fbpx

FAQ

The local currency is Pula. You probably won’t be able to get any Pula outside of the country, but if you’d like to get Pula when you arrive, larger towns and cities have plenty of ATMs and bureaux de changes and banks in Botswana accept US Dollars, Pound Sterling, Euro and South African Rand in cash. If you are spending any time in Maun then plenty of restaurants or hotels accept will accept these currencies too. If you want to do any shopping the main shops will likely accept card, but smaller curio shops you might want to have cash at hand.

When you are in camp, you will not need large sums of cash on safari as our rates are all inclusive, but if you would like to book any extra activities whilst in camp, we can process card payments remotely from our main office in Maun. In camp we accept Pula, USD and Rand.

We always recommend that you speak to your doctor or a health professional about this. Immunization requirements differ between countries and it is important to obtain up to date information on this. Malaria prophylaxis is usually recommended for travel in Botswana and it is the sole responsibility of the guests travelling to obtain these and/or any vaccinations before arrival into Botswana.

Mopiri – There is limited Wi-Fi access for guests at Mopiri. Cellular networks coverage is limited. For emergencies, the camp operates radios and a satellite phone.

Nokanyana – Nokanyana is fully solar powered. There is limited Wi-Fi access in the reception guest area at Nokanyana. Cellular networks coverage is very limited.

Tswii – There is no electricity source on the trail to charge camera batteries etc. There is no WiFi or cellular network on the trails. 

For emergencies the managers have access to radios and a satellite phone.

Tipping is of course entirely at your discretion and not obligatory.

You will also find guidelines in the camp room folders, and tip boxes are available in the camps.

The official language is English and will be used by our staff and guides in the camps. The majority of people in Botswana speak Setswana which is the national language.

If you would like to practice a few key phrases from home, we have put together a short list to get you started – and feel free to ask the staff in camp, they will be delighted to help.

Hello (general) – Dumela

Hello Madam – Dumella Mma

Hello Sir – Dumela Rra

How are you? – Le kae

I am well – Re teng

Thank you – Ke a leboga

You’re welcome – Ke itumetse

Goodbye (stay well – said when staying) – Sala sentle

Goodbye (go well – said when leaving) – Tsamaya sentle

Bye/See you – Go siame

 

We aim to minimise the use of single-use plastic water bottles for environmental reasons. We provide guests with Roots & Journeys branded refillable bottles. We have reverse osmosis machines in camp that produce perfectly clean drinking water.

Our very experienced chefs are happy to cater for specific dietary requirements, provided we are informed in advance. We cater to vegetarian, vegan, gluten free etc. and we make sure you don’t miss out on any of our delicious food and aren’t given a lesser option. 

Our chefs relish the opportunity to try out new recipes and have fun with innovative cooking. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied with recipes such as dairy free lemon ‘cheese’cake, a tahini date fudge or dairy and gluten free blueberry coconut cake at afternoon tea. If you prefer a savoury snack, then meatless scotch egg falafels are definitely worth a try. Sometimes it is just as fun recreating classic hearty meals such as the ultimate meatless chill, mushroom wellington or an unbelievably ‘cheesy’ dairy free lasagne.

MOPIRI

Mopiri welcomes families with children of all ages. The 3 family suites are located on a separate island, a short walk from the main guest spaces. 

Note: There are no fences around Mopiri Camp.

NOKANYANA

Nokanyana welcomes families with children from the age of 6.

Note: There are no fences around Nokanyana. 

TSWII

We take children from 12 on the Mokoro Trails. Younger children can be allowed on request and at the discretion of management.

Mopiri – All rooms are linked to the communal guest spaces via wooden walkways. Mopiri is not suited to travellers that require a wheelchair. For less mobile travellers, we will gladly assist to make the guest’s stay as comfortable as possible. Please contact us to discuss the traveller’s requirements.

Nokanyana – Nokanyana is not suited to travellers that require a wheelchair. For less mobile travellers, we will gladly assist to make the guest’s stay as comfortable as possible. Please contact us to discuss the traveller’s requirements.

Tswii – The Tswii Trails are not suited to people with limited mobility.

