FAQs

Both South Africa and Namibia have stable, and democratically minded, governments. The people are friendly and, everywhere you go, you will be met with a smile. Of course, we have our problems with crime, just like anywhere you go on this planet, but it is “normal” crime and not the politically inspired incidences that are so frequent elsewhere in Africa. The very fact that so few people even know much about the area should tell the prospective traveller something. So much of the publicity Africa gets is negative, dealing with political upheaval, crime, etc. that Southern Africa actually shines by comparison. We do not get publicity, simply because we do not experience that kind of problem!
Southern Africa has an excellent infrastructure. The airports are modern and efficiently run, and the staff there are all very “visitor friendly”. You will be met at the airport by your guide and will be delivered back there, safe and sound. Most visitors will require no other travel document than their passport. There are no visa requirements for visitors from the USA. The roads are in excellent repair and travel around the area is no problem. Most travel is by road. Just keep in mind that Southern Africa is a vast area (the countries will cover the entire Eastern Seaboard of the USA) so travel takes up a lot of time. The countryside is spectacular, though, so you are not likely to get bored.
We have been working with Elaine Pretorius from African Odyssey for many years now and she handles most of our clients travel arrangements. She is a South African now operating out of the USA which gives her an in depth knowledge and understanding of the challenges you might face when travelling to Southern Africa. Fill in the flight information form under the Travel Information section and she will contact you to arrange your international as well as local flights. So sit back, relax and leave it all to us.
Two ways. One is obviously word of mouth. Talk to people who have been on safari with us and get their feel on the quality of the trip on offer. Second – Meet with us and decide for yourself. There is no substitute for your own judgment.
No, we don’t. Basically, your arrival/departure days are included in the inclusive package price created for you.
We have excellent private hospitals in the country. We carry emergency insurance, which will ensure that you can be airlifted to hospital, should it become necessary. What you could do is to take out some insurance yourself, should it happen that you need a medical flight back home.
You do not require any inoculations. If you are visiting the North of the country, say anywhere above Etosha Game Reserve, it is advisable to see your doctor about malaria prophylactics and to start a course about two weeks before your arrival date.
Yes, paradise has its serpents! The incidence of snakebite is so low, though, that to worry about it is to worry too much. Always remember, snakes are more scared of humans than humans are scared of snakes. In any unforced encounter, the snake will get out of your way so fast, you will probably never even know it was there! Insects also don’t present much of a problem. We have some trophy sized scorpions, but a general awareness will be enough to ensure you have no nasty surprises.
When we finalize your booking and have set final dates for your trip, a specific payment schedule will be included.
All payments will be by electronic bank transfer to our Namibian bank account which details will be on the payment schedule.
As a rule, deposits are non-refundable. We highly recommend obtaining trip insurance to cover you for any unforeseen circumstances. Such insurance should be obtained as soon as possible after starting the booking process. Our US representative can assist you with this.
All guides are required to pass a qualification process and apprenticeship. This ensures that your guide will be well versed and will be able to take excellent care of you!!
Although guides will have books available, it is strongly suggested that you invest in books for yourself. Copies of a) A Field Guide to Birds of Southern Africa and b) A Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa are readily available from Amazon.
For Photo and Adventure Safaris any clothing you feel comfortable is good. Make sure you have a good pair of wore in hiking boots as well as something comfortable to wear, sneakers or sandals will do. For winter months (May to August) bring some clothing to layer up in, early mornings and evenings can be chilly to cold but it heats up at around 9am to t-shirt weather. A good hat and sun glasses are also recommended.
Make sure everybody has a pair of binoculars and a camera!!
Yes – all lodges have electricity. (On Adventure tours this might be unavailable, so invest in some extra batteries!)
Our power supply is 220volt. Most cameras, laptops, tablets and cell phones have their own inverters built in, but make sure. 110 volt Hair dryers and curling irons will unfortunately not work in Namibia. Please inform us if you require a hair dryer on Safari and we will gladly provide one.
Yes – we will have those available. DO NOT purchase them in the USA.
Bottled water will be available everywhere. Most camps are supplied by borehole - the water will be fine to use!!
Our guesthouse has wi-fi available as well as a phone and fax line. Most but not all of the accommodation establishments we will be staying at during your safari will have wi-fi available.

Namibia has an excellent cell phone network, you’ll be surprised at where you will have signal. Feel free to bring your mobile device along but make sure you have roaming enabled.

Alternatively you can give the below contact details to your family and friends if they need to get hold of you.

Tel: +264 62 500429
Cell: +264 81 355 0859
Email: jaco@bushtrails.com

We will then relay the message to you and make sure you are able to contact them back.

No visa is required by USA citizens for entry into Namibia and Botswana. You will need only your passport. For Zimbabwe you will need to purchase a tourist visa upon entry into the country either at the airport or at the border post. The visa cost is USD 30.00

At the Immigration desk when entering the countries, you will be required to hand in a completed Arrival form. Most of the questions are straight forward, but they will want to know where you will be staying while in the country. Use the following address:

For Namibia:
Khaya Guesthouse, 507 Voortrekker Road, Okahandja, Namibia

For Botswana:
Chobe Safari, Kasane, Botswana

For Zimbabwe:
The Kingdom Resort, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Combining BushTrails safaris are entirely possible. Talk to us and let us tailor make your trip for you!!
The area where there are Ebola problems is over 3 000 miles away from where your trip will take place. Your chances of being exposes are virtually nil.

If you are doing a Photographic or Adventure Safari you will only be able to have laundry done if we are overnighting at one location for more than one night, have a look at your itinerary or speak to us to determine laundry possibilities during you’re safari and pack accordingly.

Always pack a couple of changes of underclothes extra - you never know when a lion might scare you into having an accident!!!

Cross pack!! In other words, if you are travelling in a group - everybody pack half their clothes in everybody else’s suitcase. In that way, if one suitcase goes missing, nobody is left with no clothing!!

NEVER pack any valuables in your check luggage - to avoid theft at the airports. Pack all valuables (camera’s, binoculars, etc.) in your carry on luggage. Also have at least one change of underclothes in your carry on.

On Adventure and Safari trips, recharging batteries is difficult - so invest in some extra batteries or a backup charger.

Because we do not do bus tours and never mix groups, all our vehicles are smaller, air conditioned mini vans or 4x4 purpose built Toyota Land Cruiser safari vehicles - fully equipped and comfortable.

Make very, very sure you have a pair of good boots!! Make sure they are well broken in before the trip.

Pack a waterproof bag for your electronic equipment.

Pack some extra underclothes - there won’t be much opportunity to do laundry.

For groups of up to 4 guests - Cessna 210 For groups of up to 10 guests - Cessna 208 Caravan
Typically 15kg of luggage packed in a soft duffel bag per person. This may vary according to group size and aircraft type.
Unfortunately aircraft are not air-conditioned but ventilated.
With the exception of cross border flights and scenic flights, flying time per day will be approximately 1 hour.
Typically light turbulence can be expected in winter months and medium turbulence in summer months.
If you suffer from motion sickness it is advisable to consult your doctor regarding the best suitable medication for you.