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Practical information about Botswana

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about Botswana. Read about weather, visa, language and much more.

Practical information about Botswana

Practical information about Botswana

On this page you will find answers to frequently asked questions about Botswana. Read about weather, visa, language and much more.

1. Weather and wildlife in South Africa month by month

A large part of Botswana consists of desert. 70% of the country is covered by the Kalahari Desert, and the relatively high altitude of the country primarily gives it a subtropical steppe climate. A little rain does fall, however, though mostly in the north, where Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta are to be found. The climate is generally fairly stable all year round, so the country can on the whole be visited throughout the year.

Below, you can read a little more about what the weather is like during the year, and how it affects the wildlife:

The rainy season in Botswana

The period from November to March is Botswana’s summer and rainy season.

The season offers very high temperatures and a relatively high risk of rain and thunderstorms. However, the showers primarily fall in the afternoon.

The season offers a beautiful, dramatic play of colours in the sky as well as a lush, green landscape, making this the most photogenic time of the year in Botswana. What’s more, the rainy season is the perfect time to visit the country if you’re a bird lover. You have every chance of seeing both the migrating birds and resident birds that breed during this period.

The trees are quite leafy so it can sometimes be difficult to spot the animals during your safari. On the other hand, there are plenty of baby animals and lots of birds to look out for. The baby animals also attract predators such as lions, hyenas and leopards, which are on the look-out for easy prey.

November to December is the start of the rainy season, with the rain making a reappearance after the year’s dry season. These months offer high temperatures, especially during the daytime, so the rain is a relief to both animals and people who sweat and need water.

January to March are the last months of the rainy season, as well as the period when it rains most and for longer periods. Despite the high rainfall, it is still hot. In the northern part of the country, some of the area’s camps may be closed due to the rain.

The dry season in Botswana

The period from April to October is Botswana’s winter and dry season.

The season offers cloudless blue skies and virtually no rain. It is relatively hot during the day, but it can get chilly at night as well as in the morning and evening. So it’s a good idea to pack some warm clothes for this period.

The trees lose their leaves during this season, giving you a good chance of spotting the impressive wildlife.

April to May is the start of the dry season. The temperature drops slightly compared to earlier months, but it is still warm during the day. It is generally dry, though with some rain during April. Although officially the dry season, the landscape is still relatively green and lush after the rainy season.

June to August is high season for safari. Daytime temperatures are pleasant and rain is virtually non-existent. Some places are getting dry, which means that the animals are gathering around the water holes.

It is also at this time of the year that the water hits the world’s largest inland delta: The Okavango Delta Interestingly, the delta is not actually filled by the rainwater that falls in Botswana, but by the rainwater that falls over the mountains of Angola.

September to October is the end of the dry season. It starts to get hotter now as the rainy season is knocking on the door. However, it is still very dry, which means a really good chance of seeing animals gathering around the remaining water holes.

Weather statistics for the Okavango Delta:
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Average maximum temperature
32
31
31
31
28
25
25
29
32
35
34
32
Average minimum temperature
19
19
18
15
10
6
6
9
14
19
19
19
Rainfall mm
104
95
81
25
5
1
1
0
1
17
43
81
Weather statistics for Chobe National Park:
JAN
FEB
MAR
APR
MAY
JUN
JUL
AUG
SEP
OCT
NOV
DEC
Average maximum temperature
32
31
32
31
30
27
27
30
34
35
34
32
Average minimum temperature
21
20
20
18
14
11
10
13
17
21
21
21
Rainfall mm
158
133
80
17
1
1
0
0
0
22
63
151
2. Terms & Conditions

Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from africasafari.co.uk.  Click here to read our terms and conditions.

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

3. Travel insurance

We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.

In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.

4. Vaccinations

We always advise that you contact a specialist, your GP or an authorized vaccination clinic. You can also read more about the rules for travel & vaccinations at the central NHS Fit for Travel website: here

Please be aware of the rules about yellow fever – especially if you are entering via another African country.

5. Visa / Passport

No visa is required upon entry for British nationals for stays of 90 days or less, but your passport must be valid for 6 months after your return.

If, as a British national, you plan to visit Victoria Falls from Botswana or you land in Victoria Falls or Livingstone, you are required to have a visa for Zambia and/or Zimbabwe. You can apply for a visa at the Zambia High Commission and the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. Visas can also be purchased at the border. Remember to have cash (USD) ready for this.

Read more about rules and procedures to obtain a visa: http://zambiahc.org.uk/services/visa-application-6/ and http://www.zimlondon.gov.zw/index.php/consular-services/visa-requirements

Botswana – when travelling with children under the age of 18

As of 1 June 2015, new regulations have come into effect regarding entry into/transit in Botswana with children under the age of 18.

