Discover the best culture and adventure with Llama Travel.
We have been offering holidays to Latin America since 2002 and are established as one of the UK’s leading operators to the region.
Discover the best wildlife, culture and adventure with Llama Travel.
Established in 2002, we are one of the UK's leading specialist tour operators, providing high quality holidays at the lowest possible prices.
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Travelling to Botswana
All the practical information you need regarding your trip to Africa is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.
Before you Go
Visas and Passports
British nationals can enter Botswana for a visit of up to 90 days without a visa. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Botswana (020 7499 0031). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK.
To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.
Receiving your tickets
You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents will give you your hotel and excursion vouchers when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.
Travelling with Children
Some countries in Africa have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.
What to pack
During the summer months it (November - March) is hot in the middle of the day, becoming cooler but still warm at night. The average daytime temperatures are around 35°C, dropping to low-20s during the night. Botswana is a summer rainfall region and late afternoon showers are common from December to April. Winter (May – August) can go below freezing at night in drier areas but during the day it warms up substantially to about 25°C. Early morning game drives on an open vehicle can be quite chilly. Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with the varying temperatures during the winter months, and a windproof jacket is a good idea.
Electrical sockets in Botswana are 230 Volts. Sockets fit plugs with three round pins. All safari vehicles are fitted with 220-volt inverters which are linked to Botswana plug sockets for easy charging.
We recommend you carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.
Please bring any medication you may require from the UK, as this can be hard to source in Botswana.
Lightweight, light coloured cotton trousers and long-sleeved shirts
Pullover or jacket for the early mornings and evenings
Warm hat and gloves for winter months
Camera equipment – a lens with a long zoom is recommended for photographing wildlife
Pack of cards/reading material
Health & Fitness
Age & fitness limitations
For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground.
Vaccinations & medical requirements
Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. The NHS website www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk gives good advice about travelling in Botswana.
Malaria precautions are highly recommended.
When visiting Africa, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. Although Botswana’s water is generally safe to drink, filtered water is supplied whilst on safari. If you are travelling in the summer months you should bring rehydration salts to add to your water. One sachet per person per day will be sufficient and will prevent any dehydration problems.
If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. Illnesses caused by altitude can be serious. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.
A holiday in Africa inevitably means long haul flights, and at least one overnight sector. Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare.
You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route.
When flying to Maun and from Victoria Falls, you will go via Johannesburg.
Most airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.
You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Prices start from £199 each way for Premium Economy and £699 each way for Business Class. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.
British Airways World Traveller Plus, Air France Premium Voyageur and Virgin Premium Economy seats are available. These provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.
KLM, Iberia and United offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost. KLM seats can be booked through Llama Travel. United and Iberia seats can be reserved with the airlines one month prior to departure.
British Airways Club World has seats which convert into full flat beds and have a privacy screen.
Iberia Business Plus between Madrid and Latin America offers seats which convert into flat beds. Between the UK and Madrid, seats are usually the same as in economy class.
KLM World Business Class offers seats that convert into flat beds. Between the UK and Amsterdam, seats are usually the same as in economy class. Air France Affairs Class offer seats which convert into virtually flat beds. Between the UK and Paris, seats are usually the same as in economy class.
United Business First between the UK and the US offers seats which convert into full flat beds. Between the US and Latin America, seats are more spacious than in economy.
If you are flying in with Air Botswana, you are allowed 20kg as your main luggage and 7kg as carry on but please note that for safaris that include any light aircraft flights you are restricted to 20kg (including hand luggage) which must be packed in soft luggage as the planes used are small charter planes that are heavily regulated. If you bring more than the restricted amount you will be asked to leave items behind or to travel without your luggage so make sure you are within the guidelines.
Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, you will usually be able to leave the rest of your luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.
Selecting your seats on flights
Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.
We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.
For flights within Latin America and Africa, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.
It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot always guarantee specific seats.
Travelling in Botswana
The currency in Botswana is the Botswana Pula (approximate exchange rate: 14BWP = 1GBP), and US Dollars are widely accepted throughout the country. Credit and debit cards can be used in many shops and restaurants, and can also be used to withdraw money from cash machines. You can exchange Euros, GBP and US Dollars in both Maun and Kasane.
