Botswana Fast Facts –
Botswana is a land-locked country situated in southern Africa. It borders South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Approximately two-thirds of the country lies within the Tropics.
Independence day: 30 September 1966
Government: Multi-party democracy
Time: GMT +2
Current Head of State: His Excellency Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama
Currency: Pula (BWP) is the official currency in Botswana. Currencies such as US Dollar, Euros, British Pound, and South African Rand can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and authorized hotels. ATMs accept foreign Visa cards, but are mostly found in larger towns and villages. Major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in major tourist destinations. However shops in remote areas across the country accept cash only.
Getting to Botswana: Airlines such as Air Botswana, South African Airways/Airlink, Kenya Airways and Air Namibia operates flights in and out of the country. Get more information direct from these airlines on their route schedules.
Weather: Botswana has four distinct seasons and each season offers delights for travellers. As a general guide you may expect the following weather patterns;
Autumn (April and May) are delightful months to visit marked by moderate temperatures and with average temperatures ranging from 15-31⁰Celsius.
Winter (June, July and August) marked by cloudless days and mild temperatures, with average temperatures ranging from 7-27⁰ Celsius. Landscapes begin to dry out, gradually fading from lush green to khakhi colours. In the northern region of Botswana flood waters begin to countless lagoons and streams.
Spring (September and October) are also delightful months to visit, however October is marked by hot temperatures and occasional rain showers, with average temperatures ranging from 20-40⁰ Celsius.
Summer (November, December and March) are summer months with average temperatures ranging from 16-32⁰ Celsius. These months border the rainy seasons (January and February).
Crime: Botswana remains relatively a safe place to visit or live. Normal precautions you would take anywhere else should be taken into consideration.
Health: Botswana is one of the healthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with good primary health care facilities available throughout the country. However, the following health precautions are advised.
Immunization: Immunization requirements vary from country to country and up-to-date information should be obtained from your local health department. It is each guest’s sole responsibility to ensure that he or she has had all necessary inoculations, immunizations and medications prior to departure.
Malaria prophylaxis with Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline is recommended for travel in Botswana. All guests must consult their own medical doctor or health authorities regarding the use of anti-malarial tablets prior to departure. It is the guest’s obligation to ensure that he/she is medically fit to participate in travel, as for walking activities at the water properties, a reasonable level of fitness is required.
Travel insurance: It is essential for visitors to remote areas of Botswana to have a comprehensive medical insurance policy, to provide coverage for the treatment of serious illnesses/accidents, and if required, medical evacuation. Personal effects insurance is also advisable.
Check that your insurance policy will be accepted by service providers in Botswana. Ensure that you are treated by licensed medical personnel to enable you to provide your insurance company with appropriate documentation and receipts.
VISAS: Visitors from the European Union as well as most Commonwealth countries and the USA do not require visas. However visitors from other countries is solely their responsibility to ensure that their passports, visas and any other travel documents are valid – check Botswana embassies or consulates near you before departure.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
As of the 01 October 2016 minors travelling through Botswana’s borders will be required to produce certified copies of unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports. In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.
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For full details of entry requirements for minors travelling to Botswana based on the parental situation please refer to the table below. These requirements are laid out as per the Botswana Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs and are a requirement for entry into the country. Without the correct paperwork you will be prohibited from traveling to into Botswana. For further information and assistance you we recommend you contact your local Botswana Embassy. Alternatively you can contact the relevant department on:
+267 3611339 and +267 3611310.