Botswana 

The landlocked Republic of Botswana is home to a rich variety of African wildlife. It borders South Africa as well as Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. It is in the northwest corner of the country where wildlife enthusiasts travel as it is here that the largest inland delta, known as the Okavango Delta, is found. The delta is stunning and provides visitors with spectacular scenery across grassy plains and crystal clear lagoons. The Moremi Wildlife Reserve is the ultimate African safari destination.

Best Time to Visit

The peak tourist months are during the winter months of May through to September however the best time to visit is in the winter months as this is when wildlife congregates around permanent water sources and game viewing is at its optimum.

Recently the summer months have also become popular as this is when game are giving birth, the migrant birds arrive, the grass is thick and lush, and there is plenty of water around.

What to do

  • Fishing
  • Game Viewing
  • Explore the Okavango Delta on a mokoro ( dug-out canoe )
  • Visit the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
  • Visit Chobe National Park
  • Tsodilo Hills World Heritage site

Climate and Weather

The rainy season occurs in during October and April, while during May and September the weather is dry and temperatures are fresh, with cold and sometimes even frosty nights. The average daytime temperature is 25ºC. Between April and October, the wildlife is most prolific and is easily spotted around the natural watering holes and dams.

Essential Travel Information

Passport and Visa Information

Passport Information

  • Passports must be valid for no less than six months beyond the period of intended stay.

  • Visitors must ensure they have a minimum of three blank pages in their passport (for entry and exit stamps).

  • Tourists must hold proof of a valid onward ticket. The travel date of this ticket may not exceed three months from the first date of entry.

  • Tourists must be able to prove they have sufficient funds for the duration of their stay in the country.

Visa Information

All Citizens of Commonwealth countries do not require a visa except those from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South Africa Passport holders do not require a visa.

Health Information

Between November and June malaria is a particular risk in Botswana, and tourists who are going to be camping or walking in the bush should also be cautious of tick bites. There are no compulsory vaccinations, and tap water in the towns is safe to drink. If travelling in rural Botswana bottled water is recommended. Travellers coming from infected countries require a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Health insurance for visitors is highly recommended. Botswana has good public hospitals in the main urban areas however facilities are limited in the rural areas.

Safety and Security

The tourist areas of Botswana are very safe but, just as in most places around the world, you should take all the reasonable precautions for your own personal safety, that you would in your home city. The majority of visits to Botswana are incident free and driving at night should be avoided due to free roaming livestock and wild animals.

Customs and Dress Code

Taking photos or videos near government or military buildings is prohibited, and you should always request permission from individuals before taking photos of them. It is illegal for same-sex couples to flaunt their sexuality in public areas.

Time Zone
GMT +2
Electricity
Round three-pin plugs are used

Getting Around

By air

Air Botswana, operates a scheduled network of flights to the main cities and regional towns in Botswana as well as over border to South Africa. Smaller charter flights can be taken to the various camps.

Driving

Motorists drive on the left in Botswana. Most roads in the towns as well as the primary road networks are tarred and in good condition. None-primary roads are generally untarred and unmaintained and require a 4×4 vehicle or at the very least a vehicle with high road clearance.

There are car rental agencies at the major airports in Botswana. If you have never driven off-road, it is recommended that you instead make use of a reputable transfer service or allow the lodge you are staying at to come and fetch you.

Currency

The currency in Botswana is the Pula (BWP). One Pula is equal to 100 Thebe. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 Thebe, P1 and P2. Notes are in denominations of P5, P10, P20, P50 and P100. Most foreign currency is accepted at the large hotels and lodges along with the major credit cards. There are banks and foreign exchange outlets in all the main towns, as well as ATMs.

Communication

The international dialling code for Botswana is +267. Mobile phones signal is limited to the urban areas, and most rural areas have no network. Internet cafes are available in the main towns of Gaborone and Maun.

Public Holidays

New Year’s Day – 01 January 2018
New Year Holiday – 02 January 2018
Good Friday – 30 March 2018
Easter Monday – 02 April 2018
Labour Day – 01 May 2018
Ascension Day – 10 May 2018
Sir Seretse Khama Day – 01 July 2018
Sir Seretse Khama Day Holiday – 02 July 2018
President’s Day Botswana – 16 July 2018
President’s Day Holiday – 17 July 2018
Botswana Day – 30 September 2018
Christmas Day – 25 December 2018
Boxing Day – 26 December 2018

Important Contact Numbers

Department of Tourism, Gaborone:
+267 395 3024

Police: 999

Medical Rescue: 911

Ambulance: 997

Fire: 998