Fishing available from March to December. Use our equipment or bring your own.

Please note that fishing is prohibited in January and February throughout Botswana for fish breeding purposes.

WHAT TO BRING

Firstly, it is important to remember that if you are flying between the lodges, you will be restricted to 15kg luggage in a soft bag and 5kg hand luggage. This is the requirements set by the airlines and it is necessary to make sure the luggage fits in the small planes!

It can be daunting trying to pack for your safari, but here are our top tips when thinking about packing:

 

  1. Laundry is offered at both Mopiri and Nokanyana every day, so there is no need to bring too much. Guests are often surprised by how little they end up needing in terms of clothing on safari.
  2. Neutral coloured clothing can be good, and it is often recommended for safari, but you don’t need a brand new wardrobe to come on safari! Most important is just to be comfortable and practical. When heading out for your activities, such as a boat trip or a safari, you’ll likely be out for a few hours, so just have something comfortable and breathable. It is mainly when doing a bush walk that it is important to not have bright coloured clothing (including white) as this is most visible to animals.
  3. You might want a change of clothes for the evening, but these don’t have to be fancy – our lodges are very relaxes so no need to dress up, unless you would like to.
  4. If travelling in the colder months (see our sections on seasons for more information on climate), you will need warm winter clothes – think warm coat/windbreaker, hat, gloves, scarf. It warms up throughout the day, so layering clothing is key.
  5. If travelling in the wet months, then you’ll want a lightweight rain jacket. We do provide ponchos on activities but useful to have a rain jacket for walks.
  6. The sun can be strong on safari, even during winter, so sun protection is important. You might want some lightweight tops with long sleeves, or just remember your sunglasses, a hat and sun cream.
  7. If you are interested in doing walks, whilst you won’t need heavy hiking boots, a comfy and reasonably durable pair of closed shoes is a good idea.
  1. In the rooms of our collection you are welcome to make use of the toiletries we provide: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and soaps. All of them high quality, are eco-friendly and free from parabens, synthetics petrochemicals or artificial colours.
  2. We provide insect repellents in the rooms, main area and on activities.
  3. Personal ‘medical’ items – anything you would normally travel with. If you are inclined to allergies/hay fever you might want to bring antihistamines as the dust and grass levels can be quite high.
  4. Don’t forget the lodges are remote, so if you have any specific products/brands you need to use, you probably won’t be able to find them near the lodges. However, Maun (the closest town) has plenty of shops with toiletries if you forget any key items.

 

  1. Binoculars: These don’t have to be fancy, but a decent pair can be very handy.
  2. We provide emergency night-lights in the room. It is always useful to bring a torch with you.
  3. If you’re a keen photographer, don’t forget your camera cleaning gear. Botswana can be very dusty in the drier months, so it can be useful to have a simple lens pen, blower and microfibre cloth to hand to keep your camera in top shape. When out on drives it can be good to have something to cover your equipment with to help keep dust off when you are not using it.
  4. If travelling in the wetter months, it can be handy to have a plastic bag, waterproof bag, or any kind of covering to keep camera equipment safe if you unexpectedly get caught in the rain.

 

As temperatures can rise it is important to stay protected. We recommend bringing a sun hat, sunglasses and sunsreen.

There is no option for guest laundry on the trails and we restrict luggage to 10kg per person. We recommend that guests pack clothes that they can layer, to accommodate the change in temperature during the day and night and to protect against the sun.

Climate, Seasons and When to Visit?

The seasons in southern Africa are typically divided into summer and winter, or wet and dry. Of course, unique to Botswana is also the occurrence of the annual floodwaters in the Delta, which actually happens in the dry season – this can sometimes be confusing but will all explained here.

The months are generally cool, cloudless and dry with little to no rain fall. May marks the beginning of the cooler months as temperatures start to decrease. The main winter months are June, July and August and evening/night-time can be very cold. Generally, the average morning temperature is 6°C/42°F. The days always warm up and afternoons have temperatures around 25°C/78°F. Winter clothing is recommended for these months, but see our ‘what to bring’ section for more information on this.  September is most comparable to spring in the Northern hemisphere – the temperatures start to rise during the night and day and it marks the transition into the hotter season.

