Zebras, Etosha National Park
Sand dune in Namibia's Deadvlei region
Note: Photographs on this website were made by GR Davis during the 2008 Travel Study project to Namibia and Botswana except for those made by students (credits in parentheses.)
"One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things." Henry Miller
Updates as of 6 February 2010
Instructions for Electronic Porfolio
Download your photographs from this site:
Updates as of 12 January 2009
Summary of Flights
Revised Flight Plans as MS word document.
Revised Flight Plans:
Wednesday, Jan 13th, 7:00 am, depart on charter bus for Charlotte
Airport from Wofford campus.
Updates as of 9 January 2009)
and Tentmates, Charity Coordinators,
Updates as of 1 January 2009)
First session: 9:00 am sharp
on Thursday, Jan 7th in Milliken 207.
View from the light house at the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost tip of Africa
Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town
Hiking to Deadvlei where the Tschaub River evaporates into sand dunes.
|Project Description and Academic Focus||International Flight Information|
|Daily Schedule and Itinerary||Passport Information|
|Accomodations and Food||US State Department Info|
|Selection of Participants||Ground Transportation|
|Reference materials||What to Pack|
|Course Requirements||Currency Exchange Rates|
|Travel Guide Books||Accomodations and Food|
|The Instructors and Contacts||Additional Excursions|
|Costs and Expenses||Other Links|
as a Species Machine
an essay by Dr. Abercrombie
Health and Safety Issues
|Course Requirements and Grades||Immunizations|
|Mandatory Meeting||Health Info from Center for Disease Control|
|Important Dates||Travel Precautions|
|Application Information||General Information for Travelers|
|Credit toward Africa/African American Studies Program at Wofford College||Travel Security Issues|
Mr. Burger Jordaan, a native born Namibian was tour leader for our Interim- 2008. Because he is so knowledgeable about animal behavior, wildlife identification, Namibian geology, and the cultures of native peoples, we have contracted with Mr. Jordaan for the 2009 project. Working closely with us by email, Mr. Jordaan has created for us a unique itinerary based on our specific focus and academic objectives. He has enthusiastically agreed to modify his usual role as tour leader and to participate in the project as a co-instructor. Thus, Wofford students will be exposed to a local expert who effectively and enthusiastically shares his knowledge.
Mr. Burger Jordaan, tour leader and co-instructor,
describing natural history of desert beetle.
In tourist-Africa, safari-leaders typically assume responsibility for packing and unpacking and meal-planning and cooking and cleaning throughout their trips. We believe, however, that through such activities students could learn a great deal about how Africa "works." During the travel portion of this project, students will erect and take down their own tents. Under the supervision of Mr. Jordaan, they will assist in the preparation of meals. Even though we move about under the protective guidance of our full-time tour leader, we will come to appreciate the simple life that comes from living without amenities such as the internet and air conditioning.
Unloading the safari vehicle and erecting a tent
We'll develop a knowledge of the mechanisms by which the plants, animals, and peoples that inhabit the deserts of South Africa and Namibia are adapted to their arid environments. To obtain this knowledge requires investigations of the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral strategies the plants, animals and people employ to assure their survival under conditions of intense sun and scarcity of water. Thus our investigations will require forays into biology, geology, anthropology, physics, chemistry, sociology, religion, government, history, and economics. What might at first glance appears to be a biology course will in actuality involve a synthesis from many academic disciplines. Therefore students from every major at Wofford should be able to contribute from their own academic training--while also learning about the relevance of other disciplines.
Black-back jackal and oryx at Etosha Pan
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Original plans called for Departure for Cape
Town on Monday,
Revised plans have us arriving in Cape Town on 15 and 16 January.
