Botswana

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.     –    BOTSWANA ALERTS :     –     .

.          FUEL: Nothing to report at the moment  …..

.          EMERGENCIES : Nothing to report at present  ….

.        Drive Safely. Have a wonderful trip.   ….

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About Botswana Accomodation Banking and Currency Botswana Cuisine Embassies & Consulates Infrastructure

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General Traveler Information

 

 

 

ABOUT BOTSWANA (“The land of the Tswana”)

 

The Republic of Botswana also known by its nickname “Land of the Tswana”, is landlocked and shares borders with Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia and Namibia. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Botswana has a flourishing multiparty constitutional democracy. Each of the elections since independence has been freely and fairly contested and has been held on schedule. The country’s small white minority and other minorities participate freely in the political process.

70% of Botswana’s land surface is made up of the Kalahari Desert. One of the world’s largest inland deltas, the Okavango Delta is located in the north western parts of Botswana. The large Makgadikgadi Salt pan lies in the north of Botswana and the eastern parts of Botswana typically consists out of African bushveld, small hills and grasslands.

The capital of Botswana is Gaborone and it hosts most of the country’s population. The economy, one of the most robust on the continent, is dominated by diamond mining, cattle and tourism. Botswana has two official languages – English and Setswana. People in Botswana are very friendly and the crime rate is low. Nevertheless, crime has been on the rise over the past several years, so always be aware of your surroundings. Basic common sense will keep you safe from danger (Animals and Humans). Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa, no civil war, less corruption, human rights and no natural disasters.

 

 

It is largely the culture of the Batswana that has dominated that of other minority groups. This is particularly evident with regard to cattle ownership. Cattle, the traditional Tswana source of wealth and status, are now desired by most, if not all groups of people in Botswana. But this exchange of cultural values has not been a one-way affair: minority groups have influenced and contributed to the dominant culture in numerous ways – in Ngamiland, for example, the Bayei fishing methods were adopted by the ruling Batawana. Recent years have seen the introduction of western culture in the form of western business, technology, consumer goods, tourism and the media.

 

There is a rather circuitous route, which all this takes to get to Botswana. South Africa, heavily influenced by America, Europe and Japan, acquires the latest goods and media items from these countries first; Botswana, in turn, imports nearly all commodities from South Africa. Botswana can well afford to buy in such goods, but personal wealth on the scale that exists for the elite few in Botswana is a new phenomenon.

 

 

Life in the urban areas has been most affected by western culture and increasing modernity. In the rural areas many traditions persist and ways of life differ from region to region. Some of the more obvious physical aspects of the different cultures have disappeared (such as traditional clothing, arts and crafts, most ritual ceremonies and some tools and utensils). Others remain important, however, such as cattle ownership, music and dance and the consultation of traditional healers. The changes, which have come so rapidly to Botswana, have had their advantages and disadvantages. Better health and education facilities have been provided and increased prosperity has improved the standard of living for some. However, there is a steadily widening gap between the rich and the poor.

 

 

Music is the aspect of culture, which has perhaps best survived the onslaught of western influences in Botswana. Both traditional and modern music of numerous ethnic groups from southern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa are heard nearly everywhere you go – in shops, malls, houses, schools, cars, combis, trains, taxis and bars. Music, dance and singing are an integral part of everyday activities and modern-day ceremonies such as weddings and even funerals. Batswana have incorporated their traditional music into church singing. The result is some of the most stirring, soulful music on earth. There are a lot of church choirs, in both urban and rural areas.

 

 

Children are taught traditional music and dance at primary school. Even in secondary schools, morning assembly sometimes begin with singing. Teacher training colleges often have their own dance troupes, some of which have performed overseas. Traditional dance competitions for schools are periodically held, usually in larger towns and villages, and many schools from around the country participate. These school groups also perform for the public on public holidays – in villages, town halls and community centres. The dancers, wearing traditional costumes of skins and beaded jewellery, move exuberantly and energetically. The music is happy, infectious, and full of feeling. For more information about the natural and cultural heritage of Botswana, you can visit the following links Botswana National Museum and Botswana Society.

 

 

Early tribal religions were primarily cults. The supreme being and creator was known as Modimo. Religious rites included the bogwera and bojale (male and female initiation ceremonies) and gofethla pula or rain-making rites. Today, Christianity is the most prevailing belief system in Botswana, with well over 60% of the population. It was brought into Botswana by David Livingstone in the middle 19th century who converted Kgosi Sechele I (Chief of Bakwena) to Christianity. The main denominations are – Roman Catholic, Anglican, Zion, Lutheran and Methodist Christian Church. As a tourist destination, Botswana has traditionally opted for a high price / low numbers formula, in part as a conservation strategy, and also to differentiate itself from neighboring tourist countries. That isn’t to say that it is an expensive high end destination. In many respects costs and quality compare to South Africa. However the Chobe National Park and Okavango delta are quite exclusive, although there are budget options. Botswana has a long established tourism industry and levels of service are good and tourist numbers minimal away from the main parks, allowing for some amazing ‘off the beaten path’ experiences. Source: Botswana Tourism

 

 

ACCOMMODATION

 

Embarking on a camping trip in Botswana requires a good deal of planning and preparation. You will be going to remote areas, accessible only by four-wheel drive, where water, petrol or food may not be available. You may often be driving on rough terrain, and through heavy sand, in conditions very different from those you are used to. As a general rule, take all food requirements to last your stay. Take at least 20 litres of water per person, preferably more; for desert destinations, carry between 50 and 100 litres. Carry at least 100 litres of petrol in long-range tanks or in metal jerry tins. Take spare vehicle parts for breakdowns.

As campsites within game reserves and national parks are usually not fenced, it is important for campers to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure their safety, and to abide by the information provided by wildlife officers. Firewood is defined as wood that is both dead and fallen and which can be removed without the use of tools. Self-drive campers should use firewood sparingly and only when necessary. The general rule of thumb for camping in Botswana is – take only memories,leave only footprints.

 

 

The following basic camping rules should be strictly heeded:

  • Only camp in designated campsites.
  • Always sleep in your tent, roof tent or vehicle. Make sure your tent zips up well.
  • Don’t sleep with legs or arms protruding from the tent.
  • Use rubbish receptacles at the campsites; if there are none, carry away all rubbish until you get to the next town.
  • Cigarette butts should be well extinguished and placed in a rubbish bag, not thrown on the ground.
  • Make sure the campfire is well extinguished at the end of the evening, or after use, and cover it with sand.
  • Don’t sleep on bridges or animal paths, particularly those of elephants and hippos.
  • Bury all faecal matter and burn all toilet paper.
  • Don’t bathe or drink from still bodies of water; there is the danger of bilharzia.
  • In the Okavango, don’t swim in lagoons or streams; there is the danger of crocodiles and/or hippos.
  • Children must be constantly supervised. Never leave them alone in the campsite. Never allow children to nap on the ground or in the open.
  • Don’t stray far from the campsite, or walk in the bush, unless with a qualified guide.

