ARE THERE ANY HEALTH HAZARDS
Botswana’s warm, dry climate and low population density make it a healthy place to visit. It is advisable to take anti-malaria precautions, especially if you are visiting Chobe or the Okavango Delta. The camps and lodges in these areas usually provide mosquito repellants.
DO I NEED A VISA
Visitors from the European Union, most Commonwealth countries and the USA do not require visas. Visitors from other countries should check with Botswana embassies or consulates. Visas are initially granted for thirty days and may be extended for a total of three months. Visitors from Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka do require visas.
ARE THERE ANY DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM OVERSEAS
Currently there are no direct flights from overseas. Botswana is accessed through Johannesburg in South Africa, Windhoek in Namibia and Harare in Zimbabwe. Flights from these destinations to the main tourist towns take about one and half hour.
ARE THERE AGE RESTRICTIONS AT LODGES
Most do not have age restrictions, but some do. It is advisable to check before booking. If they do, it is likely they will not accept children below twelve years of age.
WHAT KIND OF VEHICLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR HIRE
Car rental companies offer the usual range of saloons. For safaris in the game reserves, you will need a four-wheel drive.
WHAT ARE THE ROADS LIKE
Botswana’s main roads are tarred and built to international standards. There are non-tarred roads that range from maintained gravel surfaces through to sand roads to bush tracks. The latter two will require four-wheel drive vehicles.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO SELF- DRIVES IN THE NATIONAL PARKS
It is possible. You will certainly need a four-wheel drive vehicle, a good map, and enough supply of fuel. It is advisable to be with a professional guide. The roads are very sandy and remote. It is always wise to have another vehicle around in case of emergencies.
IS FUEL WIDELY AVAILABLE
Yes. Both leaded and unleaded petrol is available in all cities, towns and in many large villages. Prices vary with distance from Gaborone. It is currently around P4.68 (USD 0.98)
The official language is English and Setswana is the national language.
Private sector: Monday to Friday 8am-5pm.
Government offices: Monday to Friday 7.30am4.30pm
Five main commercial banks operate in Botswana as well as a number of foreign exchange bureau. Banking hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am 3.30pm. Saturday 9.00am - 11.30am.
1 January: New Year's Day
2 January: Public holiday
March/April (variable): Good Friday and Easter Monday
1 May: Labour Day
Early May (variable): Ascension Day
1 July: Sir Seretse Khama Day
15 July: President's Day
30 September: Independence Day (and following day)
1 October: Public holiday
25 December: Christmas Day
26 December: Boxing Day