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Botswana

Animals in Botswana's protected areas are generally relaxed around safari vehicles

The Gomoti River forms part of Moremi Game Reserve's southern boundary.

The Okavango's waterways are often crystal clear; great for a tranquil mokoro trip.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are the bed of an ancient lake

All of our fishing in the Okavango is done catch-and-release

Floating papyrus reed beds create a new experience for every boat trip

A leopard will exploit every possible advantage when hunting

Maps of Botswana: two styles

Take a look at the satellite map of Botswana , below, and the geography of northern Botswana is thrown into graphic relief. Even at this scale, the dramatic sweep of the Okavango Delta , fanning out from the broad Panhandle as it enters the country in the north-west, stands out against the surrounding, largely arid terrain. Most of Botswana’s main safari camps are found within the wider parameters of the Delta, but some are clustered in the Kwando-Linyanti area to the north-east and along the Chobe River within Chobe National Park . To find the location of these and other safari camps and lodges, just zoom in on the map. To the south-east, the huge white expanse of the Kalahari's Salt Pans is clearly visible, while south again is the vast emptiness of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve . With just a handful of safari camps in these areas, visitors are a rarity – but the rewards can be significant.

Our map of Botswana

This a sketch map of Botswana – showing its key road arteries, national parks, towns, and areas of interest for visitors.

Reference map

Google map of Botswana - key safari areas

Even at this scale – the huge expanse of the Kalahari's Salt Pans are visible as a blue-white splodge, just below the relevant bubble. Zoom in by one level on the scale to see the Okavango delta more clearly, entering Botswana in the north-east (where the 'Okavango Panhandle' marker is), and then fanning out. It's in this area that most of the main safari camps are. Click onto any of the markers, and follow the links in the bubbles, for maps of these areas with precise locations for the various safari camps and lodges

Our top safaris in Botswana

Here are 26 great Botswana safaris to inspire you.

Itinerary image

Wild Dog Safari

13 days • 5 locations KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An in-depth discovery of northern Botswana’s wilderness, from Chobe and the private Kwando Reserve to the Moremi and iconic Okavango Delta with a great variety of activities and wildlife.

US$12,230 - US$21,930 per person

Itinerary image

Porcupine Safari

11 days • 4 locations MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit dramatically contrasting landscapes boasting a variety of species during this exploration of Botswana’s top-safari destinations. A combination of national parks and private reserves allows for a range of activities.

US$10,710 - US$16,860 per person

Itinerary image

Spring Hare Safari

9 days • 3 locations KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An authentic and diverse safari to Botswana combining the Chobe Forest Reserve, Savuti Marshes and the Okavango Delta. Strong wildlife viewing, a variety of activities and excellent value camps.

US$7,290 - US$13,320 per person

Itinerary image

Large-spotted Genet Safari

9 days • 3 locations MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

A luxury safari exploring the Okavango Delta and Linyanti–Savuti, two of the best wildlife viewing areas in Botswana, staying at three top camps renowned for their guiding for a first-class experience.

US$10,930 - US$23,640 per person

Itinerary image

Red Lechwe Safari

Superb guiding from three fabulous camps full of character in three contrasting areas for a fabulous safari to the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert.

US$10,800 - US$25,210 per person

Itinerary image

Steenbok Safari

A classic Botswana safari exploring the Moremi, Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta. Excellent wildlife viewing and a variety of activities from three of our favourite traditional tented camps.

US$7,260 - US$13,480 per person

Itinerary image

Pangolin Safari

8 days • 3 locations MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Three relaxed, local feeling camps in pristine settings – the Kwando Reserve and Okavango Delta. Guided by a driver and tracker at each, this a great trip for spotting Botswana’s top predators.

US$7,760 - US$16,190 per person

Itinerary image

Bushbuck Safari

Discover three of Botswana’s best game-viewing regions with stays in the private Linyanti, Chitabe and Vumbura reserves. Intimate, smart camps offer a range of activities by which to discover these stunningly varied habitats.

US$13,570 - US$31,740 per person

Itinerary image

Reedbuck Safari

Focussing on the Okavango Delta and combining the crème de la crème of Botswana’s camps – Zarafa, Vumbura Plains and Mombo – this is one of the finest safari experiences in Africa.

US$18,160 - US$36,280 per person

Itinerary image

Tsessebe Safari

7 days • 3 locations MAUN AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

Visit three sister-camps in and around Moremi Game Reserve during this thorough exploration of the Okavango Delta. A range of activities provide excellent opportunity to observe the local birdlife, mammals and fauna.

US$7,790 - US$11,820 per person

View all holidays in Botswana

Botswana fact file

Useful information to help you prepare for your trip in Botswana

Botswana general information

Botswana general info

Essential info for travelling in Botswana

Botswana safari guides

Botswana safari guides

Info on some of Botswana's top guides

Flights to Botswana

Flights to Botswana

How to get to Botswana

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel to Botswana

LGBT Travel in Botswana

Attitudes, the law & our experiences

Migrations in Botswana

Migrations in Botswana

Seasonal wildlife migrations

Okavango Delta Flood

Okavango Delta Flood

Year on year flood water levels

Tipping in Botswana

Tipping in Botswana

Expectations & guidelines for tipping

Types of Botswana safaris

Types of Botswana safaris

Types of safari experiences

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Weather & climate

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Botswana

Botswana Travel Guide Botswana

  • Parks & Reserves
  • Best Time To Visit
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  • Getting There
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​Popular Routes – Botswana

Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the Botswana & Namibia guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Botswana & Namibia Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the Botswana & Namibia Lonely Planet guide.

Popular Routes in Botswana

Northern Botswana (1 to 2.5 weeks)

  • Okavango Delta (2 to 5 days) is the place to see wildlife on a game drive or in a mokoro (dugout canoe)
  • Moremi Game Reserve (2 to 5 days) is Big Five territory and the place to visit for exciting game drives
  • Chobe National Park (2 to 4 days) is best seen from a boat on the river. Herds of elephant coming to drink offer great photo opportunities.
  • Victoria Falls (1 to 3 days) is a must-see destination just a short hop across the border into Zimbabwe or Zambia

Popular add-ons:

  • Central Kalahari Game Reserve (2 to 4 days) for a desert safari with surprising wildlife in Deception Valley
  • Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pan National Parks (2 to 4 days) to witness the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra

Chobe Riverfront & Tuli Block (1 to 1.5 weeks)

  • Chobe National Park (2 to 4 days) can be discovered on land by 4WD, and on the river by boat
  • Victoria Falls (1 to 3 days) is only a few hours’ drive from Chobe, and you can visit the waterfall from Zambia or Zimbabwe
  • Zambezi National Park (0.5 to 1 days) is a great place to see elephant and buffalo as well as a variety of antelope species
  • Northern Tuli Game Reserve (2 to 4 days) is where herds of elephant can be seen digging for water in dry riverbeds
  • Kwando, Selinda and/or Linyanti Concessions (2 to 4 days) at the Linyanti Marshes for an exclusive wildlife experience

Want To Visit Botswana?

488 Botswana Safaris

  • 9-Day Botswana Safaris
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  • Tour Operators for Botswana

Safari Tours to Botswana

botswana travel map

7-Day Chobe NP, Okavango Delta & Victoria Falls Luxury

$4,995 to $7,810 pp (USD)

Botswana & Zimbabwe: Private tour Luxury Lodge & Tented Camp

You Visit: Victoria Falls (Start) , Chobe Riverfront (Chobe NP) , Okavango Delta, Maun (End)

Wayfairer Travel

4.8 /5  –  154 Reviews

botswana travel map

7-Day Botswana Adventure Fly-in Safari

$3,325 to $4,115 pp (USD)

Botswana: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Guest House

You Visit: Maun (Start) , Okavango Delta, Moremi GR (Okavango Delta) , Khwai Concession (Okavango Delta) , Chobe NP, Kasane (End)

Indigo Safaris

4.8 /5  –  130 Reviews

botswana travel map

6-Day The Perfect Botswana Family Safari

$2,156 to $2,398 pp (USD)

Botswana: Private tour Mid-range Lodge

You Visit: Maun (Start) , Okavango Delta, Makgadikgadi Pans NP, Maun (End)

5.0 /5  –  43 Reviews

Download GPX file for this article

  • 3 Other destinations
  • 4.1 History
  • 4.2 Climate
  • 4.3 Government
  • 4.4 Public holidays
  • 4.6 Visitor information
  • 6.1 Entry requirements
  • 6.2 By plane
  • 6.3 By train
  • 6.5 By international bus
  • 7.1 By taxi
  • 7.4 By train
  • 17 Stay healthy
  • 18.1 Calling formats

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa , completely surrounded by five countries: Namibia , South Africa , Angola , Zambia , and Zimbabwe . Botswana is a true gem among African nations, boasting a remarkable level of wealth and tranquility that few other countries on the continent can match. With its high standard of living and extremely low crime rates, Botswana has established itself as an oasis of stability amidst the many challenges faced by its neighbours. But Botswana is much more than just a peaceful haven. This captivating country is also home to a wealth of attractions that are sure to delight any traveller. From the stunning Tsodilo Hills and Chobe National Park to the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, there is no shortage of natural wonders to explore.

botswana travel map

There are only two major cities in Botswana, being Francistown and Gaborone which is also the capital city.

  • -24.656944 25.908611 1 Gaborone or Gabs – a neat and tidy little capital, but with rapidly growing shantytowns on its periphery
  • -21.173611 27.5125 2 Francistown – second largest city in Botswana
  • -21.7 21.65 3 Ghanzi – cattle ranching town in the Kalahari and refueling stop on the road to Maun and the Okavango Delta
  • -20.207222 25.256111 4 Gweta – small village and gateway to the Makgadikgadi Pans
  • -24.983333 25.35 5 Kanye – town in southern Botswana with some natural sites
  • -17.798333 25.153611 6 Kasane – small town on the Chobe River and a good base to explore Chobe National Park and the nearby Victoria Falls
  • -19.983333 23.416667 7 Maun – the main tourist center of northern Botswana and launching point for trips to the Okavango Delta . It has good road, bus and air connections
  • -20.210278 26.186667 8 Nata – small village at the meeting point of roads to Francistown, Kasane and Maun
  • -26.02 22.405556 9 Tsabong – village in the Kalahari Desert with a camel park

Other destinations

  • -19.4 22.9 1 Okavango Delta – a unique geological formation where a delta is formed by a river (the Okavango) flowing into the Kalahari desert instead of the ocean. Part of the Delta is designated as Moremi Game Reserve .
  • -21.8895 23.7565 2 Central Kalahari Game Reserve – the second-largest wildlife reserve in the world.
  • -18.65 24.4 3 Chobe National Park – a great place to see wildlife with the greatest concentration of elephants in Africa, and a good point from which to move on to Victoria Falls .
  • -25.766667 20.383333 4 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • -20.041667 24.768889 5 Nxai Pan National Park
  • -22.160699 29.126816 6 Northern Tuli Game Reserve – a unique corner of Africa where nature & culture combine in spectacular wildlife, stunning scenery and fascinating history.
  • -18.771667 21.754167 7 Tsodilo – contains rock art that has been made for over 100,000 years, with around 4,500 rock paintings.

Botswana was never really colonised by the Europeans: instead in 1885, John Mackenzie, who was a Scottish Christian missionary, argued for the land and human rights of the tribe of Bamangwato which he worked really close with. He believed the territory of the Ngwato was being threatened by the Boers to the south who were then capturing and settling in areas owned by the African tribes. Because of this he and the three chiefs of the three major tribes travelled to Britain to negotiate for the establishment of what became the Bechuanaland Protectorate, to be ruled directly from Britain. As a protectorate rather than a British colony, the local Tswana rulers were left in power, and British administration was limited to the police force to protect Bechuanaland's borders against other European colonial ventures and the Boers. In June 1964, the British queen accepted proposals for a democratic self-government in the protectorate. In 1966 the protectorate came to be known as the Republic of Botswana as it had gained independence from the British. The country now celebrates Independence Day on the 30th of September annually.

Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world, Botswana is now an upper middle-income country, possessing a high standard of living and a high GDP per capita that very few African countries possess. Diamond mining is the backbone of the Botswanan economy, comprising roughly 50-60% of the country's annual revenues.

Botswana has been a stable representative democracy since independence and has been largely devoid of the racial and ethnic conflict some of its neighbours have suffered from — perhaps due in part to the relative dominance of its majority Tswana ethnic group.

Public holidays

The public holidays in Botswana are:

  • New Year's Day
  • Easter weekend ("Good Friday", "Holy Saturday", "Easter Sunday" and "Easter Monday"): a four day long weekend in March or April set according to the Western Christian dates)
  • Workers Day (1 May)
  • Sir Seretse Khama Day (1 July)
  • President's Day (Mid July)
  • Independence Day (30 September)
  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Boxing Day (26 December)
  • The first Monday after Christmas is also a public holiday.

The Tswana , for whom Botswana is named, comprise 79% of the population. The principal Tswana tribes are:

  • BaNgwaketse

The tribes of Bakwena, Bangwato and Bangwaketse are all related, they were formed in the 17th century when three brothers, Kwena, Ngwaketse and Ngwato, broke away from their father, Chief Malope, to establish their own tribes, this due to a drought and search for new pastures and arable land.

Other than the Tswana tribes, there is also the Kalanga who reside in the northeast side of Botswana near Zimbabwe, the Ndebele, the Khoi and San who make about 13% of country's total population, the remaining 8% is made up of several groups which even include Boer descendants, Kgalagadi, whites etc.

