Amazing Southern Africa Trip Notes

Amazing Southern Africa

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 May 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 15 Aug 2016
Amazing Southern Africa
Trip code: UBKEC
Validity: 01 May 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Travel to Africa and jump onboard an exhilarating journey through the magnificent nations of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Southern Africa is bursting with a diverse array of wildlife, culture and landscapes - all waiting to be explored and celebrated. Travel through stunning scenery and watch as lush green landscapes give way to harsh desert dunes and rocky mountain peaks. Take to the water on canoes and in a houseboat, embark on thrilling game drives, be immersed in unique ecosystems and be blown away by the sheer force of Victoria Falls. With welcoming locals and genuine experiences around every corner, this trip is full of surprises.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesMeals introductionEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?MealsVisas
Why we love itTransportWhat to take
MapMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryGroup leaderHealth
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
Style
Comfort
Themes
Overland
Is this trip right for you?
- This itinerary includes a half-day canoe adventure along the Orange River.
- This itinerary includes 2 nights on a house boat at the Okavango Delta. Cabins are very small and basic with shared facilities.
- We use our purpose-built overland vehicles for the duration of this trip. It is important to note that while our vehicles are not air-conditioned, all windows do open to allow for fresh air. But please be aware that road travel in Africa comes with its fair share of dust, so while curtains are fitted to minimize the sun shine, it can get hot and windy.
- This itinerary features some long travel days which can be exacerbated by bumpy African roads.
- Our overland safaris do not necessitate exceptional fitness levels, but a general level of physical movement is required. For example, you need to judge yourself physically fit enough to handle entering and exiting our vehicles several times a day and must be prepared for some long travel days.
- Namibia summer ( Nov-Mar ) can be very hot and humid with maximum temperatures around 30-35°C and peaks of over 40°C in the desert.
- Botswana temperatures rise in the hot dry period of September and October before the rains hit and temperatures can get as high as 34-38°C.
- Botswana is a very seasonal destination. What you see and experience can differ quite dramatically depending on the time of year you visit. Please consider this before you choose your departure date. See the 'Climate and Seasonal' section for more details.
Why we love it
- Devour fresh seafood with great views in Lamberts Bay at an open air restaurant
- Canoe along the picturesque Orange River on a half-day excursion
- Experience an eerie silence at the Sossusvlei sand dunes from atop of dune 45
- Spend 2 nights on a houseboat as your base for exploring the Okavango Delta
- Drive through the Elephant Highway between Nata & Kasane
- Relax on a sunset cruise along the Chobe River spotting bird life and hippos, watching the sunset with sundowner in hand
- Learn more about the Kalahari from the knowledgeable San people as they sing and dance by the campfire
- Head out on a morning game drive in open 4x4's in the Chobe National Park
- The scale of Fish River Canyon is staggering, but stunning African birdlife and a colour-changing sunset makes it so much more than one of the world's largest gorges
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Cape Town
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. For those with time here before the trip starts, highly recommended excursions include catching the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, taking the ferry across to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years), or the day trip down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula.
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    Optional Activities
    • Table Mountain - Hiking - ZAR720
    • Table Mountain - Aerial cable - ZAR250
    • Robben Island tour - ZAR260
    • South African Museum - ZAR27
    • District Six Museum - ZAR25
    • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens - ZAR45
    • South Africa National Gallery - ZAR35
    • Harbour cruise - ZAR200
    • Bo-Kaap Museum - ZAR30
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Special Information
      An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
      Day 2 Lambert's Bay
