2008. november 28., péntek

Facts, part II.

How to get there:
Fly to Johannesburg, then either Air Botswana it to Maun for about 200 euro or get a bus to Gaborone and then onwards to Maun for a cheaper, but many more times sweaty, excursion. Audi camp (www.okavangocamp.com) seems to be the place to stay for pilots, bring a tent, mention you are a pilot looking for a job, and apparently they give you a discount (35 Pula = 3 euro). It is 12km North of Maun, so I am not quite sure how you actually get there, but I suggest walking would be a decision left severely lacking.

Visa & license conversion:
You can go to Botswana for a job hunt based on your passport, so no special visa is required. In order to get your license converted to the Botswana equivalent, you will need five hours in the C206, then you will need to pass a flight test, and also an air law exam. Apparently this is easy. The company will also sort out the work permit visa papers that you will need once and if you get a job, and this will take a couple of months.

It is important to have everything certified, or bring over the originals. Birth certificate, passport, police clearance certificate, school certificate, licenses, logbooks, and anything else you can think of.
The application process for a license can take up to month!
Paperwork and residence permits:
(THX Jono)
  • certificates (as many as you can get your hands on – even for 1 day courses!!!)
  • work references
  • current CV
  • passport – showing date of issue, date of expiry & number
  • birth certificate
  • 20 X passport photos (Its ridiculous but you can never have to many of these!)
  • 2 X form 16 – must be signed in front of commissioner/policeman
  • 2 X form 4 – signed by doctor and MUST be stamped employment contract (upon being accepted by company)
  • application letter for the job (chief pilot should issue this to you)
  • copy of the job advert (ask the chief pilot for a copy)
The cost of these permits is roughly P1200 (120 euros). The company usually helps out with all this, so don’t stress to much, just get as much paperwork together as you can before coming over, and have about 4 certified copies of each! There is a company that will do all this for you, and I would recommend using them as they really speed up the whole process, there called jumbaliya and there next to Mack Air.

2. (THX Dupre)

Bring at least 5 certified copies of your passport, licences, birth certificates etc. Also a new requirement is a Certificate of Clearance (from the police, stating that you are a good egg and haven't done anything terrible). Finally bring copies of all the certificates/education/degrees you've got... they lap that stuff up at immigration. Make sure that everything has an official looking stamp on it - for some reason Africa is the place of official stamps and any document lacking one is viewed with suspicion.
+ The latest trick form DCA is to say that they have to contact your DCA to clear your license - if you can try and get a letter from your DCA as some form of clearance letter indicating that your license is valid and you're not a fraud - I'm not even sure if it will help - but we're trying to cover all our basis.

Life in Maun:
Maun has many bars with paved roads in the centre and a smallish airport (which is always a bonus when you are trying to find a pilot job). A modern hospital has just been built, but I don't know if this is open yet. The low season for pilots is the Summer and is the wet season in Botswana, and is the hiring season as well, so you will need to take a good waterproof tent and be prepared to get a little moist. It gets cold at night so bring warm things you can layer yourself up with in the evenings and shed them like some sort of onion in the mornings.
Travel in bots is a bitch, so be prepared to share lifts, buy your own car or take a taxi! 2nd hand cars are really cheap. Upwards from about 800 euro.

Accommodation isn’t always provided, so be prepared to camp out for a few days. The best I can suggest is chat to the pilots and see if they might have a room available. Look at paying 100 euros upwards a month for shared accommodation. Audi camp caters for pilots and is really cheap, let them know you’re a pilot and they charge around 2 euros/night.
First hand info on house rent is 250 euros/month for a small house with pool.

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