Okavango Air Rescue has been airborne since 15th of October 2012. They are the first Helicopter based emergency medical rescue operation in Botswana.



Most tourists travelling in Botswana purchase prime insurance for the duration of their holiday. However, many are unaware that the most complicated part of a medical transfer either to a modern hospital, or repatriation to their home country, is the evacuation from the Okavango Delta, or from a remote or inaccessible area.

Previously there were no organisations in Botswana, nor any travel insurance that had a Helicopter Rescue Service stationed in situ. To date small aircraft, boats and four wheel drive vehicles have been utilized or chartered in an emergency in order to evacuate a patient. These modes of transport are neither medically equipped, nor do they include an accompanying emergency medical doctor.

Consequently, the requirement for a Helicopter, and Doctor based, emergency medical rescue service in Botswana was established.

Since Government funding is not available and Insurance Companies currently only cover rescue services to approximately 25% of the actual costs of a helicopter medical rescue service; OAR adopted the “Patronage” system on which to base its Botswana operation. The “Patronage” system was developed by the Swiss rescue service “REGA” when Switzerland found itself in a similar situation some 60 years ago.

Fast facts about Okavango Air Rescue:  
Emergency number (in Botswana) 995
Emergency number (satellite phone) 00267 686 15 06
Price   (citizens) 125 Pula
Price   (residents) 150 Pula
Price   (tourists) 175 Pula (approx. $25.00)


Not only tourists benefit from this service but Botswana as a whole.

The minimal Patronage fee of Pula 175.00 for Tourists, which roughly equates to Rand 175.00, Euro 17.50, or US$ 23.00, assures the Patron of an evacuation in case of a medical emergency. The fee also supports the Patronage concept, which in turn benefits the local population and inhabitants of Botswana. Okavango Air Rescue flies for Everybody!

“Affiliate Accounts” have been established for Travel Agents and Tour Operators through which tourists can be registered with OAR directly. The moment a client’s name is entered into the account, he is registered and immediately covered by OAR. An affiliate account is customized for each individual company, with its own ID and password. Travel Agents and Tour Operators are offered a 14% Agent’s Commission on registration of each Patron on their Affiliate Account.

For more information go to

By: 5VictoriaFalls24

Date 21 May 2013