Visitor information

  • botswanatourism.co.bw (official tourism website)

The official languages of Botswana are English and Tswana .

Tswana is the country's national language and usually serves as people's first language.

You are not really pressured to learn Tswana as English is widely used in everyday business. Almost everyone you encounter will speak and understand English; it won't be that hard to converse with the locals, but it is also best to learn a bit of Tswana, just to be on the safe side.

A lot of older people in rural areas might understand a bit of English but won't speak it very well.

botswana travel map

Entry requirements

Unlike more stiff necked administrations such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria and China, the Botswana government has not erected high bureaucratic barriers to enrichment from tourism.

Citizens of Commonwealth countries do not need a visa to visit except those from Bangladesh , Cameroon , Ghana , India , Nigeria , Pakistan , and Sri Lanka .

Citizens of European Union countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not require a visa to visit.

Citizens of Argentina , Angola , Bahrain , Brazil , Chile , Costa Rica , Cuba , Dominican Republic , Israel , Japan , Kuwait , Mexico , Oman , Paraguay , Peru , Qatar , Russia , Saudi Arabia , South Korea , South Sudan , Turkey , United Arab Emirates , United States of America , Uruguay , Venezuela , Zimbabwe do not require a visa to visit.

For citizens of other nations , a visa must be obtained prior to arrival and this usually takes about a week to process.

Visas can be applied for at a Botswana embassy in Australia , Belgium , Brazil , China , Ethiopia , India , Japan , Kenya , Namibia , Nigeria , South Africa , Sweden , Switzerland , the United Kingdom , Zambia , Zimbabwe and at the United Nations in New York City , USA .

If you require a visa to enter Botswana, you might be able to apply for one at a British embassy, high commission or consulate in the country where you legally reside if there is no Botswana diplomatic post. The UK Government website lists UK embassies around the world where Commonwealth visas can be issued. British diplomatic posts charge £50 to process a Botswana visa application and an extra £70 if the authorities in Botswana require the visa application to be referred to them. The authorities in Botswana can also decide to charge an additional fee if they correspond with you directly.

Botswana's main airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport ( GBE  IATA ) which is located roughly 15 kilometres (9 mi) north of downtown Gaborone, which has international flights from Zimbabwe , South Africa , Namibia , Kenya and Ethiopia. The airport in Maun can also be reached via Johannesburg, Cape Town, or Gaborone and, once a day, from Windhoek, Namibia. The distance between Gaborone and Maun is more than 1,000 km. Maun is very much a tourist area.

Airlines that fly to Gaborone are:

  • Air Botswana from Harare, Victoria Falls, Lusaka, Johannesburg, Cape Town.
  • Airlink from Johannesburg.
  • Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa from Europe, Asia, Africa.
  • Kenya Airways via Nairobi from Europe, Asia, Africa.
  • TAAG Angola Airlines from Luanda.

Trains from South Africa have been withdrawn since 1999. For domestic train service, see #Get around .

There are several entry points by road to Botswana: in the south at Gaborone , providing access from Johannesburg ; in the west providing access from Namibia ; the north providing access from Namibia , Zambia and Zimbabwe ; and at Francistown in the east, providing access from Harare . All road access is good and the primary roads within Botswana are paved and well maintained.

Possibly the busiest border crossing from South Africa is the Kopfontein / Tlokweng border crossing, as it is only a few minutes from the capital of Botswana. As a result, it is open for a long period of time, and has a large number of trucks travelling through.

Coming from Namibia , you can either go north to Maun , or south along the Trans-Kalahari Highway to Lobatse .

All foreign registered vehicles entering Botswana are required to pay a National Road Safety Fund levy, and a Road Transport Permit levy. The amounts for a vehicle up to 3,500 kg and up to 15 seats are P50 for the safety fund and P52 for the transport permit. Be aware that from August 2019 onwards, foreign currencies are not accepted anymore because of the exchange costs associated with them. Credit cards are accepted. This information can be obtained from www.burs.org.bw, sections customs and excise, clearance of motor vehicles .

By international bus

There is regular bus service from Johannesburg to Gaborone, which takes six hours. Intercape Mainliner is one of the bus lines to Gaborone from Johannesburg.

There are also buses to Gaborone from Zimbabwe , and to Gaborone from Windhoek , Namibia.

  • Monnakgotla travel have buses twice a week to Gaborone from Windhoek Namibia.
  • Metrolyn bus lines have buses to Gaborone from Harare Zimbabwe.
  • T J Motlogelwa Expess have buses to Gaborone from Johannesburg twice a day.

botswana travel map

Very few locals know street names and addresses, and you are likely to have to get directions in terms of landmarks. Botswana doesn't have a postal delivery system to addresses (just to centralised mail collection points), so even when streets are well-marked, the names may be unfamiliar to residents.

Through a combination of coaches and combies (minivans) and taxies, you can get anywhere in Botswana without any trouble, though public transport is spotty away from big cities and major routes but hitchhiking is popular and very easy. However, hitchhiking should only be done in desperate circumstances, as Botswana driving is often very erratic and it can be a harrowing experience to have a stranger drive you somewhere. It is advisable to arrive at the bus station quite early, as the buses do fill up quickly, and it is not uncommon to spend several hours standing in the aisle waiting for a seat to free up (remember to bring water, as the buses are often not air conditioned).Apart from Public transport you can opt to call a private cab which can take you anywhere you want in around and around the city, phone numbers for cabs can be found anywhere around the city in pamphlets pasted on bus stops or can be found in notice boards mainly located in shopping malls.

Taxis are the most common way to travel; the taxis can only travel on designated routes so it's best to ask first where the taxi is heading and where it makes its stops, taxis can only travel in the city it is in, i.e. you can't catch a taxi in a specific city and intend to travel outside that specific city with that taxi. Taxis as of 2022 cost only P9.00 which roughly equals 0.80 US Dollars.

The roads are paved and well maintained, so travel by car is also not a problem. Traffic is on the left in right-hand drive vehicles (as in South Africa or the United Kingdom). Much of the road network outside urban areas is unpaved and requires four-wheel drive vehicles. There are no signposts in rural areas, so independent travellers are advised to use a GPS device. In sparsely populated areas, at least two vehicles should be used. Car accidents are common.

It is advisable to ensure in advance that you have fuel and water for your next destination, as well as a spare tyre. When travelling at night, watch out for sleeping donkeys, cows and other animals on the roads.

The Trans-Kalahari Highway is an old cattle route, now newly paved and easily drivable with a 2-wheel drive. It runs from Lobatse to Ghanzi in Botswana, making the connection from Windhoek , Namibia to Gaborone , Botswana. It is a long and uneventful drive, but you get a good feel for the Kalahari Desert. Fuel is available in Kang at the Kang Ultra Shop, which also offers a respectable selection of food, overnight chalets, and inexpensive camping.

Every city in Botswana has its own bus station and set of bus stops where you can catch a bus to any part of the country surrounding the city where you initially boarded the bus. From Gaborone you can travel by bus to practically any major city around the country. If you intend to board a bus in a city except Gaborone, it is best to first ask a local where you can catch the bus as most cities bus stations and bus stops aren't easy to find using only a GPS or a map.It is also best to inquire first about the bus fare of the bus you intend to board as buses have different fares depending on where you board the bus and where you intend to get off. The buses on major routes are pretty nice compared to many other African countries, but still not exactly luxurious: 5 sometimes 4, non-reclining seats in a row, little leg-room and no bathrooms (however, they generally make frequent stops that are long enough to use a bathroom and buy some food). Smaller buses are even less comfortable and more likely to fill up completely. If travelling during the winter (Jun, Jul, and Aug) make sure to dress in layers, since it is freezing cold in the morning and toasty hot in the afternoon. Most smaller buses do not have any air-conditioning, and sometimes you might need to carry some of your luggage with you as smaller buses have limited space for putting your luggage,this might make your journey a little uncomfortable, so think ahead ...be early to secure spots for your luggage.

Botswana Railways [dead link] operates all trains in the country. The main line goes from Lobatse , near the South African border, via Gaborone to Francistown at the Zimbabwean border. Passenger trains stopped operating during Covid and have not been reintroduced yet.

botswana travel map

Wildlife is Botswana's main draw. Wildlife parks compose nearly one-fifth of the country. In these parks you will find lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, elephants , antelopes, wild dogs, and hundreds of species of birds. Visitors can take safaris and stay in lodges running the gamut from inexpensive dorms for backpackers with tour buses to $1,000+/night private lodges with your own maid & driver.

Among Southern Africa's most impressive—and popular—wildlife destinations is the Okavango Delta where the Okavango River widens into the world's largest inland delta. Lying in the middle of the arid Kalahari, the swamps & water channels attract animals from thousands of kilometres around and triples in size (to 100,000 km 2 !) during floods in July and August. Nearby Chobe National Park has a large population of elephants and it's also easy to spot many of Africa's well-known species, especially zebras and lions. The bleak salt pans of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park attract a large number and variety of birds year-round. Other great game parks include Nxai Pan National Park , Mokolodi Nature Reserve , & Gemsbok National Park .

Most of the native tribes in Botswana only dress in traditional outfits and perform for tourists. The villages of D'Kar and Xai-Xai have many offerings, including arts, crafts, and the opportunity to participate in various performances. Tsodilo Hills contain one of the largest collections of rock art on the continent.The perfect time to witness all the tribes in one place performing would be in mid July during the national arts festival but also if you want to see a more specific tribe it would be best to attend their own unique festival most notably the Dithubaruba Cultural Festival held annually for 2 days by the Kwena tribe in Kweneng region in September. The Bakgatla tribe also have their own unique culture festival which is usually held after a successful farming season.

botswana travel map

Botswana's currency is the pula , denoted by the symbol " P " (ISO 4217 code: BWP ). It is subdivided into 100 thebe. Pula means "rain" in Setswana (rain is very scarce in Botswana - home to much of the Kalahari Desert - and therefore valuable and a "blessing"). Thebe means "shield".

Banknotes of Botswana are issued in denominations of P10, 20, 50, 100 and 200, and coins of Botswana are issued in denominations of 5t, 10t, 25t, 50t, P1, P2 and P5. The pula is one of the strongest and most stable currencies in Africa.

click here to see how you can identify the Banknotes and coins.

botswana travel map

The cuisine of Botswana is unique but also shares some characteristics with other cuisine of Southern Africa. Examples of Botswana food include Pap , Samp , Vetkoek and Mopane worms .

A food unique to Botswana includes Seswaa , a meat dish made of beef, goat or lamb meat. The fatty meat is generally boiled until tender in any pot, with "just enough salt", and shredded or pounded. It is often served with pap (maize meal) or sorghum meal porridge.

Many soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are produced in factories in Botswana, including Fanta and Coca-Cola. Local brands are Castle and Lion beers. Milk is fermented to make madila (sour milk) which is eaten on its own or added to porridge. A favourite non alcoholic home made drink is ginger beer. A local company Native Foods also produces a variety of refreshments including Mosukujane Iced Tea.

Most of the accommodation establishments in Botswana are located near the larger towns and cities, but there are also many secluded game lodges tucked away in the wilderness areas. A few places have backpackers hotels and there is many campsites.

The University of Botswana is in Gaborone and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is in Palapye . A number of private tertiary instituations such as Limkokwing University, Botho University, Boitekanelo College, Ba-Isago University also offers a variety programs for study.

Botswana has an extremely high unemployment rate (25.4% as of February 2023); therefore, it can be difficult to secure employment in the country.

Due to Botswana's heavy reliance on the mining industry, you might be able to find a job in that sector.

People in Botswana are very friendly and the crime rate is low. Nevertheless, crime has been on the rise over the past several years, so always be aware of your surroundings. Basic common sense will keep you safe from the predatory wildlife in rural areas. Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa, no civil war, less corruption, more human rights, no natural disasters e.g. earthquakes or tsunamis.

Drug trafficking is punished by a mandatory prison sentence. This is important for you to know because if you need to take prescription drugs into Botswana, you will have to show a prescription for each medication and if undeclared, you may be subject to a fine or even worse, a prison sentence , since any type of drug smuggling is entirely frowned upon.

Stay healthy

Generally speaking, medical care in Botswana is quite good compared to other African countries. Botswana has a universal healthcare system and the vast majority of people live within five kilometers of a healthcare facility. Cities like Gaborone have wonderful hospitals, but quality healthcare is non-existent in rural areas.

In case of an emergency and you want to be assisted quickly, it is best to find a private hospital rather than a government hospital, though this might cost you. If it's a small emergency that doesn't need medical attention quickly, it is best to go to a government owned hospital/clinic.

If you run out of your prescription pills/medicines and you have a form of proof that you need them, be it a letter from your doctor or your prescription bill, you can go to the nearest pharmacy (dubbed chemist by locals) and present your proof to the Pharmacist so they can assist. The fee depends on the pills/medicine you need.

Perhaps the biggest health danger is HIV/AIDS . Botswana has been experiencing one of the most severe HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world. As of 2022, the country's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among adults is at 22.2% , which is the third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the world. Take the necessary precautions, including not sharing needles and never having unprotected sex. If you form a serious relationship with a local, you both should consider getting an HIV test before taking things further.

The northern part of Botswana, including Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta is in a malaria zone, so it is advisable to take the relevant precautions. Seek medical advice before travelling to these areas; vaccines such as typhoid and hepatitis A+B (if not already immune) are usually recommended. Oral vaccines are also suggested for prevention of diarrhea and cholera.