The heat gradually builds, and October can be very hot with an average temperature of about 34°C/93°F in the afternoon, although it is still dry at this point. By November and December, clouds begin to appear and there can be occasional showers, which also cools the temperature a little. January and February are on average the wettest months and there can be torrential downpours in the afternoon, which can sometimes last for a few days. Daytime temperatures are around 32°C/90°F, and the humidity is between 50-80%. In March and April, the rainfall gradually decreases and temperatures steadily cool and by the end of April the weather should be clearer with few clouds, the nights tend to be cooler, and the days are very temperate at 30°C/87°F.

Unlike the dry season, the weather in the rainy season is much more varied and this just outlines the general trends from year to year rain patterns change, sometimes heavier rains can come earlier in the season, and sometimes later. 

The floodwaters of the Okavango Delta arrive in Botswana around the start of the dry season and peak around July/August. The source of the Delta is actually found around 500km away in the Angolan highlands. During the wet season the rainfall in Angola causes the rivers to swell and the water surges into Botswana down the Okavango River. The water first moves through the ‘Panhandle’ region, which is where you can find Mopiri situated. The water then reaches a tectonic fault line which causes it to spread out. This is when the water disperses out into the myriad of channels that characterizes the Delta, this is aided by the fact the area varies in as little as 2 metres in height. This unique wetland is an oasis within the Kalahari Desert and an essential water source in the dry season, attracting one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

This terminology is also used, and it’s how you’ll find the seasonal rates are divided up. ‘High’ season matches up with the dry season, ‘low’ with the wet season and then ‘shoulder’ with transitionary period between these two.

Botswana offers different experiences at different times of year. The best time of year might depend on what you are looking for, whether it is abundant birdlife, optimal safari conditions, or great weather.

The most popular time is during the dry season, when the Delta is in flood and the temperatures are slightly cooler. During wintertime, a lot of the foliage drops off and the grass becomes shorter, so visibility is also good for wildlife viewing. Wildlife concentrations are also higher during this time as animals congregate to the water sources.

It is important to know that if you’re looking for water-based activities that some camps are subjected to the seasonal flooding – for example in 2019 there was virtually no flooding so some camps were entirely ‘dry’. However, we are fortunate at Mopiri that we are situated on a permanent lagoon, meaning there is water all year round.

The wet season is also known as the green season (mainly towards the end of the wet season) and is also a fantastic time to visit. The foliage and vegetation becomes wonderfully lush and green. This is a beautiful time for all but the colours and light can be a photographer’s dream. If you’re an avid birder then then this time is a great opportunity to see migratory species in residence. It’s also birthing season – in December keep an eye out for young impala lambs being born as the first rains come. With the chance of seeing baby animals increased, so does some of the predator action!

GETTING HERE

Please contact us if you need any assistance with your travel plans to Maun, or any of the Roots & Journeys camps. Maun is only a 2-hour flight from Johannesburg. On landing in Maun you will be met by a member of the Roots & Journeys team.

There are a number of ways to choose from when driving from Johannesburg to Maun. Please see suggested route driving via Martins Drift border post.

Route via Martins Drift (good tar road, but border post can be busy)

  • From Johannesburg drive towards Mokopane (Potgietersrus) on the N1.
  • Take N11 to Martins Drift / Groblers Brug Border post – (Border closes at 22:00).
  • Drive to Palapye.
  • At Palapye turn left on A14 to Serowe.
  • Drive on to Letlhakane – (Letlhakane is the last fuel stop before Maun).
  • 12km before Orapa take left turn to Mopipi.
  • Drive to Mopipi.
  • Drive to Rakops.
  • Drive to Motopi – after Motopi ± 3.6km turn left on A3 to Maun.

Total distance ±1100km.

Please keep a road map with you.

Please note that it is not advisable to drive at night time in Botswana due to livestock and game on or close to the road.

