Botswana Africa

From the swampy and green Okavango Delta, to the dry and desolate Central Kalahari Desert.


Botswana Wildlife Leopard

All about Botswana

If you are planning a holiday to Botswana, you might like to learn a few interesting facts about the country. Situated in the southern reaches of Africa, the Republic of Botswana is a landlocked country, neighboring Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. It is predominantly flat with only a few hilly areas. Botswana is covering a surface of 581,730 square kilometers and has a population of 2.3 million people. The former British protectorate Bechuanaland adapted the current name after independence in 1966. The capital and largest city of the country is Gaborone and the official language is English, besides many different local languages, such as Mbukushu, Naro, Subiya, Tswana, Kalanga, Afrikaans, Herero and Birwa.
Botswana Wildlife Lion

What does Botswana have to offer?

Botswana is renowned for its pristine wilderness areas characterised by deep lagoons, wetlands, lush palms, rugged hills and desert plains scattered with scrubland. The country’s primary tourist drawcard is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of African wildlife to thrive. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains, which host large prides of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills, where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.

Botswana Africa

  • Area: 581,730 km²
  • Population: about 2,3 million inhabitants
  • Capital: Gaborone
  • Religion: Christian (50%), local religions (50%)
  • Language: English (and many local languages)
  • Currency: Botswana Pula (BWP)

Facts and figures

  • Time zone: Botswana Standard Time is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) and is in the Central Africa Time zone
  • Average temperature: between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius
  • Nearly 40% of Botswana is national parks and wildlife reserves
  • World’s largest concentration of African elephants in Botswana
  • Botswana is also home to the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta, which can be seen from outer space.

Do you want to know more about Botswana?

Botswana's climate 

Botswana's climate is semi-arid. Though it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. The rainfall varies in the inlands from around 200 mm per year, while in the north this can be more than 640 mm per year. Overall, Botswana has a subtropical climate, but there can be long dry periods. Botswana's climate is generally very dry and pleasant – it's fine to visit all year round.

How to dress in Botswana

During the day it is generally hot, so pack light weight loose fitting clothes in natural fabrics, such linen or cotton, that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry. We suggest keeping to light, neutral colors; khaki, green and brown, but not white as it will get dirty and dusty very quickly. A warmer sweater or jacket for the early mornings and evenings will be good. Long sleeved shirts and long trousers will protect your against mosquitoes at night. Also note it is very important to avoid camouflage or military clothing, as this is illegal in Botswana.

Are you interested in your travel options in Botswana?

The people of Botswana African woman

The people of Botswana

Botswana has a population of 2.3 million (2019). Botswana is one of the world’s most most sparsely populated countries in the world with a population density of just 4 people per square kilometer. The population of Botswana is composed of mainly the Tswana (79%), an ethnical group who speak Tswana, a Bantu language. This population is divided into eight main subgroups. There are also small numbers of Kalanga (11%), Basarwa (3%), Kgalagadi and a relatively small number of Caucasians. Even though English is the official language, the local Tswana language is commonly used.

Botswana Africa Holiday

Safety in Botswana

Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa. If you are traveling on an organized trip and staying at lodges and camps, safety problems are very rare. Walking the streets at night is not recommended. On any tour, it is always wise to listen to your inner voice, your intuition. It is advisable to protect your valuables at all times by using common sense precautions you would anywhere, such as never leaving valuables or bags unattended in your car, and being wary of those around you at ATMs.
Botswana Wildlife Elephants

Let us take you to Botswana

Passports travelling to Africa

Passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months on the day you depart from your home country.

No Visa, welcome to Botswana!

You do not need to apply for a visa for Botswana for a visit of less than 90 days. However, in either case ensure that you have:

  • A passport with validity of minimum 6 months
  • A proof of owning sufficient financial resources
  • A proof for the first destination after arrival
  • A proof of a return ticket or to the next destination after your holiday
  • An original unabridged birth certificate when travelling with children under the age of 18


Let's talk money 

The local currency is the Botswana Pula (BWP). For your daily expenses it is easy to have a wallet with smaller bills and keep the rest of your cash separated and out of sight. Especially when you spend several days in more remote areas, like wild parks, ensure you have enough cash on you. Furthermore, it is recommended to take a ‘mix’ of means for payment, including cash, a world card and a credit card (VISA or MasterCard). There are always cases in which you cannot pay with your normal debit card. E.g. you need a credit card to rent your car. Also, we recommend having American Dollars with you for emergencies, which you will also need when crossing borders. 

There are plenty of ATMs in the larger destinations of Botswana. Do not forget to change the security settings of your bankcards to ‘Worldwide’ if necessary.

Welcome to Botswana. Do you need more advice?

Botswana San Village bush man

Vaccinations for Botswana

For vaccination services, you can go to the Regional Health Service or the tropical medicine clinic of a hospital. The following vaccinations are recommended for travellers going to Botswana: hepatitis A and a combined tetanus, diphtheria and inactivated polio vaccine (Td/IPV or DTP). When coming from a yellow fever area, a yellow fever vaccination is also compulsory.

Malaria does occurs in Botswana. Ask your local health services for the most updated advice and preventative care. 

Botswana Wildlife Kudu

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is the traveller’s own responsibility. We recommend that you take out travel insurance in your home country that will cover, for instance, loss, damage or theft of luggage, money and other valuables, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, et cetera. Consider also any additional cover you may need, such as for extreme, specialist or high-risk sports (scuba diving, canoeing, mountain biking, et cetera).

Makasa accepts no liability whatsoever in connection with any such activities. Ensure that you are well prepared to have a secure journey. The chance that something happens to you before or during the trip is small, but it is important to get the right insurance. It can save you costs and a lot of trouble.

Do you have any questions about Botswana?
We will be happy to advise you!