Water in urban and semi-urban areas is chlorinated, and is drunk from the tap by the local population. Still, short term visitors should drink bottled water to avoid traveller's diarrhoea . Outside of urban and semi-urban areas, the water is contaminated, and should not be used for drinking, ice-cubes, teeth cleaning, or eating washed unpeeled fruits and vegetables.

Botswana's country code is +267 which was allocated to the country by the International Telecommunications Union in the late 1960s, Fixed line numbers in Botswana are seven digits long in a closed telephone numbering plan, with the geographical area being indicated by the first two or three digits, meaning that there are no area codes.

Calling formats

xx xxxxx or xxx xxxxx – calling within Botswana +267 xx xxxxx or +267 xxx xxxxx - calling from outside Botswana [countrycode] Areacode][Phonenumber] - if calling an international number from within Botswana.

click here for an extended page on Botswana phone numbers and how to call to and from Botswana.

Internet As of 2022 the government is working on installing free public WiFi in shopping malls and several government owned facilities, so you there's high chance of you stumbling upon free WiFi while shopping for stuff. Apart from free public WiFi, several shopping malls and shops have their own free WiFi dubbed WiFi Hot-spots for their customers, even though this kind of WiFi is free. You can only use it for about 15 minutes i.e. per phone , if that time expires you might need to buy a token if you still want to connect. Libraries also have free WiFi, each library has a set of desktop computers available for anyone who wants to use them. There are also plenty of internet cafes with desktop computers available if you don't feel like going to a library or if you can't find one.

Depending on the internet provider, the speed of the WiFi you've connected to can be fast or slow. If you're using public free WiFi there's a high chance that you're not the only one on that WiFi, so it will definitely be slow.

You can also buy personal internet data bundles using your phone, depending on what mobile telecommunications company you bought your sim-card from internet speed can be fast or slow also depending on where you are in the country (4G speed in and around the big cities and 3G and even 2G speed in very rural areas).

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19 things to know before visiting Botswana

Melanie van Zyl

Oct 22, 2023 • 9 min read

Wild elephants wander by my tent early in the morning in Botswana.

These top tips can help you make the most out of a visit to Botswana © wetraveltolive / Shutterstock

Having driven alone around Botswana and across most of southern Africa, I've learned a few things from traveling as a female . The most important lesson? Just go.

From Botswana’s arid south to the Okavango Delta and bountiful Chobe region beyond, this peaceful country is a joy to explore. Here are the top things to know before you visit Botswana.

lioness in front of a 4x4 safari car crossing a dirt road in Kalahari desert, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana, Africa

1. Getting around is a challenge, and you'll probably need a 4WD vehicle

Botswana's best adventures are wild and far from civilization – but public transport will only get you so far. It’s possible to plan a sedan-friendly road trip on paved roads, but Botswana is known for the allure of its remote wilderness rather than its big cities.

If you’re traveling independently and national parks are on your bucket list, you need a 4WD vehicle and must understand seasonal road conditions.

A fully equipped 4WD is typically rigged with rooftop tents. This means you can sleep higher up away from dangerous animals, and it comes with all the necessary camping gear for a self-sufficient adventure. These rugged vehicles can be picked up in Maun , Kasane , or Johannesburg (South Africa) and rented from companies such as Bushtrackers Africa . They generally cost US$150 per day.

Ask the rental company about the best times to visit specific areas (the answer will often be in the dry season) and explain their emergency protocols and recovery support. For example, do they have an office and spare parts in Maun?

Driving through Botswana's national parks and game reserves is not to be underestimated. As a rule, it's safest to travel with a satellite phone in case of a breakdown or with at least one other vehicle.

2. Plan for roads to be in bad condition

The back roads in Botswana generally aren’t in good condition – and neither are some of the main highways. If you see a track or dirt road to the left of the main route, the road ahead is likely horribly potholed. As a rule, it’s almost always best to take the unofficial detour.

Whether paved or not, don't be fooled by short distances. Plan extra time into your itinerary to account for these slow-going conditions – potholes, rutted roads and deep sand – and breathing room to stop and snap more photographs. Refer to Tracks4Africa  and download the Maps.Me app. This is the most accurate way to judge time over a given distance for Botswana's best off-road routes. Having paper maps, especially ones that include dirt roads and tracks, is useful as well.

Setting up camp in the Moremi game reserve with a tent on top of a 4WD in Bostwana

3. Book campsites and lodges in advance during Botswana’s peak season

Luxury stays in faraway fairytale locations and self-drive expeditions between remote campsites both require a decent amount of advance booking – especially when traveling in peak season between June and September.

July and August are the busiest months in Botswana when campsites fill up with intrepid travelers from overseas and safari-loving South Africans enjoying a winter bush break. Campgrounds inside the national parks are limited and run by different private operators. Call directly to book and start planning well in advance. Typically, response times over email are prolonged.

4. Carry physical proof of your booking

There is very little cellular signal and connectivity in these wonderful wilds, meaning you won’t be able to search your inbox easily. Print out proof of booking before your journey and draw cash in the local currency (pula) to pay the park fees. Expect to be turned away at the park's gate if there is no space (and it's invariably a long trip back to the nearest town).

Young woman in a red dress sitting crosslegged at the edge of Victoria Falls which spills out into the gorge below

5. How long should I spend in Botswana?

Most safaris start either in Maun or Kasane and circuit from there. With a week or less, maximize your time by flying into a lodge or camp. It's easy to reach most far-flung lodges and camps by charter flight on the six-, nine- and 12-seater Cessna planes. You’ll touch down in the middle of nowhere (between 20 to 50 minutes’ flight time from Maun), where wildlife wanders across the runway. Spending three nights in one place will best compensate for the travel time (and airport waits) between locations.

If you have 10 days or more, discover Botswana on a road trip, although the journey will feel rushed if you try to cram in all the wildlife hotspots, especially with the added toils of camping every day. Two weeks is a more reasonable duration to soak up the gorgeous diversity of the Delta and the desert and to make an overnight sightseeing stop at Victoria Falls.

6. Travel solo outside of peak safari season, but don’t drive alone

Solo supplements are often waived outside peak season, and this is the easiest time to nab a last-minute booking. The cheapest time to visit Botswana is between November and February, and you can still spot wildlife then. The landscape is lush, green, dramatic with epic cloud formations, and brimming with colorful birds, blooms, and butterflies. However, this “green season” can also be the trickiest period to self-drive because the national parks and campsites have more mud and water, making some tracks impassable.

Instead, it’s a superb time to fly into a high-end lodge. Many companies waive the single supplement for solo travelers in the low season, too – and you’ll find plenty of company. Dinner is frequently enjoyed around a communal table to compare sightings with other guests and learn more about life in Botswana from local camp managers or your guide. Another plus? More daylight hours to enjoy it all.

Two mokoro canoes glide through the high grasses of the Okavango Delta with supplies on board

7. Just remember, you can't hop into a mokoro at any time of the year

Water levels are generally at their highest in the Okavango Delta during July and August (which is also the priciest time of year to go on safari). Ask about the seasonality of gliding in a mokoro (traditional canoe) and time your trip to guarantee an outing on the water. For a fun weekend and more traditional insight into the importance of the mokoro , tie your trip with a visit to the annual Nkashi Classic festival .

8. Greet people in Setswana

The Batswana emphasize extensive greetings. Before asking for help, salutations go a long way and it’s respectful to greet everyone present, starting with the elders. If you are addressing a woman, say “Dumela, mma” and to a man, “Dumela, rra”. For a group of people, a simple “Dumelang” will do. Asking how a person is doing and whether they slept well will score even more points.

9. Dress respectfully in rural areas

While most tourist haunts adhere to Western dressing norms, this isn't the case everywhere, particularly in rural areas. Women in Botswana typically dress modestly and wear skirts that cover the knees. It's best to follow this custom when visiting an office, police station, or government building and when meeting distinguished members of society, such as the chief.

Tourist watching zebra on a walking safari, Okavango Delta, Botswana

10. You don't have to wear khaki on safari

Any neutral-toned clothing will do as long as it's comfortable and lightweight and your shirt isn't too brightly colored. The only time beige and blending in is genuinely preferred is during a walking safari .

11. Pack a warm coat, but also a bathing suit

It's essential to layer up because Botswana experiences chilly mornings and evenings. Game drives and morning activities can be cold. In winter, temperatures can drop below freezing in desert areas, but then the mercury climbs with the sun and you can frequently take a dip in the pool come afternoon.

12. A pair of binoculars will revolutionize your safari

Unless you’re on safari in a private reserve where guides can off-road into the bush, you'll probably witness wildlife from a distance. Bring a good pair of general-purpose binoculars (specifications 8x40 or 10x42) and a decent zoom camera lens.

13. How to leave a tip in Botswana

It's customary to tip lodge staff and safari guides, providing the service was good. Travel agents advise giving roughly US$15 per guest, per day directly to the guide and $10 to the rest of the staff, which usually goes into a collective kitty. The US dollar is widely accepted at lodges and hotels throughout the country.

14. Is Botswana a conservative country?

Women traveling alone can expect to be asked if they have a husband or boyfriend. It's still not common to see independent travelers, and a band on your wedding finger can deter unwanted advances. It's even less common to see same-sex relationships. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 2019 but it is still stigmatized, and public displays of affection could attract negative attention.

4x4 game viewer and tourists silhouetted at sunset, Okavango Delta, Botswana

15. Whatever you do, avoid driving at night

Obstinate donkeys, roaming elephants, goats, wayward cattle and ostriches are just some of the wildlife that walk the roads of Botswana. Drive with extreme caution and avoid driving at night.

16. Your shoes might carry disease

Beef is a valuable export and cows are a treasured signifier of cultural wealth in Botswana. To prevent the spread of disease, specifically foot-and-mouth, fences have been erected to separate domestic beasts from wild animals (admittedly, not always effectively). Farmers, families, and industry face financial catastrophe if cattle succumb to this infectious disease.

It’s illegal to transport raw animal products or select fruits and vegetables from wilderness areas (mainly in the north) to rural areas (mostly in the south). Always stop at the official fence boundaries and road gates, even if they appear abandoned. Sometimes, an official sitting in the shade nearby will wave you through, but every vehicle is subject to inspection.

Ready the cooler boxes and make fridges accessible for checks. You'll also need to disinfect your shoes and stamp them in a sanitizing station to stop the potential spread. Keep all shoes aside or in crates to prevent the disinfectant from covering other gear.

17. You can drink the tap water in Botswana, but...

Tap water in towns is usually fine but probably not what you're used to, which can cause stomach upsets. At tourist lodges, the tap water is filtered. Many campsites do not have water at all, but grocery stores stock big bottles for overlanders.

18. Pack insect repellent and use it for a peaceful sleep

Malaria is present in Botswana and widespread in the north. Consult your doctor about the latest anti-malaria precautions before you travel. Use insect repellent liberally. Most lodgings supply an insect repellent called Peaceful Sleep, which locals use to keep unwanted buzzing and biting at bay.

19. Watch out for petty theft

Although crime is rare in Botswana, petty theft and sometimes pickpocketing can occur in the cities. As you would in most cities, be vigilant with your valuables and avoid walking alone at night or in poorly lit areas.

There has also been a spate of midnight thefts at campsites near safari pit stops. Thieves typically smash the windows of a car to snatch valuables. Do not leave your passport, camera, wallet, or phone visible or within reach.

This article was first published Sep 7, 2022 and updated Oct 22, 2023.

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Botswana Travel Guide

Your ultimate botswana travel guide, with tips, things to do, and things to see in botswana, great for first-time and returning travelers..

If there is one place in the world where you are guaranteed to see elephants it would be Botswana.

In fact, Botswana is hands-down one of the greatest safari destination in Africa, where travelers can not only spot elephants but also big cats, endangered African wild dogs, different species of birds and so much more.

It is also home of the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert.

This Botswana travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

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Fast Facts about Botswana

  • Botswana power voltage is 230V 50Hz;  Plug G
  • The Botswana currency is the Botswana pula and is around BWP to 1 USD.
  • Beware of Chikungunya in Eastern Botswana , a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa. Symptoms can take up to 12 days to appear but usually begin within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms generally include fever and joint pain; other symptoms can include fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and rash.
  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year but the risk increases from November to June, in the north (Bobirwa, Boteti, Chobe, Ngamiland, Okavango and Tutume), including the Zimbabwean border, the Zambezi river and all the Game Parks to the north of the Kalahari Desert.
  • Although the tsetse fly has been almost eradicated from wilderness areas, travelers spending a lot of time outdoors or visiting game parks have an increased risk of being bitten by a  fly which can cause African Sleeping Sickness. Remember that these flies: bite during the day, are attracted to bright, dark colors and can bite through lightweight clothing.
  • While Botswana is a safe country overall, travelers should be cautious in the areas of Kgale Hill and Gaborone Dam in Gaborone as there have been reports of travelers being robbed in those specific areas.
  • Water in urban areas is chlorinated  and locals often drink from the tap. However, visitors with a sensitive stomach might want to stick to bottled water. Outside of urban areas, water is untreated so make sure to avoid tap water.
  • SIM Cards : the main mobile networks are Mascom, Orange and BTC. We’ve used Orange in Africa and it works quite well.