      Depart Cape Town and travel along the west coast to the small seaside town of Lamberts Bay (approximately 3–4 hours). Its white beaches, lobsters and incredible wildlife earned this place the nickname ‘diamond of west coast’. It's also simply a quaint fishing town tucked into the western Cape Province, best explored by foot. You'll visit Cape Gannet Island today. At the right time of the year, you might be lucky enough to view the spectacular flocks of gannet, which make use of the spot for breeding in August and September. For birdwatchers, the colony at Lambert's Bay is the most accessible of the six gannet colonies in South Africa and Namibia. They are a spectacular sight in their tightly packed community, and it’s an awesome experience to see them wheel, land and settle into their designated positions. Sit down to a delicious feast at a local open-air restaurant, where the amazing ocean views are sure to dazzle.
      Included Activities
      • Lamberts bay - Cape Gannet Island
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
        Day 3 Orange River
        Farewell your coastal retreat as you cross the border into Namibia. You should reach your destination on the banks of the Orange River by mid-afternoon. The border crossing and a few photo stops could delay this arrival a little. This is the longest river in South Africa, running from high up in the Drakensberg mountain range and on to the Atlantic Ocean. The river is significant for its role in transporting diamonds which in turn leaves deposits that are found along the Namibian coastline.
        Accommodation
        Lodge (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
        Day 4 Fish River Canyon
        Kick things off with a half-day canoe adventure along the Orange River today. You will wind through the ancient Richtersveld Mountains.
        The canoe trip will be done in 2 man canoes with a local guide. It is a slow paced trip covering approximately 10km and we should be travelling down stream for most or all of the trip.
        After you have returned to land you'll venture to the Fish River Canyon, one of the biggest canyons in the world. Along the way you will stop at various lookouts, all great opportunities to catch this beautiful and gigantic gorge on camera. Look out for some exotic birdlife while you’re here: plovers, wagtails, hammerkops and herons. You might even catch a glimpse of a baboon or an antelope at dusk if you're lucky.
        Included Activities
        • Fish River Canyon
        • Canoe trip - Orange River
          Accommodation
          Lodge (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
          Day 5 Sesriem
          Head to the eastern edge of the Namib Desert today. This region of the world's oldest desert is known for its array of geological features. Take in the diversity and sprawling beauty of the scenery as you drive to your lodgings for the night.
          Accommodation
          Guesthouse (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
          Day 6 Sesriem – Sossusvlei
          Today you will make an early morning visit to Sossusvlei, which lies at the end of an ancient riverbed. If you find yourself in the mood, a climb to the top of Dune 45 will reward you with unparalleled views of the region.
          After breakfast head to Dead Vlei. A clay pan well known for the iconic postcard like images taken here by many. The pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, "Big Daddy" or "Crazy Dune" average about 350m.
          If you'd like to avoid a long walk in the sun you can opt to pay for a 4x4 transfer from the 2x2 car park out to the Dead Vlei entrance point. This will cost approximately 100NAD per person.
          In the afternoon you will visit Sesriem Gorge, tranquil natural corridor you can walk through and explore. The canyon was caused by a continental shift two to four million years ago in the 18-million year old rocks. The people who lived in the area used to pull buckets of water up from the depths with six knotted belts. Therefore, the canyon was named after the Afrikaans word “Sesriem” meaning “six belts”.
          Included Activities
          • Sesriem - Sesriem Canyon
          • Sossusvlei Dune 45
            Accommodation
            Guesthouse (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Day 7 Swakopmund
            Depart your desert lodge and travel across the Namib Desert today, a trip culminating in the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean coastline. The drive goes through a beautiful, diverse, colourful landscape. You'll see the awesome Kuiseb Canyon along the way, before arriving at the beachside town of Swakopmund, located on the Skeleton Coast.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch
            Special Information
            Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader.
            Please note that it is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
            Day 8 Swakopmund
            Enjoy some free time in this pretty coastal spot. Your accommodation is within walking distance of town. Perhaps go for a stroll along the beach, explore the open-air markets or visit the local museum. The Namibian National Marine Aquarium is also a good choice. There are plenty of options on offer at the local activity centre, which your leader will take you to.

