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Home » Tips When Traveling in Botswana, Botswana Travel Tips, Traveling Tips to Botswana Guide

Tips When Traveling in Botswana, Botswana Travel Tips, Traveling Tips to Botswana Guide

Our Botswana travel tips will guide you when planning your trip to this African country. It is one of the top safari destinations with a small population combined with the Kalahari Desert, delta, and diamond mines.

This southern African country stands ahead of many of its neighbors as it is one of the stable and wealthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and has everything for a remarkable Africa safari.

Botswana has incredible wildlife, blood-red sunsets, and wide spaces to offer you a classic safari and you get the opportunity to view the Big Five – Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Buffaloes.

Visitors on a safari can also enjoy sightings of other animals like Cheetahs, Nile Crocodiles, Hippos, huge numbers of bird species, and packs of Wild dogs.

It is one of the few top safari destinations where you can enjoy captivating boat cruises in the world and game viewing without crowds as you see elephants in the endless plains making the tourism sector of this nation superb.

The highlights of Botswana include spotting in Chobe National Park, exploring the Okavango Delta, visiting the Rhinos at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, and many other national parks to see wildlife.

However, there are many things you need to know before traveling to Botswana. Our Botswana travel advice will give you the necessary information that you require from the entry and exit requirements, the best time to visit Botswana, health requirements, and some of the essential items to carry for your Africa trip.

Getting Around in Botswana

Tourists in this nation should know that there are many domestic flights and charter flights that operate from Maun and land to several camps and safari lodges. There is a train service though not mostly used by tourists.

Visitors can get from town to town by hitchhiking though in the back and beyond, particularly, if you are hoping to move from park to park. A cheap and regular bus network connects the major towns.

There are smaller minibuses that reach top safari destinations quicker than the traditional buses, though both are equally as noisy.

However, this nation has well-paved roads, though driving off-road is not for the weak and you will require a 4WD and be aware that there can be limited rescue service in some areas.

Tourists can always hire vehicles for self-drive tour trips, which gives you the freedom to enjoy the trip at your pace, but it needs careful planning, or you can use the help of world nomads or tour operators.

Botswana Safari: Travel Tips & Things to Do Before You Go on Safari in Botswana

Our Botswana travel advice gives you the necessary information that you need to know before you go on a Botswana safari. We shall give you the guide step by step to prepare you for the Botswana safari adventure to enjoy game viewing.

Check Your Passport – 3 To 6 Months before You Travel

For you to get entry to this country of Africa, you need to have a valid passport valid for at least 6 months on the day of entry. It should have at least 2 blank pages where immigration authorities will put stamps.

If you have a passport that doesn’t meet the above criteria, then you will need to apply for a new passport. Applying for a new passport can take some time depending on your nationality and that’s why you need to apply on time.

Apply For a Botswana Visa – 1 To 2 Months before You Travel

Every tourist requires a visa to enter Botswana, though there are countries that are exempt from the visa when travelling to this nation. You can apply for the pass before 1 to 2 months of your trip.

A visitor’s visa costs 30 USD for single entry and is valid for 3 months, and 50 USD for a multiple-entry visa, also valid for 3 months. This works better if you are planning to visit Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Zambia and then return to Botswana.

Tourists can always apply for an online e-visa, which is convenient.

Countries that require no visa

Passport holders from the countries listed below do not require a visitor’s visa to this country. These are the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, etc.

Get Your Vaccinations – At Least 10 Days Before You Travel

The Republic of Botswana requires all travelers to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate. This is a must-have, especially when traveling from a nation with a high risk of yellow fever transmission.

You can always get the Yellow Fever vaccination at least 10 days before you travel to this amazing nation. The Yellow fever certificate works for 10 years. If you lack the certificate, you may not enter Botswana.

There are other recommended routine vaccinations that you require when going on safaris. The CDC and WHO recommend these vaccinations;

  1. Hepatitis A
  2. Hepatitis B
  3. Typhoid
  4. Yellow fever
  5. Rabies
  6. Meningitis
  7. Polio
  8. Measles
  9. Mumps and rubella (MMR)
  10. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
  11. Chickenpox
  12. Shingles
  13. Pneumonia
  14. Influenza

You can visit a health clinic professional about 4–6 weeks before traveling to Botswana for advice on the necessary vaccinations.

