Botswana Travel Advice

Journey through the land of untamed wilderness and catch a glimpse of some of the best wildlife viewing on the African continent. A place where the wonderful waterways of the world renowned Okavango Delta meets the Kalahari thirst land.

On your Safari you will discover that the Moremi Game Reserve and the Chobe National Park are home to one of the greatest concentrations of game found on the African continent. Botswana is a paradise for wildlife-lovers. A Botswana Safari …….is unbeatable.

Passport & Visas

Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your intended length of stay and have sufficient blank pages for your visa as well as for entry stamps. (A minimum of two blank pages is recommended.)

Visas to enter Botswana are required by nationals of all other countries (with a few exceptions). They can be issued upon arrival at your point of entry and are free of charge. Entry requirements may change from time to time and should be checked with your country’s High Commission of Botswana or Consulate.

What to expect at a border crossing

If you’re adding Victoria Falls onto a Botswana safari, you’ll need to cross the border into either Zimbabwe or Zambia. Our road transfer operators make your border crossing as simple and hassle-free as possible. The driver and/or guide will accompany you through the process and assist you when needed.

Crossing the Botswana border into Zimbabwe or Zambia – what to expect:
1. You may be required to present yourself at Customs and Immigration.
2. There are forms to fill in and there may be queues to wait in
3. You will be required to change vehicles when you cross the border.
4. You may need to walk a short way with your bags to change vehicles.
5. Transfer times between the Botswana border and Victoria Falls are between 1.5 – 2 hours.

How can you help?
1. Have your passport and visa (or cash for the visa) close to hand.
2. The best currency to carry is the US Dollar.
3. Have a water bottle and something to read if the queues look long.
4. Don’t stress: thousands of visitors cross these borders every year in complete safety!

Money & Shopping

Most major currencies are accepted throughout Botswana but you won’t need large sums of cash while on safari as our itineraries are usually all inclusive. However, some guests enjoy shopping in Maun, and most camps and lodges have a small shop stocked with curios, safari clothing, books and jewellery. Credit cards can also be used (Master or Visa cards).

If you are adding Victoria Falls onto your Botswana safari, you will need money for meals, activities and shopping in Victoria Falls as well as for your Zimbabwe or Zambia visa.

Health & Safety

Financially and politically stable Botswana is one of Africa’s safest countries to visit and once you are on safari, crime is virtually nonexistent. It is, however, a good idea to leave things like expensive watches and jewellery at home to eliminate the temptation for possible theft. Luggage locks are always advisable when flying.

Getting into and out of 4X4 vehicles and light aircraft is probably the most strenuous activity you will do on a Botswana safari. Several destinations encourage guided walking safaris but they last no more than a few hours and don’t require much fitness. Some roads are in poor condition however; if you have a back problem, please talk to us about the suitability of a safari.

Botswana lies in a malarial region and malaria prophylactics are highly recommended – especially in the rainy summer months. Consult your doctor or relevant health authority regarding the use of anti-malarial tablets prior to departure, and once on safari take advantage of your bed’s mosquito nets and insect repellent (usually supplied in your room).

Botswana is also a destination with many potentially dangerous animals resident in your immediate environment; you will receive a safety briefing on arrival at each camp or the start of your mobile safari.

Travel Insurance

It is essential that you take out adequate travel insurance, usually within 7 to 14 days of confirming your booking. This should cover any medical situation while on safari, the cancellation or shortening of trip for any reason, and loss of baggage.

Tipping

Tipping is not obligatory in Botswana but if you feel that the service you received warrants a show of your personal appreciation, then this guide will help.

Transfers – US $2 per person.
Restaurants – 10% for good service or more for excellent service.
Camp & Lodge Staff – US $5 per day can be placed in the Tip Box provided.
Safari Guides & Trackers – US $5-10 per person per day, directly to the guide.

Language Restrictions

You’ll most likely travel by light aircraft during your Botswana safari so luggage is restricted to 20kgs/44lbs per person including hand luggage. Baggage must be of the soft-sided/duffel bag type to allow it to be packed properly. If you do have extra bags or suitcases heavier than the specified allowance, please advise us when the booking is made so we can make arrangements for the baggage to be transferred or stored at a cost.

What to Pack

Essential packing items for a Botswana safari are a sunhat, sun block and a torch along with any personal medications. Lightweight cotton and cotton/blend clothing is the most suitable for Botswana’s normally warm and dry climate. Sandals or flip flops are ideal for relaxing at camp during the day but you’ll want a pair of sports shoes or hiking boots if you plan to do some walking on your safari.

Long sleeved clothing and trousers are recommended as protection from mosquitoes in the evening while neutral colours such as khaki, brown and green are appropriate colours for clothing worn on game drives and walks as they are less conspicuous to animals.

During the mid-winter months (June – August) it can be very cold and a warm jacket and hat will be needed for early morning and evening game drives. The summer months see the arrival of rain, usually in the form of afternoon showers. Bring a lightweight water and windproof jacket in case of rain but summer temperatures are usually very warm.