 

 

In the Panhandle area of the Okavango, there are a number of camps and lodges that specialize in fishing excursions. Fishing can also be done on the Chobe River, outside the park. Fishing is only allowed in designated areas of the national parks, and only with an official permit.

 

Department of Wildlife & National Parks

For fishing enquiries, contact the Department of Wildlife & National Parks on any of the contact details listed below.
Gaborone Office
P.O. Box 131, Gaborone
Tel: +267 397 1405
Fax: +267 391 2354
Maun Office
P.O Box 11, Maun
Tel: +267 686 0368
Fax: +267 686 0053
Kasane Office
P.O Box 17, Kasane
Tel: +267 625 0486
Fax: +267 625 1623

 

Note: Permits must be applied for in person. Both monthly and annual permits are issued.

To view all types of available accommodation in Botswana such as Backpackers, Bed and Breakfast, Cabins/Chalets, Camp Sites, Caravan/RV Sites, Cottages, Dormitories, Gameparks/Reserves, Hotels, Lodges, Motels, Tented Accommodation, Villas and to make booking reservations, please visit our booking page on the following link Accommodation

 

 

BANKING & CURRENCY

 

The currency used in Malawi is the Malawian Kwacha. The Currency used in Botswana is the Botswana Pula. You can click on the link for the Current Exchange Rate: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ Full banking services are available in most major towns. Barclays Visa may be used to purchase UK dollar or UK pound and travelers cheques. Credit card cash advances can in made in most major towns and are accepted at hotels and restaurants in larger towns. In major towns banking hours are from 9am to 2:30 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and on Wednesdays from 8:15 am to noon.

 


 

BOTSWANA CUISINE

 

Botswana has a unique cuisine such as Seswaa (a traditional meat dish made of beef and goat meat) and Heavily salted and mashed-up meat. South African cuisine such as Pap (maize porridge), Boerewors, Samp, Magwinya (fried dough bread) and Mopani Worms are also enjoyed by Botswana people.

 


 

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

 

Botswana Embassies & Consulates

Embassy of Angola

Based in Gaborone

Address: 153 Nelson Mandela Road, Kapamyo

Postal Address: Po.Box 111, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 390 0204

Fax: (+267) 397 5089
Consulate of Australia
Based in Gaborone

Address: Lot 20681, Unit 1A, Ramakukane Way, Block 3, (Opposite Oriental Plaza), Broadhust Industrial, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 390 2996 and (+267) 7133 1500

Fax: (+267) 391 4293

Email: [email protected]
Consulate of Austria

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 50667, Block B3, Fairground Holdings Park

Postal Address: P.O.Box 335, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 395 15 14, (+267) 395 26 38

Fax: (+267) 395 3876

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Belgium

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 8503 Quartz Road, Broadhurst, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 395 7785 / 9

Fax: (+267) 395 7787

Email: [email protected]
Embassy of Brazil

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Standard House, Queens Road.

Postal Address: Private Bag , 475 Gaborone , Botswana

Phone: (+267) 395 1061 / 2

Fax: (+267) 397 2581

Website: http://gaborone.itamaraty.gov.br

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Canada

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Mokolwane House, Fairgrounds

Postal Address: P.O. Box 2111, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 390 4411

Fax: (+267) 390 4411

Email: [email protected]
Embassy of Cuba

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 1051 Semane Close, Ext 2, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 391 1485

Fax: (+267) 713 10568

Website: http://www.cubadiplomatica.cu/botswana
Royal Danish Consulate

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: c/o Roehlig Botswana (Pty) Ltd, Plot 10242 Lejara Rd, Broadhurst Ind, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 353 505

Fax: (+267) 353 473

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Finland

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: c/o Trade World, Plot 54123, New Lobatse Road, Gaborone

Postal address: Private Bag 00479, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 391 6195

Fax: (+267) 391 6196
Embassy of France

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: 761 Robinson Road, Gaborone

Postal Address: Po Box 1424, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 397 3863

Fax: (+267) 397 17 33
German Embassy

Based in Botswana

Address: Professional House, Broadhurst, Segodithsane Way, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 3 95 31 43

Fax: (+267) 3 95 30 38

Website: http://www.gaborone.diplo.de

Email: [email protected]
German Consulate

Based in Maun, Botswana

Address: Crocodile Safaris, Plot No.4,, Moremi Rd, Matlapaneng

Postal Address: P.O. Box 46, Maun

Phone: (+267) 686 0265

Fax: (+267) 686 0793

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Guyana

Based in Gaborone, Botswana.

Address: Plot 5679 Broadhurst Industrial Estates

Postal Address: PO Box 1478, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 391 2655

Fax: (+267) 390 2916

Email: [email protected]
High Commission of India

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot No 5375, President’s Drive, Gaborone

Postal Address: Private Bag 249, Gaborone

Phone: 00-267-3972676

Fax: 00-267-3974636

Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Ireland

Based in Gabarone, Botswana

Address: Breffni House, Plot 88, Gabarone International Business Park

Postal Address: P.O. Box 20233, Bontleng

Phone: 00 267 3905 807; 00 267 395 3077

Fax: 00 267 3905 087; 00 267 395 6721

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Italy

Based in Botswana

Address: North Ring Road, Plot 3090, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 391 2641

Fax: (+267) 397 3441

Email: [email protected]
Jamaican Consulate

Based in Botswana

Postal Address: P.O. Box 47053, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 365 0156 or cell (+267) 71307750

Email: [email protected]
High Commission of the Republic of Kenya

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 786 Independence Avenue

Postal Address: Private Bag Box 297, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 395 1408/30

Fax: (+267) 395 1409

Email: [email protected]
High Commission of the Republic of Namibia

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Main Hall, 2nd Floor Debswana House

Postal Address: P.O. Box 987, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 390 2181

Fax: (+267) 390 2248

Email: [email protected]
Consulate of Netherlands

Based in Gaborone, Republic of Botswana

Postal Address: P.O. Box 457, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 390 2194, Cell no: (+267) 71777706

Fax: (+267) 393 3805

Email: [email protected]
Royal Norwegian Consulate

Based in Gaborone

Address: Plot no. 647, Crocodile Pools

Postal Address: Private Bag 242, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 392 6298

Fax: (+267) 392 6290

Website: http://www.norway.org.za/Embassy/Consulates
Embassy of Russia

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Tawana Close 4711, Gaborone

Postal Address: P.O. Box 81, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 395 3389

