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Tips and travel information Botswana.

Everything you need to know about Botswana, the land of the Okavango Delta.

time zone

Is it winter in Europe — it is summer in Botswana and vice versa. Accordingly, the days are shorter or longer. Botswana has the same time as South Africa. In Central European Summer Time, Germany and Botswana have the same time. During our winter (normal time), South Africa is one hour ahead of us (12:00 in Cape Town = 11:00 in Berlin).


The official languages in Botswana are English and Setswana. Setswana is mainly spoken by the population, while English is used in Parliament and by major newspapers. Kalanga, Sesarwa and Afrikaans are also spoken.


The local and long-distance public transport is not comparable with that of Europe, is geared to the needs of the population and is limited to the main roads between major metropolitan areas. There is daily service between Lobatse and Francistown passenger trains. Otherwise, the railways are used almost exclusively for freight transport. In cities, public transportation is limited to minibuses. Traffic on main roads Long-distance buses. In general, we strongly advise against the use of local and long-distance public transport.

From Europe, there is no direct flights to Botswana. You can transfer trains in South Africa, Namibia or Zimbabwe. There are a few domestic air connections. The lodges in the Okavango Delta can be reached by charter flights on small airplanes.


There is left-hand traffic in Botswana. Only the main roads are usually asphalted and they are often in good condition. The side roads are not paved and large potholes must be expected. Unfortunately, during the rainy season, some roads cannot be used.

Driving on the main roads in Botswana is only recommended in 4X4 vehicles that are properly equipped. Most lodges offer transfers or they can be arranged. However, if you are going to drive in Botswana, your home driving license is accepted — but an international driving license is recommended. The national speed limit on paved roads is 120 km/h and 60 km/h in towns and villages.

Please always plan to refuel your rental car in advance. The gas stations can be far apart, so it is recommended to refuel at every opportunity and have a spare canister with you.

It is recommended not to drive over land after dark due to the very high risk of accidents.


As everywhere in the world, many people who have provided you with a service are happy to receive a tip. In the following, we have tried to make a small recommendation, but of course it can only serve as a guide and depends very much on the respective situation.

It is always advisable to have a few Pula in your pocket, which you can then quickly access when needed, without having to pull out your entire wallet. In the restaurant, 10% is usual. If the service is particularly good, it can also be a bit more, if the service is poor, it can be less. When refueling, you should give the gas station attendant 2-3 Pula, even if the windows have been cleaned or the air and oil levels have been checked, a little more. In hotels, you should give luggage porters 10 pula. All other tips are usually collected and placed in a box. Chambermaids usually get their tips from this. Depending on the category, you should plan up to 5 pulas/stay. Of course, you can also give employees who were particularly helpful to you a small note at any time. On safaris, there are mostly local recommendations. Here, it is often common to reward your personal driver separately with a tip; all other employees receive their share as a result.


Power outlets in Botswana are the “Type M” South African SABS1661 (“Large” 15 amp Bs-546) sockets. That is actually an old British standard. You can buy adapters at appropriate specialist stores in Germany or much cheaper anywhere else. If you have many devices to connect, it is recommended to bring a German multiple plug/power strip. This means that you only need one adapter and you can still charge or use many devices at the same time. Electrical outlets in Botswana normally supply electricity between 220 and 240 volts AC.


In Botswana, you pay with the pula, which is divided into 100 thebe. “Pula” translates as rain and “thebe” means raindrops. It is clear what an important role water and rain play in Botswana.

We recommend exchanging or withdrawing money locally, as this is where the exchange rates are best. At most ATMs (“ATMs”), you can get cash with your Maestro card or credit card. Please check with your issuing bank for the fees. In some restaurants and shops, you can also pay directly by credit card. In tourist areas, you can also pay with US dollars, but at worse exchange rates.


In Botswana, leisure activities are closely linked to nature and wildlife. For example, you can take a panoramic flight, a balloon ride, a Mokoro tour through swamps and canals, a game drive in an open safari vehicle, or bush walks.


There is no visa requirement for tourists from Germany - as long as their stay does not exceed 90 days per calendar year and you do not take up any activity. The passport must only be valid for six months beyond the return date. Children, regardless of age, need their own travel documents and entries in their parents' passports are no longer accepted!

Short-term changes to the provisions or divergent interpretations by individual services cannot be ruled out. Detailed and binding information can be obtained from the Botswana diplomatic mission responsible for your place of residence. (As of this information: December 2018) In all other cases (even with a temporary passport), a visa is required, which must be applied for at the Embassy of Botswana.

If you have a nationality other than the German one, please let us know your nationality when making your enquiry or booking so that we can inform you about the relevant entry requirements. Thank you so much!

