Botswana Travel Requirements

Botswana Travel Requirements

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Botswana

Travel Requirements

Before you Travel Botswana or to anywhere it is very important that you know certain travel requirements. This will help you know what to expect so that you can prepare in advance. This Botswana Travel Guide outlines all about Botswana Travel Requirements and what you need to know before travelling into Botswana.

Botswana Travel Insurance

One of the most important things you should do before you travel into Botswana is to make sure you have the Botswana Travel Insurance. The country is brimming with wildlife and activities, although safe, could potentially be dangerous. As a precaution it is necessary to make arrangements for travel insurance prior to departure. This will cover you for any incidents that relate to wild animals and injury, missed or cancelled flights and other unexpected costs that may arise.

Botswana Travel Visa Information

One of the most important Botswana Travel Requirements you need to know is about Botswana Visa. Botswana has 2 main categories of Visas that you need to know before you travel. It is important to understand where your country lies so that you know the visa requirements before you travel. The 2 categories are those that require a visa and those that do not require a visa upon entry. Those who require a visa should apply for one through the new online visa system that was launched in August 2021.

All visitors must have valid, permanent passports with at least three blank pages. The majority of visitors to Botswana are from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Germany. Visitors from these countries are exempt from visa requirements for 90 days, after which they can apply for an extension from immigration. Without an accompanying visa, emergency or temporary passports will not be accepted. In order to enter Botswana, those travelling with minors (children under the age of 18) must provide a certified copy of the minor's unabridged birth certificate in addition to their valid, permanent passport.

Things to know

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Are masks required in public ? Masks are required in public spaces.
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Are there restrictions on events ? Events are allowed. Events are allowed, but wearing of masks, social distancing and frequent hand sanitizing are mandatory.
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What is the status of public transportation ? Operational.
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What is the status of restaurants and bars ? Restaurants and bars are fully open. No restrictions.
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What is the status of retail shops and shopping centers ? Open
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What is the status of tourist attractions ? Tourist attractions are open. Tourist attractions in Botswana are open.

Botswana Travel Advice

Botswana Seasons

It is important to have travel information about the seasons and the best times to travel. Botswana’s winter stretches from May to August and the summer stretches from September to April. The summers are wet whilst the winters are warm and dry. December to March is considered the green season and most people do not travel during this time because of the rains. This time however for those on a budget is the best time to travel as prices will be more affordable. The peak season which runs from July to October is considered the Best Time To Visit Botswana as there are more game viewing opportunities. Because more people travel during this time, there is high demand therefore it becomes more expensive.

Botswana Temperatures

No matter the time of year that you decide for Botswana Travel, you can look forward to warm temperatures during the day. It is extremely hot in summer and the temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees but usually average around 33 degrees. In winter the thermostat falls drastically at night time and freezing temperatures can be seen particularly in the Kalahari. June is the coldest month with frost being common hence it is important to pack cold weather clothing to keep warm.

What To Pack For Botswana

Considering the extreme temperatures in the summertime, it is very important to ensure that you have the correct Packing List For Botswana. You have packed enough sunscreen, sun hats and sunglasses but you will also need light clothing that is breathable and cool to avoid excess heat. Generally comfortable and casual clothing is recommended. For game drives, neutral colours are the best. The game drives are usually in the early mornings and late afternoons which can be exceptionally cold in winter hence you need to pack layers of clothing.

Some Practical Items To Pack For Your Botswana Safari

  • Clothes in neutral colours, khaki, green and beige
  • Long-sleeved shirts for sun protection and mosquitoes
  • Shorts or light skirts
  • Jeans or trousers for the evenings and cold days
  • Jackets and sweaters
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket in case of rain
  • Swimwear and beachwear
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Binoculars and camera

Botswana Health Requirements

No immunizations are required for entry into Botswana. If you have previously visited an area designated as "at risk" for yellow fever, you must show proof of immunisation in order to enter Botswana. This is done to avoid the spread of Yellow Fever to Botswana. The WHO website has a comprehensive list of countries at risk of Yellow Fever. Malaria is present in the Okavango Delta, and visitors are advised to take the necessary precautions, especially during the summer months. Travel with mosquito repellent and long sleeved clothing.

Botswana Currency

The Botswana Currency is the Pula (BWP) which is a very stable currency. For your stay, most of the lodges and camps accept US$ amounts, Euros, Kwachas and South African Rand. Some however only accept the Pula so it is important to exchange your money first. There are some forex offices in the border towns and the major towns which are very convenient, quick and easy.

