One of the most beautiful safari destinations in Africa is Botswana. The country is renowned for its extensive fence-free national parks, breathtaking wildlife, and a high-end, low-impact tourism approach. The odd pairing of desert and delta, which gives each park a singular aspect, is what makes it special.
Nearly all provide fantastic opportunities for wildlife observation, each with unique attractions. Botswana should go on everyone’s bucket list because it has such a diverse range of landscapes and is home to both deltas and deserts. Below is a full guide on Botswana Travel.
Botswana Visa Requirements
How can you apply for a Botswana Visa?
There are two ways to apply for a Botswana visa:
- Applying at the country’s embassy
To apply online for a Botswana e-Visa, follow these steps:
- Complete the online Botswana application form.
- submit a current passport-style photo.
- Please provide your email address and passport details.
- Include your valid credit card’s information so you may complete paying the visa application fee.
- You should print a copy of your e-Visa if you get a good response. At the point of entry, you must show this letter to the immigration authorities.
Apply at the Botswana Embassy or Consulate
- Make an appointment by contacting the Botswana embassy or consulate in your native country.
- Visit the Botswana embassy in person. You will receive a Botswana application form there.
- Fill out the Botswana application form completely, then sign it at the embassy/consulate of Botswana.
Types of Botswana Visa
Botswana Visas Types
There are different types of visas in Botswana and these include:
If you want to visit Botswana, it is best to apply for a tourist visa or a visitor visa. Both of them cost US$30. You will have to submit these documents along with your application a travel plan, accommodation proof, and a return flight ticket.
Passport Validity and Entry Conditions
- All tourists to Botswana must have a passport that is at least six months old. The passport should have at least two blank visa pages available for entry and exit stamps.
- Entry visas granted at border crossings have a maximum validity of 30 to 90 days. It is important to obtain visas before traveling because these border-issued visas are just for certain countries.
Listed below are the requirements for parents taking children under the age of 18
– Valid passports
– Certified birth certificate with no alterations for all minors
– If the child is traveling with just one parent, a letter of authorization from the other parent is required
Vaccinations and Health Preparations
When travelling to Botswana there are certain health preparations that you need to be aware of and below, we have listed some.
For Botswana, some vaccinations are advised or required. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, and tetanus immunizations are advised for Botswana by the National Travel Health Network and Centre as well as the WHO.
Malaria infection is seen as having a low risk. However, it is common in Botswana’s northern regions. To determine if antimalarials are appropriate for you, consult a travel medical expert.
Recommended Health Precautions
- Visitors to Botswana face a severe danger from traveler’s diarrhea. As part of your travel preparations, be sure to pack a traveler’s diarrhea kit.
- The heat can be unbearable in the summer hence it is advised to pack enough sunblock to avoid skin irritations.
Availability of Medical Facilities
In Gaborone, there are private medical facilities, victims, and qualified doctors. Services, however, are scarce elsewhere. Your medical expenses must be paid in full up front.
Currency and Money Matters
The Botswana Pula abbreviated as BWP is the official currency of Botswana. Major Hotels and lodges accept USD and Euros but however some restaurants, smaller lodges, and shops you would have to use the Pula. For currency exchange, you can visit the nearest banks in towns. Street vendors who offer currency exchange are another option but the disadvantage is their rates could be a bit expensive
Language and Communication
In Botswana, over 90% of the population speak Setswana, which is the national and primary language of the country. Other Bantu languages spoken include Kalanga, Kgaladi, Tshwaa and Shona. The official language is however English which is widely used in business, tourism and in most written communication.
– Most people from Botswana speak English so communication will not be as difficult.
– When greeting people avoid directly looking people in the eye
– firm handshake is recommended when greeting people
Local Customs and Etiquette
-Learn how to say hello and thank you in Setswana, the locals warm up when you learn their language (Hello – Dumela) (Thank you- Ke a leboga)
– You have to greet your elders first
– Pointing especially with one’s left hand is considered rude
Weather and Climate
When travelling to Botswana it is important to know the weather and climate.
Understanding Botswana’s Climate
The weather in Botswana is semi-arid. The majority of the year is hot and dry. But the summer months (November to March) have a rainy season. Rainfall is irregular, unpredictable, and frequently heavy and brief. The wettest months are January and February.
The best months to visit for the weather and wildlife viewing are from April to October.
Packing Tips for Different Seasons
- The weather is hot during the day, so we advise bringing light, loose-fitting clothing made of natural materials like cotton and linen that will keep you comfortable and are simpler to wash and dry.
- Bring a flexible travel jacket for the chilly evenings.
- We advise sticking with light, neutral hues like khaki, green, and brown. Avoid using white, though, since it will become quite soiled and filthy rapidly.
- Also, be in mind that wearing military or camouflage clothes is prohibited in Botswana.
- The tsetse flies are attracted to blue and black clothing, and their bite can cause African sleeping sickness.
- You can avoid mosquito bites at night and during the day by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Any time of year is a great time to wear a wide-brimmed safari hat or cap because the sun is hot, even in the winter.
- Bear in mind to wear plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses.
Transportation Within Botswana
In Botswana, traveling by road frequently entails covering lengthy kilometers in arid surroundings. Many of Botswana’s top game reserves are located far from highways in the middle of the wilderness. To travel in Botswana, you’ll need to rent a trustworthy 4×4 vehicle.
- By African standards, Botswana’s roads are pretty good.
- However, due to the poor road conditions and inadequate lighting at night in Botswana, driving outside of urban areas can be dangerous.
- Livestock and wild animals frequently stray onto highways and always have the right of way. When driving on open highways, stay attentive and take regular rests to prevent getting weary. Using a 4×4 vehicle and a knowledgeable guide, you can go independently in a rented automobile.
- Air Botswana flies the majority of domestic routes in Botswana between the airports at Gaborone, Francistown, Maun, and Kasane.
- Light private aircraft that are chartered or scheduled to fly are used to transport you to the far-off wildlife areas and hotels.
Preparing for your trip to Botswana
Now that you have all the information that you need, your next stop is Botswana. Travelling to Botswana is very easy and we hope the guide covered some of the major tips and information that you need to know before you travel. Before heading out on your Botswana Safari Packages, it is crucial to know the packing lists, what to dress, and the travel needs. This can guarantee that your journey is fun and unforgettable while also assisting you in making the most of your Botswana Safari experience.