            Notes: We have not risk-assessed all activities, and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure about anything, please check with your local guide. Please note that it is against company policy for leaders or guides to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk-assessed or do not adhere to our Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 9 Damaraland
            Get off the beaten track and head into the heart of Damaraland. Today is a long travel day and you should arrive at your lodge early this evening. Accommodation for the next two nights is situated on the banks of the Hoanib River in the Khowarib Gorge. Ensuite tented chalets have viewing platforms over the riverbank with outdoor bathrooms.
            Home to Namibia's highest peak, ancient rock paintings and petrified forests, the harshly beautiful and sparsely populated Damaraland region is a land of spectacular contrasts.
            Accommodation
            Lodge (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Day 10 Damaraland
            Today is a free day for you to explore this area and perhaps look at some of the optional activities that the lodge staff can organise for you including guided nature walks, a village visit to meet the local Himba people, or a 4x4 safari to track Elephants.
            Daytime temperatures often peak around 30°C here, so sightseeing is best completed as early as possible, before the thermometer climbs too high. Spend the remainder of the day back at the camp, perhaps by the pool or relaxing in the shade.
            Accommodation
            Lodge (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
            Day 11 Etosha National Park
            This morning you'll visit surrounding sights such as Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest. Keep your eyes peeled for desert elephants, which you might be lucky enough to come across, depending on the season. There's also the black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik, all of which you have the chance to spot during game drives. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large, sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is hard to see through, but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to allow for some sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores here.
            Many of the roads we travel on today will be untarred and often corrogated. They are some of the worst on this itinerary so be prepared from some extra bumps.
            We will be accompanied by local guides at both the Petrified forest and the Twyfelfontein sites. The guided walks take between 30-60mins and although not difficult there are some steep rocks and hills at the Twyfelfontein site. It can get hot at this time of day so be sure to have a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water with you.
            Included Activities
            • Etosha National Park - Game drives
            • Damaraland - Twyfelfontein Bushman Paintings
            • Damaraland - Petrified Forest
              Accommodation
              Lodge (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 12 Etosha National Park
              Enjoy a full day of game viewing in the truck before returning to the lodge. You might like to finish up the day by taking a refreshing dip in the pool, or enjoying a drink with your fellow travellers to reflect on the day's adventure.
              Included Activities
              • Etosha National Park - Game drives
                Accommodation
                Lodge (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                Day 13 Windhoek
                From Etosha National Park you will head to Windhoek, an old German colonial town, now a cosmopolitan centre. The Germanic colonial architecture of this city contributes to its charming feel. You'll arrive in the late afternoon or early evening. The old German colonial town of Windhoek has been blended into a modern city. The German architecture of the older buildings lends the town a historic atmosphere. Good examples of this German architecture can be seen in a number of buildings, but the best are the Tintenpalast (Ink Palace), the Christuskirche (church), the gymnasium and the Genossenschaftshaus. This evening you may wish to join the rest of the group for an optional welcome dinner.
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Special Information
                As this is a combination trip the composition of your group may change at this location.
                Day 14 Ghanzi/Central Kalahari
                Cross the border into Botswana and travel to Ghanzi, known as the "Capital of the Kalahari".
                Accommodation tonight is at a community project in Ghanzi and a bit more basic than what you will encounter throughout your journey, however the concept and experience of Dqae Qare San Lodge will be well worth it.