During 4 days of class meetings on campus,
our group will engage in discussions of readings on the following topics:
geology of Namibia, origins and characteristics of deserts, life forms
in the desert, physiological, anatomical, and behavioral adaptations to
desert life, desert ecology, history of Namibia with special emphasis
on the cultural groups we will encounter (Nama, Damara, and Topnaar)
Day to Day Itinerary for Travel Portion
Day 1 Accommodation: Backpackers at Cape Town
Day 2 Accommodation: Backpackers at Cape Town
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Waterfront at night
Day 3 Cape Penninsula and Table Mountain National Park with Mr. Jordaan Overnight at Backpacker Lodge. Dinner on own account.
Day 4 Accomodation Backpacker Lodge. Dinner provided. Explore Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or walk Long Road. Visit Museums and the Old Castle and an opportunity to go up Table Mountain.
Day 5 Accommodation: Beachfront Camping at
Strandfontein. Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite Travel
Day 6 Accommodation: Camping at the Orange
River, Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at Campsite.
Grasshopper of the desert, Roadside lunch stop
Day 7-8 Accommodation: Camping at the foot
of an extinct Volcano. Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite
Day 9-10 Accommodation: Camping at Sesriem,
Sossusvlei. Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite Travel
Acacia Tree near Tschaub River, Sossusvlei (Kelsi Hartvigsen, Interim 2008)
Dunes at Sossusvlei (left: Samantha Hall, right GR Davis, Interim 2008)
Deadvlei where the Tschaub River terminates in a sea of sand dunes 60 miles from the coast.
Namib Desert, Sossusvlei
View from bottom of Tschaub River Canyon and from ridge above Sesriem campsite
Abandoned car, Solitaire (last
town before entering Sossusvlei (Sarah Harste, Interim 2008)
Day 11-12 Accommodation: Remote Camping at
Kuiseb River. Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite Travel
Quiver Tree, (Claudia Winker,
Interim 2008) and view of Kuiseb Plains (GR Davis, Interim 2008)
Day 13 Accommodation: Camping at Spitzkoppe.
Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite Travel 200km
Day 14-15 Accommodation: Camping at Palmwag.
Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite Travel 300km
Lunch on the road and view
from the highway, northwest Namibia
Day 16-17 Accommodation: Camping at Okaukuejo.
Lunch on route, Dinner & Breakfast at campsite Travel 350km
Elephant, Etosha National Park (Asley Carr, Interim 2008), Brown Hyena, Etosha (GR Davis, Interim 2008)
Blackface Impala, Etosh National Park. (Alex Galloway, Interim 2008)
Batchelor Males, Etosha (Mackie
Steadman, Interim 2008) and
Zebras, Etosha National Park
(Weatherly Meadors, Interim 2008)
Giraffes, Etosha National Park (Matt Carlisle, Interim 2008)
Sunrise, Etosha National Park (Nelson Seabrook, Interim 2008)
Day 18. Depart Okaukuejo and Etosha for Windhoek.
Lunch on route, Travel 500km
Day 19. Windhoek airport departure at 12:20 pm for return to Spartanburg See flight details.
||9:45 am arrival to GSP. Rest of day off. Faculty available to assist with students preparing portfolios.|
Students work on essays to accompany photographs that constitute the electronic portfolios submitted for grading no later than Tuesday, Feb 9 at noon.
Jackass penguin of South Africa near Cape Town
All participants must read "Life in the Hot Zone," a chapter in Frances Ashcroft's Life at the Extremes: The Science of Survival. (ISBN0-520-22234-2)
provide here in two PDF files: Part 1 and Part 2.
Because of strict weight-and-volume
limits, the group will carry a single, collective library to Africa. This will
include references of two types:
1. Field guides.
.......... Newman. 2002. Birds of Southern Africa.
.....b. Other reptiles:
..........Alexander and Marais. 2008. Guide to the Reptiles of Southern Africa.
..........Branch. 1998. Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa.
..........Kingdon. East African Mammals: an Atlas of Evolution. (We won't take all volumes of this monumental work with us, but students may photocopy some sections).
..........Stuart and Stuart. 1989. Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa.
.......... Picker et al. 2002. Field Guide to Insects of South Africa.
2. More general references:
.....a. Estes. 1992. The Behavior Guide to African Mammals .