Fax: (+267) 395 2930

Website: http://www.botswana.mid.ru

Email: [email protected]
Honorary Consulate of Sweden

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Sanitas Nursery, Gaborone Dam Site, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 393 1358 / (+267) 395 2538

Fax: (+267) 390 7143

Email: [email protected]
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 3096, North Ring, Road, Gaborone, Botswana

Postal Address: P.O.Box 1031

Phone: (+267) 352209

Fax: (+267) 300156

Email: [email protected]
British High Commission

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 1079-1084 Main Mall, off Queens Road, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 395 2841

Fax: (+267) 395 6105

Website: http://www.gov.uk/government/world/botswana

Email: [email protected].bw
U.S. Embassy

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Embassy Drive, Government Enclave, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone (+267) 395 3982

Fax (+267) 318 0232

Website: http://botswana.usembassy.gov

Email: [email protected]
High Commission of Zambia

Based in Botswana

Postal Address: P.O. Box 362, Gaborone, Botswana

Phone: (+267) 395 1951

Fax: (+267) 39 53952

Email: [email protected]
Embassy of Zimbabwe

Based in Gaborone, Botswana

Address: Plot 8850, Orapa Close, Government Enclave,

Postal Address: P.O. Box 1232, Gaborone

Phone: (+267) 391 4495 / 914 495/6/7

Fax: (+267) 390 5863

Website: http://www.zimgaborone.gov.zw

Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Most of Botswana is networked by automatic telephone exchanges, with public telephones in even the most remote places. The International access code in Botswana is 00. When calling international to Botswana, dial +267. Cellular phone coverage is provided Mascom, Orange and be Mobile. Mobile Sim cards are available in most supermarkets and service stations. All major towns in Botswana are network covered, as well as portions of the national highway. Mobile networks in Botswana offer various services to their subscribers, including Internet access, fax, and International Roaming. It is always important to seek advice about network services so as to choose one that will work for you. Using a cellular phone whilst driving is against the law in Botswana, and liable to a P300 fine. Earphones or hands-free devices are recommended. For further information on the network providers in Botswana, consult the following services: www.mascom.bw, www.orange.co.bw, www.btc.bw and www.bemobile.co.bw

 

There is air services in Botswana and they are supplied by Kalahari Air Services http://www.kalahariair.co.bw and Botswana’s nation airline namely Air Botswana https://www.airbotswana.co.bw/

Airports

Sir Seretse Khama Airport

P/Bag 00102, Gaborone

Tel: +267 395 3022/364 3190

Fax: +267 391 2506

Opening hours: 06h00 – 22h00

Francistown Airport

P O Box 457, Francistown

Tel: +267 241 2065

Fax: +267 241 3114

Opening hours: 06h00 – 22h00

Kasane Airport

P O Box 347, Kasane

Tel: +267 625 0175

Opening hours: 06h00 – 18h00

Maun Airport

P O Box 219, Maun

Tel: +267 686 0278

Fax: +267 686 0194

Opening hours: 07h30 – 16h30

Jwaneng Airport

P O Box 5, Jwaneng

Tel: +267 588 0309

Opening hours: 07h00 – 16h30

Selebi Phikwe Airport

P O Box 213, Selebi Phikwe

Tel: +267 260 1238

Opening hours: 07h30 – 16h30

Sowa Airfield

P/Bag SOW 55, Sowa Town

Tel: +267 621 3219

Fax: +267 621 3219

Opening hours: 07h30 – 16h30

 

 

GAME RESERVES

 

Parks and reserves have been established for the protection of the wildlife. Here, in the wilderness of Botswana, it is you who are the intruder and your presence is a privilege. Game viewing is usually at its best during the dry season – in winter (May to August) and in the hot springtime months of September and October, when the animals are concentrating near rivers, pools and waterholes. The chances of spotting lions are better just after sunrise then at other times. In summer, most of the game tends to lie up during the heat of the day, so the recommended times to set out on drives are the early mornings and late afternoons. Elephants, though, are wide-awake and active in and around the rivers in the hotter hours. Approach big game with caution; don’t make any unnecessary movement or noise, and be prepared to drive on quickly if warning signs appear (if, for instance, an elephant turns head-on to you and flaps its ears). Keep down-wind if possible; remember that just about any wild creature can be dangerous if startled, irritated or, most importantly, cornered. Do not under any circumstances cut off an animal’s line of retreat. Game Reserves to go and visit while in Botswana would include: The Okavango Delta, Khutsi Game Reserve, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Khama Rhino Reserve, Kgaladi Transfrontier Park, Tsodilo Hills and the Moremi Game Reserve.

 

The Okavango Game Reserve

 

 

One of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta gives entrance to the spectacle of wild Africa such as dreams are made of – the heart-stopping excitement of big game viewing, the supreme tranquility and serenity of an untouched delta, and evocative scenes of extraordinary natural beauty. A journey to the Okavango Delta – deep into Africa’s untouched interior – is like no other. Moving from wetland to dryland – traversing the meandering palm and papyrus fringed waterways, passing palm-fringed islands, and thick woodland, resplendent with lush vegetation, and rich in wildlife – reveals the many facets of this unique ecosystem, the largest intact inland delta in the world.

 

 

The Okavango Delta is situated deep within the Kalahari Basin, and is often referred to as the ‘jewel’ of the Kalahari. That the Okavango exists at all – deep within this thirstland – seems remarkable. Shaped like a fan, the Delta is fed by the Okavango River, the third largest in southern Africa. It has been steadily developed over the millennia by millions of tonnes of sand carried down the river from Angola. There are three main geographical areas in the Okavango Delta namely: The Delta, The Panhandle and The Dryland. The Panhandle begins at the Okavango’s northern reaches, at Mohembo, extending down for approximately 80 kilometres. Its corridor-like shape is contained within two parallel faults in the Earth’s crust. Here the river runs deep and wide and the swamps are perennially flooded.

 

 

The dominant vegetation is vast papyrus beds and large stands of phoenix palms. The main tourist attractions of the Panhandle are fishing, birding and visiting the colorful villages that line its western fringes. At Seronga, the fan-shaped Delta emerges, and the waters spill over the Delta, rejuvenating the landscape and creating stunning mosaics of channels, lagoons, ox-bow lakes, flooded grasslands and thousands upon thousands of islands of an endless variety of shapes and sizes. Many of the smaller islands are grandiose termitaria built by fungus-growing termites, one of 400 termite species in Africa, whose fantastic structures are a source of refuge and food for many animals. The Delta region of the Okavango can vary in size from 15 000 square kilometers during drier periods to a staggering 22 000 square kilometres during wetter periods. Its dominant plant species are reeds, mokolwane palms, acacia, sycamore fig, sausage trees, rain trees and African mangosteen.