                The Dqae Qare San Lodge is run and owned by the local San Bushmen people and supports the San D'Kar community through employment.
                There is an impressive concentration of bird life here and you may wish to go for a walk before dinner to stretch your legs after the long driving day.

                A 3 course meal prepared by the local women will be served in the communal lounge and dining area. There is also an 'honesty' bar with wine, beer and soft drinks available to buy.

                Later this evening we will be treated to a real cultural experience and interaction with the local Bushmen. As we sit around the camp fire the Bushmen will share their extraordinary knowledge of the Kalahari and culture through stories and traditional dancing.
                Included Activities
                • Central Kalahari - Dqae Qare San Cultural Experience
                  Accommodation
                  Homestay (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 15 Okavango Delta
                  Head to the Okavango Delta, where we board speedboats that will take us to your home for the next two nights, a houseboat in the middle of the Okavango Delta. Please note you will need to pack a small bag or backpack for this trip as we won't be taking all of our luggage with us.

                  Your floating home for the next 2 nights is the most incredibly peaceful way to experience the delta. The houseboat has twin-share cabins with bedding, towels and mosquito nets provided (no single supplement is available on these nights). Cabins are very small, and basic but we don't expect you'll be spending much time in there. There is also a dining area on the deck, tea/coffee making facilities and a small collection of books and board games.

                  This evening head to the deck where your captain will serve dinner, enjoy a sundowner, and listen to the sound of the Hippos along the waters edge.

                  Please note that on occasions our houseboat won't be available due to regular servicing and maintenance requirements. If this occurs the program will be replaced with alternate land arrangements.
                  Accommodation
                  Houseboat (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 16 Okavango Delta
                  After breakfast we take a speedboat and 4x4 to a nearby poling station. From here you have the opportunity to experience the myriad waterways in traditional dugout canoes (mokoros) with a local guide. Your guide will take you on a nature walk around one of the many Islands in the Delta.
                  After a picnic lunch, return to the houseboat where you're free to relax, read a book or do some fishing. This evening grab a sundowner, pull up a chair and witness the often breathtaking sunset.
                  Accommodation
                  Houseboat (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 17 Maun
                  After breakfast, we leave our houseboat behind, and again board the speedboats to take us back to our truck, and then on towards Maun - the gateway of the Okavango Delta.
                  For those wanting more adventure, there's an opportunity to fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view - a great way to appreciate the immensity of this watery world. Your leader can give you more information on this activity and how to book.
                  Otherwise the afternoon is free to sit by the pool, catch up on emails and laundry.
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                  Day 18 Makgadikgadi Pans
                  We depart from our lodge after breakfast and head towards north-east Botswana. Our next stop is the Makgadikgadi Pans; a large salt pan situation in the middle of the dry savanna is located. This pan is now all that remains of the former Lake Makgadikgadi.
                  Our accommodation tonight is at the magnificent Nata Lodge, which is located on the edge of the pans. Sit by the pool or relax in the lounge area and take in your surroundings after a long day.
                  Head out to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion in open 4x4's to one of the largest salt flats in the world before heading to our lodge. Enjoy a sundowner while watching the impressive sunset.
                  Included Activities
                  • Nata Pan Excursion
                    Accommodation
                    Chalet (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                    Day 19 Chobe National Park
                    This morning we make tracks after breakfast and travel towards Kasane on the edge of Chobe National Park.
                    The stretch of road between Nata and Kasane is known as the 'Elephant Highway'. With no fences elephants are free to move between Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and Botswana. So keep your eyes peeled for roadside elephants.
                    Botswana's first national park, Chobe, is perhaps best known for its high concentration of elephants.
                    On the morning of Day 8, you will wake early and take a dawn game drive in Chobe National Park, where you may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park. In the afternoon you’ll take a breathtaking cruise on the Chobe River, ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants.
                    You will spend the next two nights in a lodge overlooking the Chobe River.
                    Accommodation
                    Lodge (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                    Day 20 Chobe National Park
                    This morning we wake early and take a dawn game drive in Chobe National Park, where you may see elephants drinking at the waters' edge, large herds of cape buffaloes and many impala within the park.

                    In the afternoon you’ll take a breathtaking cruise on the Chobe River, ideal for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants.
                    Included Activities
                    • Chobe - Game Drive (4x4)
                    • Chobe - River cruise
                      Accommodation
                      Lodge (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                      Day 21 Victoria Falls
                      Travel on to Victoria Falls, crossing the border into Zimbabwe in time to have lunch on the banks of the Zambezi. These falls are one of the natural wonders of the world and, when in full flow, form the largest sheet of falling water.

                      Your leader will take you to a local activity centre where a range of activities will be on offer. We have not risk assessed all activities and only those listed in our trip notes are recommended. If you are unsure please check with your leader.
                      Please note that it is against company policy for leaders to facilitate the booking of any activities that have not been risk assessed or do not adhere to our company’s Responsible Travel policy and ethos. This includes organising transport to and from these activities in our vehicles.