It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals from your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.
Safety & Security
Most people who travel to the countries where Llama Travel operates experience no problems on holiday. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem, especially in large cities. Tourists can appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk, use common sense. Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive looking jewellery or cameras. Avoid empty streets, especially on your own. Take a taxi after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a trouble-free holiday.
Each country has its own standards for health and safety, but these are often not as good as in the UK. We take this into account when selecting hotels and request that they comply with all local regulations, but cannot guarantee that these are equivalent to British standards. Please take reasonable precautions to protect yourselves whilst on holiday, e.g. by locating fire exit routes.
Please also check the Foreign Office travel advice for the countries you are visiting at www.fco.gov.uk.
Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers around the world can be very different from those in the UK. Although homosexuality is no longer prohibited by law in Botswana, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention. The UK Foreign Office offers up-to-date advice on LGBT Travel in Botswana.
In Zimbabwe, same sex relationships are illegal and conservative attitudes prevail throughout much of the country. Public displays of affection may cause offence, regardless of gender or sexuality, although it is generally not an issue around Victoria Falls. Visit the UK Foreign Office website for more information.
In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance. Llama Travel does not arrange any adventure activities directly and we cannot verify the safety measures of any local operators.
Extensions & Excursions
Excursions are operated together with other travellers. These will usually be in English, although groups are sometimes a mix of English and other languages. A minimum of 2 people is required for some excursions. On some occasions, the order of excursions may vary. Many excursions are with non-Llama Travel passengers, especially on wildlife excursions.
Tipping in Botswana is standard practice. In restaurants, a service charge may be added as a matter of course, in which case there is no need to tip. If there is no service charge and the service has been good, restaurant staff are used to receiving 10% of the total bill. During the mobile safari, we recommend using the following guidelines (per person per day): USD$10 for the guide, USD$5 for the chef and USD$5 for the general staff.
Making calls to the UK
To phone the UK from Botswana, dial the international dialling code (0044 for the UK) and then the UK telephone number, leaving out the ‘0’ in the area code. Telephone cards are the easiest way to use public telephones, and can be bought in convenience stores.
To phone Botswana from the UK, dial the international dialling code for Botswana (+267) and then the Botswanan telephone number, leaving out the ‘0’ in the area code. Most UK mobile phones work in Botswana, but international roaming may need to be activated. Check with your mobile phone service provider if your telephone will work.
Llama Travel Groups
Probably the best way to describe our holidays is flexible tours, so you can choose where to visit by combining different extensions and excursions, and which hotels to stay in. In most cases, you will be with other Llama Travellers, but not necessarily the same people throughout. This allows you to get to know like-minded people, but not have to spend all your time with the same group. If we don't have anyone else taking a particular part of a holiday, we will still operate this just for you. All our holidays are guaranteed to operate if we have two passengers or more.
Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. In some places, the excursions are operated by one of our local partners, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers and the group may be a mix of English and other languages. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be with more than 18 people.
We get a wide range of people taking our holidays, with probably the largest group being couples aged in their forties to sixties, or even older. However, we also have a large number of customers in their twenties and thirties, especially for some of the more active holidays. What unites everyone is a sense of curiosity and a desire to discover new cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Although most of our customers travel with friends or family, we also have quite a few single travellers who are happy to mix and match as described above.
Budgeting for your stay
All hotels include breakfast, and all meals are included during the mobile safari.
We recommend budgeting approximately USD$25-35 for a meal at the lodges in Kasane and Maun.
Throughout Botswana there are opportunities to shop for souvenirs and we advise setting aside some of your budget for this purpose. Credit cards are accepted in most places although Amex has more limited use.
Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy. A list of insurance companies that our customers have found suitable is available from us. Please advise your insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions. If you are planning on carrying out any other activities, please ensure your insurance policy will cover you for these. Note that cancellation cover is often only available if insurance is purchased within two weeks of booking your holiday.
- When to Travel: March to November (dry season)
- Population: 2.3 million
- Area: 600,370 square kilometres
- Capital City: Gaborone
- Languages Spoken: English and Tswana
- Time Difference: GMT +2 hours
- Flying time from the UK: Approximately 17-18 hours (via Johannesburg)
- Bordering Countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa