To embark on a Botswana safari is to venture far off the beaten track into the untamed heart of Africa, where the landscapes are never-ending and the big game encounters are truly wild. Here are a few key things you should know when travelling to Botswana:
US dollars are widely accepted; however, notes dated before 2003 are no longer accepted. Also, high denomination notes may not be accepted. The currency is the Pula, where BWP1 is made up of 100 thebe. Please check with your hotel for daily exchange rates.
Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express are accepted by most restaurants, shops and hotels. Proof of identity may be requested, so be sure to carry a passport or some form of photo identification at all times. Credit cards are not accepted at petrol stations.
Banking hours at most commercial banks are Monday to Friday from 08h30 to 15h30 and on Saturday from 08h30 to 11h00. ATMs are found throughout Botswana’s major city centres and shopping complexes.
Please be sensitive when photographing people. The people of Botswana are renowned for being friendly; however it is courteous to ask permission before snapping away.
The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) is not allowed in any of the conservation areas we manage until such time as their impact on wildlife and anti-poaching initiatives can be assessed. This rule will apply throughout Africa, as our partners in various countries and regions have adopted a similar stance.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Guests visiting Botswana must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of travel and should have two blank pages available in their passport. It is advisable for visitors who intend travelling to Botswana’s neighbouring countries and back to apply for multiple entry visas.
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.
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. Consult your doctor about the latest anti-malaria precautions.
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.
Tap water in Botswana is purified and is safe to drink at hotels, lodges and other public places.
Read more here to see what to pack and how to get to and around Botswana.