We do our best to have a minimum negative impact on local cultures and the natural environment in Botswana. Our goal is to leave no trace on the natural environment, or to leave places better than we find them. Here’s what we ask of you as part of this effort
- Observe the animals silently and with minimum disturbance to their natural activities. Loud talking on a game drive can frighten the animals away.
- Never attempt to attract an animal’s attention. Do not imitate animal sounds, clap your hands, pound on the vehicle, or throw objects.
- Please respect your guide’s judgment about our proximity to any wild animals. Do not insist that he/she take the vehicle closer so you can get a better photograph. A vehicle driven too close can hinder a hunt or cause animals to abandon a hard-earned meal.
- Litter tossed on the ground can choke or poison animals.
Conserving the Natural Environment
- Minimize the disposable items you bring on the trip. Leave film boxes, wrappings from new clothes, and other unneeded items at home.
- Dispose of your trash properly. Do not carelessly discard cigarette stubs as much of southern Africa is very arid and scrub and grasslands can catch light quickly with devastating effects.
- Ask whether plastic drinking water bottles can be recycled.
- Stay on established trails to avoid damaging plants. Do not pick any vegetation, or remove any item of biological interest.
- Attempt to use environmentally friendly bathroom products and use them sparingly to minimize pollution of the local water supply. Many of the lodges provide their own complimentary environmentally friendly products. In Botswana, water shortage is a serious problem. Please conserve water where possible.
You can have some great ‘conversations’ with local people who do not speak English, even if you don’t speak a word of the local language. Indeed, this non-verbal communication can be a highly rewarding part of travel. To break the ice, bring along some family photographs, or a few postcards of your hometown. If you want to meet kids, bring a puppet or other interactive toy.
Setswana is the national language with minor differences in dialects. However, English is the official business language and it is widely spoken in urban areas with most written communication being in this language. However, knowing and using a bit of Setswana always helps and Batswana will be pleased that you have made the effort.
Here are some of the basic phrases in Setswana:
- Yes - Ee (Ee, mma - answering a woman, ee rra - answering a man)
- No - Nnyaa, mma/rra Hello (to a woman)
- Hello (to a woman) - Dumela, mma (Dumelang, bo mma - plural)
- Hello (to a man) - Dumela, rra (Dumelang, bo rra - plural)
- How are you? - Le kae? O tsogile jang?
- Good bye or it is okay - Go siame
- Stay well - Tsamaya sentle - Sala sentle
- Thank you - Ke itumetse