                      A unique dinner at Boma restaurant is included, which specialises in Zimbabwean barbecue, is the perfect way to spend your evening.
                      Included Activities
                      • Victoria Falls - Entrance
                        Optional Activities
                        • Helicopter flight (12 mins) - USD175
                        • Helicopter flight (25 mins) - USD334
                        • Sunset cruise Zambezi river - USD50
                        • Village & township tour - USD50
                          Accommodation
                          Hotel (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                          Special Information
                          Notes: You may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We ask all Intrepid travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. While wildlife viewing is a big part of many of our itineraries, we strive to only view animals in their natural habitats and to do so with the greatest level of respect. The lion walking industry directly contributes to the captive breeding and canned hunting of lions. While activities like lion walking may appear fun and educational, or even claim to be working in the name of conservation, they are unnatural and stressful for the animals involved. Professional wildlife conservation organisations, including Born Free and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), advise that habituating lions to humans often shortens their life and may result in lion-human conflict issues.

                          Read more about animal welfare and our ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge here:
                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/animal-welfare

                          Day 22 Victoria Falls
                          Your adventure will come to an end after breakfast this morning.

                          No accommodation is included for tonight, but can be requested at your own expense.
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast
                          Itinerary disclaimer
                          ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                          OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                          ROAD CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN AFRICA: Roads in Africa are often in very poor condition, which makes it hard on our vehicles. Our vehicles are serviced regularly and are generally in good condition, but breakdowns can and do happen. Sometimes the going on this trip is quite tough, the distances covered fairly large and some of the roads and tracks are not exactly smooth or free from dust, but the rewards are exceptional. The travelling times indicated in our Trip Notes is just a rough guide and is dependent on various factors that may be outside our control, such as road conditions, weather and time spent at borders which is what dictates our drive times. It is also important to note that our vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air. DRIVE TIMES: The travel times listed in the day to day itinerary are a guide only. Please be aware that delays may occur and please be patient - it's all part of the experience afterall! The travel times do not include time spent on game drives as these can vary with each departure.

                          NAMIBIA AND BOTSWANA IN PEAK SEASON Namibia and Botswana are becoming increasingly popular tourist destinations. Despite the influx of travellers, bed numbers are not being increased to match the demand. This intentional move is aimed at minimising the environmental impact of tourism and keeping the destinations exclusive. It is therefore becoming more and more difficult for us to confirm our allocation with our usual suppliers, particularly in peak season. We may use alternative accommodation which could affect driving times and distances listed in the Essential Trip Information. However we will always use properties of the same standard and ensure that no included activities will be affected.
                          Physical rating

                          We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
                          Included activities
                          Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
                          Lamberts bay - Cape Gannet Island
                          Fish River Canyon
                          Canoe trip - Orange River
                          Sesriem - Sesriem Canyon
                          Sossusvlei Dune 45
                          Etosha National Park - Game drives
                          Damaraland - Twyfelfontein Bushman Paintings
                          Damaraland - Petrified Forest
                          Central Kalahari - Dqae Qare San Cultural Experience
                          Nata Pan Excursion
                          Chobe - Game Drive (4x4)
                          Chobe - River cruise
                          Victoria Falls - Entrance
                          Important notes
                          1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please note: the single supplement does not apply to the nights spent on the House Boat (2 nights) and in Ghanzi (1 night)
                          2. An arrival transfer is included. Please advise flight details at time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel.
                          3. This is a combination trip made up of 2 shorter trips. This means the composition of your group may change in Windhoek as some group members leave and new ones join you.

                          Group size
                          Maximum of 13 travellers per group.
                          Your fellow travellers
                          GROUP TRAVEL
                          As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                          SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                          Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                          A single supplement is available on this trip. Please note: the single supplement does not apply to the nights spent on the House Boat (2 nights) and in Ghanzi (1 night)
                          Accommodation
                          Chalet (1nt), Guesthouse (2nt), Hotel (7nt), Houseboat (2nt), Lodge (9nt)
                          Meals introduction
                          Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the ‘trip notes’ itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

                          For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
                          Meals
                          20 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 17 dinners
                          Transport
                          Canoe, Mokoro, Overland vehicle

                          Our trucks are purpose-built, self contained safari vehicles. Intrepid’s fleet of vehicles varies depending on your group size, trip route and style. In Southern Africa some departures may use vans and luggage trailers subject to group size and vehicle availability. Your vehicle type may differ from those listed above. It is also important to note that our overland vehicles are not air-conditioned, but all vehicles have windows that can be opened to allow for fresh air.