.....b. Hardy and Firestone. 2007. Lonely Planet Guide to Botswana and Namibia.
.....c. Sowell. 2001. Desert Ecology.
.....d. Gordon and Gordon. 2000. The Bushman Myth: the Making of a Namibian Underclass.
While we are still at Wofford, students will choose animals, places, and cultural issues of personal interest. Then, in consultation with instructors, they will select readings appropriate to these topics. During our fieldwork, students will teach their peers about these topics-and students may assign brief readings from our shared traveling library.
A 300 year old female Wucheria plant
There are two application forms for this project. One is unique to the Southern Africa project (see link below) which is to be turned in to Drs. Davis, Moeller, or Abercrombie and the other is the generic application form that all travel project students must complete and submit to the Interim Office.
Please provide introductory information about yourself for the instructors on this Southern Africa Application Form.
If the course is over-subscribed, the information you provide may be used to determine who will be accepted into the course. You are therefore encouraged to make a compelling case that indicates your level of interest and commitment to this particular project.
You may submit the Southern Africa Application Form to Dr. Davis or Dr. Abercrombie by email or deliver the completed form to either of their offices.
Interim 2008 group crossing a line
This project is open to all interested students.
There are no pre-requisites. Participants are expected to be physically fit
enough to cheerfully walk several miles on some travel days, to cheerfully function
in all weather conditions including chilly nights and hot days in the deserts
of Namibia, to be prompt, courteous, cooperative, reliable, responsible, and
sensitive to cultural differences. All must be able to tolerate unforeseen changes
to schedules. Students who do not cope effectively with stress, new or uncomfortable
conditions or who have restricted diets are advised to seek other Interim opportunities.
Students are expected to cheerfully contribute to the daily chores associated
with participatory camping. (setting up and breaking camp, assisting with meals
and clean-up, etc.)
Participants will be selected based in part on the
a) Compelling expression of interest in the subject matter of this project on the Southern Africa Application Form (distinct from the Application Form required by the Interim Program.) Simply expressing a desire to travel is insufficient. Students should 1) explain why they wish to travel to southern Africa in particular, and how the specifics of this project appeals to them, 2) describe the skills and attributes that they possess that equip them for this project, and 3) enumerate those characteristics and/or competencies they would like to develop by participating in this project.
b) Prior travel experience and class standing (juniors and seniors who have not traveled previously are given some preferential consideration.) Freshmen and sophomore are welcome on this project.
c) Campus citizenship.
d) Personal attributes (such as tact, energy, enthusiasm, willingness to contribute to discussions, tolerance of inconveniences, etc.)
e) Recommendations from faculty and others qualified to comment on applicant's attributes.
The instructors seek students who are willing to
seriously engage in academic preparation during the on-campus class meetings
prior to the travel portion, and who will maintain serious interest, energy,
and enthusiasm during the travel segment, and who will engage in thoughtful
reflection and discussion throughout.
These instructors urge students to select their top choice of interim project based on the academic topic and avoid trying to guess which projects will "make" and which might be "oversubscribed." Also, though it may be comforting to travel with friends, we believe that an interest in the subject matter and destinations shared by participants will provide sufficient stimulation such that whoever your travel partners may be, the experience will be superb.
Sunset at Sesriem campsite
Jackass penguin colony at Simon Town,
Each student is required bundle her/his photos and essays into an electronic folder and submit that folder in lieu of a journal. Periodically throughout the project, students will write and read excerpts from their essays to the group to promote discussion and reflection.
Note: Students will be encouraged but not required to keep a daily journal in which private thoughts and reflections may be recorded. The essays to be shared with the group on several occasions during the trip are distinct from entries in a private personal diary although daily journal entries quite often serve as the basis for an essay to be shared with the group. Shared essays are expected to integrate factual information obtained from texts, guides, and other sources with personal observations and insights. The instructors will provide examples of essays by former students to serve as models.
