North Africa

Botswana Sightseeing Places

Visa requirements

Passport

is generally required for travel in Botswana, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entry There should be at least 2 blank pages in the passport.

Visa

a visa is not required for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Transit

Transit travelers who fly on to the next connection and do not leave the transit room do not need a transit visa.

Period of validity

90 days maximum

Application

Travelers who need a Botswana visa must apply to the Botswana Embassy in Brussels.

Residency permit

Anyone wishing to stay in Botswana for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit and / or work permit. For more information, contact the responsible consular mission or apply directly to: Immigration and Passport Control Officer, PO Box 942, Gaborone.

Documents

2 application forms – 2 passport photos – fee – valid passport

Sufficient funds

Foreigners must have sufficient funds.

Entry with children

the same visa requirements apply to children as to adults. Every child needs their own travel document.

Germany: German ID card with photo or own passport (children’s passport or electronic passport).

Austria: own passport for children.
Switzerland: own passport for children.

Special customs regulations

The import of weapons in Botswana is only allowed for hunting purposes and requires a fee-based import permit limited to 4 weeks.

Botswana Sightseeing Places

Money

National currency: 1 pula, divided into 100 thebes.

Currency abbreviation: P, BWP – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG

There are banknotes worth 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 pula, coins in the amounts 5, 2 and 1 pula and 50, 25, 10 and 5 thebes.

The currency was named after the state motto “Pula”, which means “rain”, or after a festive welcome (for example: “May rain come!”). The word comes from the language of the Tswana. This illustrates the importance of water and rain to the people of Botswana. Rain and wealth are inextricably linked here. Accordingly, “Thebe” in German means raindrops.

Currency exchange: It makes the most sense to exchange money in a bank in the capital, as there are hardly any opportunities to exchange money outside the larger cities.

Credit Cards: Visa, Eurocard, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are accepted in tourist hotels and restaurants in larger cities.

Traveler’s checks: Should be in US dollars or sterling. Travelers checks are accepted by most hotels, but often only for a high fee. In general, travelers checks in Botswana are used less and less by travelers.

ATMs: available in all major places, only VISA cards are accepted.

Foreign exchange regulations: There is no limit to the import or export of the national currency or foreign currencies;

Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sat 8:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Health and Diseases

Meaningful vaccinations are: protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A, for long-term stay over three months also hepatitis B. With special exposure (stay in the country, hunting, jogging etc.) vaccination against rabies can be very useful.

Precautions: schistosomiasis germs can occur mainly along the Okavango. Swimming and wading in inland waters should therefore be avoided. Well-maintained swimming pools with chlorinated water, on the other hand, are harmless.

The UV radiation can be very high and lead to skin damage. Sun protection through skin-covering clothing and sunscreen is therefore essential.

Nationwide there is an increased risk of infection for hepatitis A, hepatitis B is highly endemic. A hepatitis A and B vaccination is generally recommended.

Botswana is one of the countries with a very high HIV / AIDS rate. Unprotected sexual contact, dirty syringes or cannulas and blood transfusions can pose a significant health risk.

The sleeping sickness occurs from time to time in the Okavango swamps. Mosquito protection measures are recommended.

Health care: There are hospitals in Gaborone, Francistown, Kanye, Molepolole, Mochudi, Maun, Serowe, Mahalapye, Lobatse, Selebi-Phikwe, Ramotswa, Jwaneng and Orapa as well as in smaller towns. There are pharmacies in all major cities. There is state health care and free medication in state hospitals. Taking out travel health insurance with return insurance is strongly recommended. An individual first-aid kit should be taken with you and protected appropriately for the temperatures.

Preventive drug protection against malaria is required all year round in the northern half of the country. There is an increased risk of malaria from November to May / June in the northern parts of the country in the regions of Boteti, Chobe, Ngamiland, Okavango and Tutume. The predominant, more dangerous Plasmodium falciparum (90%) is said to be chloroquine resistant. Medium risk exists in the districts of Boteti, Chobe, Kasane, Ngamiland, Okavango and Tutume from July to October. The southern half of the country and Gaborone are malaria free.

