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Botswana 15 Day Conservation Expedition

Botswana 15 Day Conservation Expedition

Botswana 15 Day Conservation Expedition

Program Type:Smithsonian custom group iconCustom Group Travel Learn More

Dates: TBD  |  Tuition: TBD Tuition Details

Group Organizer/s: 

Your contact info here.

SSA Contact: 

Morrison Mast, morrison@SmithsonianSA.com, 202-792-8953

Deadlines: TBD

Request a Quote

SAMPLE PROGRAM PAGE: This is an example of what your private program webpage and itinerary might look like, as you decide to organize a program with us. Please begin by reviewing the suggested itinerary listed under the Pre-Enrollment tab, and then feel free to read through other sections to get a sense of the in-depth information and support we provide for all programs.

Program Highlights

  • Visit conservation center in Maun
  • Play soccer in bush camp
  • Hike Waterfall in Chambok
  • Observe large animals up close
  View Full Itinerary

Smithsonian Student Adventures was created through a collaboration of the Smithsonian Institution and Walking Tree Travel. Although this video is branded as Walking Tree Travel, it encapsulates the mission and spirit that is present in all SSA programming.

Important Program Details

Click on the sections above to learn more

Program Itinerary

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
1USA - BotswanaFly from the US to Maun-Botswana, with a connection in South Africa.Airplane
2MaunArrive to Maun in Northern Botswana and get settled into your accommodations.Maun Guesthouse
3MaunHave breakfast as a group and get acquainted with the city of Maun, where in a few short days we'll be assisting with an award-winning soccer and environmental education camp for local students. We'll have a driving/walking tour of the Maun , exploring the Thamalakane River , and visiting the Conservation Education Centre during one of their afterschool programs to get acquainted with the local community. There will be a group orientation and afternoon lecture about the goals and history of Coaching for Conservation.Maun Guesthouse
4Maun - OkavangoEnter the wilderness of northern Botswana as we transfer to a bush camp in the Okavango Delta . Make sure to bring binoculars and a camera! At this point, you'll be in the wild and have the opportunity to see the full spectrum of wildlife in the Okavango: hippos, lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, and much more. Upon arrival, we'll get situated at camp, have dinner, and meet wildlife researchers and camp staff who will give us an expert lecture and orientation about the goals of their operation.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
5Okavango DeltaWe will spend our days in the bush camp on a variety of activities, both preparing us for the upcoming Coaching for Conservation Camp, learning about the maintenance of a research station in the field, and learning about the groundbreaking work that's being done by local conservation and research organizations. Meals at camp are delicious, and you'll be staying in large canvas tents with comfy beds.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
6Okavango DeltaDuring our time in the bush, we'll go on regular game drives and follow along as resident scientists track prides of lions , packs of African wild dogs, clans of hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs. We'll learn how these animals interact in these unique landscapes (focus on behavioral ecology and animal behavior ), and learn lessons that can be applied with the many students that you'll be interacting with on the latter half of the program. We'll also receive lectures from some of the researchers on the biology and ecology of these fascinating creatures, and learn what's being done to mitigate human-animal conflicts with agriculturalists and ranchers in the region. For more information on the project with which we'll be collaborating, please read the sections below.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
7Okavango DeltaContinuation of training, fieldwork assistance, and camp maintenance.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
8Okavango DeltaContinuation of training, fieldwork assistance, and camp maintenance.Wildlife Research Camp or Safari Camp
9Okavango - MaunToday we'll transfer back to Maun, stopping along the way to observe the wildlife and shop at local stores for souvenirs. Upon our arrival, we'll have another group meal and explore some of the town before resting up for the coming days of soccer camp.Maun Guesthouse
10MaunStarting today, we'll be putting our knowledge and skills to use during the Coaching for Conservation soccer camp in Maun with hundreds of local schoolchildren. You will have a consistent and very important relationship with the children. Coaches will each be responsible for a team of school children (ages 10-12) as their guide, mentor, counselor, friend, coach and spirit leader! Each school will come to the program with big expectations for a fun filled week of soccer and conservation games . It will be your job to guide them, emphasize and reinforce or objectives of self-respect, respect for others, and respect for the environment, as well as the mantra of "learning from wildlife" by reinforcing each soccer and conservation activity with games and competitions, skits, songs, and team spirit. See below for updated information on Coaching for Conservation.Maun Guesthouse
11MaunCoaching, soccer, conservation activities with local students. Evening activities will vary.Maun Guesthouse
12MaunCoaching, soccer, conservation activities with local students. Evening activities will vary.Maun Guesthouse
13MaunCoaching, soccer, conservation activities with local students. Evening activities will vary.Maun Guesthouse
14MaunAfter today's camp, we'll wrap everything up with a thank-you dinner with Coaching for Conservation staff and some local families.Maun Guesthouse
15Maun - USAAfter two weeks-of life-changing experiences, we'll say goodbye to Botswana (until the next time) and board our flight back to the USA to share our experiences with our friends and families.Your own bed!

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Smithsonian Student Adventures designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Smithsonian Student Adventures stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.

