Frequently Asked Questions About Botswana
Few places in Africa offer as much to visitors as Botswana. A favourable exchange rate, superb accommodation and infrastructure, coupled with a safe and stable environment make this a great country to visit.
It also boasts splendid attractions: huge game diversity and animal concentrations, as well as unparalleled attractions like the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and the Kalahari Game Reserve.
CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD IN BOTSWANA?
All major credit cards are accepted at hotels, shops and restaurants, however acceptance outside of the major centres in Botswana is limited. Most lodges and restaurants accept payment by Visa and MasterCard.
WILL I BE ABLE TO USE MY MOBILE PHONE/LAPTOP?
A direct international dialling service is available from the major hotels and lodges in Kasane, Maun, Francistown and Gaborone. Major hotels and businesses offer a fax service. Lodges in the more remote areas of Botswana such as the Okavango Delta do not have telephonic communication facilities and provide limited Internet coverage at best.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO BOTSWANA?
Botswana offers superb game viewing and safari activities throughout the year. The winter months (May to September) are dry, with warm and sunny days (26ºC / 79ºF average) but temperatures do drop dramatically at night. The summer months (October to April) are hot (25ºC / 77ºF - 45ºC / 113ºF).
IS BOTSWANA A GOOD FAMILY DESTINATION?
Botswana is a great destination for a family safari. Some lodges cater for specific age groups and arrange exciting activities for youngsters. However, the recommended age for children on safari is six years and older, and some lodges do not take children under 12. &Beyond can advise you about the best family travel options.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR BIRD WATCHING IN BOTSWANA?
The best time to see Botswana’s prolific bird life is during the wet summer, between November and March, when the Okavango Delta is teeming with migratory birds.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL IN BOTSWANA?
Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa. Since its independence in 1966 it has been a peaceful country led by a democratically-elected government. The discovery of diamonds has led to a strong economy and powerful development programmes. Standard safety precautions apply, of course, so look after your valuables and don’t leave luggage unattended.
DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO BOTSWANA?
Please check with your consulate for the latest visa information. As a general guide, nationals of all foreign countries, excluding the following, require visas: most Commonwealth countries, except Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Rep. of Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Samoa (Western), San Marino, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and USA.
Any visitor, whether visa exempted or not, wishing to stay more than 90 days should apply for prior permission to the Chief Immigration Officer in Gaborone, Botswana. Passports are required by all visitors and must be valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of stay. Please ensure that there are sufficient blank pages for any visas as well as for entry stamps upon arrival.
SHOULD I TAKE OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE TRAVELLING TO BOTSWANA?
It is essential that adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to departure. This should cover any medical situation such as hospitalisation, as well as cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage. When you travel with &Beyond, you are automatically covered by our emergency evacuation insurance. This guarantees emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital should you suffer either severe illness or injury. This does not cover the cost of treatment once in hospital and in no way replaces your normal travel insurance. There are certain medical exclusions. Please advise us of any existing conditions in advance in order to arrange cover, subject to our insurer’s approval. Please contact us for further details.
CAN &BEYOND ARRANGE MY FLIGHTS FOR ME?
&Beyond can take care of all your travel arrangements, from the moment you leave your hometown to when you set foot in Botswana, when we will welcome you at the airport and direct you to your next stop.
HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN I TAKE?
Packing space is limited on all modes of safari transport so you will need to restrict your luggage to 20 kg / 44 lb (packed in a soft bag) plus a reasonable amount of camera equipment.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL HEALTH REQUIREMENTS?
Botswana is a malaria area and malaria prophylactics are highly recommended. Please consult your medical practitioner prior to travel. The use of additional precautionary measures, such as insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved clothing, long trousers and socks when outside at night, is recommended. Any person entering Botswana from, or via, a yellow fever infected area must be in possession of a valid International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever.
IS THE TAP WATER SAFE TO DRINK IN BOTSWANA?
Tap water in Botswana is purified and is safe to drink at hotels, lodges and other public places.