 

 

At the Delta’s lower reaches, the perennial swamps give way to seasonal swamps and flooded grasslands. To the southeast the third vegetation region becomes evident, as it changes to true dryland. There are three major land masses here: the Matsebi Ridge, Chief’s Island and the Moremi tongue. Here the vegetation is predominantly mophane, acacia and scrub bush and the land is dotted with pans. It is to this region that large numbers of mammals retreat during the dry winter months. Major tourist attractions in the Delta and the dryland areas are game viewing, birding and boating, often in the traditional mokoro. The diversity and numbers of animals and birds can be staggering. A recent overview of the Okavango records 122 species of mammals, 71 species of fish, 444 species of birds, 64 species of reptiles and 1300 species of flowering plants.

 

 

A successful rhino reintroduction programme in the Okavango now puts the population of White Rhino at approximately 35, and Black Rhino at 4. Major species to be seen in the Okavango Delto include: Elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, hippo, crocodile, rhino, red lechwe, waterbuck, reedbuck, duiker, impala, kudu, steenbok, wildebeest, hartebeest, sable, roan, tsessebe, lion, leopard, cheetah, genet, serval and caracal along with an immense variety of birds – land and water, resident and migratory, some of which are rare and endangered. It should be noted, however, that game viewing very much depends on season, and water and food availability. The Okavango is a proposed World Heritage Site. Its long-term conservation is ensured through government policy and regulations (though only Moremi Game Reserve has an official protected status), the efforts and initiatives of camps and lodges in its concessions, the recently launched Okavango Development Management Plan (ODMP) and its status as a Ramsar site, under IUCN, an agreement that limits its utilization and development.

 

Khutse Game Reserve

 

 

Because of its proximity, and relative accessibility, to the nation’s capital, Khutse game Reserve is a favourite retreat for Gaborone visitors or residents. The 240 kms drive takes the traveler through a number of interesting Kalahari villages, including the ‘gateway to the Kalahari,’ Molepolole. Adjoining the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to the north, and with no fences separating the two, the terrain of the 2 500 sq kms reserve combines most types of Kalahari habitat – rolling grasslands, river beds, fossil dunes and grassed and bare pans. The reserve is part of an ancient river system that once flowed northeast to fill the prehistoric Lake Makgadikgadi. Khutse’s Pans and dry river valleys are remnants of this river system. Officially declared a protected area in 1971, Khutse (meaning ‘place where you can kneel down and drink’) was the second game reserve in Botswana to be established on tribal land (Moremi game Reserve in the Okavango was the first). There is a series of rather picturesque pans (signposted) where wildlife often congregate, particularly during and following good rains; and indeed game drives are focused around the pans. These include the Motailane, Moreswa and Molose pans.

 

 

Sometimes water is pumped at artificial waterholes at Moreswa and Molose, making for good game viewing year round. Animals commonly sighted include springbok (often in abundance), gemsbok (often common), giraffe, wildebeest, hartebeest, kudu, black-backed jackal, steenbok, duiker, and the accompanying predators lion, leopard, cheetah, smaller cats, and the endangered brown hyena. There are several delightful loops worth driving through the reserve. The shorter drive is the northern loop around Sekhushwe and Mohurusile pans, approximately 24 kms from the reserve headquarters. The longer drive is to Moreswa Pan, about 64 kms from the headquarters, or a 120 kms loop. The San and Bakgalagadi peoples – the Kgalagadi’s original inhabitants – live in small villages on the periphery of the reserve. Their traditional arts and crafts can usually be purchased here; and walks with the San can be arranged at the Khutse Kalahari Lodge, about 10 kms before the reserve entrance.

 

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

 

 

Nothing prepares you for the immensity of this reserve, nor its wild, mysterious beauty. There is the immediate impression of unending space, and having the entire reserve to yourself. Waist-high golden grasses seem to stretch interminably, punctuated by dwarfed trees and scrub bushes. Wide and empty pans appear as vast white stretches of saucer-flat earth, meeting a soft, blue-white sky. At night the stars utterly dominate the land; their brilliance and immediacy are totally arresting. The Central Kalahari game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest, most remotely situated reserve in Southern Africa, and the second largest wildlife reserve in the world, encompassing 52 800 sq kms. During and shortly after good summer rains, the flat grasslands of the reserve’s northern reaches teem with wildlife, which gather at the best grazing areas. These include large herds of springbok and gemsbok, as well as wildebeest, hartebeest, eland and giraffe. At other times of the year, when the animals are more sparsely distributed, the experience of travelling through truly untouched wilderness, of seemingly unending dimensions, is the draw.

 

 

The landscape is dominated by silver terminalia sandveldt, Kalahari sand acacias, and Kalahari appleleaf, interspersed with grasslands, and dotted with occasional sand dunes, pans and shallow fossil river valleys. CKGR is unique in that it was originally established (in 1961) with the intention of serving as a place of sanctuary for the San, in the heart of the Kalahari (and Botswana), where they could live their traditional hunter/ gatherer way of life, without intrusion, or influence, from the outside world. The reserve was closed for about 30 years, until in the 1980s and 1990s, both self-drive and organised tours were allowed in, albeit in small, tightly controlled numbers. The Botswana government has initiated plans to develop tourism away from the Okavango and Chobe areas, and has allocated concessions for lodge construction, both at the peripheries of and inside the reserve, allowing for fly-in tourists. The northern deception valley is one of the highlights, principally because of the dense concentrations of herbivores its sweet grasses attract during and after the rainy season (and of course the accompanying predators). It is also the most travelled area of the reserve, with a number of public campsites, and proximity to the eastern Matswere Gate. The other two gates are completely at the other side of the reserve, at Xade and Tsau, where public campsites are also available. Other worthwhile areas to drive are Sunday and Leopard Pans, north of Deception Valley, Passarge Valley,and, further south, Piper’s Pan.

 

Khama Rhino Sanctuary

 

 

Affording the opportunity to see both black and white rhino – as well as an abundance of other wildlife species – the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (KRS) is a delightful stopover for tourists travelling by road to Botswana’s northern reserves, or an ideal weekend getaway for Gaborone or Francistown visitors or residents. A mere 20 kms from the historically important village of Serowe, the accessibility of KRS is also a draw. This community tourism project, managed and staffed by local village residents, offers game drives, birding, bush walks, and arts and crafts shopping. It also has an education centre where many young children from all over Botswana come for environmental education, as well as a fun time in the bush. KRS was established in 1989 due to growing concern over the then escalating rhino poaching situation in Botswana.