Thus, students are expected to
a) Attend all orientation and concluding sessions
b) Participate in all aspects of the project, to include
......i) providing effective team leadership on their appointed days
......ii) interacting with tour guide(s)
......iii) becoming knowledgeable of the biota and landscape Namibia including human ecology
c) Submit an electronic portfolio (in MW Word document, Powerpoint, Website, or blog format) consisting of essays and accompanying photographs made by the student, one entry for each day of travel. Essays and photographs are to demonstrate what the student has learned by participating in this project and must include personal reflections and observations that relate academic content to field experience. (Several exemplary student portfolios from the 2008 interim will be provided as models.)
d) Read excerpts from their essays on a regular basis to the entire group. The purpose of this activity is to promote reflection and synthesis of information and to stimulate thoughtful discussion amongst the participants.
e) Presentation for class meeting on a special topic (animal, behavior, habitat, cultural group, ecosystem, etc.) from list of topics from which students choose based on personal interests
f) Presentation to be delivered on-site during the travel portion of the project. Topic to be selected in advance and preparations to be initiated prior to departure and completed with the consultation of our local guide.
F = failure to complete any of a-f above
P = satisfactory completion of a-f above.
H = excellent performance in the completion of a-f above.
This grading scheme is simple but, we believe, comprehensive. If students become highly engaged in the interim, it can lead to a large number of them receiving Honors, so this way of evaluating may lead to a higher level of engagement.
Shovelnosed lizard in dunes at Sossusvlei
Students may be able to apply this interim toward
the requirements of the A/AA Studies
Program. Check with the A/AA Studies Program coordinators for further details.
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We will travel in a safari vehicle
with seats for 24 passengers, all necessary supplies for camping and cooking,
plenty of water, and two spare tires. (Last trip, we had 4 flats!)
Mr. Jordaan has traveled our route many times and will have a cell phone for emergencies.
|Outbound Flights||Date||Origin-Destination||Depart-Arrive||Flying Time|
|Delta # 6596||13 Jan||Charlotte to NY JFK (Moeller, LaPrade, Nodell & Sellars)||11:30 am; 1:44 pm||2:14|
|Jet Blue # 1082||13 Jan||Charlotte to NY JFK (Davis + rest of group)||11:50 am; 1:44 pm||1:54|
13 Jan & Possibly 14 Jan
Comfort Inn at Kennedy Airport,
153 3rd Lane, Jamaica, NY
South African # 204
|14 Jan||NY JFK to Dakar to Johannesburg||10:30 am; 8:35 am on 15 Jan||15:05|
|South African # 327||15 Jan||Johannesburg to Capetown||11:00 am; 1:10 pm||2:10|
South African # 204
|15 Jan||NY JFK to Dakar to Johannesburg||10:30 am; 8:35 am on 16 Jan||15:05|
|South African # 327||16 Jan||Johannesburg to Capetown||11:00 am; 1:10 pm||2:10|
|South African # 75||2 Feb||Windhoek, Namibia to Johannesburg||12:40 pm; 2:30 pm||1:50|
|South African # 207||2 Feb||Johannesburg to Dakar to Washington-Dulles||6:10 pm; 6:00 am on 3 Feb||18:50|
|United # 7983||3 Feb||Washington-Dulles to Greenville-Spartanburg||8:19 am; 9:46 am||1:27|
Students and professors will help
prepare meals during the safari.
We eat well and we eat plenty.
To minimize costs and to experience the landscape more intimately, we will camp in spacious two person tents that we will erect ourselves. These tents are much larger than what Americans would call "two persons." They are approximately 7 feet square and nearly tall enough to stand up inside. Bring your own lightweight sleeping to place on the 50 mm thick foam mats (provided.) All campsites except for the one in Kuiseb River canyon have showers and toilets and water that is drinkable straight from the tap. Most have a canteen where soft drinks and other beverages can be purchased. We will always have drinking water on the truck.