From Maun to Etsha 6 by road

  • Head out of Maun on the Ghanzi road and drive 98kms to Sehitwa.
  • At Sehitwa turn right towards Shakawe.
  • Drive 170kms north until you reach Etsha 6 (25kms north of Gumare).
  • Turn right into Etsha 6, and drive approximately 2km along a gravel road.
  • You will find a Shell garage on the right where your guide will meet you. (PLEASE NOTE NO FUEL AVAILABLE! – We would recommend filling up in Gumare).

The drive is approximately 3 hours and 270kms. Please confirm your approximate ETA in Etsha 6 before you depart Maun.

There is secure parking in Etsha 6. The drive from Etsha 6 to Mopiri is 14kms and takes 30 minutes via Game Viewer.

MOPIRI GPS COORDINATES – 19°05’04.08”S 22°22’17.01”E

Flying in 

Guest arriving from Maun International Airport will be greeted by one of our team members and taken to a private welcome area before your departure to your destination. 

Our team will then assist you onto your flight and contact our other team members to inform them of your arrival so they can get ready to receive you at the airstrip.

Flight time from Maun to Mopiri is just under 40 minutes, with a 5-minute boat ride to Mopiri.

Helicopter flights from Maun Airport and other destinations can be arranged on request.

From Maun to Mababe by road

  • From Maun centre – take the road out of town (past Island Safari Lodge) – drive for approximately 10km until you reach a roundabout.
  • At the roundabout – turn left towards Shorobe. Travel for approximately 26km, passing the University of Botswana & Sexaxa village.
  • After Shorobe – The tar road turns to a sand gravel road.
  • Follow the gravel road until you reach the ‘Buffalo Fence’- approximately 19km.
  • Once through the ‘Buffalo Fence’, travel for approximately 1km where the road splits – take the right split towards Mababe.
  • Stay on the sand road until you reach Mababe village (approximately 64km) – you will pass through Sankoyo Village on the way.
  • Please contact the Roots & Journeys reservations team to confirm which road to take into camp from Mababe as this depends on the time of year.

Nokanyana is only a 5 minute drive from Mababe.

NOKANYANA GPS COORDINATES – S19 10 56” E23 59’ 16”

Flying in

Guest arriving from Maun International Airport will be greeted by one of our team members and taken to a private welcome area before your departure to your destination. 

Our team will then assist you onto your flight and contact our other team members to inform them of your arrival so they can get ready to receive you at the airstrip.

Flight time from Maun to Khwai Airstrip is approximately 35 minutes; with an hours drive into camp. 

Tsau Hills is approximately 230kms from Maun Airport and takes approximately 3 and a half hours by road.

The Tswii Mokoro Station is located a 45-minute drive north-east of Maun. Our guide collects guests from their accommodation in Maun.

Helicopter transfers to and from the trails are also available.

Tswii Mokoro Station is a private launch site for Tswii guests exclusively.

Trails are operated north of the Buffalo Fence in NG32.

FACTS ABOUT BOTSWANA

The Tswana or Setswana people comprise the country’s largest ethnic group, accounting for 79% of the population. Other ethnicities include; the Kalanga people (11%), and the Basarwa people (3%). The remaining 7% is made up of a number of other groups. Collectively all these ethnic groups are called ‘Batswana’.

Botswana is named after the Tswana people and simply means ‘Land of the Tswana People’. Motswana is the singular form of Batswana.

English is the official language of Botswana. Setswana is the national language. There are over 20 languages spoken in Botswana. Sekalanaga spoken by the Bakalanga is the most common.

Botswana covers an area of 581,730 square kilometres, about the size of France or the state of Texas.

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordering South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia

In the north west of Botswana, close to Victoria Falls, Botswana borders 3 countries – Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia.

Botswana is known for incredible wildlife sightings and is home to the largest population of elephants and wild dogs anywhere in the world.

Around 38% of Botswana is dedicated to National Parks and wildlife management areas.

The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world. The Okavango Delta became the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.

There are two UNESCO sites in Botswana, the second being Tsodilo Hills, where over 4,500 rock paintings can be found dating back an estimated 26,000 years.

You can visit Tsodilo Hills from Mopiri

BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE TODAY

CLICK TO BOOK

MOPIRI

CLICK TO BOOK

NOKANYANA