 

 

Both black and white rhino – once abundant in Botswana – were during the early 1980s on the brink of local extinction, despite their having been granted protected status as far back as 1922. Led by the Bangwato paramount Chief, the then Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, and other conservationists, the people of Serowe conceived the idea to form a sanctuary to protect the remaining rhinos in Botswana, and hopefully give them safe haven to reproduce and gain numbers. The first four white rhinos were reintroduced into the sanctuary from the Chobe National Park in 1992. Eight more rhinos came from the North West National Parks in South Africa. The highly endangered black rhino was re-introduced in 2002. The gamble paid off , and both species are doing well, under the watchful eye of sanctuary staff as well as the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), who assist with the constant patrolling of the sanctuary’s borders. To date, KRS has 35 white rhino, and is serving as a source for their re-introduction back to the Moremi Game Reserve, the Makgadikgadi, the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, and elsewhere. And – much to the credit of KRS staff – the male and female black rhinos have mated, and the sanctuary’s first baby black rhino was born in 2008!

 

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

 

 

History was made when Botswana and a newly liberated, democratic South Africa signed in 1999 a treaty to form the first transfrontier peace park in Africa. Plans to formalise the joint management and development of South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park were proposed as early as 1989, but no such partnership was possible during South Africa’s dark years of apartheid. Following South africa’s independence in 1994, and with the support and encouragement of the Peace Parks Foundation, negotiations concretised; and in May 2002, the park was officially opened. This immense wilderness (37 000 sq kms) is now shared by both countries as a protected area, and is jointly managed. The entire park is completely unfenced, allowing for wildlife to move freely along the ancient migration routes so necessary for their survival in the desert. Situated in the extreme southwest corner of Botswana, and adjacent to South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park (KTP) is run as a single ecological unit, and gate receipts are shared. Tourist facilities, however, are still run autonomously.

 

 

Immigration and customs facilities have been designed to allow travellers to enter the park in one country and depart in the other. The main entry and departure point between the two countries is at the Two Rivers/ Twee Rivieren gate, which also has camping facilities, chalets, shops and a restaurant. The national boundary with South Africa is along the dry Nossop River bed; and three quarters of the park lies within Botswana territory. Currently, KTP is mainly visited by self-drive campers, with a few operators offering mobile tours. At the time of going to print, the Botswana government had allocated five fixed lodge sites for development by the private sector. There are three main areas to explore: the Nossop River valley, along the South Africa/Botswana border, the wilderness trails on the Botswana side, and what was once the Mabuasehube Game Reserve, now incorporated into KTP at its most northeastern reaches. To maintain KTP’s pure wilderness experience, there are strict limits as to the number of vehicles that can travel the wilderness trails, how many nights a camping party can stay at a campsite (usually limited to one night), and how many people can camp at each campsite. Hence booking well in advance is essential. Self-drive campers must comprise at least two vehicles; well-equipped 4x4s are required for the rough, sandy roads. KTP’s very beautiful terrain comprises fossil river valleys dotted with dwarfed trees and bushes, grasslands and different coloured sand dunes.

 

 

 

Wildlife is abundant, and the animals are attracted to waterholes along the otherwise dry riverbed. Several species of antelope, including the ubiquitous springbok and gemsbok, hartebeest, and eland can be seen, as well as the famous black-maned Kalahari lion, jackal, brown hyena, and wild cats. Rich birding is always part of the experience. Over 170 species of birds have been recorded here, and it is not uncommon to see over 30 bird species within a few kilometres of the campsite. At Mabuasehube, the terrain is a mixture of typical Kgalagadi tree and shrub savanna with patches of wide open grass savanna. This area of KTP comprises a series of exceptionally large pans, which are the principle focus of the reserve. Campsites dot the various pans, and many are situated on slight promontories, giving almost unimpeded vision, thus making for good game viewing right from your camp-side chair. Three of the largest pans lie along the main road; these are Bosobogolo, Mpayathutlwa and Mabuasehube. others, like Leshologago, Khiding and the fossil valley complex called Monamodi, are linked to the larger pans by sand tracks. Each pan is different. The floor of Mabuasehube pan is bare clay that is rich in salts, and this attracts animals that come to lick the surface, deriving essential minerals from it. The floor of Bosobogolo pan is short, shrubby grassland, which antelope frequent to graze, accompanied, of course, by predators. All of the major predators can be seen at Mabuasehube, including the Kalahari black-maned lion, cheetah, leopard, brown hyena, bat-eared fox, lynx, and silver fox. Small mammals, like the Cape fox, aardwolf and blackfooted cat can be seen at the pans in the evening.

 

Chobe National Park

 

 

Whether arriving by air or road, the first glimpse of the river – deep and dazzling in the sandy terrain – is always breathtaking. It appears as a swathe of brilliant, peacock blue ribbon, winding its way through the tiny town of Kasane, and ensuing wilderness – the Chobe National Park. Undoubtedly one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, the Chobe supports a diversity and concentration of wildlife unparalled anywhere else in the country. Established in 1968, the park covers approximately 11 7 00 sq kms, encompassing floodplains, swamps and woodland. The Chobe River forms its northern boundary. There are four distinct geographical areas in the park: the Chobe Riverfront, the Ngwezumba pans, Savuté and Linyanti. The most accessible and frequently visited of Botswana’s big game country, the Chobe Riverfront is most famous for its large herds of elephants and cape Buffalo, which during the dry winter months converge upon the river to drink. During this season, on an afternoon game drive, you may see hundreds of elephants at one time. You may be surrounded by elephants, as the main Serondella road becomes impassable and scores of family herds cross the main road to make their way to the river to drink, bathe and play.

 

 

Driving the loops that hug the river’s edge, you may see up to 15 different species of animals on any one game drive, including waterbuck, lechwe, puku (this is the only part of Botswana where they can be seen), giraffe, kudu, roan and sable, impala, warthog, bushbuck, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. Take a river cruise – and you’ll experience the park, and the animals, from another vantage point. Here you’ll get up close and personal with hippo, crocodile and a mind-boggling array of water birds. Over 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, making it one of Africa’s premier venues for bird Safaris. Common species to be seen include the Sacred ibis, Egyptian Geese, the ubiquitous cormorants and darters, Spur-winged Geese, pel’s Fishing Owl, carmine Bee-eaters, most members of the kingfisher family, all the rollers, the unmistakable Fish Eagle, the Martial Eagle, and many members of the stork family. The Chobe River rises in the northern Angolan highlands, travels enormous distances before it reaches Botswana at Ngoma. Like the Okavango and Zambezi rivers, the Chobe’s course is affected by fault lines that are extensions of the Great Rift Valley. These three mighty rivers carry more water than all other rivers in Southern Africa.

