An Antipodean travel company serving World Travellers since 1983
Botswana small group tours for mature travellers.
Botswana small group tours. Odyssey Travel are small group tour travel specialists. Our small group tours are tailor-made for mature travellers, be they over 50, over 60, or over 70. We have been offering specialised adventure and educational programs since 1983 our Botswana small group tours are just part of almost 200 escorted tours we offer each year. As a proud non-profit organisation that grew from a collection of member universities across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, Odyssey is now the leading small group tour organisation for the mature traveller, with countless trips to unique and intriguing parts of the world.
Odyssey offers a wide range of stimulating educational tours. Our tours including those to Botswana are designed for active, inquisitive travellers in a small group environment that is typically comprised of between 6 to18 like-minded travellers. All of our educational tours reflect our philosophy to offer a wide range of educational, cultural, and heritage journeys that expand horizons and broaden the mind.
Odyssey Travel’s fully escorted travel programs offer a unique opportunity for the discerning adult to make the leap from tourist to traveller. We are constantly refining our programs and tour offerings to satisfy our travellers’ needs. The small group programs we offer are designed to broaden travellers’ knowledge in an informal atmosphere. Our tours typically takes between 14 to 21 days to complete. Odyssey caters towards both senior or mature couples and single travellers., We offer numerous membership benefits and discounts for return travellers.
We include many extra services at no additional cost, and our tours have no hidden extras. Simply refer to the “Inclusions” section of the detailed itinerary for the tour you are interested in, to see exactly what the tour fee covers.
Whether travelling by yourself or with others, Odyssey Travel is the top choice for over 50, over 60, and over 70 travellers, which means that travelling companions are sure to share your interests.
Experience the beautiful landscapes and the unique wildlife at places such as Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Chobe Game Reserve. During the program participants will have the opportunity to learn about the culture, the politics and the social issues facing South African people and how the natural resource managers are caring for their wildlife reserves in the face of land enclosure, climate change and poaching.
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary.
In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.
Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.
Geography, Environment, & Weather
Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, north of South Africa, west of Zimbabwe and east of Namibia. Botswana is mostly flat with a few hills. The semi-arid Kalahari Desert covers about 70% of Botswana’s surface. While its does receive about 500 millimetres in the wettest parts per annum, the Kalahari is considered a desert because it has vast surface area covered with sand. In the north is the seasonal Okavango Delta which is one of the world’s largest inland deltas. It spans about 15 000 square kilometres and is relatively flat.
World heritage sites
Botswana has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view them here: https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/bw
Tsodilo – With one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world, Tsodilo has been called the ”Louvre of the Desert”. Over 4,500 paintings are preserved in an area of only 10 km2 of the Kalahari Desert.
Durmitor Okavango Delta – This delta in north-west Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean, with a wetland system that is almost intact.
Festivals & Events
Botswana has many festivals and events that draw thousands of tourists to the fascinating indigenous displays of African music and dance. Two of the favorite offerings are Gaborone’s Maitisong Festival and the Maun Festival.
Whatever You do Don’t Run: My adventures as a Botswana safari guide; by Peter Allison
Botswana – A Modern Economic History: An African Diamond in the Rough; by Ellen Hillbom, Jutta Bolt
Botswana – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture; by Mike Main
My African Conquest: Cape to Cairo at 80; by Julia Albu
Eating & Drinking
The camps, hotels and lodges found throughout Botswana cater for overseas visitors and therefore serve high quality international fare. However, one should not miss out on the traditional cuisine that Botswana has to offer. A large quantity of high quality beef is raised in Botswana while lamb, mutton, free-range chicken and venison are also popular meat choices. There are two distinct beers in Botswana, clear and opaque. Water in main towns is usually purified and so it is generally fine to drink.
Health & Safety
While much of Botswana is usually safe to travel around, it’s important to stay alert to anything unusual. Also, you will often see signs warning of pickpockets in areas popular with tourists, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply runs at 230V, 50Hz. Botswanan plugs, types D, G and M.
Kalahari Game Reserve
Chobe National Park
Botswana has a single time zone, Central Africa time (GMT+2). Botswana do not observe daylight saving.
If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you make sure you tip an appropriate amount for services, as is the case throughout much of Africa. It’s customary to tip 10-15% of the bill at restaurants, or a few Pula at a more casual establishment. It’s polite to round a bill up to the nearest whole figure or leave the change when buying drinks.
Internet access is easily accessible, and most hotels and many cafes will be able to offer it.
Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Botswana. Many providers will offer a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.
Responsible travel tips for Botswana
- Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although some locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
- Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
- Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
- Before departing, make sure you have a number of pula in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.
- When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
- Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.