Things to See and Do in Botswana

  • Elephant Highway:  Head to northeast Botswana to ride through the elephant highway and spot some elephants while you’re there. Travel through beautiful vegetation and cycle on flatlands while seeing elephants right up-close.
  • Makgadikgadi Pan:  Grab a quad bike and ride through the Makgadikgadi salt pan. Once a large lake, it is now one of the largest salt pans in the world and makes for a great contemplative trip in isolation.
  • Tsodilo Hills:  See historical rock paintings at this site in the Kalahari. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has thousands of paintings that date back to 800 AD and are believed to be the first creations of the Bushmen. Three Chiefs Statues:  These bronze statues are of tribal chiefs from the 1800s who helped Botswana gain independence. See the statues for yourself or take a guided tour to learn more about the history of Botswana and the significance of these chiefs.
  • Okavango Delta:  Head over to this popular inland delta near the Okavango River. See a variety of wildlife including elephants, wildebeests, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, and antelopes. 
  • Mokolodi Nature Reserve:  See southern white rhinos, zebras, red hartebeests, and more at this reserve.A great trip for the whole family, Mokolodi has numerous activities, including walks with trained elephants and rhino and giraffe tracking, as well as a museum, an education center, and camping sights.

Accommodation

Budget:  You can find budget hotels for as low as $30 per night. They offer free Wi-Fi, parking, and sometimes breakfast that’s included.

Mid-Range:  You can get a mid-range hotel for around $100 per night. They may include air conditioning, laundry service, and family suites.

High-End:  Staying at a luxury lodge in Botswana may cost you around $200 per night. You’ll have beautiful views of the country, a pool, and plush bedding.

Botswana has a large variety of traditional foods. Meat staples are beef, goat and deer. But they also serve ostrich and oryx meat. Seafood is also a large part of their diet.

Traditional dishes include Dekgobe a dish made up of beans, corn, and lamb. Vetkoek is popular fast food made of a minced meat burger. Phaphatha is a heavy bread that is sometimes filled with meat.

The Best Ways to Get Around Botswana

Getting to botswana.

Flights:  The Sir Seretse Khama International Airport is the main airport to fly into and is located 7 miles from Gaborone, Botswana’s capital. Other major cities like Francistown also have their own airport, but it is not international. You can check for the best flights to Botswana on  Skyscanner .

Transportation:

Buses:  Buses are one way to get through major cities if you wish to explore, but they tend not to travel to major tourist destinations. They can be a way to go between cities. You can find buses that go from Gaborone to Palapye for about P78. 

Taxis:  Taxis are a good way to get around. The best way to get one is to call a local taxi company. Fares are not always fixed, so there is room for negotiation.You can also rent a taxi for a day for about P500.

Car Rental:  To rent a car in Botswana, you need to beat least 18 years old (drivers 25 and under will get a surcharge). You will need a U.S. driver’s license, and it is recommended to get an International Driver’s License as well. Prices start at P1100 per day. 

Uber:  Botswana does not have uber, but they do have Hello Cab, a rideshare app that operates similarly to Uber.Hello Cab runs throughout Gaborone, Botswana’s capital.

When to go To Botswana

The best time to go to Botswana for safaris is between May-September. During this time, there are more wildlife sightings due to the dry season (the animals come out to find water) and temperatures are not too hot or too cold (highs of upper 80s).

Where to Stay in Botswana

AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino :  When in Gaborone, stay at this four-star hotel. Enjoy amenities like a casino, two hotel restaurants and a terrace bar, complimentary golf, an outdoor pool, a beauty salon, and tennis and squash courts. The Gaborone Game Reserve is just a short drive away. 

Peermont Metcourt—Francistown :  Come to this three-star hotel in Francistown to enjoy air-conditioned rooms with a TV and tea and coffee, a hot tub, a hotel restaurant and bar, and a shuttle to the airport. If you’re in the mood for shopping, the Galo Shopping Center is just a 5-minute walk away. 

Maun Lodge :  Close to the Nhabe Museum and overlooking the Thamalakane River, this popular hotel in Maun comes with private rooms and cottages, an outdoor pool, a hot tub, two hotel restaurants that serve international and African cuisine, and a hotel bar.   

Check out our favorite booking platforms  Booking.com ,  Tripadvisor  and  VRBO for the best deals on accommodation.

What to Pack for Botswana

Botswana’s climate  is semi-arid. It is hot and dry for much of the year.

However, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional.

  • Waterproof bag  – the bag has two functions, protecting your stuff from the rain and also from the dust, especially if you’re travelling to drier regions.
  • Footwear  – especially important if going you are heading on a safari! Pack a pair of lightweight, durable, waterproof and comfortable shoes and also a pair of flip-flops or sandals that you can change into after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Protection from the elements –  pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a loose sarong or wrap to cover yourself from the sun and bug-spray to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito (that might have malaria!)
  • Layers  – pack the basic tropical clothes and make sure to include long pants, long-sleeve tops and some warm clothes for those chilly nights.
  • Avoid packing dark colored clothes  – tsetse flies are drawn to dark colors, like blue and black clothing, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness. Stick to light, neutral colors but avoid packing white clothes as they will get dirty and dusty pretty quickly.
  • Pack for Humidity  – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate.

See our packing tips:  packing list for smart travel  &  How to Pack for a Safari

Botswana Travel Guide: Best Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies. We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

  • Booking.com : This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It usually has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface. Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
  • Trip Advisor :  What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.
  • VRBO : is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
  • Hostelworld :  With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
  • Skyscanner : This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
  • Rome 2 Rio :  If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs.I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
  • Get Your Guide:  For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
  • World Nomads Insurance:  When traveling to Italy you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Botswana Travel Guide: Related Articles

To browse all our articles and guides about Botswana  click here.

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The Ultimate Botswana Self-Drive Safari Itinerary: A Complete Travel Guide + Map

December 15, 2023

Paula Martinelli

If you are dreaming about an adventure trip to Botswana, and wondering how to go on safaris, you are in the right place! Going on a Botswana self-drive safari is the best way to discover the country! This is the Ultimate Botswana Self-Drive Safari Itinerary that will take you to the removed, isolated, and wild parts of the country…and the best way to experience Botswana’s landscape and wildlife are by road trip.

I combined my Namibia trip itinerary and Botswana self-drive safari itinerary, and I am here to share all I have learned and discovered along the way.

In this very detailed Botswana Self-Drive Safari 10-day itinerary, I covered the most important regions and safaris in Botswana, from Chobe National Park to the Okavango Delta.

During my 10-days in Botswana, I self-drove my 4×4 rental truck to the most amazing safaris in Botswana, I slept in the tent on top of the truck, cooked all my meals, took thousands of photos, and learned all about how to explore Botswana independently (not an easy task!).

Don’t travel to Botswana before you read these very important articles:

  • 28 Things You Must know about Self-Drive and Camping in Botswana
  • Ultimate Guide to the Best Safaris in Botswana
  • Botswana Camping Safari

Botswana self-drive safari itinerary with elephants

Botswana Self-Drive Safari itinerary Overview

10 days doing a self-drive safari in Botswana is an ideal amount of time to discover the best safaris in Botswana and to visit the most incredible areas in the country.

However, it is not easy to self-drive in Botswana because of the poor road conditions. Also, if you are short on time, you can spend less time and concentrate on the Chobe River Front safari, as it is very well located in the country. You can fly into Kasane Airport (BBK) and you can pick up your 4×4 rental car at the airport .

Check Expedia or Skyscanner to see which airlines can take you to Botswana and compare prices to get better deals. If you are looking for domestic flights to Kasane you can book them through Air Botswana .

Here is an overview of how to spend a perfect 10-day self-drive safari in Botswana:

Botswana Self drive Safari Map

Renting a Car for your Botswana Self Drive Safari

You will need to have a 4×4 vehicle to go on a self-drive safari in Botswana . It can be confusing renting a car in Botswana since there are different providers, offering different options.

First of all, you will need to decide if you will rent a 4X4 truck or a 4×4 truck with a tent on top (if you are planning to camp around the country).

I recommend booking your car way in advance , and you can quote below, to have access to cars from many major companies which you can compare the best prices and find the best deal for you.

You can save on your rental car when you book through this site . I use and recommend Discover Cars because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different plac es.

Botswna self-drive safari itinerary at Okavango Delta

10-Day Botswana Self Drive Safari Itinerary

Day 1 botswana self drive: arriving in botswana.

Let’s start day 1 of my 10-day Botswana self-drive safari itinerary. I had spent the previous 10 days self-driving in Namibia and it is a great itinerary to combine Namibia and Botswana. I crossed the border to Botswana on the ground at the Ngoma border crossing  in the Caprivi Strip.

I got my Botswana Visa at the border checkpoint. There was a line, and it took about 1-hour to get my visa and pass the inspection of my car and food. The procedure was easy and uncomplicated!

Even better, I had the chance to make new friends while I was in line. I met this very nice couple from Zambia that were traveling home. They asked if I could give them a ride to the Zambia border which was on my way to Botswana. 

DRIVING THE CAPRIVI STRIP

The driving from Namibia to Botswana on Caprivi is one straight line all the way to the border. You will pass many villages, plenty of cows and people walking on the side of the road.

I stopped along the road to donate all my food (meat, fruits, and vegetables) as we cannot enter Botswana with food.  It is a great opportunity to get to know some local people, and also, they will appreciate you sharing the food with them.

Botswana self-drive itinerary

STOP AT KASANE FOR SUPPLIES

Next, I stopped in Kasane to refill my gas tanks (the truck had 2 gas tanks), got someand money from the ATM, bought food and water – This is the last opportunity to refill before you head to the National Parks.

Caprivi Strip from Namibia to Botswana

BEST ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

Botswana self-drive

CAMPING OPTION

Mwandi View is the place i stayed and recomend. They have areas for camping in your own tent, or you can rent one of their large tents, with private bathroom and a small kitchen. The views are incredible and you can see animals from the infinity pool. Restaurant with incredible food is avaialbe.

botswana travel map

LODGE OPTION

The Residence Kazungula is a marvelous guest house located in Kasane, with free Wi-Fi, parking on-site, a complete kitchen, and a pool. They can also arrange a variety of activities including game drives, boat cruises, and day trips to Victoria Falls. 

botswana travel map

ALL-INCLUSIVE OPTION

If you are looking for a great accommodation option, with all-inclusive, the Jacklberry Chobe is the best option. With drinks, meals, and 2 wildlife activities per day included, plus terrace and gorgeous views of the river

DAY 2 BOTSWANA SELF DRIVE SAFARI : Explore Chobe National Park

On day 2 of my Botswana self-drive itinerary, I spent 10-hours driving safari at Chobe National Park . 

SELF-DRIVE SAFARI AT CHOBE RIVERFRONT

Chobe is one of the best places for a safari on the Planet, and I really recommend spending at least 2 days here .

Even if I had done other safaris before, this is the most I have seen animals in one single day: hundreds of zebras, waterbok, giraffes, springboks, and of course elephants. 

The best spot to see the big cats, including lions is at the Ihaha Camp . I drove in the morning and afternoon but didn’t get lucky enough to see any.

self-drive safari at Chobe National Park

SEE THE LARGEST HERD OF ELEPHANTS IN THE WORLD

At around 1:30 p.m. I stopped to see a herd of elephants at a waterhole close to the Elephant Grave when more elephants arrived from everywhere and I was surrounded by hundreds of elephants. This was the highlight moment of my trip to Chobe . 

Back to the Mwandi Camp to enjoy the sunset from the infinity pool, while watching some elephants at the waterhole, cook dinner, and crashed from this tiring day.

Botswana camping in remote areas

DAY 3 Botswana Itinerary: Self-Drive Safari at Chobe then Drive to Savuti

On my second and last day of self-drive safari at Chobe National Park , I started my day very early (5 a.m.) and enjoyed 5 hours of safari.

GO ON A RIVER CRUISE SAFARI AT CHOBE

Another specialty and a must-do are to go on a river-cruise safari .  This is a must-do activity at Chobe National park as you can see the wildlife from a boat is totally different experience than from a car. During the water safari, you have the chance to see hippos, crocodiles, and f you are lucky you can also see elephants swimming.

Safari Botswana

DRIVING OFF-ROAD TO SAVUTI

After lunch, I began my journey south through Chobe to my next destination: Savuti. There are no gas stations or stores until you exit Okavango Delta. Make sure you are full-on fuel, water, and food before leaving Chobe (Kasane town).

The driving to Savuti was very challenging (and scary) and it is not for the faint-hearted! I only recommend self-drive here if you are a very experienced driver and have some basic mechanical knowledge because things can, and will happen to the car.

The “road” is very isolated, and only a 4WD can drive here. The “roads” you will follow are nothing more than dirt roads and trails. At times you will follow some old tire tracks through grass fields, and other times you will be driving through deeply rutted sandy “roads”. You cannot drive on a rainy day (or wet season). I drove for 7-hours without seeing another car. I had 1 flat tire and had to change it on a very deep sandy road and got stuck on the sand a couple of times. The speed limit is around 15km/h and you will be driving very slowly on very bumpy roads.

TOP TIP: If you are going on a self-drive in Botswana, most of the driving will be off-road. I recommend carrying a backpack as it will protect your belongings on bumpy roads. Check here the Review on Top Backpacks on the market today.

Camping and driving in the remote safaris in Botswana

ARRIVAL AT SAVUTI

Arrived at the remote Savuti Gate and I had to pay for my entry permit – it costs US$85 for 3 days of the game reserve. The only way to enter the Savuti Gate (and all other gates) is to have proof of camping reservations. 

I finally arrived at the Savuti Camp near dark, found my reserved camping spot, and cooked dinner. The camping staff came to warn me that it was life-threatening to be out of my tent at night because it is very common for hyenas and lions to visit the campsites at night.

4x4 Safari

I spent 2 nights at the Savuti Camp . All 14 campsites lie under shady trees while some have a view of the Savuti Channel. There is a large elephant-proof ablution with shared bathrooms and showers. The campsite is operated by SKL Camps.