As a result, children (under the age of 18) now need to bring a copy of their birth certificate with them. This applies even though the child may be travelling with both parents. If the child is travelling with just one parent – or without either parent – then he/she must have written consent from his/her parent(s) in the form of official authorisation to travel, along with a copy of his/her birth certificate. This also applies regardless of any joint custody agreement.

If one of the parents is deceased, the other parent or the child must bring a copy of the relevant death certificate as well as a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

Please note that official authorisation to travel is only valid when authenticated by an official authority (Apostille).

Additional information

For additional information about the new entry regulations, see: http://www.nwivisas.com/nwi-blog/south-africa/new-immigration-regulations-for-parents-travelling-with-kids/

We abide by the Foreign Ministry’s recommendations and refer you to their website for further information.

For more information about your specific case, contact the South African Embassy. For details, see: http://southafricahouseuk.com/

Link to explanation of the Apostille stamp:

https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised

6. Flight reservations and airline tickets

We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport.  If you have any comments on the itinerary or find mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.

Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.

7. Service letter

Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.

So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.

8. Seat reservation, upgrades and extra legroom

The airline will assign you a seat on board the aircraft upon check-in. If you have specific wishes, you can make a seat reservation via the airline’s website. Most airlines have an area on their website named “manage my booking” or similar. Please note that most airlines require payment for a seat reservation, so it’s a good idea to have your payment card ready when starting a seat reservation. Airline seat reservations vary from company to company, but as a general rule, you can book seats from around 48 hours before departure.

Many airlines also offer upgrades with extra legroom or comfort seating, such as Economy Comfort with KLM and Premium Voyageur with Air France. You can check these details through the airline’s own website, along with payment information.

Please kindly note that airlines have full access to all seats on the aircraft and therefore always reserve the right to alter a reservation.

If you do not make a seat reservation before departure, the airline will issues your seating upon check-in at the airport.

9. Your luggage

We use many different airlines to Botswana, so it may vary how much you can carry in both your checked luggage and your hand luggage. See your airline ticket for information or contact us if you have any questions.

We recommend that you pack your things in soft bags when going on a safari holiday. It’s easier to pack the safari cars with soft bags than suitcases. Hardcase suitcases are particularly difficult to fit in to the safari car. So, if possible, avoid using suitcases with hard edges.

You should also make sure you carry all your important and indispensable things in your hand luggage. This applies to items such as passports, visas, airline tickets, insurance documents, credit cards, money and cameras, as well as information about your health and vital medicines.

The air conditioning on the plane can make it chilly, so have a windcheater in your hand luggage and perhaps also your safari hat.

10. Arrival / Departure

After passing through passport control, you will be greeted by a guide from BUSHTRACKS , which is our representative in Botswana. He will either stand with a sign displaying your name or a sign with our logo, which is a lion’s head. The guide will take you to the hotel and make an appointment with you in relation to when you will be picked up again for your return transfer. This transfer is included in your stay.

11. Currency

The local currency in Botswana is the Pula (BWP) – which also happens to mean “rain”. We recommend that you exchange to Pula in Botswana or take out some Pula at the cash machine on your arrival in Botswana. If you use BWP, use smaller banknotes as the locals can almost never change large banknotes. In local tourist stores, you can pay primarily pay with Pula and sometimes small dollar bills. At lodges, USD and occasionally Rand are more common. We recommend exchanging some money, so you have both Pula and USD with you.

12. Tipping

Tipping in Botswana is voluntary but naturally much appreciated. If you have received extraordinary treatment during your stay and wish to show your appreciation, it is perfectly OK to give a tip. Both USD and BWP are accepted.

13. Public holidays

It is always special to experience the traditions and celebrations of other countries. Below is a list of public holidays, important festivals and other special occasions.

Please note that some museums and attractions may be closed on these days.

 

14. Time difference

Botswana is an hour ahead of the UK.

15. Electricity

Most hotels and lodges receive electricity from their own generators. The standard voltage is 240 V and 3-pin plugs are used. We recommend that you bring an adapter as hotels do not always have adapters that they can lend to guests.

16. Important luggage to bring
  • Light summer clothing for safaris.
  • Smarter clothes for the evenings at the hotel and lodge, e.g. long trousers and long sleeve shirts that protect against mosquitoes after sunset and, if necessary, against the sun during the day.
  • Windcheater as it may be chilly in the morning and evening.
  • Summer footwear (e.g. trainers and cotton socks). Avoid bare feet and legs in the evening due to the mosquitoes.
  • Power strip with 3-4 sockets, so your shaver, mobile phone and camera batteries can be charged using a single adapter.
  • Small torch and extra batteries
17. Travellers with reduced mobillity

Please note, our tours are generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.

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