Check the Time and Date Your Botswana Safari Program Starts and Finishes

Several guided Botswana safaris depart early morning and finish in the late afternoon. This means that you need to arrive a day before your Botswana safari starts and fly out the day after your safari ends.

Our Botswana travel tips advise that you book your incoming flights for at least one day before you start your Botswana safari adventure, and you should book the departing flights at least one day after your safari ends.

Check If Airport Transfers Are Included in Your Botswana Safari

Most African safaris are inclusive of pickup and drop-off either at Maun or Kasane airport. In case you book accommodation either before or after the safari, the lodge staff can arrange for airport transfers at a reasonable fee or at times free of charge.

Our advice is that you arrange and confirm airport transfers in advance to make sure that there are no inconveniences and unnecessary expenses. Always double-check with tour operators if they will be offering airport transfers.

Book Accommodation for Before and After Your Botswana Safari (If Needed)

Travelers are advised to book at least one night of accommodation before and after the Botswana safari. This will give you ample time to rest after your flight or safari, and you get the opportunity to get used to the environment as you explore the first and ending top safari destinations at your own pace.

It gives you more time to explore Kasane, Maun, and the Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls situated in Zambia or Zimbabwe, is an add-on to most Botswana safaris as it is near Chobe National Park and Kasane Town offering amazing activities.

Stash Some Cash for Traveling Botswana

It is always good to travel with some cash as it comes in handy for gifts, tips, optional activities, and extra costs. This works well on safaris in places in remote places that are far from ATMs.

Even though there are ATMs in the country, it is not wise to rely on them. It is better to exchange foreign currency for Pula, the official currency though US dollars are widely accepted in most urban areas.

It is always wise to take dollars so that you are not at risk of having cash in Pula left after the trip. Major credit cards are accepted in Botswana, especially by most hotels and lodges, though it is very hard to use them in tips and purchasing small items.

Travelers should know that most safaris are paid in US dollars and are always exclusive of drinks and optional activities, which you can pay by yourself. You can always exchange money at banks or currency exchange bureaus.

Book Your Flights

Many tourists coming to this country book their international flights via Johannesburg in South Africa and other options include flying via Windhoek in Namibia or Cape Town.

From these airports, you can get a connecting flight to the main airports in Botswana. The main access hubs for flights to Botswana are Livingstone (at Victoria Falls) in Zambia, Maun, and Kasane in Botswana.

Some Botswana safaris require chartered flights to remote camps, though these have strict luggage restrictions. You can always consult your travel agent for the best airlines with the favoring fares.

Getting to Top Botswana Safari Destinations

Chobe National Park: is situated near Kasane or Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe or Zambia and tourists can access the Chobe National Park by vehicle or using chartered flights. Chobe National Park offers remarkable game drives with views of Elephants.

Okavango Delta and Moremi: you can get easy access to these two through the closest town of Maun by car as you enjoy game drives with views of Elephants.

Kalahari Desert: you can access it through Kasane, Maun, Windhoek, Victoria Falls, or Johannesburg.

Makgadikgadi Pans: there are routes to follow through Kasane or Maun.

Take Out Mandatory Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory for travelers coming for African safaris and this means that you will get comprehensive insurance covers. Medical air cover (medical evacuation) will not cover you for personal accidents, canceled flights, and baggage loss.

This means that it is mandatory to get comprehensive travel insurance coverage. You need to purchase this insurance back home, as most tour operators don’t sell insurance.

Health and Safety in Botswana

Healthcare is good in the major towns, though limited in rural towns. You should know that Malaria exists in Botswana, especially in the north and you need to consult your doctor about medication. Use insect repellent and sleep under a mosquito net to avoid mosquito bites.

Take precautions against sunstroke, hepatitis, snake bites, Bilharzia, tick-bite fever, and trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). There have been cases of swine flu, a high incidence of HIV and occasional outbreaks of anthrax among wildlife.

Avoid swimming in lakes and rivers, as animal and waterborne diseases can pose a threat.

Many vaccinations are recommended for this country, and you need to visit your travel clinic at least 6-8 weeks before your travel date. You also need to pack warm clothes in the winter months, as some parts of this nation can be cold to the freezing point.

You need to get medical evacuation for emergencies, and you can be flown to other African countries with proper medical facilities.

Safety

Our Botswana travel tips indicate that this nation is generally safe for all travelers, even outside the main towns, though you need to take precautions to keep valuables safe and not on show. Avoid driving at night outside towns, as vehicles can collide with roaming, incredible wildlife.