                          There are many early starts with long hours spent driving on rough roads on all African itineraries. While most people love the chance to watch the changing landscape and daily village life, feedback shows that long periods of inactivity does not appeal to all clients. We provide the approximate distance covered each day and how many hours this normally takes to drive so that you can choose the safari experience which is right for you.

                          African conditions are extremely tough on vehicles. While we fastidiously maintain our vehicles at our workshops, you should not expect Africa to be your traditional touring experience. While it's certainly our aim to avoid them, it's important that you set off on your trip knowing that the occasional breakdown can happen and are best treated as part of the African adventure. Due to wet weather there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times.
                          Money matters
                          When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

                          Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
                          Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


                          MEALS NOT INCLUDED

                          Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while camping on our overland safaris.

                          For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient.

                          For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

                          These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this.


                          TIPPING

                          Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

                          Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


                          TIPPING GUIDE

                          To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

                          - Basic restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                          - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
                          - Your crew (including leaders, drivers and cooks) You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD3 to USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. It is best to then divide these amounts into separate envelopes for each crew member. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.


                          EMERGENCY FUNDS

                          We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.


                          CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE:

                          Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates.

                          With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country.

                          PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted.
                          Group leader
                          On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver.

                          Your Intrepid Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip and managing trip logistics.

                          Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader.

                          While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds.

                          Our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people.

                          Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way.

                          We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and driver; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
                          Safety
                          Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                          We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                          Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                          For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
                          www.intrepidtravel.com/safety


                          FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                          Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                          BALCONIES:
                          Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

                          TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                          Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                          SEAT BELTS:
                          Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                          PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                          While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                          WATER SAFETY:
                          Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

                          TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
                          We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
                          Joining point
                          Cape Milner Hotel
                          2a Milner Road
                          Tamooerskloof
                          Cape Town
                          SOUTH AFRICA
                          Phone: 27 (21)4261101
                          Joining point description
                          The Cape Milner is a sophisticated, comfortable hotel in the Tamboerskloof region of central Cape Town. All rooms have a refined, contemporary decor, ensuite bathrooms and fabulous views of Table Mountain. Tea and coffee making facilities are included as is WiFi and flat screen TV's. The hotel facilities include an elegant dining room, outdoor pool, glass-roofed bar, a small gym and many lounge areas.
                          Joining point instructions
                          If you have pre-booked an airport transfer please look out for our representative holding an Intrepid board with your name at the arrival terminal. Please do not go with anyone else. The driver will wait for an hour after your scheduled arrival time.

                          If you are unable to find your driver please phone our local South Africa office on +27 11 471 7400 or +27 828229407. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time, please make your own way to the hotel.

                          If you are making your own way to the hotel there are safe and reliable airport taxis which will cost around ZAR300.
                          Finish point
                          Sprayview Hotel
                          Livingstone Way
                          Victoria Falls
                          ZIMBABWE
                          Finish point description
                          Sprayview Hotel is located within walking distance of the town of Victoria Falls, restaurants and curio markets, and a short 15 minute walk to the falls themselves.Hotel facilities include swimming pool, 2 restaurants, 2 bars and WiFi. Rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, personal safes, hairdryers and universal plugs.


                          Finishing point instructions
                          If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.
                          If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
                          Emergency contact
                          In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's South African Office can be reached on: +27 11 471 7400 (South African business hours) or +27 828229407 (24/7).

                          For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                          For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                          While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                          We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                          You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                          Peak Southern Africa: +27 828229407
                          Visas
                          PASSPORT

                          As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                          VISAS

                          Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                          We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


                          SOUTH AFRICA:

                          Australia: No visa required
                          Belgium: No visa required
                          Canada: No visa required
                          Germany: No visa required
                          Ireland: No visa required
                          Netherlands: No visa required
                          New Zealand: No visa required
                          Switzerland: No visa required
                          United Kingdom: No visa required
                          USA: No visa required

                          Citizens of the above countries do not need visas to visit South Africa as a tourist for up to three months. Citizens of all other countries should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required.