 

Moremi Game Reserve

 

 

This gem of a National Park has garnered a number of important distinctions. in 2008, it was voted the ‘best game reserve in Africa’ by the prestigious African Travel and Tourism Association at South Africa’s premier tourism fair, Indaba. It is the first reserve in Africa that was established by local residents. Concerned about the rapid depletion of wildlife in their ancestral lands – due to uncontrolled hunting and cattle encroachment – the Batawana people of Ngamiland, under the leadership of the deceased Chief Moremi III’s wife, Mrs. Moremi, took the bold initiative to proclaim Moremi a game reserve in 1963. It is the only officially protected area of the Okavango Delta, and as such holds tremendous scientific, environmental and conservation importance. And, undoubtedly, Moremi ranks as one of the most beautiful reserves in Africa, possibly in the world.

 

 

Moremi Game Reserve is situated in the central and eastern areas of the Okavango, and includes the Moremi Tongue and chief’s island, boasting one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on the continent. This makes for spectacular game viewing and bird watching, including all major naturally occurring herbivore and carnivore species in the region, and over 400 species of birds, many migratory and some endangered. Both Black and White Rhino have recently been re-introduced, now making the reserve a ‘Big Five’ destination. Contained within an area of approximately 3900 sq kms, here land and Delta meet to create an exceedingly picturesque preserve of floodplains – either seasonally or perennially wet, waterways, lagoons, pools, pans, grasslands and riparian, riverine and mophane forests. This terrain makes driving Moremi’s many loops and trails both delightful and, at times, totally inspiring. Moremi is a very popular destination for the self-drive camper, and is often combined with the Chobe National Park to the northeast. The rustic Third Bridge campsite, situated near the pretty Sekiri River, flanked with thick stands of papyrus, is a favourite, creating lasting memories of resplendent Okavango sunsets. All Content on Game Reserves obtained from Botswana Tourism

 

 

HEALTH

 

Botswana’s HIV infection rate, estimated at 24.1%, is the 2nd highest reported in the world. Exercise regular universal precautions when dealing with any bodily fluid and remain aware of this high rate of infection. Take precautions accordingly. Wear rubber gloves when dressing someone else’s cut, even if they are a child. The northern part of Botswana, including Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta is in a malaria zone, so it is advisable to take the relevant precautions. Seek medical advice before travelling to these areas. Water in urban areas is chlorinated, and is drunk from the tap by the local population. Still, short term visitors with sensitive stomachs may feel more secure drinking bottled water. Outside of urban areas, the water is untreated and straight from the borehole and poses a slightly higher risk to the traveler.

Vaccines and Medicines

Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while travelling to any destination. You can ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the U.S. Some vaccines may also be required for your travel.

 

Routine Vaccines: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/routine

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Hepatitis A: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/hepatitis-a

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Botswana, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Typhoid: (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/typhoid

You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Botswana. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Hepatitis B: (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/hepatitis-b)

You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Malaria: (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/malaria)

When traveling in Botswana, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. For more information on malaria in Botswana, see malaria in Botswana.(https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever-malaria-information-by-country/botswana#seldyfm879)

Rabies: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/rabies

Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Botswana, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Botswana
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
Yellow Fever: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/yellow-fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in Botswana. The government of Botswana requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US. If you are traveling from a country other than the US, check this list to see if you may be required to get the yellow fever vaccine: Countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission(https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever#5291).

 

For more information on recommendations and requirements, see yellow fever recommendations and requirements for Botswana(https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever-malaria-information-by-country/botswana#seldyfm879). Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans.

 

 

The Key to staying safe and healthy while visiting Botswana is to: Get Vaccinated, Take Antimalarial Medication, Eat and Drink Safely, Prevent Bug Bites, Keep away from animanls, Reduce your exposure to germs, Avoid sharing body fluids and Avoid non-sterile medical or cosmetic equipment. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/botswana

 

 

ROAD TRAVEL

 

Please note that when traveling on Botswana Roads, driving is on the left-hand lane of the road. The speed limit in Botswana is 120km/h (75 mph) outside built-up areas, 100km/h on approach to towns and villages, 60km/h (37mph) in towns and villages and 30km/h in built-up areas. An international drivers’ license is required other than for SADC countries. It is law to wear seat belts. The main roads are mostly sealed and in a fair condition. Problems occur on gravel roads during the rainy season and some roads can wash away completely. If you plan to travel on gravel roads or visit game reserves during the raining season a 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Watch out for wildlife and domestic animals on the roads. In the National parks always stay on the established tracks in order to avoid the ugly scars left by off-road driving. Stay below the 40km/h speed limit for the safety of wildlife and yourselves.Fuel is available throughout the country but fill up when you get the chance. There are a number of international and local car rental companies, so shop around.

 

 

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 

While on vacation in Botswana you can visit Lesoma Memorial Monument, the beautiful Makgadikgadi and Nxai PAN National Park, the Nata Bird Sanctuary, the Kazangula Crocodile Farm, the Ngwenzumba Pans, the Savute National Park and the mysterious and wonderful Tsodilo Hills. Activities to do in Botswana include Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Bird Watching, Game Drives and much more.

 

Must see attractions in Botswana would include:

 

Lesoma Memorial Monument

Image to be added here.

In 1977, the brutal civil war in the then Rhodesia spilled over into Botswana. In the process, 15 Botswana Defence Force soldiers died; however, the incident only strengthened Botswana’s national resolve to remain a peace loving nation.

 

The Makgadikgadi and Nxai PAN National Park

Image and Content to be added here.

 

The Nata Bird Sanctuary

Image and Content to be added here.

 

The Kazangula Crocodile Farm

 

Image and Content to be added here.

 

The Ngwenzumba Pans

 

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The Ngwezumba pans lie approximately 70 kms south of the Chobe River and comprise a large complex of clay pans, surrounded by mophane woodlands and grassland plains. During the rainy season, the pans fill with water, then attracting wildlife that move away from the permanent water sources of the Linyanti and Chobe Rivers.

 

The Savute National Park

 

Image to be added here.

Truly at the interior of the park, Savuté boasts most of the chobe species, except for water-loving antelope. It is best known for its predators,particularly lion, cheetah and hyena, of which there are large resident populations. The Savuté channel flows from the Linyanti River for about 100 kilometres, carrying water away from the river and releasing it into a vast swampland called the Savuté Marsh, and further south onto the Mababe Depression, which is also fed by the Ngwezumba River from the northeast. The Mababe – immense and flat and fringed by thickets of trees – was once part of the Makgadikgadi super-lake. When filled with water, it becomes the venue for thousands of migratory birds and animals, particularly large herds of zebra. Geographically, Savuté is an area of many curiosities. One of its greatest mysteries is the Savuté channel itself, which has over the past 100 year inexplicably dried up and recommenced its flow several times. This irregular water flow explains the numerous dead trees that line the channel, for they have germinated and grown when the channel was dry and drowned when the channel flowed again.

