International visitors require a valid passport together with onward travel documents. Guests must please ensure that their passport is valid for at least 6 months after their entry date and that they have a minimum of 2 blank pages (if there is insufficient space in the passport then entry will be denied) in their passport to enable the entry visa to be issued. In addition if a father (or mother) is travelling with his (her) children alone then a letter of consent, certified by their local police, must be signed by the mother (father) and carried with them. All passport holders should verify with their travel agent or relevant consulate concerning visa entry requirements. If you are extending your journey to other countries, please establish entry requirements for those countries as well.
The luggage restrictions are strictly a maximum of 20kg per guest. There are strict weight restrictions in place on any itinerary in Botswana including light aircraft transfers for the following reasons:
- The aircraft are designed with a maximum bodyweight and luggage weight allowance.
- Most of the airfields in Botswana are over 3000 feet above sea level and are located in the tropics, and therefore the permissible aircraft carrying capacity is reduced.
- The aircraft have physical space restrictions.
- Only soft bags (no hard suitcases as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft) will be accepted. This includes camera equipment and hand luggage.
- The maximum dimensions of the soft bags are as follows: 81cm long x 36cm wide. Please keep in mind that the baggage compartments on the light aircraft are only 25cm high, so the pilots must have the ability to manipulate the bag into the compartment.
- Passengers weighing more than 100kg or more, or two guests travelling together whose combined weight is 200kgs, must please advise us in advance as an extra seat will then have to be costed in to the package for safety purposes.
These luggage restrictions for luggage sound like very little but bear in mind the following:
Most safari camps / lodges and hotels provide basic toilet amenities. Laundry can be done on a daily basis (and many camps provide this service free of charge but hotels do charge a nominal fee). Mainly casual clothing is required as no formal clothes are needed at Wilderness Mombo and throughout Botswana, we recommend that you limit your luggage to the basics.
Whilst Botswana and the Okavango Delta offers some of the best safari in Africa there are numerous other destinations that we recommend for many different reasons. For more information on an African Safari please visit www.africaodyssey.com
On Safari - informal and casual dress is appropriate. Comfortable lightweight cotton clothing in subdued safari colours is practical. During the day, shorts or trousers are ideal, and the evenings may be chilly so light cardigans or sweaters are appropriate. Sometimes, in the peak season months (Botswana's winter and our summer!) a fleece or two should be packed for chilly campfire nights. Long sleeved shirts and trousers are also advisable in the evenings to lessen the chance of being bitten by mosquitoes. Many safari lodges have swimming pools, so bathing costumes should be taken. It is advisable to have a good pair of closed walking shoes / boots.
The choice of the correct camera equipment and film will determine the quality of your photographs on the trip. For good photography of birds and animals, a good SLR camera and telephoto lens is necessary. A zoom lens can be extremely useful on safari and the minimum recommended size is 200mm. Consideration should be given before travelling with any lens bigger than 400 mm as most interesting shots are taken using hand held equipment. The new high-resolution digital cameras are outstanding and give great quality images, especially if you are using a digital camera body which takes normal camera lenses. Camera bodies like the Canon D60 and 1D are superb. The advantage of digital photography is that one can get instant feedback and adjustments can be made in the field to your techniques to ensure that your photographs are the quality that you would like. Colour reversal film (slides) will give far better quality than prints. The guides have found that they are getting the best results using Fuji film. Fuji has brought out a good high-speed film that gives good colour with very little grain (less so than any of their competitors). This is especially useful when using a big lens in low light situations. The guides' personal preference is the slower film (either 50 or 100 ASA) as this gives almost perfect quality for normal light. However, you may consider going to 200 ASA for a larger lens in low lighting conditions. The new Fuji 400, we believe is giving great results too. The only disadvantage with the low ASA film is that you need a tripod for the early morning and evening shots. IMPORTANT: BRING SPARE FILM (ALTHOUGH IT IS AVAILABLE IN MOST CAMPS/LODGES) AND A SPARE CAMERA BATTERY.
There are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. We are obviously not medical practitioners and the following points are recommended guidelines only. Please consult your doctor and also check with your health department prior to departure for any changes in health regulations.
Malaria can be found throughout much of Botswana. Should you be visiting these areas malaria precautions are advised.
Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months of November through to April. From May through to October the risks of acquiring malaria are reduced.
The malaria parasite requires a human host in order to complete its life cycle. In most cases, our camps are situated in remote, unpopulated areas, so the chances of contracting malaria are very slim. Nonetheless, it is worth taking preventative measures.
Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are prevalent in Africa. Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are only active in the early evening and throughout the night, at the times when one is usually sleeping or sitting around the campfire.
Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria prophylaxis. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. Please remember that the best insurance is the preventative kind: avoid being bitten by using mosquito repellents liberally. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings. If staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with an insecticide like DOOM to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room. Mosquito coils are effective.
If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your doctor does everything to establish that your illness is not malaria. Malaria is not a serious problem if you are sensible and take basic precautions. There have been very few cases of our guests contracting malaria during our 19 years to date, of operation.
It is very important that you drink plenty of water especially during the warmer months. It is generally recommended that guests drink at least 2 to 3 litres (4 to 6 pints) of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, which act as diuretics and can actually contribute to dehydration.
Generally, water throughout Southern Africa is safe to drink directly from the tap. However, bottled water is readily available, so please do not allow yourself to become dehydrated.
There are no other health issues that one needs to be overly concerned with.
It is advisable to carry medication supplied by your physician for simple stomach upsets. In the first few days of your trip you may suffer from mild upsets attributable to a change in food and water.
We do recommend that you consult your doctor about other recommended injections, normally the advice is that Typhoid and Hepatitis injections should be taken.
Wilderness Mombo is situated in one of the most remote areas of the Okavango and we have to generate our own electricity.
Wilderness Mombo Camp and Wilderness Little Mombo both have excellent Wifi available in your rooms only.
Each camp has a generator which runs for about 6 - 7 hours per day (split between morning and afternoon when guests are out on activities). In most camps, these generators then charge a bank of batteries known as an invertor system which then provides 220v power in each tented room for lighting and ceiling fans. Wilderness Mombo and Wilderness Little Mombo have 220v plug points in the tents but these can be used for the charging of batteries only. Guests should please ensure that if they want batteries charged, then they need to bring a spare battery for use while the other is being charged as well as a power converter if applicable as our power is all 220v. All camps have the following adaptors: 3 prong round, 3 prong square, 2 prong round and 2 prong flat.
It is not possible to use appliances such as hairdryers or electric shavers in the tented rooms at Wilderness Mombo as they have low wattage fuses which will trip.
All drinks are included in the nightly tariff, with the exception of premium wines & champagne, and premium liqueurs & spirits.
Laundry is done on a daily basis and inclusive in the nightly tariff. "Smalls" are washed in a smaller, individual bag.
Curios, imported drinks and tips/gratuities can be billed to the tent number and settled on check out. Payment can be effected by cash (US$), travellers' cheques or the following credit cards: Visa or MasterCard.
The indigenous people of the country are friendly and hospitable. They are rightly proud of their country, so be sensitive as you would be anywhere in your travels.
Botswana's currency is the Pula. You will be able to change foreign exchange at the bank at the airport and also at any other banks in the major towns throughout Botswana. US dollars are often favoured, and most excursions throughout the country, tips in camp, drinks and curios can be paid for in dollars. We advise clients to take spending money in the form of US dollars cash or travellers cheques. Credit cards are also widely accepted.