                          Entry Requirements – Passports:
                          Please note that non-machine readable passports are no longer accepted by South African immigration. All visitors to South Africa must have a machine readable travel document (e-passport). Failure to present an e-passport will result in denied entry. Passengers with a valid visa issued in a non-machine readable passport will be handled on a case by case basis, but a fine will still be applicable.

                          Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificate:
                          A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through South Africa, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival in South Africa will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival. Please note this also includes transiting through an infected country or region.

                          Entry Requirements - Travelling with Children:
                          Parents need to produce an original unabridged birth certificate if they are travelling with children. This regulation has been put in place to protect children from being abducted, kidnapped and child trafficking. The Department of Home Affairs has urged all parents to apply for unabridged certificates for their children. Additionally, further documentation including permission to travel, may be required if only one parent is travelling. These are requirements of the immigration regulation 6 (12)(a) for parents travelling with children. More information can be found here: http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/traveling-with-children

                          We recommend travellers check all entry and visa requirements before travel as they can change.


                          NAMIBIA:

                          Australia: No visa required
                          Belgium: No visa required
                          Canada: No visa required
                          Germany: No visa required
                          Ireland: No visa required
                          Netherlands: No visa required
                          New Zealand: No visa required
                          South Africa: No visa required
                          Switzerland: No visa required
                          United Kingdom: No visa required
                          USA: No visa required

                          Nationals from the countries listed above are not required to obtain a tourist visa in Namibia if traveling for a maximum period of 90 days. For any other nationalities, please contact the local consulate or embassy for visa requirements. Please check with the relevant visa office before departure to make sure there has been no change.


                          BOTSWANA:

                          Australia: No visa required
                          Belgium: No visa required
                          Canada: No visa required
                          Germany: No visa required
                          Ireland: Yes - visa required
                          Netherlands: No visa required
                          New Zealand: No visa required
                          South Africa: No visa required
                          Switzerland: No visa required
                          United Kingdom: No visa required
                          USA: No visa required

                          Citizens of countries not listed above, including most EU countries, should check with the relevant consulates as to whether a visa is required. For passengers requiring a visa to Botswana, application forms can be downloaded from http://www.gov.bw/en/ as well as instructions for applying.

                          Entry Requirements - Yellow Fever Certificate:
                          A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for all passengers over one year of age who arrive or are transiting through Botswana, from a country or region listed by the World Health Organization as infected by yellow fever. Travellers unable to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate issued at least 10 days before arrival will be refused entry. There is no option for travellers without a vaccination certificate to be vaccinated on arrival. Please note this also includes transiting through an infected country or region.


                          ZIMBABWE:

                          Australia: Yes - visa on arrival
                          Belgium: Yes - visa on arrival
                          Canada: Yes - visa on arrival
                          Germany: Yes - visa on arrival
                          Ireland: Yes - visa on arrival
                          Netherlands: Yes - visa on arrival
                          New Zealand: Yes - visa on arrival
                          South Africa: Yes - visa on arrival
                          Switzerland: Yes - visa on arrival
                          United Kingdom: Yes - visa on arrival
                          USA: Yes - visa on arrival

                          Zimbabwe visas are required by most nationalities, including from the EU, US and Australia. For most nationalities, Zimbabwe visas are available at the point of entry. If you plan to purchase your visa on arrival you will need approximately USD30/45 in cash. All nationalities should check with their nearest Zimbabwe Embassy for up to date information.

                          Please note: As of January 2016, the KAZA Visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia will be unavailable to purchase. Singular visas for Zimbabwe remain available on arrival at point of entries.