 

Tsodilo Hills

 

 

Rising abruptly, and dramatically, from the Kalahari scrub bush – the rock face turning a copper colour in the dying sun – the magnetic power of Tsodilo Hills both captivates and mystifies. There is an undeniable spiritualism about the Hills that immediately strikes the visitor. Indeed for the people who live at the Hills – the San, the original inhabitants, and the Hambukushu who have periodically occupied the hills for the past 200 years – Tsodilo is a sacred, mystical place where ancestral spirits dwell. In earlier times, their ancestors performed religious rituals to ask for assistance, and for rain. They also put paintings on the rock face and their meaning and symbolism remain a mystery even to today. Exploring the three main Hills – Male, Female, and child – is a journey into antiquity. Archaeological research – ongoing for the past 30 years – estimates that Tsodilo has been inhabited for the past 100 000 years, making this one of the world’s oldest historical sites. Pottery, iron, glass beads, shell beads, carved bone and stone tools date back 90 000 years.

 

 

The Early iron Age Site at Tsodilo, called Divuyu, dates between 700- 900AD, and reveals that Bantu people have been living at the hills for over 1000 years, probably having come from central Africa. They were cattle farmers, settled on the plateau, and traded copper jewellery from the Congo, seashells from the Atlantic, and glass beads from Asia, probably in exchange for specularite and furs. There was a great deal of interaction between different groups, and trade networks were extensive. Excavations also reveal over 20 mines that extracted specularite – a glittery iron-oxide derivative that was used in early times as a cosmetic. Rock paintings are nearly everywhere – representing thousands of years of human inhabitation, and are amongst the region’s finest, and most important. There are approximately 4 000 in all, comprising red finger paintings and geometrics. It is almost certain that most paintings were done by the San, and some were painted by the pastoral Khoe who later settled in the area. The red paintings were done mainly in the first millennium AD.

 

 

Two of the most famous images are the rhino polychromes and the Eland panel, the latter situated on a soaring cliff that overlooks the African wilderness. Indeed the inaccessibility of many of the paintings may be linked to their religious significance. The fact that Tsodilo is totally removed from all other rock art sites in Southern Africa adds to its aura of magic. The nearest known site is 250 kilometres away. What’s more, the paintings at Tsodilo are generally unlike others in the southern African region – in both style and incidence of certain images. Many are isolated figures and over half depict wild and domestic animals. In fact, there is a higher incidence of domestic animals than at other sites in Southern Africa. Some are scenes, but few seem to tell a story. Many are outlined schematic designs and geometrical patterns. There are walking trails – the Rhino Trail, Lion Trail and cliff Trail, and others and it is recommended that you take a guide to walk the trails and see the paintings. Both San and Hambukushu live near the hills, and guides from their villages can be easily arranged. There is a small museum at the entrance to the site. The main campsite at Museum Headquarter has ablutions and water, while the three other smaller campsites have no facilities. Because of its tremendous historical and cultural importance, Tsodilo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Source Botswana Tourism

 

 

TRAVEL ADVISORIES AND ALERTS

 

If you would like any travel advice or real time alerts, please click on any of the following links below:

Advisories

Customs

U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office
US Department of State Travel Advisories
UK Government Site
Australia (Smartraveller.gov.au)
New Zealand
Canada (English)

Current News within BOTSWANA

allAfrica.com: Botswana

Botswana Gazette

Daily News
Official Botswana news.

Mmegi
Daily independent newspaper in Botswana.

Driving In BOTSWANA

http://www.adcidl.com/Driving-in-botswana.html

 

Emergencies

Ambulance997 (Toll Free)
Police999 (Toll Free)
Fire Brigade998 (Toll Free)
Medical Rescue911 (Toll Free)
Medical Air Rescue390-1601
Mascom122
Orange112
Be Mobile1333

Health

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/botswana

Tourism

http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw

https://www.facebook.com/BotswanaTourism

Useful Environmental and Nature Links

Birdlife Botswana
BirdLife Botswana strives to conserve Botswana’s birds and their habitats.

Cheetah Conservation Botswana
Conserving the wild cheetah population of Botswana.

Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS)
Oldest environmental NGO in Botswana for the conservation of Botswana’s environment and wildlife resources.

Living With Elephants Foundation
Explore the relationship between the African Elephant and people.

Somarelang Tikologo
Environment Watch Botswana, a NGO that aims to monitor, protect and increase awareness about Botswana’s environment. Site offline, for information use the Wikipedia entry for Somarelang Tikologo

 

 

VISAS

 

Notice on Visas and Permits to Botswana:

Applicants are advised to give twenty-one (21) working days to process the application. Any Visa granted on this application will be subjected to compliance with the immigration regulations of the Republic of Botswana. In the case of a lost or damaged Visa or Permit, the applicant will be required to pay P1,500, and an equivalency of US $321, to have their Visa or Permit reproduced. Please contact the nearest Botswana Embassy while abroad and any immigration office if in Botswana.

 

General Requirements for a Visa Application

  1. Fully completed visa application form (Form 1)
  2. Certified (notarized) copy of passport page of applicant (showing names, validity & photograph of bearer)
  3. The original passport may be sent at the same time with the application or once the visa is approved.
  4. Cover letter from the applicant.
  5. If applicant previously applied for a Visa – PLEASE ATTACH THE COPY OF THE VISA OUTCOME.
  6. If coming by road, specify on the cover letter and include your contacts, e.g. telephone number.
  7. Travel schedule/flight itinerary/hotel bookings.
  8. Include a prepaid/self addressed shipping label or envelope to return your passport.
  9. Finger prints will be captured at the point of entry in Botswana (Applicants will be required to have their finger captured as one of the requirements).
  10. The passport must have the validity of six months and more with three or more unused pages.
  11. Applicants who would not be collecting their visa (endorsed in the Passport) should write a letter authorizing someone to collect their Visa and Passport. The letter should include full names, ID or passport numbers and contact numbers.
  12. PLEASE READ http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/tourismlevy
  13. NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR MINORS TRAVELING THROUGH ALL BOTSWANA POINTS OF ENTRY
  • Minors traveling through the country’s borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates.
  • In the event that one parent is not traveling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. Temporary guardianship must be given if both parents are not traveling with the minor, as well as the above mentioned requirements. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.