Each student will accompany our guide to shop for food in local stores. For most meals we will assist our full-time tour leader using cookware that is provided. Breakfast is commonly cereal, milk, yogurt, bread, juice and hot tea or coffee (if you consider Nescafe coffee!) Sometimes we'll have scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. Lunch is typically a salad, sliced cheese, and sandwiches. Dinners are cooked over an open fire or on a propane burner. You'll be amazed at how well we'll eat! Roasted chicken, goat, kudu, pasta, rice, and so on.
Most MEALS ARE INCLUDED IN THE COURSE FEE except for the last day in Windhoek and several meals in Cape Town before we begin our safari. Therefore the only food you need to purchase once the safari begins on Day 4 will be snacks, bottled water and other beverages.
Often we'll be on the road during the middle of the day so lunch happens whenever we can find a shady tree by the roadside. Once we get into the routine, you'll have lunch prepared in about 15 minutes and then relax in our camp chairs for a few minutes before riding on to our next destination.
Those can cannot cope with these conditions should opt for other interim projects. Don't even ask about air conditioning! As for mosquitoes.... don't worry. In Jan 2008, there were none to be found! Remember, this is the desert!
We plan to stay our last night at Jan Jonkers Holiday Apartments in Windhoek, a short walk from the bustling downtown of the capital city. We'll be able to repack and reaquaint ourselves with a real bed before the long trip back to Spartanburg. Windhoek is a good place to purchase souvenirs.
All 10 tents fit beneath an acacia
treet at our Sesreim campsite.
Warning: keep tents zippered to prevent the local jackals from slipping away with snacks or shoes!
While in Cape Town, we'll be at:
Afrique du Sud Backpackers,
5A St Johns Road,
tel +27 (0)21 439 9028
fax +27 (0)8654 13123
In Windhoek, Namibia, our overnight will be at:
Jonkers Holiday Apartments,
183 Jon Jonkers Road, Windhoek (near the American Embassy.)
Telephone 264 0 61 221236 or 370120
Fax: 264 0 61 228218
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During the travel portion of the trip, if it becomes necessary to contact a professor or student, please do so only the case of emergency and then only via Dean Amy Lancaster.
Dr. G.R. Davis, Professor of Biology
Office phone 864-597-4621
fax to Department of Biology 864-597-4659
More about Dr. Davis
Dr. John Moeller,
Associate Professor of Biology
More about Dr. Moeller
Amy Lancaster, Assistant Dean for Academic Administration
and International Programs
Ana Maria Wiseman, Assistant Dean of the College
and Director of Programs Abroad and the Interim.
Office phone 864-597-4510
Our travel arrangements in South Africa and Namibia are made with
Mr. Burger Jordaan
cell phone 264 81 124 6639 (Please use this number only in the most extreme case of emergency.)
Airfare is arranged by
Alda Kop, Universal Travel
222 East Blackstock Road, Suite B
Spartanburg, SC 29301
864- 576-6616 or fax 576-0393
toll free 1-800-849-0167
The fynbos of the Cape Penninsula south of Cape Town, False Bay with sharks in the distance.
Student will be expected to consult references such as:
Lonely Planet Botswana and Namibia. The acclaimed "Lonely Planet" series travel guide will be an important reference for our project. All students will be provided a copy.
Insight Guide to Namibia. Comprehensive description of the country, its culture, history, government, attractions, etc.
Kingdom, Jonathan. East African Mammals.
A seven volume encyclopedia of African mammals which encompasses those we expect
Although much information is available on the internet, the instructors strongly recommend that travelers bring along and frequently consult field guides during the trip. Arrange to share!
Sunset view to the east from ridge above Sesriem campsite
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At some locations, there are optional activities at additional cost. These often involve performances of traditional songs and dances and in most cases a tip of $5 US from each student is expected (not included in course fee.)
An excellent source of reliable travel information is provided by the US State Department "Background Notes." These notes concisely summarize the geography, people, population, government, economy, foreign relations, history, and political conditions for every nation. Have a look at the site for Namibia.