Best time to visit Botswana

If you are looking for a lodge at Savuti, Ghoha Hills Savuti has accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking for guests who drive. There’s a fully equipped private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. The lodge offers a continental or buffet breakfast.

DAY 4 Botswana Itinerary: Self-drive Safari at Savuti

The Savuti is a region within the heart of the Chobe National Park that is secretly located. Savuti covers almost 5,000 square kilometers and includes the Savute Marsh and Channel, the Mababe Depression, and Magwikhwe Sand Ridge – each feature fashioned by the tectonic instability of the region.

It is the best place to spot big cats, including lions and leopards. It is also renowned for the masses of game, and it has its own unique scenery such as the Baobab Gallery trees and rock paintings. I recommend spending at least 2 days in Savuti. 

EXPLORE THE VAST WILDLIFE IN SAVUTI

Start your first day at Savuti doing what is the best thing to do, with a self-drive safari.

Start your day very early (before 7:00 a.m) as the chances to see active animals are higher. I started my first day seeing a lion eating his kill and it was a pretty amazing experience to just park my car very close, behind the bushes, and just observe, smell, and hear while he was enjoying his breakfast.

During my day of safari at Savuti , I saw many giraffes, springbok, and elephants. In the afternoon I visited the Baobab Trees and the rock painting.

I saw many bones of animals and mostly close to the campsite – which makes me think that predators hang out around campsites. At night I was visited by a very large hyena and I also could hear the lions roaring all night from a distance. Exciting!

Botswana Map

VISIT THE ROCK PAINT AND BAOBAB TREES

Expend the afternoon exploring more of the Savuti beauty!

Savuti is not only about wildlife, here you can also find ancient art – search the rocks of the Gubatsa Hills for delicate, stylized paintings of buffalo, giraffes, the magical eland, and other animals. They were painted in natural ochres, blood, and possibly snake venom up to 1,500 years ago by the San people. They still shine despite being fully exposed to the elements.

Then, visit the incredible Baobab Trees. The baobab trees boast a circumference of around 7 meters (23 feet) and a height of around 5 meters (17 feet). Take some time out to reflect in the shade of the centuries-old trees, humbled by their large presence and the secrets that flow deep within their roots. Savuti is incredible!

botswana travel map

DAY 5 Botswana Itinerary: Self-Drive Safari in Savuti, then Driving to Okavango Delta

Morning safari at savuti.

Early in the morning, I saw 2 lionesses with 9 cubs – 7 older and 2 younger. I heard from the locals that they live under the bush, and they were just enjoying the early morning sun. I parked my car, and took amazing pictures, and observed them for over 1-hour from a very close distance. They didn’t seem to be bothered by my presence. This was certainly one of the highlight moments of my trip to Botswana.

I saw many other animals during my second day of safari in Savuti, and even if I really wanted to see leopards, I had no luck seeing any. 

Wild camping in safari in Botswana

DRIVE TO OKAVANGO DELTA

After lunch, I started driving to the Okavango Delta and I drove all the way to the next camping site destination in Kawai . It was 3.5 hours of very bumpy and sandy road, and again, driving at a very low speed. 

Upon arrival at Khwai Gate you need to pay for the permit again;  remember to have cash with you as they don’t accept credit cards. 

The camping site is situated in an area called Dombo Hippo Pools, and guess what you can see a lot? You are right, hippos.

drive Botswana

The Khwai Camping Site  is very basic. The camping site has a tree, running water, and a fire pit area, and a small ablution is available. The game views and bird watching in this area are superb. The campsite is operated by SKL Camps.

botswana travel map

If you are looking for amazing luxury glamping in Botswana, O Bona Moremi Safari Lodge offers it all. All means, drinks, and laundry service are included plus all the game drivers and night drives.

botswana travel map

VILLA OPTION

If you are looking for a great option, Khwai Villa provides accommodations with free private parking. All units come with a balcony with river views, a kitchenette with a fridge and an oven, and a private bathroom with a shower.

DAY 6 Botswana Self-Drive Safari: Okavango Delta Safari

Explore the khwai region.

The day of my self-drive safari in Botswana was exploring the Khwai region, part of the Okavango Delta. 

The Okavango Delta is like the crown jewel of safaris in Botswana , as this area is usually known for the abundance of water, stemming from the Okavango river – which starts in Angola – and is also dubbed “the river that never finds the sea”. Instead of ending in the ocean, the water seeps away into the Kalahari desert. 

I was up early and went on a long game drive to explore this region. There are large tracts of Mopane forest with pools and floodplains interspersed. I saw a lot of different animals including hippos, crocodiles, water buffalos, red lechwe, waterbucks, and blue wildebeest.

This area is challenging to drive, as there are deep mud pools on many of the trails and some wet areas that make it impossible to pass.

botswana travel map

I spent 2 nights at the Xakanaka Campsite . This area offers many options for day trips, such as Khwai and Third Bridge. There are two boat stations close to the camping site. The camping area is very simple and is located by the water, that is the reason there are so many hippos on this campsite. An ablution (communal bathroom) is available. 

botswana travel map

If you are looking for an all-inclusive lodge accommodation, the Khwai Experidtions Camp offers all meals, drinks, and game reserves. Located on a gorgeous facility with a patio with incredible views, including wild animals come to visit.

DAY 7 Botswana Self-Drive Safari: Okavango Delta Safari

I didn’t sleep very well, as the animals are very active at night around this area. I could hear lions and hippos, and I saw a couple of hyenas searching my campsite for food at night. The only thing the hyena found and decided to take with her was my sneakers…ha!

EXPLORE THE XAKANAKA REGION

After spending 2 nights at the Khwai Campsite, I moved on to another camping in the Okavango Delta, Xakanaka – so I could explore different areas.

The drive to Xakanaka took around 2-hours and it was also very challenging. The roads are rutted and winding. During the rains, it is almost impossible to drive, with some very deep waterholes on the road and the journey can take up to 4-hours.

The game reserve in this area is phenomenal – but a day doing a self-driving safari is exhausting – the vegetation is very dense and there are a lot of dead trees on the ground. Also, there are so many holes with water and mud, which makes the driving very challenging if you are trying to spot animals, take pictures, and drive. 

After a whole day of self-drive safari –  with a 1-hour break for a nap under a tree in the middle of the day – time to go back to the camp, cook dinner, and get some rest. 

While I was cooking, a hippo crossed right in front of me which left me speechless for a few minutes – “What was it? a hippo!?” Yes, it was a hippo!

Self-drive safari Botswana

DAY 8 Botswana Self-Drive Safari: Okavango Delta

Spend the morning driving at xakanaka.

\My day 8 of my self-drive safari in Botswana was spent driving around the Xakanaka area. 

Xakanaxa occupies a narrow strip of land surrounded by marshes and lagoons . At night you can easily hear the animals, especially elephants, or be serenaded by hippo grunts. 

This area is one of few offering a year-round land and water game-viewing experience, possible to explore by car or powerboats.

On a day of safari in this area , it is easy to spot a large variety of animals such as elephants, buffalo, hyena, giraffe, hippo, wildebeest, kudu, lechwe, and if you are lucky, lion and leopard, among many others.

botswana travel map

DRIVE TO THE THIRD BRIDGE

After lunch, I head to my next camping destination, Third Bridge Campsite.

In a dry season, it is an easy drive but there was very deep sand after the 2nd bridge. Got to the camping, and this was my favorite campsite in Botswana because the location is absolutely gorgeous, just by the river and the wildlife is very abundant here. 

TOP TIP: Make sure you pack lots of water, as you will be very isolated in this part of Botswana. I thought I had enough water, but with the hit and humidity, I ran out of water 2 days earlier than I had planned and I had to boil water from the Okavango Delta to drink. It is smart to also pack some portable water filters.

borders of Botswana

I spent 2 nights at the Third Bridge Campsite . This campsite was my favorite during my self-drive in Botswana. It is an excellent choice as there are so many options for game drives and there is always animal activity in camp. There is a boat station at the camping site, making water activities extra options. Booking is through Xomae

DAY 9 Botswana Itinerary : Water Safari at Okavango Delta

1. morning safari at third bridge.

I spent the last day of my self-drive safari in Botswana doing the best thing you can do in Botswana: safari. The wildlife in this section of Okavango Delta is incredible for safari, and you feel all the time that you are truly amongst the wildlife.

At lunchtime, I was back at the campsite to skip the mid-day sun and cool down in the shade of the trees, while cooking lunch. When a herd of elephants had the same idea and I had to share my shade with them. It was a magical moment, and one of the highlights of my trip to Botswana. 

botswana travel map

2. Water Safari at Okavango Delta

I took the afternoon to do a water safari and it was just incredible, I strongly recommend if you are visiting the Okavango Delta to go on water safari, as you will have a different view and will see so many different animals. I had the chance to visit the Hippo Pool, which is a lagoon with hundreds of hippos.

While on a water safari at Okavango Delta, it is the best option for bird-watching too. The tour took longer than planned – around 4 hours – because our boat broke and we had to ask for help.

In the evening, my campsite got visited by many hyenas and I spent my last night camping in Botswana and hearing the lions roaming. Absolutely fascinating!

Okavango Delta wild safari

DAY 10 Botswana Itineray: Return Back to Namibia

I woke up very early (as usual) and spent a few hours driving around on a self-drive safari before heading back to Namibia. 

I saw a large variety of animals just around the campsite, and I started to feel sad to leave Botswana. I certainly had one of the best trips of my life. Just being in the wild, surrounded by majestic animals, and enjoying the solitude of incredible nature. I truly recommend doing a self-drive safari in Botswana as once in a lifetime adventure. 

The drive back to Namibia was long but safe. The road conditions are mostly well-paved the whole way. 

I stopped for an overnight in Ghazni, as it was dark and it is not recommended to drive in the dark because of the wildlife on the roads. If you don’t have an extra day, I would recommend skipping the morning safari in Botswana and starting to head back to your departure destination. 

I spent another day and night in Namibia before I headed back home, as this was a great farewell from my amazing Africa trip! You can read here my full Namibia Itinerary if you are looking to combine your trip or continue your Africa Trip.

wild safari in Botswana

BONUS SECTION: The Unique Tourism in Botswana

Botswana has a very unique tourism industry, based on a sustainable tourism model. Botswana relies on a  low volume high revenue tourism strategy , and it serves as an example all over Africa and the Planet. In other words, it is not cheap to visit Botswana!

The business model in Botswana helps the local economy and assists with keeping balance in the fragile ecosystem and controlling the number of tourists. Higher prices help to support this sustainable system of tourism in Botswana.

TRAVEL BOTSWANA INDEPENDENTLY: If you choose to travel independently to Botswana, keep in mind that the planning will take time and (a lot of) patience. It took me about 3 months of hard work to plan my itinerary in Botswana, especially, to be able to book all the campsites. Communication with Botswana is challenging and it may take days, or even weeks to answer back to you. Plus, consider that you will be driving in very remote and isolated areas. You will need to have some basic mechanical skills (changing tires), and expertise in driving off-road (mud, deep sand, crossing water, etc.).

TAILOR-MADE TRIP IN BOTSWANA: A popular alternative to visiting Botswana is to hire an expert local company. They can incorporate any destination into your travels or even any animal species that you hope to see. You can create a bespoke itinerary, and design your ultimate safari to match your interest, budget, and travel dates. I highly recommend Wild Wonderful World , as they put together incredible itineraries, and part of the profits are used on amazing conservation efforts in Africa

I have great news for my readers, I used and I recommend Wild Wonderful World – I partnered with them to offer a discount to you! Just sign in below to receive a discount code directly in your email.

Botswana safari at Savuti

Botswana Self-Drive Safari | Trip Planning Resources

Planning a trip to botswana.

If you are going to travel to Botswana, pre-planning, researching, and understanding what you are looking for in a destination will help make your travels far more successful and safe. Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your Botswana self-drive safari itinerary.

For planning my trip to Botswana I used the Lonely Planet guidebook, which contains helpful information.

Best Time to Visit Botswana

The best time to visit Botswana is during the dry season between May and October when you can expect warm, sunny days (22°C-35°C) and chilly nights. This is also when the water levels in the Okavango Delta are at their highest, creating the waterways and channels Botswana is famed for.

The green season – from November to April –  is a great time to travel if you don’t mind the odd shower. Visitor numbers and prices are lower, the scenery pops with verdant foliage, and animals give birth to their young.

Botswana camping safari

What to Pack for a self-drive safari in Botswana

You want to pack light….but at the same time, you will be so remote for many days that you will want to pack heavy. So, let me help you PACK SMART! 

  • GPS and a good Botswana map . 
  • Extra flashlights and batteries 
  • A well-equipped First Aid kit (including a snake bite kit)
  • Rehydration solution
  • Satellite phone
  • Inflatable LED Solar Lantern. 
  • Bring a warm blanket for cold nights.
  • Camera and safari lens
  • Toilet paper
  • light hiking pants
  • long sleeves shirts
  • good face cover
  • polarized sunglasses
  • Hand sanitizer
  • LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle and Emergency water supply
  • External battery charger

PACK SMART ALERT!

If you are planning to carry a backpack for your trip to Botswana, I have compiled a very detailed review of the Best Backpacks for Travel in the market today – Also, I recommend bringing a waterproof jacket for your trip, check my complete review guide on the Top Jackets for Travel and pack smart!

Airports in Botswana

Botswana’s main airport is  Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) , located 11km/7miles north of Gaborone, the capital.

If you are flying from South Africa, you can take a direct flight from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) , Johannesburg, or Cape Town International Airport (CPT) .

