Health and Safety
Health and Safety in Botswana, Namibia, Victoria Falls and Zambia
The medical and healthcare systems in Botswana are well developed, though distances between facilities and practitioners are great. A competent air rescue service operates throughout the country but comprehensive travel insurance will be required to make use of this service.
The most significant health threat in Botswana is malaria in the northern areas. Follow the pre-departure advice of your GP and make liberal use of repellants, protective clothing and bed nets. Malaria can remain dormant for a long time so be aware of any flu symptoms developing for up to six months after your visit. Treated early, malaria is easy to completely eradicate so you need not worry about your safety provided you follow the wealth of precautions available.
Low-level crime is evident in the built-up towns but nothing that common sense won't be able to handle: lock up your valuables, keep your personal belongings with you and be aware of your surroundings.
The northern regions of Namibia - particularly the Kunene River and the Caprivi - are malaria areas with a high risk between November and March. The further south you travel the lower the risk becomes. In most of the country there is no malaria risk at all.
Start taking your anti-malarial precautions a few weeks prior to your departure. Use that time to observe any side effects and switch anti-malarial regimes if necessary. Depending on your itinerary, you may not need to take precautions. Please check with us when you make your booking.
There are no inoculations required for any country in southern Africa unless you are travelling from a known yellow fever country. In that case you will need to produce a vaccination certificate upon arrival or application for your visa.
For more health-related information consult the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website at: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/safrica.htm
Private clinics, hospitals and health services are of a high standard in the main cities. Because of the low population density and the size of the country you may need to travel great distances in an emergency. A private medical evacuation service operates throughout Namibia. However, they will not assist unless the casualty has adequate medical cover. For this reason we require travel insurance that is valid for your entire holiday.
Is it safe? Relatively, yes. Victoria Falls has remained unaffected by the turmoil in Zimbabwe due to its proximity to external sources of supplies (Botswana, Zambia and Namibia). The people, as always, are friendly and optimistic but the reliance of informal trading of African arts and crafts at the markets and roadside has led to over-bearing sales tactics that you may want to avoid.
However, we monitor the situation carefully in constant contact with our suppliers on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides. Should the security, health or economic situation pose a threat we will not hesitate to intervene and recommend alternative arrangements.
Most of Zambia is a malarial including all the major game viewing areas as well as Victoria Falls.
But there is no cause for alarm if you follow the prescribed preventive measures. The same, advice applies to the northern regions of Namibia and Botswana: follow the pre-departure advice of your GP and make liberal use of repellants, protective clothing and bed nets.
Malaria can remain dormant for a long time so be aware of any flu symptoms developing for up to six months after your visit. Treated early, malaria is easy to completely eradicate so you need not worry about your safety provided you follow the wealth of precautions available.
More In General Travel Info
For the majority of visitors to Southern Africa, visas are issued on the spot at port of entry with no additional documentation needed. There are of course exceptions, anomalies and random changes so, regardless of what country you are from, be sure to confirm your visa requirements for every country you plan to visit well in advance of your travels.
“I highly recommend you use Namibia Tours & Safaris if you're planning a visit to this country. Great logistics, great value, really personal service. Very fun to work with!”
“I feel that Edward is honest, extremely helpful, and a true professional. I will recommend this company and Edward's expertise to anyone heading to Africa. A perfect trip!!”
“We had an 18-day private guided tour (Namibia, Botswana and Vic Falls) organised by the NTS team. Our consultant Wilmari was amazing both in preparation to and during our travel. Responsive, personable and diligent she put together an excellent itinerary.”
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“Namibia Tours and Safaris and their consultants are the best. Ulrike, our consultant, helped us over a 2 year period to plan our 4x4 Safari details. She had the patience of a saint and the insight and knowledge of a true local.”
“Chantelle did a fantastic job in organizing our self-drive trip through Namibia. Nothing was too much hassle and Chantelle was so helpful and responsive throughout the whole process.”
“Having tried to organise this trip myself I was very appreciative of the knowledge and support given by Ashlee who could not have been more supportive.”
“The organisation and response from the initial contact was fast and flawless thanks to Bonique our tour consultant. Her recommendations were perfectly tailored to our needs with a lot of foresight and local knowledge.”
“The service and help we got from Tessa was fantastic, as a result we had a tremendous trip and loved everything in Namibia.”
“Janine from NTS proposed us a great trip that suited our needs and wishes finding the right accommodation and great places. We had a wonderful stay and it was nice to meet with her in Swakop. Definitely recommend!”
“I have no words to express my gratitude to Carmen Scott and all the NTS team for their excellent work. Keep it up and all the best!”
“I cannot find any hassle or negative point for the organisation of this trip. Outstanding material, good accommodation, simply perfect. What a great company!”