Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Overland Tours in Botswana

An Overland tour is a popular and highly interesting experience common in Southern African countries. The Southern African countries of Botswana, Nambia, Republic of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are well connected by road; but are not also very far from each other. Also, these countries are jointly privileged with the highest concentration of animals in the world; and are blessed with some of the best national parks in Africa. The concept of overland tours emerged from the imperative to offer the visitor a unique and memorable experience of travelling from one of these countries to the others by road; and experiencing the visitor fascinations in each of these countries.

Overland tours vary in duration and also on the number of countries they cover. Some overland tours can last for up to a month, travelling from one Southern African country to another. Usually, travellers spend between 3-5 days in each of the countries, and visit the most compelling national parks and other attractions in that country, before moving on to the next. Some overland trips would also include a visit to the famous Victoria Falls around the Zimbabwean and Zambian boundary. Overland tours are particularly common among young travellers with an enthusiastic spirit of exploration and adventure. Overland tours are full of fun because visitors travel in a group and share the excitement of the areas they visit. Accommodation is usually included in this overland trip package. The Southern African region is truly conducive for overland tours.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hotels and lodges in Botswana

Botswana has an excellent range of various accommodations options. An overwhelming majority of hotels and other accommodation establishments are based in the cities and high population areas. While there is always a possibility to find accommodation in Botswana, it is more secured to prebook your hotel, guest house or lodge, prior to your arrival. The quality of service in hotels and other accommodation establishments in Botswana is of a reasonable standard; and with the government’s ambitious plan to boost tourism in the country, service quality has generally increased. The cost of lodging in a hotel in Botswana is almost in par with that in neighbouring Republic of South Africa.

An overwhelming majority of visitors to Botswana travel to the national parks, which are away from the high population areas. Therefore, most visitors expend a greater part of their time in these national parks instead of the cities. Every national park in Botswana has a variety of accommodation possibilities, including lodges and camping. When visiting a national park in Botswana, it is imperative to book a lodge before hand. Generally, lodges can be booked online or through a travel agency in your country of origin.

The government of Botswana has laid down a number of principles that govern the booking of lodges in national parks. It would be advisable to be conversant of these principles for booking lodges prior to leaving for Botswana. It can be said that Botswana is one of the countries which have opted for a high quality experience for visitors; and has put in place rigorous schemes to enforce and reinforce this vision.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Car Rental in Botswana

While visiting Botswana, you can opt to explore the country at the pace and convenience of your personal itinerary. In this regard thus, you can consider hiring a car. In cities such as Gaborone, there are numerous rental agencies, where you can rent whatever type of car you are interested in. This will offer you total freedom and total flexibility of exploration. In Botswana, traffic usually circulates on the left hand side. So, if you intend to drive in Botswana, you should consider this aspect of driving.
When renting a car in Botswana, try to ascertain the integrity of the car rental company. Ensure that you fully understand the car rental company’s insurance and supplementary insurance policy. If you maintain an insurance policy that is valid outside your area of residence, present proof of that to the car hire company. If travelling with the car beyond the national boundary of Botswana, remember to request a letter of consent from the car rental company. Present your international driving licence, fill the necessary form and leave your credit card imprint.  Unlimited mileage may be a more attractive option for your car rental deal; but check conditions associated with that particular alternative. Verify the mechanical health of the car before you set off; and ensure that your petrol tank is topped up. Don’t forget to acquire a clear map of the area you are driving to. Your spare tire and wheel spanner should be handy. Enjoy your liberal exploration of beautiful Botswana.

It’s not permissible to be driving and simultaneously using a mobile phone. This can result in a fine or a confiscation of the mobile phone. Roads in the major cities are well maintained but those in sparsely inhabited areas can be in remote conditions and treacherous. Beware that in certain rural roads, one can encounter free range animals on the road.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Entering Botswana by Train, car and bus

There is a rail line from South Africa which was suspended. Nonetheless, there is always potential for policy to change. So, always ask for the latest information just before you travel. There is also a rail link from Francistown in Botswana to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Again, please enquire on the status quo of this transport link prior to setting off.

There is a considerable number of entry points to Botswana by road. In the south at Gaborone, there is a road link to Johannesburg in South Africa. In the west, there is a road link with Namibia; in the north is a road connecting to Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and at Francistown in the east, there is a road connection to Harare, Zimbabwe’s political capital. All these roads are well maintained and are relatively convenient for driving on them.

There is a regular bus service from Johannesburg in South Africa to Gaborone in Botswana. This particular journey lasts for approximately six hours. There is also a bus service from Namibia via the Caprivi Strip, which can drop one off at Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana. There is also a bus service from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Botswana. If you intend to use any of these services, please conduct adequate enquiries ahead of time, to understand the implications in terms of cost, time and convenience.

Overland trips are common among South African countries, including the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia. It is common for visitors in one of these countries to travel to another by land.  Many of these overland trips are focused on visiting national parks in each of these countries. Many visitors who are interested in a dynamic and fun experience choose overland tours to visits neighbouring and highly interesting South African countries.