Visa Charges

  • Diplomatic Visa: Free
  • Official Visa: Free
  • Visitors; Tourist and Employment Visa: $107 NON-REFUNDABLE Money Order payable to Embassy of Botswana
  • Business and Investment Visa: $150 NON-REFUNDABLE Money Order payable to Embassy of Botswana

Additional Requirements

Visitors

  1. Invitation letter from the host
  2. Sworn statement from the host (personal appearance of the host to the nearest immigration office in Botswana to fill in the affidavit)
  3. A copy of hotel/lodge bookings or state residential address where the applicant will be staying
  4. A certified copy of the host, national identity/residence permit, work permit/exemption certificate/naturalization certificate
  5. Copies of certified marriage and birth certificates (in case of married couples/dependants)
  6. Certified copies of ordination certificates of religious leaders
  7. Business profile if coming to establish a business (host)
  8. Return visa or residence permit from the country of residence

Business

  1. Invitation letter from the host or facilitator in Botswana
  2. Business profile if coming to establish a business
  3. Certified copies of ordination certificate for religious leaders
  4. Labour clearance/exemption if coming for a month or more
  5. Meeting schedule if coming to attend or organize a meeting
  6. Certified copies of Certificate of Incorporation, Trade License, Share Certificate of host if running a business

Employment

  1. Waiver from department of labour and social security or copies of work and residence permits
  2. Letter of confirmation of employment/contract of employment or offer letter
  3. Copies of RELEVANT qualifications

Investors

  1. Copies of work and residence permits
  2. Certified copies of certificate of incorporation, trade license, share certificate, list of directors, bank statement

Tourists

  1. Tour plan or copy of travel schedule
  2. Confirmation of bookings at hotels/lodges

Notes

  • Visa fee is non-refundable.
  • Allow at least 21 working days for visa processing.
  • Personal checks are not accepted.
  • No visa fee charged for diplomatic and the United Nations passport holder travelling on official business
  • Yellow fever vaccination is not a requirement to enter Botswana.
  • Malaria shots are advised.

 

 

Visa free entry is available for entry for passport holders from:

 

Countries Whose Citizens Do NOT Require a Visa to Enter Botswana

AngolaIcelandRomania
RussiaArgentinaIsrael
ItalySan MaricoAustria
BahamasJapanSeychelles
Sierra LeoneBarbadosKiribati
KuwaitSlovak RepublicBelize
BrazilLesothoSolomon Islands
South AfricaBulgariaLithuania
LuxembourgSouth SudanChile
Costa RicaMalaysiaSt. Kitts & Nevis
St. LuciaCubaMalta
MauritiusSwazilandCzech Republic
DenmarkMonacoSwitzerland
TanzaniaDominican RepublicNamibia
NauruTrinidad & TobagoFinland
FranceNew ZealandTuvalu
UgandaGermanyOman
Papua New GuineaUnited KingdomGrenada
GuyanaPeruUruguay
VanuatuHong KongPortugal
QatarYugoslaviaZambia
Antigua & BarbudaIrelandSamoa
AustraliaJamaicaSaudi Arabia
BahrainKenyaSingapore
BelgiumLatviaSlovenia
Brunei DarussalamLiechtensteinSouth Korea (Republic)
CanadaMalawiSpain
CroatiaMaldivesSt. Vincent & The Grenadines
CyprusMexicoSweden
DominicaMozambiqueTonga
EstoniaNetherlandsTurkey
GambiaNorwayUnited Arab Emirates
GreeceParaguayUnited States of America
Holy SeaPolandVenezuela
HungaryZimbabwe

 

For more information you can visit the following link : http://www.bitc.co.bw/list-countries-do-not-require-visa-botswana

 

 

The following passport holders need to arrange a visa in advance:

 

Countries Whose Citizens DO Require a Visa to Enter Botswana

AfghanistanGuatemalaSao Tome & Principe
SenegalAlgeriaGuinea Bissau
HaitiSomaliaArmenia
AzerbaijanIndiaSudan
SumatraBelarusIran
IraqSyriaBhutan
BoliviaKazakhstanTajikistan
ThailandBurkina FasoLaos (Lao People's Dem.)
LebanonTunisiaCambodia
CameroonLibyaUkraine
UzbekistanCentral African RepublicMadagascar
MaliVietnamChina
ColombiaMicronesiaComoros
MongoliaCongo (Republic of)Montenegro
DijiboutiMyanmar (Burma)Ecuador
NicaraguaEl SalvadorNiger
EritreaNorth Korea (Dem. People's Rep. of)Ethiopia
PalauGabonPanama
GhanaRwandaGuinea
AndorraSri LankaIndonesia
BeninTaiwanKyrgyzstan (Kirghizia)
BurundiTurkmenistanMacedonia
ChadYemenDRC (Democratic Republic of Congo)
MoroccoEgyptNigeria
Fiji IslandPhilippinesAlbania
SerbiaHondurasBangladesh
SurinameJordanBosnia & Herzegovina
TogoLiberiaCape Verde
Vatican CityMauritaniaMoldova
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)NepalEquatorial Guinea
PakistanGeorgia

 

 

NB! If you are traveling with minor children to or from South Africa or even if your travels are just “in transit” through South Africa, then please read the following guidelines on the link below.

http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf

 

 

 

USEFUL PHRASES IN BOTSWANA

 

A collection of useful phrases to use in Botswana. Translations have been kindly supplied by Simon Ager at Omniglot.

 

Some phrases provided by Yamikani Ken Jnr Chalira

If you would like to make any corrections or additions to this page, or if you can provide recordings, please contact us.

© Simon Ager Omniglot www.omniglot.com

 

 

 

WEATHER

 

For updated current weather reports, check the Botswana Met Service on the following link http://www.info.bw/~mettest/

 

Seasons in Botswana

The summer season begins in November and ends in March. It usually brings very high temperatures. However, summer is also the rainy season, and cloud coverage and rain can cool things down considerably, although only usually for a short period of time. The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm; however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas, especially in the southwest. The in-between periods – April/early May and September/October – still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.

 

Rainfall

The rainy season is in the summer, with October and April being transitional months. January and February are generally regarded as the peak months. The mean annual rainfall varies from a maximum of over 650mm in the extreme northeast area of the Chobe District to a minimum of less than 250mm in the extreme southwest part of Kgalagadi District (see the map for districts). Almost all rainfall occurs during the summer months while the winter period accounts for less than 10 percent of the annual rainfall. Generally, rainfall decreases in amount and increases in variability the further west and south you go.

Temperatures

Summer days are hot, especially in the weeks that precede the coming of the cooling rains, and shade temperatures rise to the 38°C mark and higher, reaching a blistering 44°C on rare occasions. Winters are clear-skied and bone-dry, the air seductively warm during the daylight hours but, because there is no cloud cover, cold at night and in the early mornings. Sometimes bitterly so – frost is common and small quantities of water can freeze.

 

WHAT! NEED TO KNOW MORE?

 

If you would like more information on Botswana, you can visit any of the following links below.

 

Nations Online Org http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/botswana.htm

Ibis

Africa South of Sahara (Karen Fung) Botswana

BBC Country Profile: Botswana

The Commonwealth: Botswana

globalEDGE: Botswana

University of Pennsylvania/African Studies: Botswana

Wikipedia: Botswana

The World Factbook — Botswana