From June 1, 2017, all travelers to Botswana (with the exception of residents and citizens of the Southern African Development Community) must pay a tourism development tax. This amounts to $30 (€27) and is paid at all ports of entry, including airports and border posts, by electronic payment machines, cash and debit and credit cards. After payment, a unique receipt corresponding to the passport is automatically generated. The receipt is presented to immigration officials with the passport and stamped. It is valid for a period of 30 days and can be used for multiple entries.


Please contact your doctor or tropical medicine specialist before you start your trip about your current health situation and your personal situation. A healthy trip to Africa includes, first and foremost, a healthy attitude to life.

Don't let the media and revenue-oriented pharmacists give you an often exaggerated image of Africa. Even in Africa, a healthy person with an intact immune system can cope with many bacteria and viruses or does not come into contact with the dangers. Psychological attitude and confidence in one's own body are also important. Many diseases can be prevented through reasonable, preventive behavior. These include protecting yourself from excessive sunlight, keeping yourself hydrated every day (not alcoholic), avoiding foods of dubious origin, not drinking unfiltered water (including brushing your teeth), taking even small wounds seriously, getting enough sleep, taking rest breaks and countering temperature differences with appropriate clothing. Find out about the typical diseases in southern Africa and provide active and passive mosquito protection (especially in the evening and night hours).

Find out about malaria and preventative measures. The risk of malaria is significantly higher during the rainy season (November to May) and in the north. In addition, knowledge and vaccinations are recommended for tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), possibly against polio, mumps, measles, rubella (MMR), influenza, pneumococcus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid fever, meningococcal disease (ACWY - conjugate vaccine) and rabies. A check with a doctor and tropical medicine specialist will help quickly. We strongly recommend that you take out travel health insurance and return insurance.


Botswana's climatic pattern is typical of southern Africa, although its rainfall is less than that of countries further east. Rains in Botswana usually occur between December and March, when the average minimum temperatures are in the low 20°C. Some days will be bright and sunny, some will have thunderstorms in the afternoon, and some will just be grey.

As with Namibia, April and May in Botswana are generally beautiful, with clear skies and green landscapes. Nighttime temperatures are starting to drop during these months, particularly in the Kalahari. Note that places in and around the Okavango tend to have less extreme, more moderate temperatures than the drier areas of the Kalahari.

From June to August, nighttime temperatures can be close to freezing in drier areas, but it warms up quickly during the day when the sky is normally clear and blue. It is now a lot of “peak season” for most safari areas: the land is dry in most areas and the animals congregate around the few available water sources.

This continues into September and October, when temperatures rise again and the landscapes are dry. This is the best time for big game safaris — although October can also be very hot (with maximum temperatures sometimes approaching 40 °C).

November is hard to predict as it can sometimes be a continuation of October's heat while sometimes it's cooled by the first rains; it's always an interesting month.

The Okavango Delta is filled with water from Angola from May. The water level is highest in July. It then dries out gradually until there are only a few channels and water points left.


It is strongly recommended to take out foreign health insurance, which also covers repatriation to your home country. We offer you appropriate insurance through our partner Travelsecure.de.

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As in other African countries, there are also crime problems in Botswana. But here too, if you follow a few rules, the risk is drastically reduced.

The Federal Foreign Office provides information on the current situation on its website (www.auswaertiges-amt.de) and we recommend that you check here before departure.

Please never leave valuables uncovered in the vehicle (not even while driving). Organize your trips so that you have arrived at your destination by nightfall. It goes without saying that you refrain from wearing jewelry in public and also avoid showing off expensive cameras.

Flora & Fauna

The nature in Botswana is very diverse. While the Kalahari Desert is in the south, for example, there is the Kalahari Desert in the northwest Okavango Delta. It is the largest inland delta in the world and is home to many animals. This wonderful world is spread over 20,000 square kilometers, full of animals and plants that can only be seen here.

Incomparable is also the Chobe National Park, located in the northeast. One of the largest contiguous elephant populations can be found here, but hippos and crocodiles, buffaloes and countless bird species also populate the park.

But Botswana can also have desert. In the Makgadikgadi-Pans or the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park drought-loving animals dominate. Herds of ostrich and graceful oryx antelopes roam the dunes and salt pans, black-maned lions lie lazily under the few shady trees and cute meerkats go about their daily business. Botswana is unparalleled as a safari destination. Unrivalled. unique


We cannot guarantee that the Botswana tips and travel information given here are accurate, complete and up to date, nor can we accept any liability for any damage that may occur during your vacation. The regulations described and the security situation may change at any time. As has often been recommended, in case of doubt, we recommend that you contact your competent diplomatic or consular representative or your doctor if you have any health questions.

If you have any questions beyond this Botswana travel information or if one or the other point of our Botswana travel information has changed in the meantime, please contact us, the easiest way is to use the following contact form. Thank you so much

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