A raft of Hippos in the Zambezi River

What do I need to know about Botswana?

Botswana is one of the most stable and peaceful countries in Southern Africa, however it helps to be aware of your surroundings and keep your possessions close at all times. When travelling in the cities, keep your cameras and valuables out of sight.

Botswana is an exclusive destination and government strictly regulates tourism to the country. As a result, park entry prices and commodity prices are higher than elsewhere in Africa. Budget for this; it is absolutely worth it.

Be prepared that the most beautiful destinations in Botswana can be reached by light aircraft only. &Beyond are travel experts in Botswana and will help you organise transfers and shuttle flights.

Lodges in the more remote areas of Botswana do not have electricity. These lodges generally rely on generator power for lighting and refrigeration, but this power only runs at critical times of the day. Please be aware that you will not find a plug socket in your room/tent at many of these lodges.

Currency

US dollars are widely accepted; however, notes dated before 2003 are no longer accepted. Also, high denomination notes may not be accepted.

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.

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.

Safety

It is advised you check with your tour operator or hotel concierge – they will know if there are any potentially unsafe areas along your travel route.

It is wise to avoid deserted areas, particularly at night. If you are on a self-drive journey then please ensure your car is locked at all times – park in well-lit, busy areas.

Dress-down (i.e., don’t wear excessive jewellery) when exploring Africa’s diverse cities. Concealed travel wallets are recommended.

Stopping for hitch hikers is not recommended.

Photography

Please be sensitive when photographing people. 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 & 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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Health

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.

Tap water

Tap water in Botswana is purified and is safe to drink at hotels, lodges and other public places.

What the experts say

  • Carry a record of your passport number, airline tickets and travellers cheques, and ensure these are kept in a safe place.
  • Never leave baggage or luggage unattended.

Some areas in Botswana have malaria, so take precautions. Consult your doctor about the latest anti-malaria precautions.

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