Accommodations

Standards of Behavior

SSA provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with SSA.

Tuition & Fundraising

When you travel with Smithsonian Student Adventures, your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s nineteen museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions. Tuition details are below:

Tuition Includes:
Smithsonian Custom Group Travel Tuition includes icons

Tuition Excludes:
Baggage fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed on the itinerary.

Tuition is an estimate until dates and itinerary are finalized. 

We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from having the opportunity to join an SSA program. We are pleased to offer opportunities for fundraising and payment plans to help make this goal a reality. Please visit our Tuition and Funding page to find out more about tuition, fundraising, payment options, referral discounts, and more.

Visit Tuition & Funding

Passport & Visa Check

Health and Safety

Travel Insurance

Our experience has taught us that international travel can sometimes be unpredictable. As such, SSA will purchase basic secondary travel and medical insurance for all SSA travelers via Travel Insured International. This service provides the following coverage at no additional cost to our participants:

PLAN COVERAGES

$500 Return Airfare for Trip Interruption
$750 ($150 per day) Trip Delay of six hours or more
$500 (Three or more hours) Missed Connection
$1500 ($250 per article) Baggage/Personal Effects
$300 Baggage Delay – 24 hours
$25,000 Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
$100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency Assistance Non-insurance Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services Included

Once you have been accepted onto your program, SSA will be in touch regarding this insurance and other additional options (see below).

ADDITIONAL OPTIONAL COVERAGES

The following additional optional coverage upgrades are available upon request for an additional premium charge to the traveler. For further information on the premiums associated with these optional coverage enhancements, please email your inquiry to our travel insurance program administrator, Hayashi Insurance Solutions: travelinsurance@jshinsurance.com

– Trip Cancellation Coverage – Reimburses the traveler up to the trip cost insured up to a maximum of $10,000 per person if the trip must be cancelled for unforeseeable life events including but not limited to; medical/health reasons, bereavement, etc.

– Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) – Reimburses the traveler for 75% of the non-refundable trip cost. Cancellation must be made 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. Must be purchased at the same time as initial plan purchase and prior to final trip payment. *This benefit is not available to residents of New York State.

The Plan is administered by Hayashi Insurance Solutions (CA DOI 0F61680) a licensed Insurance Agency authorized to transact this insurance under the express authority of Travel Insured International, Inc. and its representatives, and on behalf of Walking Tree Travel, Inc. The Plan contains insurance benefits underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Fairmont Specialty and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2015. The Plan also contains non insurance Travel Assistance Services that are provided by an independent organization, OnCall International, and not by United States Fire Insurance Company or Travel Insured International. Review the Plan Document for complete terms, including benefits, conditions, limitations and exclusions that apply. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions.

Global Leadership Curriculum

Walking Tree Travel has developed a curriculum that helps SSA travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame their experience, and prepare them to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future. For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the Walking Tree Travel Global Leadership Curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More

Language Resources

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Group Flight Information

Program participants will meet the group organizer at the below airline check-in counter three hours before the departure flight. If you have trouble locating the group, please notify your group organizer or contact SSA.

DEPARTURE FROM USA
Airline:
Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

RETURN TO USA
Airline:

Flight:
Date:
Departs:
Arrives:

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event SSA is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

SSA is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Leader Profile

SSA will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the Smithsonian Student Adventures staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

  • Morrison Mast Conservation Programs

    College of William and Mary – B.S. Biology and Environmental Science & Policy

    Morrison is an obsessive and experienced traveler, having been to 50+ countries in pursuit of the life-changing experiences offered by the wild places of the world. Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and broken French, he is an avid wildlife photographer whose favorite subjects are beetles, spiders, and the oft overlooked microcosms they inhabit. Morrison is a percussionist at heart and has performed nationally and internationally with groups ranging in style from symphonic to experimental rock and traditional Turkish music. During his undergraduate years, Morrison conducted research in Brazil and Madagascar with conservation organizations that are actively working with communities to strike a sustainable balance between humans and the ecosystems that support them. Education is surely the most rewarding aspect of his work; Morrison constantly strives to inspire positive change by communicating his overwhelming awe of the natural world to others. Morrison hopes to build a career in biodiversity conservation and is currently in charge of developing and implementing new Conservation Expeditions.

    Group Roster

    Please have all travelers check below to ensure their name is spelled exactly how it appears on your passport. For edits, email lacey@SmithsonianSA.com.

     

    Community & Project Details

    This is where your host community information will appear, along with your community project, if applicable to your program.

    Communication & Blog

    The easiest way for students to keep in touch with family and friends at home while traveling will be using Wifi (available at most hotels and some restaurants) via Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

    SSA tries to keep families and friends updated as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, they should direct all general inquiries to info@SmithsonianSA.com. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S.

    Here is the link to your blog: -Coming Soon-

    Packing List

    Tuition Details

    more tuition information

    Tuition is an estimate until dates and itinerary are finalized. 

    When you travel with Smithsonian Student Adventures, your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s nineteen museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

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