British Commonwealth Official Travel Information has essentially the same information as the US State Department Consular Information Sheet regarding travel to and within Namibia. Currently there are no advisories travel to Namibia.
Canadian Consular Affairs Information for Namibia. Currently there are no advisories against travel to Namibia.
Consular Information Sheets published by the State Department provide information on entry requirements, medical facilities, crime, traffic safety & road conditions, aviation, and embassy locations. Check the Information Sheets for Background Notes (country Profiles) for Namibia. They are posted on the State Department website and provides information about the population, ethnic groups, geography, government and political conditions, history,economy, travel and business information.
The State Department also publishes "Tips for Student Travelers" which is very sound advice. "A Safe Trip Abroad" is also packed with useful information.
Is is safe to travel in Namibia? Yes. The official language is English. Namibia is stable democracy with flourishing economy. Namibia is sparcely populated and relies heavily on tourism. Namibians are careful to treat tourists in ways that foster their return.
The organizers of the travel trip are cognizant of safety and security issues and will not knowingly endanger themselves or students by traveling to dangerous regions. We will be monitoring US State Department information.
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Students are to consult with their physicians regarding immunizations which are appropriate for travel to Namibia and South Africa. The Center for Disease Control provides recommendations for travelers to Namibia and South Africa. You may arrange to obtain immunizations locally from
Spartanburg Regional Hospital's Travelers Health
864-560-6806 contact person Anne Price (direct line 560-6800)
101 East Wood Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303 Fax 864-560-7329 email: email@example.com
Dr. Robin Garrells 809-8155 spoke to our group at 11:00 am on Thursday November 19 in MSH 206 with recommendations for immunizations, etc.
December 1, 2009 in Milliken Science Hall Room 206 (lab on second floor.) At this time, all documentation required by the college is due. Reading assigments will be made and advice provided in regard to preparing for the travel segment of the project.
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The $4300 project cost for each of the 21 participants covers
Round-trip airfare from US to Cape Town and flight
from Windhoek to Cape Town
Hotel accommodations in Cape Town Windhoek
14 day "safari" with Mr. Burger Jordaan of Inbuka Safaris
transportation in 24 passenger self-contained safari truck with all camping and cooking equipment
all meals provided except meals in Cape Town and Windhoek
water for drinking and hygiene
national park and game reserve entrance fees
basic tip for Mr. Jordaan, our guide who will accompany us 24 hr/day for entirety of the ground portion in South Africa and Namibia
Important note: The cost of food during the safari is included in the fee charged by our tour operator. Students will assist with the planning of meals, purchasing of food from local grocers, and preparing those meals at each campsite. Mr. Jordaan will supervise all of these activities. Thus all food is provided with the exception of 3 meals in Cape Town and Windhoek.
This does not include:
a. Transportation between Spartanburg and Greenville-Spartanburg airport.
c. Any medical expenses (i.e. vaccinations)
d. Cell phones and phone cards (Note: phone access is limited in Namibia.)
e. Binoculars for each participant (borrow a pair!)
f. Field guides, travel guides, and texts (none of which will be required. The professors will have a sufficient number of copies to share.)
g. Two or 3 meals on the last day of the trip when we are in Windhoek (estimated $20 US) and meals for 3 days in Cape Town.
h. Entertainment including tips for performances by native tribesmen, singers, dancers $75 *
i. beverages and snack foods, $60*
j. souveniers: $150*
k. any supplemental tip student would opt to contribute to the tour leader Mr. Jordaan.
* = median as reported by 16 students surveyed in 2008 Namibia/Botswana project
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For students who already have a passport: check the expiration date to be sure that your passport will be valid for the duration of our trip. Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond our scheduled stay.
For students who need a passport: all necessary materials and information can be obtained from the main Spartanburg Post Office at the corner of South Church Street and Henry Street. You will need to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate, complete with embossed seal. Currently the turn-around time for passports is approximately 14 weeks. If you are considering any travel project, apply for a new or replacement passport right away.
Our US travel agent MUST have your passport information by the end of October.
