Botswana Travel Advise
There’s nothing like up-to-date, relevant travel information direct from the experts – get AFRICA JOY TOURS essential Botswana travel advice before you go.
Money & Spending
The national currency of Botswana is the Pula – a regionally strong currency – but the US dollar is widely accepted at lodges and hotels throughout the country. Major hotels have foreign exchange desks and most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept traveller’s cheques. All major credit cards are accepted at hotels, lodges, shops and restaurants. However, some establishments do not accept payment by Diners or American Express.
Full banking services are only available in Botswana’s major towns, but ATMs are becoming increasingly more common.
Banking hours: 8:30am to 3:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am to 11am on Saturday.
Provided the service is good, it is customary to tip lodge staff and guides in either Pula or any hard currency on your Botswana safari. The amount that you tip varies depending on the staff member’s role and the size of your group.
In city restaurants and bars, a 10% tip is customary when the service charge is not included.
For in-depth tipping guidelines, enquire with one of our Africa Safari Experts – they’d be happy to share their knowledge with you.
Average summer temperatures: 18°C to 38°C
Average winter temperatures: 6°C to 27°C
Rainy season: October/November to March/April
Refer to “best time to visit Botswana” for climate charts and details on the best wildlife-viewing times.
What to Pack
When packing for a Botswana safari, practicality is key. In the summer months, daytime temperatures can exceed 40°C, so shorts and t-shirts are best, with a longer shirt for protection against the sun if you burn easily. Choose clothing in neutral colours (try to avoid white) and wear lightweight long-sleeved clothing at night and in the early mornings to protect against mosquitoes.
During the cooler months it is best to layer up as the days are still warm and sunny but the night time temperatures can drop close to freezing point. Be sure to pack a thick fleece or jacket for early morning and evening game drives, which can be very cold.
Gaborone: you can fly to Sir Seretse Khama – Botswana’s main international airport – from Johannesburg but most safari-bound travellers skip it and fly directly to one of the two airports below.
Maun: regular flights from Johannesburg and Windhoek (via Victoria Falls) mean easy access to the Okavango Delta‘s gateway airport. You’ll transfer to light charter aircraft for your flight into the Delta.
Kasane: fly to Chobe‘s gateway from Johannesburg, Gaborone or Maun. You’ll transfer by road to lodges in the Chobe River area or smaller aircraft for safaris in Savute or Linyanti. Victoria Falls is less than 100km away by road.
Charter flights on small aircraft are the norm for getting from place to place in Botswana with transfers and game drives conducted in open-sided 4X4 vehicles. Transfers and game viewing by motor boat and mokoro (dug-out canoe) are common in the Okavango Delta.
Visa & Passport Requirements
Every visitor to Botswana must be in possession of a passport that is valid until six months after the initial date of travel; however, no visas are required by citizens of EU countries, most Commonwealth countries, the USA, South Africa, Switzerland, Israel and Norway.
Upon arrival you will receive a 30-day entrance stamp and, for those who plan on travelling onwards to Botswana’s neighbouring countries, visas for Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe can be obtained in Gaborone.