It is also common to fly into Maun Airport (MUB) and  Kasana Airport (BBK) . When combining a safari in Botswana with a visit to Victoria Falls, it is common to fly into Maun and depart from  Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) in Zimbabwe or  Livingstone Airport (LVI) in Zambia.

Borders of Botswana

Botswana is bounded by  Namibia  to the west and north (the Caprivi Strip),  Zambia  and  Zimbabwe  to the northeast, and  South Africa  to the southeast and south. The Zambezi River border with Zambia is only several hundred yards long. The point at which the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet in the middle of the river has never been precisely determined.

Chobe nacional park

Price to Travel to Botswana

When you travel to Botswana you can easily spend 1,000 to 2,000 Dollars per day/ person. This kind of money will bring you to some of the most exclusive lodges, and to areas that aren’t accessible any other way, including private flights to the lodges. Of course, you can plan your self-drive safari in Botswana and save tons of money – which will force you to do a lot of planning yourself. 

Prices below are the average for 10-day for 2 people (it doesn’t include international flights):

Accommodation in Botswana

Keep in mind that booking wild campsites in Botswana is extremely challenging and requires lots of patience and persistence.

I have done all the work and wrote this very detailed guide for Camping in Botswana – with all the best options for accommodations.

The campsites in Botswana are run by different private operators, The gates and reception have booking agents, but I strongly advise you to reserve your accommodation before your trip to Botswana, as the number of campsites is limited. You will be turned away if no space is available, and you will have a long trip back to the nearest town.

Things in Botswana move much more slowly than I am used to. The booking in Botswana is a very manual process, still, carbon copy receipt based rather than Internet bookings. Please read everything you should know before you go camping in Botswana before you make any reservations. 

If you are planning to stay at lodges, Booking.com  is the best option as it is a reliable source and they have a 24-hour cancellation policy that I have used several times.

Botswana camping under the stars in the remote camping

Renting a car in Botswana

You will need to have a 4×4 vehicle to go on a self-drive safari in Botswana , either if you decide to go with a tour operator, or if you decide to go on an independent adventure.

Request a quote and save on your rental car when you book through this site. I use and recommend Discover Cars because it is the most reliable rental car source, and it allows you to compare the prices of different places.

Botswana self-drive safari

Self-driving in Botswana

Self-driving in Botswana can be a challenge depending on your level of experience but also depending on the season.

I recommend you rent a fully equipped 4×4 car, preferably with a GPS with camping sites and other important GPS coordinates pre-programmed. This will help guide you to stay on track and be able to orientate yourself, ensuring your drive will be a safe one for you and your close ones.

You can always ask one of our staff members for advice on what routes are recommended at the moment since this might change from one part of the year to another. Remember; in the African bush anything is possible so coming prepared and aware are factors that can help your drive be a successful one that will give you, your friends, and family memories for life.

Additional Tips for your Self-Drive Safari in Botswana

  • Currency: The local currency in Botswana is Pula. They widely accepted South African Rand. You can use an ATM in one of the main towns. Always carry money with you, as most places do not accept credit cards.
  • Fuel:  on long drives pick up fuel regularly in the major towns as there can be long distances between stations.
  • Supplies:  Snacks and drinks are available at most of the fuel stops and the bigger towns had a well-stocked Spar Supermarket. 
  • Maps/GPS: Download maps onto your phone which can be accessed offline. Also, keep a paper map in the glove box just in case!
  • SIM cards:  it’s easy to pick up a pay-as-you-go SIM in the airports as well as in local mobile network stores.
  • Internet: If you are planning to go on a mobile camp safari, note that you won’t have access to the internet. I spent 10 days in Botswana without internet access. 

Travel Insurance for your trip

I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. 

World Nomads Travel Insurance  has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers. Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!

Savuti Camp

Botswana Self Drive Safari Conclusion

This is my very detailed Botswana Self Drive Safari Itinerary, and I hope this can help you to plan your Botswana Trip!

I have done other safaris in Africa before, but Botswana surpassed my high expectations. Nature, the diversity of wildlife, and the hospitality in Botswana made it an incredible trip.

Botswana is not a cheap destination to visit, therefore if you want to visit on a budget just like me, be prepared to have to start planning your trip well in advance in order to book your accommodation (good luck with that!), book your car and start to study the maps, since you will be driving on very remote and isolated areas. You need at least to feel somehow familiar with the region you will be driving. 

I truly recommend anyone to go on a trip to Botswana, and if you are convinced, continue reading as I prepared the whole BOTSWANA TRIP PLANNING section here for you!

Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your  trip:

  • 21-Days Namibia and Botswana Self-Drive Road Trip Itinerary
  • Namibia self-drive road trip Itinerary
  • 28 Things you need to know before you go Camping in Botswana
  • The Best Camping Safari in Botswana

This is the ultimate Botswana self-drive safari itinerary for a 10-day road trip in Botswana

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28 thoughts on “the ultimate botswana self-drive safari itinerary: a complete travel guide + map”.

Such an amazing drive and so impressed you did a self drive! I visited here on tour and it was such an amazing country!!!

Wow! What an amazing experience! I totally would love to do this one day and I like how detailed your blog post is. Hoping to go in the near future. 🙂

This drive looks amazing! I’m always hearing that Botswana is one of the best places to experience Safari in Africa, moreso than the typical Kenya or Tanzania. I can’t wait to plan a visit! Thank you for sharing.

This is such a complete post with its itinerary and other details that nobody would want anything else! Thank you very much for this. It’s just a matter of time, and people would start traveling again. 🙂

This is so cool! Beautiful photos and Botswana sounds like a great experience for a self drive safari. Botswana just got a place on my list on where to take an safari in Africa.

What a great self drive adventure through Botswana and such a detailed post. BTW, I never look as lovely and glamorous as you when I have traveled through parts of Africa! 😉 I normally end up being covered in dust.

These pictures make me want to go on safari!!! I can’t believe you drove over that bridge. What an amazing adventure.

Absolutely stunning pictures and amazing itinerary. I can’t imagine how much work went into planning this trip but I’m sure it’s helping many others interested in taking a similar adventure in the future!

Wow! what a great and detailed post! Oh how I would love to visit Botswana and do a self-driving tour

HI Marika, I hope that one day you get to go on a self-drive in Botswana. It is so incredible and unique, a real adventure.

What nice feedback Michelle, thank you so much. Yes, it was a lot of work planning as I couldn’t find much information for an independent trip to Botswana and the booking process was a lot of planning and hard work to be able to schedule.

I know, right?! Ha… That bridge. Now looking at my pictures and remembering all the adventures I went through during this trip, is insane and I am so thankful I only had some minor problems with this trip.

I love it Alma…haha…believe me, I was so dirty on these pictures too. My hair is always braided for a reason, and my boots were so dirty and dusty at the end of the trip that I didn’t even want to pack them back in my backpack. I am so glad you enjoyed this post.

HI Cosette, thanks for reading and I am so glad you enjoyed this itinerary. I so hope you get to travel to Botswana, you will absolutely love it.

Thank you so much for your kind comment, I hope this itinerary helps a lot of people who dream about self-drive independent to Botswana. I cannot wait to be able to travel safely again.

Hi Jade, glad you enjoyed this post. Oh, Botswana is simply incredible for safari and you really feel that you are super isolated the whole time, only sharing the wild with the gorgeous animals. It is just an incredible feeling.

Thanks Taylor, glad you enjoyed it. I so hope you get to go to Botswana too.

The self-drive is not an easy task in Botswana, that is the reason I was honest to say that I don’t recommend it unless you have great off-road skills and some mechanical. I am sure you had an amazing time in Botswana, it is amazing, isn’t it!?

Que fotos mais maravilhosos, que lugar de tirar o folego, acredito ter sido uma experiência única. Parabéns, o blog está ótimo, a viagem super detalhada e muito descritiva. Obrigada por com partilhar…

Obrigada Patricia e fico feliz que gostou desse artigo.

Hey Paula, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your adventure experience. I’m originally from Tanzania and now I live in New York now. I run a tour company here in the USA bringing American to Tanzania. Trying to expand my business to other parts of Africa and Botswana clicked my head from reading your self drive experience in Botswana!

Hello Protus, thanks for your comment and I am glad you found my article about Botswana. This place really holds a special place in my heart, and I cannot wait to go back to Africa. Tanzania is very high on my bucket list.

We are going in december and are very nervous about the road conditions between Kasane and Maun – would you be able to share some images of the worst parts you’ve crossed to give us an idea?

Hello – it will depend on the weather conditions, as you will be driving between towns and also, off-road. I got lucky because when I visited Botswana it was not raining and I could drive off-road to many “roads” where normally you cannot drive if it is raining. If you see my pictures, you will see a lot of deep sand where you can only drive if you have a 4×4 vehicle appropriate for off-road, but if you are driving during the rain, you will have to cross the same roads on the mud or even water ponds.

Thanks for all your research and your effort in documenting everything in detail! We have read everything and planned the entire self-drive safari according to your itinerary, only in reverse order (from Maun to Kasane). Do you have any tips on how to plan the individual days? How to explore a certain area around a camp? How to plan the boat trips? And do you still consider your itinerary perfect or would you have liked to stay longer or shorter in a particular camp/area?

Below is what we have booked for the fall:

Wednesday Maun Thursday South Gate Friday Third bridge (depending on availability) Saturday Third Bridge Sunday Xakanaka Monday Xakanaka Tuesday Khwai Wednesday Savuti Thursday Savuti Friday Mwandi Saturday sleep in Kasane, but explore Ihaha and Chobe river during the day

Hello Bastiaan – I am so glad to hear that my itinerary is helpful and you are using it to help to plan your trip. When I planned my trip to Botswana it took me around 3 months to put this itinerary together, as they are not a lot of information on the web, and there is no road to follow. Have you checked my other blogs about Botswana? I have great advice on how to explore each safari area, and also, how to plan your camping safari, in case you are camping along the way. Or if not, I also give great recommendations on places to stay. Check these other articles, and if you still have any questions, please let me know: https://www.paulapinstheplanet.com/botswana-safari-chobe-okavango-delta/ and this one should be good too https://www.paulapinstheplanet.com/botswana-camping-safari/

Hi Paula, I didn’t see your reply until now. Thanks for responding! We have read all your blogs on Botswana and have everything booked according to your itinerary (camps, vehicle, days at each location). Just one question we have is how to make the most of the day trips from the camps? Did you use local maps or did you randomly explore and hope to find good spots for game viewing?

Hello Batiann – That is so nice my blogs about Botswana helped you to plan your trip, it is not an easy task as it is remote and doesn’t have much information on Botswana on the web. Now, how you can make the most of your trips from the camps, buy a Lonely Planet book about Botswana (this is what I used and was very helpful) and I bought the maps at the entrance of the National Parks in Botswana where you can see main spots to visit and see wildlife. Other than that, just drive, drive, drive and you will see a lot anyways. It is very wild and the chances to see wildlife are high anyways.

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botswana travel map

Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. With a full 38 % of its total land area devoted to national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas travel through many parts of the country has the feeling of moving through an immense Nature wonderland. For the most part parks are unfenced, allowing animals to roam wild and free. 

Botswana is a rarity in our overpopulated, over-developed world. 

Experience the stunning beauty of the world’s largest intact inland Delta – the Okavango; the unimaginable vastness of the world’s second largest game reserve – the Central Kalahari Game Reserve; the isolation and other-worldliness of the Makgadikgadi – uninhabited pans the size of Portugal; and the astoundingly prolific wildlife of the Chobe National Park.

Botswana is the last stronghold for a number of endangered bird and mammal species, including Wild Dog, Cheetah, Brown Hyena, Cape Vulture, Wattled Crane, Kori Bustard, and Pel’s Fishing Owl. This makes your safari experience even more memorable, and at times you will feel simply surrounded by wild animals. 

The first – and most lasting impressions – will be of vast expanses of uninhabited wilderness stretching from horizon to horizon, the sensation of limitless space, astoundingly rich wildlife and bird viewing, night skies littered with stars and heavenly bodies of an unimaginable brilliance, and stunning sunsets of unearthly beauty. 

As more and more cultural tourism options are offered, you will be charmed by the people of Botswana, visiting their villages and experiencing first-hand their rich cultural heritage. But perhaps most of all, Botswana’s greatest gift is its ability to put us in touch with our natural selves.  

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Botswana is a huge country, known for its vast game reserves. The best game viewing areas are to the north and include the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pans National Park, Chobe National Park as well as the Kwando, Selinda, Linyanti and Savute regions. The vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve is also gaining popularity. Most visitors fly to Maun, via Johannesburg. You can also fly to Kasane or arrive by road via Victoria Falls or Livingstone.

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Moremi game reserve.

Moremi Game Reserve is one of Botswana's best Big Five wildlife destinations. The lodges in the Moremi Game Reserve typically offer a combination of 4x4 game drives and boat trips on the waterways of the Okavango Delta. Excellent land- and water-based game viewing and its close proximity to Maun make Moremi Game Reserve a wonderful Southern African safari destination.

Okavango Delta

There are few wild places on Earth that offer the same unique combination of spectacular wildlife, beautiful scenery, palm-fringed waterways, remote islands and vast unspoilt wilderness as Botswana's Okavango Delta. The Okavango swamps are formed by the annual flooding of the Okavango River, which opens into a vast life-giving oasis in Botswana's desert. The delta attracts huge numbers of wildlife due to the permanent water available here.