Carry everything you need with you always, as some rural areas may lack rescue service or phone reception.

Check boots and shoes before putting them on, especially when camping, as they can hide snakes and other dangerous insects. Homosexuality may not be illegal, but it is stigmatized. Same-sex couples are advised to act discretely in public places.

Botswana Accommodation

There are many safari lodges, wilderness camps, hotels, and guest houses where you can stay. These are classified as luxury, midrange, and budget facilities. Most of these facilities have flushing toilets, hot water in showers, comfortable beds, Wi-Fi in public areas, and many amenities.

The safari lodges are situated within the national parks and reserves, giving a more wilderness experience, especially in Chobe National Park with views of amazing animals.

Some of the accommodation facilities include;

  1. Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp
  2. Jao Camp
  3. Chief’s Camp
  4. Mashatu Tented Camp
  5. Camp Linyati
  6. Camp Savuti
  7. Nata Lodge
  8. Xhalajenaa Game Farm

Botswana Food and Drink

You can always try out local dishes depending on the different regions you visit. Sorghum is the most grown crop and that’s why many people eat bogobe (sorghum paste with porridge or mashed potato sometimes flavored with meaty relish).

You can also try out the local beef – Seswaai (salty mashed meat). It is amazing though the Botswanan cuisine also borrows from other parts of Africa. Many safari lodges have a good quality of food and offer many international dishes.

There are many drinks, including clear and opaque beers, soft drinks, and water. Be mindful of tap water, as it is only safe in the main towns and water from boreholes is consumed in rural regions and it is good.

Packing List for A Botswana Trip | What to Pack for Botswana Travel

It is always good to pack the right clothes and the essential items that you may require for the trip. Our packing tips suggest that you pack light.

Below are some of the things to pack according to our packing tips;

  1. Travel Insurance
  2. Passport and travel documents
  3. Camera gear
  4. Binoculars
  5. Travel water bottle
  6. Safari clothes with neutral colors
  7. Hat or cap
  8. Safari bag
  9. Safari pants
  10. Comfortable shoes
  11. Travel adapter
  12. Sunscreen
  13. Mosquito repellent
  14. Anti-malaria medication

When to Go to Botswana

The best time to visit Botswana is in the dry season, though this safari destination is open to tourists all year round. May-August is the dry season, with mild temperatures of around 25oC and there is little or no rainfall.

Game viewing is great as incredible wildlife gathers at water holes, making it easy to see wild animals in May and August. November to March can be hot, with temperatures of about 40oC. The rainy season (wet season) usually takes January and February, as you can see heavy downpours.

The rainy season (wet season) attracts huge numbers of migratory birds to the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. April and May are the best months to visit Botswana, as they have favorable weather.

From November to April, huge herds of animals (wildlife) migrate towards the Okavango Delta and migratory birds. From November to December, it’s the calving season and this offers an opportunity to see female wild animals feeding their young ones.

Do You Need Malaria Pills for Botswana?

Malaria is a risk in some parts of the country, especially northern Botswana. When you are going to a risk area, fill your malaria prescription before you leave, and take enough with you for the entire length of the trip. You need to follow the doctor’s instructions for taking the pills.

Are US Dollars Accepted in Botswana?

The national currency of this country is Pula, though US dollars are widely accepted in most lodges and hotels throughout the nation.

How Much Money Should I Bring to Botswana?

There is no specific amount of money required when traveling to this amazing country, as it depends on the style of travel, the places you will visit, and the number of days to spend. You will probably need an average of US$450/£300 per day.

Is It Safe to Travel to Botswana Right Now?

This is a common question from independent travelers, though they should know that Botswana is one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. There is security on all the border entries of this nation and the tourism destinations, though you should take precautions as there is petty crime like pickpocketing.

Can You Wear Shorts in Botswana?

Yes, you can wear shorts, though not too short, in the bush on a tourism journey, especially on hot days. They are also acceptable in towns and rural villages, though locals barely put on shorts. Women are advised to put on a knee-length skirt or trousers.

In summary, Botswana travel tips guide when you are planning your Botswana safari, you get to know the best time to visit Botswana, entry and exit requirements, what to pack, food and drink guide, health and safety, how to get around this nation, and the different procedures to take when booking your safari.

Reach Out to Us for More Botswana Travel Advice for Your Botswana Safari.

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