DREAMING OF A Botswana SAFARI ADVENTURE?

Botswana Safari Tours

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About Botswana, Africa


Easily one of best safari destinations in Africa, Botswana is a wild and dramatic land characterized not only by its bountiful wildlife but also by its extraordinary scenery: from shimmering salt pans and diamond-rich deserts to raging rivers and fertile flood plains, the landscapes here come in many guises.

Nearly half of the country is given over to national parks, reserves and private concessions, which makes for an excellent safari experience. Botswana’s policy of favoring low-impact luxury tourism ensures that even the most famous game-viewing areas rarely feel crowded, while its population of just two million adds to the sense of wilderness.

The north of Botswana in particular, offers superb wildlife-watching opportunities. It is home to the wondrous Okavango Delta – the largest inland delta in the world – where shimmering lagoons and fertile waterways are crammed with more than 400 species of bird. Away from the water zebras and giraffes amble across grass flats and flood plains, keeping an eye out for the numerous big predators that also reside here.

Northeast of Okavango is another jewel in Botswana’s crown: Chobe National Park, which has one of the largest concentrations of game anywhere in Africa. The reserve is particularly well known for its vast elephant herds, some 400-strong, which share this wild land with the likes of lions, cheetahs, hippos and more.

It’s not only in conservation that Botswana is an African success story. Since gaining independence in 1966, it has achieved steady economic growth through good use of its agricultural potential and enviable diamond reserves.

It has not entirely escaped controversy – the HIV/AIDS pandemic and alleged maltreatment of the Kalahari Bushmen have caused international concern – but it remains a peaceful and stable nation of remarkable natural beauty and its developed infrastructure makes it much more accessible than some of its neighbors.

Botswana weather, climate and geography

Climate

Best Time To Visit

Mainly temperate. Summer, between October and April, can be very hot, but daytime temperatures typically hover around 30ºC (86ºF). The rainy season lasts from January to March. Winter, from May to September, brings cooler weather with an average temperature of 25ºC (77ºF); early mornings and evenings may be cold and frosty, particularly in the Kalahari. The average annual rainfall decreases westwards and southwards.

Required Clothing

Loose, natural fabrics are recommended, with wet-weather gear and warmer clothes according to the season and area visiting.

Geography

Botswana is landlocked, bordered to the south and east by South Africa, to the northeast by Zimbabwe and to the north and west by Namibia. It also touches Zambia just west of the Victoria Falls. The tableland of the Kalahari Desert covers the center and south. The principal wildlife areas are the Okavango Delta to the northwest, the largest inland delta in the world, which includes the Moremi Game Reserve; Chobe National Park in the north, including Savute and the Linyanti Marshes; and Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park in the far southwest, co-managed with South Africa.

The majority of the population lives in the southeast around Gaborone, Serowe and Kanye along the South African border. The vast arid sandveld of the Kalahari occupies much of central and western Botswana. The seasonal rains bring a considerable difference to the vegetation, especially in the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Okavango Delta.

Botswana Passport And Visa Requirements

Passport Required Visa Required Return Ticket Required
British Yes No Yes
Australian Yes No Yes
Canadian Yes No Yes
USA Yes No Yes
Other EU Yes No Yes

Passport Info

To enter Botswana, a passport valid for at least six months is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above. Outgoing travel documents and sufficient funds are also required.

Visa Info

Visas are not required by all nationals referred to in the chart above for stays in Botswana of up to 90 days.

Visas are also not required by transit passengers, provided they are continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft, and do not leave the airport.

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the high commission/embassy to check visa requirements.

Visa Note

Those nationals who do require a visa for Botswana must include a copy of their travel itinerary with their application, along with a letter of support from their intended host and return visa or residence permit from his/her country of residence.

Types And Costs

Visitor visa: US$107.

Validity

Up to 90 days.

Consulate (or consular section at embassy or high commission).

Working Days

Allow 21 working days for visa processing.

Botswana Health Care & Vaccinations

Vaccination identifier Special precautions
Malaria Yes
Rabies Sometimes
Diphtheria Sometimes
Yellow Fever No*
Hepatitis A Yes
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Vaccinations Note

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from all travellers over one year of age travelling from infected areas.

The dust and heat may cause problems for some people. Visitors should use sun protection, especially due to Botswana’s high altitude. The public health system is good. All main towns have chemists, and pharmaceutical supplies are readily available. Health insurance is essential.

Food Drink

Tap water is considered safe to drink, although outside main cities and towns, visitors are advised to check first and sterilize water if in any doubt. Bottled water is available in most tourist centers. Milk is pasteurized, and dairy products, local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally safe.

Other Risks

Vaccinations for tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Hepatitis C occurs. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is endemic; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Tick-bite fever can be a problem when walking in the bush. It is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes and to search the body for ticks. Rabies is present in animals. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

Click here to visit the Botswana Tourist Authority Website