Last updated: 28 Oct 2020

Botswana

About

Extremely dramatic, Botswana's landscape features striking salt pans, diamond-rich deserts and fertile flood plains which teem with game. The north, in particular, offers superb wildlife-watching opportunities, making this one of southern Africa's top safari destinations.

The jewel in Botswana's crown is, without a doubt, the Okavango Delta - the largest inland delta in the world. Its seasonal lagoons and waterways are crammed with hovering birds, while zebras and giraffes amble across vast grass flats. Northeast of here is Chobe National Park, home to gigantic elephant herds, some of them 400-strong. Watch antelopes in the Gaborone Game Reserve and the Mokolodi Nature Reserve, and giraffes striding through the Khutse Game Reserve. Be dazzled by flamingoes on the Makgadikgadi Plains.

Search for lions and leopards stalking their prey or just lazing around in the shade in the Moremi Game Reserve.
Capital:  Gaborone (GBE)
Currency:  Pula (BWP)
Language:  English. Setswana is widely spoken. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 267
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1, 2; Apr 10, 11, 13; May 1, 21; Jul 1, 20, 21; Sep 30; Oct 1; Dec 25, 26

Side of the Road: Left. South African drivers' licences are recognised in SADC countries (Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). It is recommended that a letter of verification be obtained from the South African Department of Transport
Best Time to Go: April - October
Best for: Safari
Plugs:

230 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are used.

Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated. Bottled water is available in most tourist areas. 
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Medical facilities outside of the main towns may be limited.
Customs: Traditional values prevail and should be respected.  Outside of urban and tourist areas, visitors may be viewed with apprehension. Permission should be sought before photographing people. 
Local Offences / Laws: Homosexuality is illegal. Avoid taking pictures of government and military installations.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Travellers should be cautious about driving at night due to cattle and wildlife. 
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Botswana without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes and 20 cigars and 250g of tobacco.
• 2L of wine and 1L of spirits.
• 50ml of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette.
• Goods up to the value of R500 (South African Rand) from within the SACU zone (Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) and to the value of R3,000 from outside the zone.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited imports include firearms and ammunition, narcotics and pornography. You may bring in small amounts of fresh food, but you require an import licence for larger amounts. Note that the import regulations on importing meat change regularly according to disease outbreaks in different countries.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Visas will no longer be issued on arrival, and visas already issued may be invalidated. Borders remain closed. 

Chartered international flights will be allowed from 1 November 2020. More details to follow when available. 

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Botswana Consulate,
66 Jorissen Street, Jorissen Place Building
Ground Floor
Braamfontein
P O Box 32051, Braamfontein 2017

Tel: +27 (0)11 403-3748/9
Fax: +27 (0)11 403-1286
O/hrs: Mon-Fri 0800 - 1230 (visa queries)
Mon-Fri 0800-1630 (general enquiries)
Web: www.botswanatourism.co.bw 

Visa Requirements

No visas are required by SA passport holders for a stay of up to 90 days. Passengers are to be in possession of valid passport (with 2 blank pages) and sufficient funds to facilitate their stay.

• If you are travelling to Botswana from areas infected with Yellow Fever, you must have a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Otherwise, no other immunisations are required. However, it would be wise to have an updated TPD (tetanus, polio, diphtheria) vaccine, and a Hepatitis A vaccine.

No visitor is allowed to work or seek employment.

Please note that  ALL minors traveling through Botswana’s borders are now required to produce a certified copy of their unabridged birth certificate. In addition to the certified copy, children under 18 will also need to have in their possession a valid passport. If one parent is not travelling with the minor , an affidavit needs to be presented whereby the missing parent consents to the child travelling. However, an affidavit will not be required if the fathers name does not appear on the child's birth certificate.

THE  NEW TOURISM LEVY is USD30, payable by tourists at all ports of entry including airports and border posts.

The Ministry of Environment Natural Resources’ Conservation and Tourism through the Botswana Tourism Organisation wishes to announce the introduction of an obligatory Tourism Development Levy (TDL). The objective of the Levy is to raise funds for conservation and national tourism development in order to support the growth of the industry and broaden the tourism base, resultantly improving the lives of the
people of Botswana. 

Who pays ?
All visitors to Botswana except residents and citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states.
Where is the levy collected ?
At all ports of entry including airports and border posts.
How does one pay ?
Payments are done at the ports of entry through electronic payment machines through cash, debit and credit card. After the payment, a unique receipt corresponding to the passport will be automatically generated. The receipt should then be presented to Immigration Officials. The passport and the receipt will be stamped and handed back to the traveller. The receipt will be valid for a 30 day period and can be used for multiple entry.
Cost of the levy ?
USD30.00.

For enquiries please email: tdl@botswanatourism.co.bw or call +267 391 3111.

SA Representative

South African High Commission:
Plot 29, Queens Road, Gaborone
Tel: 00 267 390 4800
Fax: 00 267 390 8547
E-mail: sahcgabs@botsnet.bw

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk