Health & Safety
Health and Safety in Botswana
Vaccinations & Precautions
You should contact your GP or a travel clinic about 8 weeks before your holiday to check whether you need any vaccinations. In the UK the National Travel Health Network and Centre is also a useful source of information. https://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/country_page_BW.htm
Yellow Fever: There is no risk of Yellow Fever in Botswana, but all travellers aged 1 year and over coming from or having passed through countries with a risk of Yellow Fever transmission and those who’ve spent over 12 hours at an airport in one of these countries will be required to show a valid Yellow Fever certificate. A list of these countries can be found here: https://www.who.int/ith/ITH_Annex_I.pdf?ua=1 or here: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/yellow-fever/yellow-fever-risk-areas.aspx
Malaria: Botswana is a malarial area and as there is no vaccination against malaria it is essential you take precautions in the form of anti-malaria tablets to reduce the risks. You can also take simple precautions such as using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved tops and long trousers at dawn and dusk and if out at night, when mosquitos are most prevalant.
Others: Recommended vaccinations include Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tetanus may also be advised.
Health and Safety on Holiday
Much of this comes down to common sense. If you ever have cause to feel anxious or nervous about the safety of any activity, excursion, mode of transport, guide or accommodation please make your feelings known straight away, as this can in all likelihood be resolved locally and promptly. You should also inform your local contact (our in-country partner) and let us know on your return.
Wildlife: Always follow the instructions of your guide. Should you find yourself in a threatening situation, try to stay calm and quiet and do exactly as your guide says. Animals are not generally interested in humans unless you do something to provoke or annoy them. On game drives avoid making sudden movements and noises as this may provoke wildlife. If you are in a mokoro do not trail your hand in the water, no matter how tempting, as it is possible crocodiles and hippos may be nearby, though our experienced guides stay away from their known haunts.
Okavango Air Rescue
Okavango Air Rescue (OAR) is a Maun-based company providing assistance to its patrons in case of emergency. Once contacted for an emergency, OAR will despatch a fully-equipped helicopter with an emergency doctor to treat and stabilise the patron in situ, before transporting them to the nearest appropriate location where further arrangements will be made. This is a round-the-clock service, which has been granted special permission to operate at night by Civil Aviation, weather permitting. OAR currently operates in Northern Botswana and the Central Kalahari.
OAR is a private organisation financed by the annual subscription of its patrons. Additional funds are sourced from patrons’ insurance companies following medically necessitated rescue. This system eliminates the financial worries of the patron, certain that they will never be invoiced by OAR.
Patronage is valid for one year and starts on the date of the payment. It entitles you to one free medically-necessitated rescue annually. If the patronage is not renewed it will expire 12 months after your initial payment. Each patron is issued with a personal patronage card on receipt of payment. The service is only available to patrons and patronage is not transferrable or refundable.
To subscribe you can contact OAR through their website at www.okavangorescue.com, or at their counter in the entrance hall at Maun International Airport. For further information you can contact the OAR head office by phone on +267 686 1616 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.