                          BORDER CROSSINGS ON THIS TRIP:

                          ( Day 3 )
                          Exit South Africa - Vioolsdrift
                          Enter Namibia - Noordoewer

                          ( Day 14 )
                          Exit Namibia - Buitepos
                          Enter Botswana - Mamuno

                          ( Day 21 )
                          Exit Botswana - Kazangula
                          Enter Zimbabwe - Kazangula
                          What to take
                          What you need to bring will vary according to the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

                          Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                          Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

                          ESSENTIALS:
                          - Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
                          - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
                          - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

                          RECOMMENDED:
                          - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented camps at night. Some properties have limited outdoor lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
                          - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.
                          - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening game drives.
                          - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
                          - Insect repellent.
                          - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                          - Camera with spare batteries. Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days but we recommend you take a spare battery. You’ll take more photos than you think.

                          OPTIONAL:
                          - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to also pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather.
                          - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate
                          - A good book, a journal or an Ipod for the long drives.

                          LUGGAGE LIMIT:
                          Luggage is stored in a dedicated compartment at the back of our overland vehicles. Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential. Please do not bring hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other passengers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

                          VALUABLES:
                          Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe and the safe on the overland truck to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

                          BATTERIES/POWER:
                          Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Our overland vehicles are equipped with multiple power boards which may be used at the crew’s discretion, however, do bear in mind that only a minimal number of items can be charged at a time and will not be allowed if there is a risk of running the vehicle’s batteries low. Batteries may also be recharged from hotel room wall sockets. Hotels and lodges have electricity and charging of batteries is advised before checking out the following day.
                          Climate and seasonal information
                          Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring warm winter clothing such as thermals, wool pullover, fleece, jacket, gloves and a woolly hat.

                          The Okavango Delta, Moremi and Chobe are Botswana's most popular parks. The best time to visit them is from May to September, during the dry season and winter, resulting in more moderate temperatures. There is also less vegetation and animals tend to concentrate around waterholes and rivers, making wildlife easier to spot. The Okavango Delta is also in full flood. The skies are clear, rain is rare and there are fewer mosquitoes. It does get cold at night and in the mornings. Packing warm winter clothing during June, July and August for the cold morning game drives is advisable.
                          In September and October temperatures climb again, drying the landscapes and concentrating the game even more. However, October can feel very hot, with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C.
                          November is difficult to predict, as it can sometimes be a continuation of October's heat, whilst sometimes it's cooled by the first rains; it's always an interesting month.
                          November to April is known the wet Season and Summer. Although wildlife is easier to spot in the dry season, you'll still see plenty, including newborn animals and migratory birds. Except for January and February, rains are mostly short afternoon showers and seldom have a negative impact on your trip.

                          The water from the Angolan Highlands starts to push into the Delta in the late summer and early autumn months with winter offering the highest levels. The Okavango water levels start receding towards the end of the winter months and into spring, with the summer months offering up the lowest levels. Please be aware that this can affect some water activities such as mokoro or boat trips.
                          Health
                          All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                          You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                          YELLOW FEVER:
                          A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

                          It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.


                          TYPHOID:
                          It is recommended that if you are travelling to Harare you make sure that your Typhoid vaccinations are up to date. There has been an outbreak of typhoid in parts of Harare, with over 1500 cases reported since October 2011. For more information speak to your doctor and see the World Health Organization (WHO) website.

                          DRINKING WATER:
                          As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
                          Travel insurance
                          Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                          When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                          If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

                          PLEASE NOTE: Some travel insurance policies are not recognised by some Namibian hospitals; you should check with your provider if their product is accepted in Namibia before you travel and seek alternative coverage where necessary.
                          A couple of rules
                          Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                          Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                          Responsible Travel
                          We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                          The Intrepid Foundation
                          Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                          The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                          http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                          Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in South Africa include:

                          * Thusanani Children's Foundation works to prevent and treat developmental delay in orphaned and vulnerable South African children, aged 0-6, in Children's Homes (orphanages) where they live. Developmental delay in these children has a far reaching negative impact on their formal schooling in later years and they run the risk of being seen as children with special education needs. Treatment and prevention of developmental delay can set children on the right path that enables them to be contributing members of society, and break the cycle of abuse and poverty.

                          Feedback
                          After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                          http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback