Africa Tours and Safaris
BOTSWANA - TRAVEL GUIDE

Travel information

Visa and Passport requirements
A passport is required for entry into Botswana. It must be valid for at least six months after your return date and have two blank visa pages. U.S. passport holders and most European Nationals do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.           

Foreigners from Commonwealth countries are not required to obtain visa for entering Botswana, except in cases where the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs has directed otherwise. Botswana has also signed visa abolition agreements with a number of countries, and their nationals are not required to obtain entry visa.

Medical services
There are no national health services in Botswana so make sure you have some kind on medical insurance before you leave on your Botswana safari. Bring with you any medicines you may need during your stay as you will probably have little access to pharmacies. Often emergency evacuation insurance is included in the nightly rate charged by the various Botswana safari camps and lodges, however we advise all travellers to take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover any mishaps as they travel Botswana.

Currency
Botswana's decimal currency is the pula, in which notes are issued. The coins are thebe. Major Botswana hotels have foreign currency facilities and most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept traveller’s cheques. Customs authorities will only accept cash or travellers cheques in Rand, Sterling, Euros or US dollars. Any amount of currency may be imported into Botswana as long as it is declared. On leaving Botswana P 200 per person in cash, and the equivalent of P 300 in cash of a foreign currency, may be exported. Banks are open until two-thirty in the afternoon, but close at midday on Wednesdays and at a quarter to eleven on Saturday mornings, something to factor in when you plan your Botswana holiday.

Food
The majority of Botswana inhabitants are farmers, therefore traditional food that you will encounter as you travel Botswana is derived mainly from farm products. These include sorghum, millet, maize-meal and bean leaf relish. Beef, mopane worms and game meat are used as relish. "There is no feast without beef."

Shopping
Shops in cities and towns are normally open between 8:30 and 17:00 Monday to Friday, and 8:30 to 13:00 on a Saturday. Most Botswana safari camps and lodges have curio shops. A really good buy is the baskets that are made in Botswana, as a lot of time and effort are spent on each one and these will make good keepsakes of your Botswana holiday.

Electricity
Most camps are too remote to tap into the country's electricity supply, so they generate their own electricity by means of a generator that runs whilst the guests are out of camp on activities. These generators charge a bank of batteries, which provide good lights all night. There are generally no 220v or 110v power points in the camps. In the Botswana hotels in the towns electricity is made up of 230 V AC 50hz.

Safety
Civil unrest and disorder are rare. Petty crime and crimes of opportunity, such as stealing of personal possessions, remain the most common form of crime in Botswana. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly should you require any further Botswana travel advice. We will be more than happy to assist you with any queries that should arise during the planning phase of your Botswana trip before you travel to Botswana.

Best time to visit
The months between April and November, when large number of animals migrate towards the waterways of the Okavango Delta, is best time to go. November and December are an excellent time to witness nature's own timetable of regeneration. The rainy season, from January to March, sees the migration of large numbers of game into the summer grazing areas, while the delta comes alive with sounds of hundreds of bird species. In March and April, thousands of zebras and other animals migrate towards the Savuti area of Chobe National Park. Summers (particularly from December through to February) can become exceptionally hot, and rain may make some roads muddy and impassable. During the rainy summer season, animals in many game areas disperse, while in the dry winter season they congregate around water sources, making for good game viewing. This does not mean, however, that game viewing is impossible during the summer season.

Health Requirements
Anti-Malaria tablets are a must when you travel Botswana. These should be taken 24 hours before entering Botswana and continue taking them for 6 weeks after leaving the country. If you suffer from side effects try to take the pills at night after dinner as it seems to reduce these. Speak to your doctor in this regard before you leave on your Botswana holiday. No vaccinations are required as yet but check for latest info at time of booking. Bilharzia is another ever present threat in African streams and rivers, and the only way of avoiding contact is to stay out of the water on your Botswana trip. It is not caught by drinking untreated water, and the disease is easily cured today.

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