If you do not have cash, you can use your credit card to pay as well as withdraw cash. Try to withdraw a minimum and reasonable amount that you can use at a time as carrying large amounts of cash can be potentially dangerous. In Botswana, Visa cards are widely accepted as compared to Mastercards.

Culture & Discovery In Botswana

The Botswana are some of the people on the African continent that are so proud and vocal about their culture. If you see them dance and sing you will attest to the fact that the culture is so vibrant. The Botswana Culture predominantly reflects its different ethnic groups. Music is an important part of the culture and it ranges from some of the popular church choirs to the traditional folk tales of old. Children are taught traditional dances and songs from a tender age so that they appreciate their culture from a young age.

Nowadays modern lifestyle has penetrated into the cities, but tradition is very much evident in the rural communities. They still preserve their culture through their dressing, music, dances and rituals which are all deeply rooted in the Setswana language. The country also celebrates its culture and diversity on the annual Botswana Culture Day every September the 30th.

Botswana Safety & Security

Botswana is a very safe and politically stable country in our opinion. When travelling on an organised trip and staying at lodges and camps, safety issues are extremely rare. Most crime occurs in cities, as it does throughout the world, and basic safety precautions (such as locking your valuables away at your accommodation) are recommended. Simply follow your safari guide's instructions to stay safe on safari. When going on a self-drive safari, learn the rules of the parks and reserves, avoid approaching animals too closely, and don't leave your car outside designated safe areas.

Although crime is uncommon in Botswana, petty theft and pickpocketing are common in the cities. You are mostly safe from danger. When going out in the city unguided you need to seek advice and directions from your hotel beforehand. It is better to leave all valuables in the hotel and only take the money you need with you. After dark, take a taxi or shuttle to ear you are going and avoid being alone in secluded areas.

If you travel to remote areas make transport and accommodation arrangements on time. Make sure to take emergency supplies like fuel, water and food. Be prepared for off-road driving conditions and in case of any breakdown, have a spare wheel, travel in a convoy and always have a satellite phone.

How Long Are Transfer Flights In Botswana?

Transfer flights in Botswana are relatively very short. Botswana is a massive country (similar in size to Madagascar). Furthermore, vast expanses of terrain such as desert, rivers and their surrounding waterways and marshes, as well as Savanna plains that appear to stretch into the horizon. It's worth noting that Botswana has a very low population density, which means there's plenty of space but few people. Because of the emphasis on sustainable and low-impact tourism, infrastructure has been minimal and somewhat slow. In comparison to the rest of the country, the major tourist towns of Gaborone, Maun, and Kasane have better developed roads and infrastructure. As a result, short flights between areas are more common in Botswana than in, say, South Africa.

Where Is It Safe To Go For Malaria-Free Safaris In Botswana?

This question does not have a simple answer. Although the malaria risk in Botswana is lower than in some other African countries, there is still some risk associated with travelling through the beautiful Botswana bush. It is therefore recommended that you take precautions before Travelling To Botswana.

Anti-malaria medication is required, and you should consult your doctor about this. Additional precautions, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and jeans in the evenings, will reduce your risk of mosquito bites. Pack mosquito repellent, either cream or spray, to apply to your hands, face, and neck. This will also help to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes are less active during the colder, dry winter months. The months of May to October are ideal. Furthermore, areas with fewer people have a lower risk of transmission even if there is water like the Kalahari, the Okavango, Moremi concessions and the Makgadikgadi Pans are low risk areas.

Botswana as a country has so much to offer and it is generally a safe place to visit at any time of the year. It is therefore very vital to know the Botswana Travel Requirements before you travel so as to make the most out of your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

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No, you can’t travel to Botswana without a passport. A passport is mandatory and the passport must be valid for six months.

Yes, if you are not vaccinated you need to show a negative RT-PCR test report. Fully vaccinated visitors don’t need to show their COVID report.

20 kg, the maximum weight of the luggage is 20kg (44 lb.) per person. If visitors want to more weight they have to purchase an extra weight allowance. The reason behind the weight restriction is the aircraft have physical space restrictions.

You can apply for a visa at any immigration office, embassy, or consulate in Botswana. You will be notified once your visa is approved. Remember to bring all required documents like a passport and two recent colored passport size photos.

7 to 14 days, it takes 7 to 14 days to get a visa in Botswana. The single entry visa for a period of up to 3 months costs you around $30. To know more about the Visa application you can visit Botswana Govt. website gov.bw/visa-applications/visa-application-visitors-visa.

Yes, all restaurants are open in Botswana. The bars are also open but visitors have to follow the COVID guidelines. We always recommend you wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

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