Old Jul 11th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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VP was astonishingly cold last year in June. But they have these great blankets with a hood for use at dinner. Everyone looks like a monk, but the point is everyone does. I did change for dinner, into jeans and a lightweight Cashmere sweater which is very warm, I found the jeans were warmer than my zip off's which are quite thin.
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Old Jul 11th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Second the motion on Bradt guide ot Botswana. The best out there.
In Sabi Sands at Londolozi we were out on night drives quite long, and most people in our Land Rover didn't even bother to change from their safari clothes.
At the Royal Livingstone, it was a bit posher, with most people wearing casual chic for dinner (no game drives there). Like some, I brought dressier clothes and never wore them, not even in Cape Town.
Leslie
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Hello tb31

we got back from Botswana in June and can above all else recommend the Bradt Guide, but used the following for our trip research, including whatever tips we could get from this site, which at the time was the very informative luangwablondes who before our trip pointed us in the direction of things like Ron’s Grocery and mapping.

• Bradt’s guide to Botswana written by Chris McIntyre – essential, don’t leave home without this; Chris McIntyre is also the owner of Expert Africa where we ordered our maps from, which used to be Sunvil Africa, so he really is an “Old Africa Hand” and his experience and expertise are invaluable in this book. Safari Drive gave us a free copy as part of our trip pack. Bradt published a new edition of this and we found both useful.
• Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia
• Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum: http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/
• Garmin GPS unit which comes with Mapsource Software. Tracks 4 Africa website (http://www.tracks4africa.com) - T4A Maps Pro Botswana - loaded onto the PC and synchronized with the GPS unit so we then had the Botswana maps on the unit;
• Google Earth - you can view many of the Tracks 4 Africa tracks in Google Earth. This is perfect for initial planning;

• Shell Veronica Roodt maps (we ordered from Sunvil Africa/ Expert Africa who provide them via mail order) – essential - we used the national Botswana map and the individual maps for each of the National Parks we visited;
• We created waypoints on our GPS unit using the waypoints on Veronica’s maps and from Chris McIntyre’s guide.
• Shell Guide to Botswana – must read – ordered from the same place as the maps.
www.flickr.com – photo web site which is brilliant to get a good preview of where you’re planning to visit and to an idea of what lies ahead. Flickr has photos uploaded from people who have traveled there before which are geo-tagged to the location. This is a tremendous traveling research tool, I really highly recommend it.
• Other tour operators:
o Wild about Africa on 020 8758 4717, e-mail [email protected]
o Wild about Africa has done some fantastic guides to Botswana which are available online at www.wildaboutafrica.com which you can download
o Expert Africa (used to be Sunvil Africa) - 020 8232 9777, [email protected], www.expertafrica.co.uk - this is where we got the Veronica maps from.
• African Travel and Tourism - http://www.atta.co.uk
• The Botswana Tourism government website: http://www.botswana-tourism.gov.bw
http://www.botswana-travel-guide.com
http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw
http://www.botswanatourism.org.uk

If you would like more information/ our trip report in full you can read some of it and download it in full in PDF format from http://wilddogsandenglishmen.wordpress.com

Kind regards

WD
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