Last updated: 4 Mar 2021

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 2021: 

Jan 1, 2; Apr 2, 3, 5; May 1, 13; Jul 1, 19, 20; Sep 30; Oct 1; Dec 25, 26, 27

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: Passengers must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure for Botswana. 

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

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

Tel: +27 (0)11 403-3748
Fax: +27 (0)11 403-1286
Monday to Friday: 0800 – 1300 hrs and 1400 – 1630 hrs
Web: www.botswanatourism.co.bw 

Visa Requirements

No visas are required by SA passport holders for a stay of up to 90 days.

Foreign passport holders may check here to see if they require a visa: www.botswanatourism.co.bw/info/countries-requiring-visas

Passengers are to be in possession of valid passport (with 2 blank pages) and sufficient funds to facilitate their stay.

No visitor is allowed to work or seek employment.

MINORS: 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.

Self-Drive Requirements: 

  • Valid passport of the driver
  • Certified copy of vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver
  • Letter of authority from the registered owner if the vehicle is not owned by the driver
  • If vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle license papers. 
  • ZA Sticker
  • SA and International Drivers Licences are accepted
  • For information on ports of entry refer: www.botswanatourism.co.bw/info/ports-entry
  • Cross-borders charges apply

SA Representative

South African High Commission:
Plot 29, Queens Road, Gaborone
Tel: 00 267 390 4800
Fax: 00 267 390 8547
E-mail: gaborone.dha@dirco.gov.za 

Travel Health

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