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.
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. The climate is generally fairly stable all year round, and the country can on the whole be visited throughout the year.
January–March: Rainy season in the north. Hot. Leaves on the trees can make safari difficult. Some camps in the north may be closed. Many animal youngsters and a lot of birds.
April–May: The temperature drops slightly. The landscape is green. Generally dry.
June–August: high season for safari. Chilly at night (it’s winter), hot during the day. Some places are getting dry, which means fewer leaves on the trees and the animals gather around the water holes. It is also now 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–October: Hotter, even drier, which means good chances of seeing the animals gathered around the water holes.
November–December: The rain returns. It is often hot but the rain occasionally brings relief to animals and people alike, who perspire and need water.
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
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
We recommend that you make a seat reservation on the plane. Many airlines also offer to upgrade reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, e.g. Economy Comfort at KLM and Premium Voyageur at Air France. You can do this through the airline’s website. Most airlines have a point in the menu called “manage my booking”. Please note that many airlines require payment for seat reservation, so you should have your credit/debit card to hand when you get started.
Unfortunately, rules differ as to when seat reservation is opened. We recommend that you try to make a seat reservation as early as possible and you will then know when you can make a seat reservation if it cannot be done right away. It is very common for seat reservation to be opened between 72 and 24 hours before departure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Botswana is an hour ahead of the UK.
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.
- 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
Please note, this tour is generally not suitable for persons with reduced mobility. Please contact us for information about the possibilities according any specific needs.