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Planning a walking safari in Zimbabwe, Zambia or Botswana

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If you've already decided on the type of walking safari that you want to do, perhaps a general idea on where you'd like to go or even decided on the safari camps you wish to visit�then take a few moments to consider 
  • our recommendations on the best time to go 
  • how best to get into the different areas and 
  • a list of items you'll need to bring on safari

 

A rough guide to the walking seasons...

  • Zimbabwe's best game-viewing season is generally from late May until November. September sees the start of the inbound bird migrations and birding remains excellent throughout the wet season. This applies to all areas except Matusadona which we consider to be a good safari spot at any time of year. Mana Pools is practically inaccessible other than by canoe in the wet season between December and April. 

  • Zambia's game viewing is best during the dry season from May through to October. The wet season is best for bird watching but access particularly into the Luangwa is very limited. "Green season" safaris are available on request in certain camps. 

  • Botswana's dry season is from May to December, January to April is the wet season. Seasonal changes have quite a big influence on safaris - movement of water through the Okavango needs to be understood. The Okavango is best from July to October, Moremi and Chobe May to October 

The following table is a rough guide to the main safari seasons marked excellent, good and no-go

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Matusadona                        
Mana Pools                        
Hwange            
Luangwa                  
Kafue                  
Okavango        
Moremi          
Chobe/ Selinda                  

 

Access into the safari spots in Southern Africa

The primary international air links into Southern Africa are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Harare, Victoria Falls, Lusaka, Windhoek, Nairobi (Kenya), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania) and Lilongwe (Malawi). 

The regional hubs are: 

  • Zimbabwe: Harare, Victoria Falls, Kariba and Hwange.  Air Zimbabwe services the domestic circuit daily. 
  • Zambia: Lusaka, Mfuwe and Livingstone 
  • Botswana: Maun, Kasane and Gabarone
  • In each of these cases smaller airports and camp-managed airstrips are served by air charter companies. 

As a rule, it's more cost-effective to book all international and domestic flights from the same source - we recommend TicketPlanet for discounted international fares. It's best to arrange all local light aircraft charters when making your safari booking.

See the respective country guides for road, rail and ferry alternatives. 
[
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana]

 

A list of items to bring along on safari

Luggage should be limited to 10 kg, preferably in a soft bag and should include: 

  • Casual personal clothing: shorts and shirts/blouses are sufficient - neutral colours preferred (khaki, green, brown, no camouflage, no white). A bush jacket with large pockets is ideal for carrying photographic gear. If your safari includes hotel stopovers then dress codes are a bit more formal - "smart casual" will suffice wherever you go, no matter how much you spend. 
  • A long-sleeved shirt and trousers is recommended to ward off chills at night and provide additional protection against insects. A jersey or fleece will be needed during cool evenings from May to August. (Temperatures can drop below 15 degrees Celsius in the Zambezi and Luangwa valleys - Hwange and Botswana generally get a lot cooler.)
  • Sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat are recommended. 
  • Comfortable walking shoes and spare socks - be sure to "wear-in" any new shoes. 
  • Hand towel, personal toiletries and medication. Anti-malarial prophylaxis. Deet-based insect repellent works the best. 
  • The sun is the greatest risk in the valley - good Suntan lotion/barrier cream is essential. 
  • Torch, spare batteries, binoculars, fully charged video recorder, camera and spare film. 
  • Rain gear is recommended from November to March.

General notes:

  • If your safari involves any light aircraft charters then please note that a maximum of 12 kg (soft bag) is permitted per person - this includes camera equipment.  If you have to exceed this limitation then prior arrangements must be made - a premium may be charged.  Alternatively speak to us well in advance and we'll assist with safe-keeping of excess baggage.
  • Irrespective of the type of safari you're planning - you need to bring personal items only.  All equipment necessary for your safari is provided.

The message here is to travel light!

 

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Last update 09 March 2001


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