Chobe National Park

The Chobe National Park is one of the most popular game reserves in Botswana. Situated in the far north of Botswana, Chobe includes the Savute and Linyanti regions which are known for high concentrations of lion and elephant. However, Chobe is best known for the Chobe River floodplain, where herds upon herds of animals gather in the dry season between June and October. The game reserve is most easily accessed from Kasane, a town just to the east of the park on the banks of the Chobe River, close to the border with Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls.

Kasane town - gateway to Chobe

Maun - gateway to the okavango delta, makgadikgadi pans national park, savute channel, linyanti region.

This vast, unspoiled wilderness area in Botswana's northern region comprises the extensive Kwando/Linyanti River system. Game-rich and scenic, this area is more remote than some of the other game reserves in Botswana. It offers private, informal safaris without any of the restrictions of national parks. Expect night game drives, bush walks, off-road game drives, canoe and mokoro game viewing and even horseback riding safaris.

Nxai Pan National Park

You may also want to look at, 7 day best of kwando botswana safari.

Fly in by light aircraft and immerse yourself in Botswana's most productive game-viewing areas with six nights at Kwando's premier camps: Splash, Lebala, and Lagoon. All camps are situated in vast private concessions, offering a range of game-viewing activities. Kwando is renowned for its dedication to providing a high-quality, traditional safari experience, focusing on authentic bush encounters and unparalleled wildlife sightings

11 Day Botswana and Victoria Falls Safari

It is easy to combine Botswana and Victoria Falls. This trip idea combines four of Botswana's top safari destinations with two nights at Victoria Falls. The duration is flexible, and you can spend an extra night at any destination on this trip. Botswana has many excellent safari lodges, but we always recommend using ones in the same group or family so you can benefit from long-stay specials. This trip idea is based on Desert & Delta Lodges, which are reasonably priced and lie mainly in the national parks.

This price range is intended as an estimate only. The exact rate will depend on type of room, date of travel, and number of people. Please contact us to secure the best available rate for this property.

Need help with your trip?

Why not chat to one of our safari experts who can answer all your questions and help you design your dream trip to Africa.

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Travel Advisory February 26, 2024

Botswana - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Updated to include information on crime.

Exercise increased caution in Botswana due to crime.

Country Summary:  Crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are common in Botswana.  Potentially violent crimes, such as home invasions, break-ins, “smash and grabs” from vehicles stopped at intersections and from locked cars in shopping mall parking lots, cell phone thefts, and muggings are routinely reported to police.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Botswana.

If you decide to travel to Botswana:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the Country Security Report for Botswana.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

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Yes, if entering from yellow fever endemic countries.

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Embassy Drive, Government Enclave Gaborone, Botswana Telephone: +(267) 395-3982 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (+267) 373-2222 Fax: +(267) 318-0232 Email:   [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

On August 28, 2022 the Government of Botswana announced that the wearing of masks, proof of vaccination, and testing at port of entry for unvaccinated travelers is no longer required in Botswana. A negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) is not required and there are no health screening procedures at airports and other ports of entry.   

A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. U.S. citizens are permitted stays up to 90 days total within a 12-month period without a visa. The total stay permitted for each visit is recorded on the entry stamp by Botswana immigration officials and may be less than 90 days. Travelers who attempt to enter Botswana with a temporary passport  must have a visa to enter . Visas cannot be obtained upon arrival in Botswana, and U.S. citizens without a visa in a temporary passport will face fines and long administrative delays. 

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Botswana. However,  students beginning their studies  at the University of Botswana are required to take an HIV test.  

For additional information on entry requirements and the most current visa information, contact the  Embassy of the Republic of Botswana , 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, telephone (202) 244-4990/1, fax (202) 244-4164 or the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana to the United Nations, 103 E. 37th St., New York, N.Y., 10016, telephone (212) 889-2277, and fax (212) 725-5061. There are also honorary consuls in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. Travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location separate from their passport. Visit the  Embassy of Botswana’s webpage  for the most current visa information.  

Vaccinations:  A  yellow fever vaccination  certificate is required if entering from a country where yellow fever is endemic. The Government of Botswana does not require other vaccinations. See the  CDC’s web site  for additional information. 

Requirements for Minors Entering Botswana   

Botswana requires:  

  • a certified copy of the child’s unabridged birth certificate;  
  • a valid passport with at least 1 blank page per entry;  
  • a parental consent form from the parent or parents not accompanying the child.  

See the  Embassy of Botswana’s webpage  for complete details.  

Requirements for Minors Transiting South Africa   

South Africa requires:  

  • an unabridged birth certificate for minors traveling to or through South Africa;  
  • a parental consent form from the parent or parents not accompanying the child;  
  • at least two blank passport pages per entry. 

See  South Africa’s Country Specific Information  for further information.  

Residency Applicants and Document Certification for Botswana   

Original or certified copies of one’s birth and marriage certificates are required for residency applications, per Botswana’s Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs  website . U.S. citizens applying for residency in Botswana should have their birth and marriage certificates apostilled by the U.S. state where the documents were issued before coming to Botswana.  

Only the Secretary of State in the State where the birth or marriage certificates were issued is authorized to apostille those documents. A list of these authorities in each state can be found on the  Hague website . Teachers moving to Botswana to teach should contact the issuing educational institution registrar’s office to obtain certified copies of their transcripts.  

Please see also the  Department of State website   regarding the types of documents that can and cannot be authenticated by the U.S. Embassy.  

Find information on  dual nationality ,  prevention of international child abduction  and  customs regulations  on our websites.  

Safety and Security

CRIME:   Non-confrontational crime and crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are common. Home invasions, break-ins, “smash and grabs” from vehicles at intersections and from locked cars in shopping mall parking lots, cell phone thefts, and muggings - often at knife point, are routinely reported to police. Hotels and lodges are not immune from criminal activity. Visitors should remain alert and take reasonable precautions to safeguard personal property (particularly money and electronic equipment). Crime is also reported in game parks, nature reserves, and remote areas frequented by tourists. 

You should:  

  • avoid walking alone, particularly at night  
  • exercise caution near Kgale Hill (a popular hiking site) in Gaborone due to frequent criminal incidents; 
  • promptly comply if confronted by criminals as resistance may result in severe injury;  
  • avoid crowds, political rallies, and demonstrations;  
  • always maintain security awareness.  

Travelers arriving in Botswana via South Africa should be aware of serious and continuing baggage pilferage problems at OR Tambo (Johannesburg) and Cape Town International Airports. It is suggested that you:  

  • use an airport plastic wrapping service;  
  • avoid placing valuables in checked luggage;  
  • make an inventory of items in checked baggage to file claims if theft does occur;  
  • if asked to gate check a piece of hand luggage, transfer high value items and prescription drugs into a carry-on bag.  

Travelers transiting and staying overnight in Johannesburg before departing for Botswana should exercise vigilance when departing the airport as foreigners have been the victims of “follow home” robberies.  

Victims of Crime:   

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. 

Report crimes to local police at 999 and if American Citizen Services assistance is required, contact the U.S. Embassy at + (267) 395-3982. The Botswana Police Service is responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.  

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .  

We can:  

  • help you find appropriate medical care  
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police  
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent  
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms  
  • provide a list of local attorneys  
  • provide our information on  victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.   
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution  
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home  
  • replace a stolen or lost passport  

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. If you are at risk for bodily injury, contact the Botswana Police Service immediately for assistance 

Tourism:  The tourism industry in Botswana is unevenly regulated. Many tourism operators provide top quality equipment and facilities; however, authorities conduct annual safety inspections for equipment and facilities inconsistently. Hazardous areas/activities are often, but not always, identified with appropriate signage, and some staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available in the capital, Gaborone, and in the cities of Maun, Francistown, and Kasane. First responders are generally able to access areas outside of the capital and to provide medical treatment, however there may be delays reaching remote areas. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  

Some crimes are prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice  website.  

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.  

Arrest Notification:   If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our  webpage  for further information.  

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES   

Power and water:  Power outages can leave areas without electricity for several hours, and may affect home security systems, garage doors and gates, and kitchen equipment. Power surges may harm computers, televisions, or other electrical appliances. In times of drought, the Water Utilities Corporation may ration water.  

Game and Animal Trophies:  Botswana strictly enforces its laws controlling trade in animal products, often by means of spot checks for illegal products on roadways or at airports. Violators are subject to arrest and may face a penalty of up to five years imprisonment and substantial fines. Unwitting U.S. citizens have been arrested and prosecuted under this law.  

  • Hunting in public and privately controlled areas is not permitted.  
  • It is illegal to possess or remove any living or dead animal or animal trophy (any horn, ivory, tooth, tusk, bone, claw, hoof, hide, skin, hair, feather, egg, or other durable portion of an animal) without a government permit.  
  • Travelers departing the country with a trophy must have a receipt from a store licensed to sell such items.  
  • Ivory and endangered rhinoceros horn products may not be removed from the country under any circumstances.  
  • Elephant hair jewelry may be removed only with the appropriate license from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.  

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:  

  • Faith-Based Travel Information   
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports  
  • Human Rights Report  – see country reports  
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers   
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad   

LGBQTI+ Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Botswana.   

In November 2021, the Botswana Court of Appeals ruled to officially decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity. There are no reports of police targeting persons suspected of same-sex sexual activity. There is stigma and discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons particularly in villages and rural areas outside the capital. LGBTQI+ travelers should exercise caution with regard to public displays of affection.  

See   our  LGBTI Travel Information   page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report  for details.  

Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Botswana prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. The most common types of accessibility may include accessible facilities, information, and communication/access to services/ease of movement or access. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. 

The government mandates access to public buildings and transportation for persons with disabilities, but civil society sources report access for persons with disabilities is limited. Many privately owned buildings and business, and older government buildings remain inaccessible. The law does not specifically include air travel with other modes of transportation but in general, persons with disabilities are provided access to air transportation.  

Students:   See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .  

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for  Women Travelers . 

For emergency services in Botswana, dial 999 for the Police, 998 for Fire, and 992 for Ambulance (MRI).  

Ambulance services are: 

  • widely available but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.  

Adequately equipped private medical facilities, emergency rooms, and trained physicians are available in Gaborone for simple medical problems but services are rudimentary elsewhere. Ability to pay for care must be established before you will receive medical care. More advanced care is available in South Africa. Many South African manufactured prescription drugs are available in Gaborone, although there have been recent shortages of routine prescription drugs.  

Avoid drinking tap water and ice made from tap water. Many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe to drink.  

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.  

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on overseas insurance coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.   

We strongly recommend  supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation.  

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Botswana Medicines Regulatory Authority to ensure the medication is legal in Botswana.   

Check with the government of  Botswana   to ensure the medication you are carrying is legal in Botswana. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.  

The following diseases are present:  

  • HIV   
  • Malaria  (only in the north of the country)  
  • Tuberculosis   
  • Leptospirosis   
  • Schistosomiasis  
  • African Tick-Bite Fever 
  • Chikungunya   (very rare) 
  • Dengue  (rare) 
  • Hantavirus (very rare)  
  • Hepatitis A 
  • Hepatitis B   
  • Measles 
  • Rabies   
  • Typhoid  
  • Yellow Fever  (rare) 

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations  recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Further health information:   

  • World Health Organization   
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health  (CDC)  

Health facilities in general:   

Adequate health facilities are available in Gaborone and other major cities but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.     

Hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.    

Generally, in public hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.   

Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals.  

Psychological and psychiatric services are limited, even in the larger cities, with hospital-based care only available through government institutions      

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery: 

  • Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. People seeking health care overseas should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on Medical Tourism.    
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on Medical Tourism, the risks of medical tourism, and what you can do to prepare before traveling to Botswana.   
  • We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.
  • Although Botswana has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities thatare on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you plan to undergo surgery in Botswana, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and professionals are accredited and qualified.    

Pharmaceuticals:    

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.     

Non-Traditional Medicine:  U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died while seeking medical care from non-traditional “healers” and practitioners in Botswana. Ensure you have access to licensed emergency medical facilities in such cases.   

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:  Although surrogacy agencies/clinics claim surrogacy is legal in Botswana, there is no legal framework for foreigners or same-sex couples to pursue surrogacy in Botswana. As a result, surrogacy agreements between foreign or same-sex intending parents and gestational mothers are not enforced by Botswana courts.   

Water Quality:  In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.   

Adventure Travel   

  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel .   

General Health Language:    

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mosquito repellents, sleep under insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets, and wearing protective clothing in certain areas . Chemoprophylaxis is recommended for travelers going to certain areas of Botswana take prescription medicine to prevent malaria, even for short stays.  
  • HIV/AIDS: Botswana has high HIV prevalence. Travelers are at low risk unless they engage in risky practices, such as unprotected sex or sharing needles. Prevention information is available at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health/HIV .   
  • There have recently been shortages of routine medications reported throughout Botswana.   
  • Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in Botswana.    

Air Quality:

  • Infants, children, and teens  
  • People over 65 years of age   
  • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.   
  • People with heart disease or diabetes   
  • People who work or are active outdoors   

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Roads in major population centers are generally good but rural roads can be in poor condition. Traffic lights and streetlamps often do not work properly. Approach traffic lights with caution as opposing traffic frequently continues well after a red light. The combination of long stretches of two-lane highways without shoulders or lights, high speed limits, free-range domestic animals, intoxicated drivers, and large numbers of pedestrians and hitchhikers in the roadways make fatal accidents a frequent occurrence, especially on weekends and end-of-month Friday paydays.  

Traffic Laws:  Traffic circulates on the left in Botswana. A valid international driver’s license, along with vehicle registration documents, is required to drive in Botswana and drivers should always carry them. Traffic accidents should be reported to the Botswana Police Service.  