Check here for the latest US State Department Passport Information. And another update is here.
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Friday September 18th Payment due by check made out to Wofford College for the entire balance ($4100) or a partial payment of $2100
For those not paid in full, a final payment of $2000 is due on Monday, October 26th.
Our US travel agent MUST have your passport information by the end of October.
Mandatory meeting: December 1, 2009 in Milliken Science Hall Room 206 (lab on second floor.)
TBA: Photocopies of passport due.
TBA: Mandatory class meeting, all college forms completed with appropriate signatures.
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General Tips for Traveling Abroad
Bureau of Consular Affairs (US State Department Home Page for Travel Advisories.)
Tips for Student Travelers from the Bureau of Consular Affairs
Students are responsible for determining which, if any, medications they should obtain.
1. What is our luggage limit? Number of bags? Weight?
A soft bag of about 15kg per person plus 1 carry on/hand luggage, plus a sleeping bag, plus a camera bag
2. How much spending money should I bring? Should I carry cash, traveler's checks, an ATM card or a combination of all three?
ATM cards are preferable and our guide will get us to a bank every now and then. However, we don't expect on need or spend much money.
3. Will we get to shower every day?
Showers should be available most days, but not every day. In the Kuiseb River valley, we'll have a couple of days without showers.
4. Would you recommend taking a video camera?
Personal choice, same charging opportunities as for a computer.
5. How much will I be moving my luggage? Would
it be easier to pack in a backpack?
A back pack is a good option. You will need to load up the vehicle with your own bag each time we move camp.
6. Do we need to worry about (buy and bring) mosquito repellant?
Always a good idea to have a personal supply, but in 2008 we did not encounter mosquitoes.
7. Are towels a necessity to bring?
8. What kind of clothing should we bring?
Shorts, T shirts, long trousers and long sleeves for the evenings and something warm (jacket).
9. Do we need Dramamine or other such medicine for the bus rides?
Bring a sufficient supply of any personal medicine you might need.
10. What is the average temperature of Namibia
and Botswana during January?
Hot, up to 40* c in the day, about 10*c / 15*c at night.
11. Will we be able to wash clothes at some point during the trip?
Yes, hand washing.
12. Will our personal belongings be safe (i.e. cameras and other valuables)?
Cameras will probably be with the owners/ passengers most of the time. Otherwise, personal belongings can be left in the locked safari vehicle.
13. Do I need a mosquito net?
14. How much freedom are we going to have to explore and investigate on our own?
Quite a bit, actually. Generally we get started about sun-up and accomplish a great deal before noon. In the early afternoon, there is usually some "down time" and often in the late afternoons before and after dinner there is free time to investigate about the campsite.
15. Do we need hiking boots?
A light weight pair is a good idea. Sometimes the sand is hot. On most occasions sandals will be fine but bring some socks to avoid irritation that comes when walking through deep sand.
16. Are we going to be able to call home?
Yes, occasionally. Our guide will have his personal cell phone for emergencies but not for personal use.
17. Should we bring filters or water treatment tablets?
No, they are not necessary.
18. Should we bring our own sleeping bag?
Yes. Bring a light weight bag.
19. What happens if I get sick or injured?
We take you to a doctor, if it is serious. In a worst case scenario, you will be evacuated.
20. What happens in the case of a family crisis back home?
It is a personal decision as whether to leave the trip or remain.
If you have supplemental travel insurance, the insurance policy should cover the cost to get the passenger to the airport and back to the USA if there is a medical crisis with a family member.
21. Will I be able to recharge batteries (ie. for
Yes through an outlet in the safari vehicle (bring your own charger), and at some of the accommodation mains power, (220v), will be available. We will have outlet adaptors.
22. Will there be telephone and/or internet access?
Limited telephone, very limited internet.
23. Are there cultural concerns related to clothing? (Shorts?)
Namib Naukluft National Park
Giant Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei
Skeleton Coast National Park
Etosha National Park
Mapping Namibia (excellent, detailed maps with all roads and towns)
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