How to use this guide

This mag­a­zine will in­spire you to plan your own trip to Botswana. But where to start? Here’s what you should know.

go! Botswana - - EDS’ LET­TER -

MAPS

There are four de­tailed map pages that cover the whole of Botswana (pages 12 – 15). These maps in­di­cate all the tar roads and main gravel roads, as well as the dis­tances be­tween the big towns. Use the maps to plan your route if you’re trav­el­ling in a 4x2 and you’d pre­fer to stick to the main routes.

When you’re driv­ing 4x4 routes in wilder­ness ar­eas like Moremi, Chobe or Mak­gadik­gadi Pans, our maps should be used in con­junc­tion with other qual­ity guides and maps. We rec­om­mend the GPS prod­ucts from Track­s4Africa ( track­s4africa.co.za).

GPS CO-OR­DI­NATES

We’ve used the dec­i­mal de­gree for­mat in this guide. Set your GPS to the same for­mat to avoid con­fu­sion. We checked all the co-or­di­nates us­ing Google Earth and there might be small dis­crep­an­cies. Let us know if you pick up an er­ror.

PLACES TO STAY

Turn to page 83 for 133 places to stay in Botswana, the Zam­bezi Re­gion in Namibia (for­merly the Caprivi Strip) and around Vic­to­ria Falls on the Zam­bian and Zim­bab­wean sides.

We’ve listed the best camp­sites – al­ways the most af­ford­able op­tion – plus a se­lec­tion of lodges, self- cater­ing units and other places. For a full list of ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able at a par­tic­u­lar place, visit their web­site (sup­plied) or call the lodge or camp di­rectly.

Some­times we’ll also list a few lux­ury al­ter­na­tives to give you an idea of the range of ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able in a par­tic­u­lar re­gion.

RATES

Ac­com­mo­da­tion rates and other prices listed in this guide were cor­rect at the time of go­ing to print. We have in­cluded rand con­ver­sions, but these might change. Use the rates as a gen­eral guide­line: Al­ways call or e-mail a place be­fore­hand to check cur­rent prices.

Rates also vary de­pend­ing on the sea­son. In Botswana, win­ter is con­sid­ered peak sea­son so sum­mer rates will be lower.

When you book ac­com­mo­da­tion, make sure to men­tion that you’re South African – SADC res­i­dents of­ten get a dis­count.

MONEY

The rand is equal in value to the Namib­ian dol­lar and you can use rand any­where in Namibia. In Botswana, only pula is ac­cepted. (Some tourism des­ti­na­tions are the ex­cep­tion.) In Zim­babwe and Zam­bia you’ll need US dol­lars. Al­ways carry cash with you – many shops and fill­ing sta­tions don’t ac­cept South African debit and credit cards. Get US dol­lars from your bank in South Africa be­fore­hand.

ATMs in the var­i­ous coun­tries dis­pense the lo­cal cur­rency: pula in Botswana, US dol­lar in Zim and kwacha in Zam­bia. Travel with two or more debit and credit cards (eg Visa and Mastercard) and re­mem­ber to no­tify your bank that you’ll be us­ing these cards in other coun­tries be­fore you leave.

BOR­DER POSTS

Turn to the maps on pages 12 – 15 – we’ve listed the open­ing and clos­ing times for all the bor­der posts. Al­low ex­tra time for un­fore­seen hold-ups. Want to beat the bor­der blues? Turn to page 10 for some handy tips.

TELE­PHONE NUM­BERS

The in­ter­na­tional di­alling code for each coun­try is in­cluded ahead of each num­ber. If you’re call­ing from South Africa, re­mem­ber to add “00”: Botswana 00 267; Namibia 00 264; Zim­babwe 00 263; Zam­bia 00 260.

WEB­SITES & E-MAIL AD­DRESSES

Some older web­sites re­quire you to type the “www” into the ad­dress bar in or­der for them to work; oth­ers don’t. Some­times we list e-mail ad­dresses in­stead.

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