Public Transportation:  Local citizens travel around and out of Gaborone in low-cost, cash-only “combis” and taxis that are typically flagged down on the roadside. Tourists do not typically take combis. Taxis are generally safe and can be arranged through hotels or at the airport. Scheduled coach bus service is available between Botswana and South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia and is generally a safe mode of transport. Internal bus services, typically used by local citizens, link many towns and villages across Botswana.  

See our  Road Safety page  for more information.

Visit the website of  Botswana’s national tourist office   and national authority responsible for road safety 

Aviation Safety Oversight:   As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered Botswana, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Botswana’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s safety assessment page . 

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Botswana .  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the  International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA )  report.

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Botswana travel advice

Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.

Last updated: July 4, 2024 08:29 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, botswana - take normal security precautions.

Take normal security precautions in Bostwana

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Petty crime

Pickpocketing, theft and “smash and grab” robberies occur.

Theft of parked cars or their contents occurs. Thieves also reach into vehicles, including taxis, stopped at red lights to steal belongings.

  • Keep car doors locked, windows up and your belongings out of sight
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Store valuables and important documents in a hotel safe
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence and carrying large sums of cash

Violent crime

Violent crime, residential break-in and carjacking do occur, but tourists are rarely targeted.

  • Be vigilant at all times
  • Avoid walking alone after dark, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

National parks and wildlife

Travel to and within national parks is generally safe. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, however, and take your safety seriously in national parks. In general, there are no guides provided when you enter a park on your own.

Wildlife areas are not always fenced and there are few warning signs. Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range.

  • Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice
  • Don’t walk alone or unescorted after dark because of the threat from nocturnal predators, particularly lions, hyenas and leopards
  • Don’t swim in rivers or lakes, to avoid catching potential water-borne diseases and possible wildlife attacks, particularly from crocodiles and hippopotamuses
  • Share your itinerary with a family member or friend
  • If you leave the camp area, notify a family member or friend of when you expect to be back to camp
  • Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • Buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • Obtain detailed information on designated routes before departure
  • Use a GPS navigation system, if possible

Travel insurance

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.

Road conditions are generally good in urban areas, but dangerous outside major centres.

Drivers can sometimes be extremely aggressive and/or reckless. Driver fatigue also poses hazards, particularly at night.

Pedestrians and livestock can often be found walking on the sides of roads, including on major highways. This is particularly the case in Chobe district, Ghanzi, Okavango Delta, Pandamatenga and the Savuti area.

Conditions in the desert and in remote areas are harsh.

  • Don’t undertake travel to remote areas without a guide
  • If travelling to remote areas, plan in advance
  • If travelling to remote areas, ensure that you travel in a four-wheel-drive vehicle that is well-equipped with provisions, fuel and water

Reliable private roadside assistance - Medical Rescue International -Botswana

Public transportation

Hotel transportation.

Some hotels operate a minibus service between Sir Seretse Khama International Airport and Gaborone. Verify whether your hotel provides this service and reserve the transfer in advance. You can rent a vehicle at the airport in Gaborone.

In major towns, taxis are generally safe, but the fare should be determined before departure.

There are reliable buses for long-distance journeys to Harare, Zimbabwe; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Lusaka, Zambia. These buses depart from the main bus rank in Gaborone.

Mini buses to Johannesburg leave at hourly intervals from Gaborone’s main bus rank. Long-distance buses normally leave in the early hours, around 6 a.m. For reliable transportation to Johannesburg from Gaborone, you must book at least one day before the travel date.

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Botswana authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date you expect to leave Botswana.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

If you stay in the country for more than 90 days, you must request an extension from local immigration authorities.

  • Children and travel

Travelling by air

Both parents travelling with child under 18

Parents travelling with children under the age of 18 must show the child’s unabridged birth certificate.

One parent travelling with child under 18

If only one parent is travelling with the child, you must show the child’s unabridged birth certificate, as well as a valid passport. You must also produce a sworn affidavit from the other parent (as registered on the birth certificate) authorizing you to enter or depart Botswana with the child.

Parent(s) who are widowers or travelling with adopted children under 18

You may be subject to additional requirements. Contact the High Commission for the Republic of Botswana before travelling with children to verify the latest requirements.

Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada

Travelling by road

Be aware of specific regulations for travel with children under the age of 18. Consult the South Africa Travel Advice and Advisories for more information.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024
  • Polio: Advice for travellers - 3 July, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.  

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country. Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult .

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and r ural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)   is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities and supplies are limited outside major centres. Private facilities may request proof of insurance or advance payment before commencing treatment. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury. 

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Identification

You must carry photo identification, such as a photocopy of your passport. Keep another photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Botswana.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Botswana, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Botswana.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Botswana by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Botswana to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance

Illegal and restricted activities

Illegal drugs.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect harsh punishments, including mandatory minimum jail sentences.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Prior permission is required to import firearms and munitions.

Pornographic material

Possession of pornographic material is illegal.

Photographing military and government installations

It’s prohibited to take photographs of military and government installations. Always ask permission before photographing individuals.

Removal of any animal from Botswana

Botswana law strictly regulates the sale, possession or removal from the country of any animal (dead or alive). You must obtain a government permit or a receipt from a licensed shop.

The law also applies to animal trophies, including a horn, tooth, tusk, bone, claw, hoof, hide, skin, hair, feather, egg or any other durable portion of an animal, processed or not. It is strictly prohibited to remove elephant hair, ivory and rhinoceros horn products.

Upon departure, you will need to present a receipt from a licensed store for all souvenirs.

Traffic drives on the left.

Failure to obey traffic signs, driving while intoxicated or not being in possession of a valid driver’s licence may result in arrest and heavy fines.

You should carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Botswana law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Botswana.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

The currency in Botswana is the pula (BWP).

If carrying at least P10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies when crossing a Botswanan border control point, you must make a declaration to customs.

Many hotels and lodges accept major foreign currencies. They may apply a high surcharge.

There are two seasons in Botswana: summer (September to April), with frequent rains and thunderstorms, and winter (May to August), with cold and dry days and nights.

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 999
  • medical assistance: 997
  • firefighters: 998

Consular assistance

Botswana, Malawi

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Zimbabwe in Harare and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

IMAGES

  1. mytouristmaps.com

    botswana travel map

  2. Map of Botswana

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  3. Botswana tourist map

    botswana travel map

  4. Map of Botswana (Overview Map/Regions) : Worldofmaps.net

    botswana travel map

  5. Botswana Travel Guide

    botswana travel map

  6. Botswana Map

    botswana travel map

COMMENTS

  1. Botswana Map

    Detailed map of Botswana showing the location of all major national parks, game reserves, regions, cities and tourism highlights! ... Botswana Travel Guide; Map; All Countries & Parks All Botswana Pages. Botswana Safaris. Botswana Travel Guide Map. 4.8/5 - 370 Reviews. 474 Botswana Safaris. Botswana. Overview; Parks & Reserves ...

  2. Botswana travel

    Khutse Game Reserve. Botswana. This 2500-sq-km reserve, which is an extension of the southern boundary of the CKGR, is a popular weekend excursion for Gaborone residents, but it's still…. View more attractions.

  3. Botswana Map

    This Botswana map shows the location of all the best safari lodges and destinations including Okavango Delta, Moremi, Chobe, Savute, Linyanti, Tuli Block, Makgadikgadi Pans and the Central Kalahari. Click to open a detailed PDF map of Botswana. This Botswana map highlights all the best safari destinations including Okavango Delta, Moremi, Chobe ...

  4. Botswana map & itineraries

    Botswana map & itineraries. Botswana has some of Africa's last remaining largest tracts of true wilderness, making for superb wildlife viewing as well as some exceptionally long drives. The Kalahari blankets around 70 percent of the country, so you will get your fair share of sand, savannah and scrubland. Save time by flying directly into ...

  5. Map of Botswana

    Maps of Botswana: two styles. Take a look at the satellite map of Botswana, below, and the geography of northern Botswana is thrown into graphic relief. Even at this scale, the dramatic sweep of the Okavango Delta, fanning out from the broad Panhandle as it enters the country in the north-west, stands out against the surrounding, largely arid ...

  6. Botswana Popular Routes (Incl. Map)

    Northern Botswana (1 to 2.5 weeks) . After a stopover in Johannesburg, you'll arrive at Maun Airport, the entry gate to northern Botswana and the Okavango Delta. Destinations: Okavango Delta (2 to 5 days) is the place to see wildlife on a game drive or in a mokoro (dugout canoe); Moremi Game Reserve (2 to 5 days) is Big Five territory and the place to visit for exciting game drives

  7. Botswana

    Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, completely surrounded by five countries: Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Botswana is a true gem among African nations, boasting a remarkable level of wealth and tranquility that few other countries on the continent can match. With its high standard of living and extremely ...

  8. Tourist map of Botswana

    Description: This map shows cities, towns, roads, tourist attractions and sightseeings in Botswana.

  9. Botswana Travel Maps

    Browse our collection of Botswana travel maps to find tour & itinerary ideas for your Botswana trip. Itineraries include: Botswana Safari: Chobe & Okavango Delta - 5 Days, Ultimate Safari in Botswana & Zimbabwe - 14 Days, Delta & Chobe Trail, Botswana, Zimbabwe -7 Days, Botswana - Okavango,

  10. Map of Botswana

    Travel Guide; Map of Botswana; Map of Botswana. See a detailed map of Botswana, and see the relationships between the desert and the Delta, the Salt Pans and Chobe National Park. Selecting a Camp By clicking the icon of a particular lodge or camp, you will be able to see and read about what's on offer.

  11. 19 things to know before visiting Botswana

    6. Travel solo outside of peak safari season, but don't drive alone. Solo supplements are often waived outside peak season, and this is the easiest time to nab a last-minute booking. The cheapest time to visit Botswana is between November and February, and you can still spot wildlife then.

  12. 3207 :: Botswana Map

    3207 :: Botswana Map. $14.95. • Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Travel Map. National Geographic's Botswana Adventure Map is expertly researched and contains an abundance of specialized content to meet the unique needs of adventure travelers, making it the perfect compliment to any tour book. The country is covered with unparalleled detail ...

  13. mytouristmaps.com

    Interactive travel and tourist map of Botswana: click on icons and writings on the map to open web links. The Okavango Delta, with its incredible biodiversity, is the symbol of one of the last unspoiled places on earth, a hidden treasure in the Kalahari desert. Population: 2.250.300. Area: 581.730 sq.km.

  14. The Perfect Self-Drive Botswana Itinerary for an Epic Safari Trip (15 days)

    Self-drive Botswana itinerary at a glance. Day 1: Arrive in Maun - camp at the Old Bridge Backpackers. Day 2: Drive to Moremi Game Reserve/Safari - Third Bridge Camp. Day 3: Safari on Moremi Game Reserve - camp at Third Bridge Camp. Day 4 & 5: Safari on Moremi Game Reserve - camp at Khwai North Gate. Day 6&7: Savuti/Chobe National Park ...

  15. The Ultimate Botswana Travel Guide (Updated 2021)

    Fast Facts about Botswana. Botswana power voltage is 230V 50Hz; Plug G. The Botswana currency is the Botswana pula and is around BWP to 1 USD. Beware of Chikungunya in Eastern Botswana, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This outbreak continues to affect parts, Africa.

  16. The Ultimate Botswana Self-Drive Safari Itinerary: A Complete Travel

    DAY 1 BOTSWANA SELF DRIVE: Arriving in Botswana. Let's start day 1 of my 10-day Botswana self-drive safari itinerary. I had spent the previous 10 days self-driving in Namibia and it is a great itinerary to combine Namibia and Botswana. I crossed the border to Botswana on the ground at the Ngoma border crossing in the Caprivi Strip.. I got my Botswana Visa at the border checkpoint.

  17. The Ultimate Botswana Travel Guide • The Blonde Abroad

    What To Expect. Language: English is the official business language of Botswana. Setswana is the national language, and there are over 20 dialects spoken by different tribes. Currency: The currency in Botswana is the Pula. 1 USD is equivalent to about 11 Pula. Many midrange and top-end hotels, lodges, and tour operators will also accept the U.S dollar.

  18. Welcome

    Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. With a full 38 % of its total land area devoted to national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas travel through many parts of the country has the feeling of moving through an immense Nature wonderland. For the most part parks are unfenced, allowing animals to roam wild and free.

  19. Map of Botswana

    Map of Botswana. Botswana is a huge country, known for its vast game reserves. The best game viewing areas are to the north and include the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pans and Nxai Pans National Park, Chobe National Park as well as the Kwando, Selinda, Linyanti and Savute regions. The vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve is ...

  20. Map of Botswana

    Map of Botswana. Detailed road and destination map of Botswana. Download a PDF document of this Map of Botswana. Toggle navigation. Enquire (current) Contact Us; Botswana Safari and Tour Packages. Customer Support; Tel: +27 21 424 1037; Fax: +27 21 424 1036; Contact by Mail; Business Hours;

  21. Botswana Travel Guide

    Botswana Travel Guide. National Geographic's latest travel stories about Botswana. Photograph by Robert Harding Picture Library, Nat Geo Image Collection.

  22. Botswana International Travel Information

    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  23. Travel advice and advisories for Botswana

    Contact the High Commission for the Republic of Botswana before travelling with children to verify the latest requirements. Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada. Travelling by road. Be aware of specific regulations for travel with children under the age of 18. Consult the South Africa Travel Advice and Advisories for more ...