advertisement

Banks -- In Maun: Standard Chartered and Barclays are both open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5pm, and Saturday from 8:15am to 10:45pm.

Directory Inquiries -- Dial tel. 192. You can also download Kasane Phone Directory (www.kasaneonline.com) or Maun's Phone Directory (www.jacanaent.com).

Doctor -- If you need a doctor or dentist in Maun, the Delta Medical Centre is on the Tsheko-Tsheko road, which runs through the center of town (tel. 267/686-1411). Should you experience a medical emergency in the bush, the operators and camps will take appropriate and immediate action.

Drugstore -- Okavango Pharmacy (tel. 267/686-0043) is on Maun's main street, in the Lewis Building opposite Riley's garage complex.

Electricity -- As in the rest of southern Africa, you'll need an adapter/voltage converter. Botswana uses 220/240V 15/13-amp plug sockets. Plugs are two- and three-pin, round and flat. Remember that many bush camps do not have electricity but run on generators.

Embassies & Consulates -- U.S. Embassy (tel. 267/395-3982; the after-hours emergency telephone number is tel. 267/395-7111); the British High Commission (tel. 267/395-2841); the Canadian Consulate (tel. 267/390-4411); the Irish Honorary Consul (tel. 267/390-5807). Note that the Australian and New Zealand offices are in Pretoria, South Africa.

Language -- English is the official language and is widely spoken; Setswana is the national language, spoken by the Batswana people, who make up 50% of the population.

Safety -- Before you depart, consult your physician (or a travel-health specialist) about starting a course of antimalarial prophylactics.

Taxes -- Sales tax is 10%, included in all prices, unless otherwise indicated.

Telephone & Internet -- Most camps communicate with Maun and each other via satellite radio and will transmit only emergency messages this way, rendering you unreachable for the duration of your stay. With the exception of &Beyond (free) and Orient Express camps (first 45 min. free), no Botswana camps offer Internet access (and even &Beyond and Orient Express cannot guarantee the quality of the line), so let everyone know and enjoy being marooned. Note: This guide lists numbers for Botswana and South Africa, indicated by their country codes. Remember, Botswana has no regional or town codes.

To call southern Africa from another country: Dial the international access code (United States or Canada 011, United Kingdom or New Zealand 00, Australia 0011), plus the country code (27 for South Africa, 263 for Zimbabwe, 267 for Botswana, and 260 for Zambia), plus the local number minus the 0 at the beginning of the city/area code. To make an international call: Dial 00, wait for a dial tone, then dial the country code (United States or Canada 1, United Kingdom 44, Australia 61, New Zealand 64), the area code, and the local number. To make calls within Botswana: Drop the 267 country code; there are no area codes. To charge international calls: The toll-free international access code for Sprint is tel. 0800/180-280. At press time, there was no international access code for AT&T and MCI.

Time Zone -- Botswana is 2 hours ahead of GMT, or 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Tipping -- Tipping at bush and delta camps is at guests' discretion, but a general rule of thumb is $10 to $20 a day, to be shared among the staff. If you are delighted by the services of your guide, you can tip him in addition to this.

Water -- Water in camp is drinkable, but most camps/lodges do supply plenty of bottled mineral water. There is some disagreement about the safety of water in the smaller towns, so to be on the safe side, drink bottled water or bring along a purification system.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.