Various prescription medications (e.g. malarone, doxycycline, Lariam) are available on the market for malaria prophylaxis. The selection and personal adjustment as well as side effects or intolerance to other medications should be discussed with a tropical or travel doctor before taking chemoprophylaxis. Gaborone and the south of the country are not malaria areas.

Throughout the country there is an increased risk of infection for various infectious diseases (e.g. hepatitis A, typhoid, bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases) which are transmitted by contaminated food / beverages. Water should always be boiled or sterilized before drinking or brushing your teeth. Milk is usually unpasteurized and should be boiled. Mix dry and canned milk only with aseptic water. Pork, mayonnaise, raw lettuce and dairy products from uncooked milk should be avoided. Meat or fish dishes should only be eaten well cooked and served hot. Fruit should be peeled and vegetables cooked.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information as well as a liability for possible damage cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

On-site transportation

Airplane: There are airports in Francistown, Ghanzi, Jwaneng, Kasane, Maun, Pont Drift and Selebi-Phikwe. Charter flights are often the only, but also expensive ways to reach distant or remote destinations. Between Maun and a lodge in the Okavango Delta you have to expect $ 100-150. The following charter airlines fly within Botswana and offer sightseeing flights: Delta Air, Mack Air, Moremi Air Services, Northern Air, Sefonane, Okavango Helicopters, Wildlife Helicopters and Kalahari Air Services.

Rail: Botswana Railways has a nearly 700 km long railway line from the border to the Republic of South Africa (Ottoshoop / Ramathlabama) via Lobatse, Gaborone and Francistown to Zimbabwe (Plumtree). Lord Kitchener had this line built during the Boer War. Advance bookings are necessary for the first or second class, the tickets for the economy class can be bought on the day of departure.

Cars: The main roads in Botswana are asphalted and in good to very good condition. Second degree roads are often dusty or gravel roads in fairly good condition. However, one has to reckon with sudden, sometimes deep and sharp-edged holes on asphalt and dust roads. In any case, you have to drive extremely carefully due to the often strong game changes (elephants, antelopes, warthogs, etc.) to prevent serious accidents. The signage is clear and sufficient. Compass or GPS are only necessary if you really want to drive cross-country. When traveling to remote areas, you should take petrol reserves and at least 20 liters of drinking water with you.

Bus: The small population of Botswana also means that the bus connections are not very frequent. The waiting times are often very long away from the main routes. Buses run daily between Gaborone and Francistown and from Francistown to Nata and Maun. The bus from Francistown to Maun also runs daily. Minibuses also run daily to Johannesburg. Taxis can be found in all major cities. Rental carthere are in Gaborone, Francistown or Maun. All-wheel drive is needed for many remote regions. The maximum speed outside of built-up areas is 120 km / h, within closed built-up areas 60 km / h and 30 km / h in national parks. High fines if exceeded. Watch out for cattle and wildlife. The risk of game accidents is particularly high after dark. Left-hand traffic and seatbelts. Documents: An international driver’s license is not absolutely necessary, but is recommended. For driving licenses that are not issued in English, a translation into English is required. A Botswana driver’s license is required for stays of over six months.

City traffic: There is no public transport other than shared taxis (recognizable by the blue license plate) and minibuses with fixed fares. If you don’t want to share a taxi with other passengers, you have to expect higher fares. In this case, negotiate the fare before departure.

Places to See

In Gaborone the National Museum with its historical and ethnological collection is interesting. There are several markets that sell leather goods, ceramics and hand-woven fabrics.

The Gaborone Dam near the capital offers water sports. A visit to the Gaborone Game Park can be worthwhile, there are rhinos and antelopes. Those interested in arts and crafts can take day trips to Odi, Thamaga and Pilane. The weaving mill in Lentswe-La-Udi, north of Gaborone, is recommended. Handicrafts here only cost a fraction of the city prices and the proceeds go directly to the artisans. Mochudi, also north of Gaborone, is the capital of the Bakgatla people. In the Phuthadikabo Museum, travelers can learn about the history of Bakgatla.

Francistown, an industrial city founded in the 19th century, is the starting point for visitors to the Okavango Delta, the Moremi and Chobe National Parks and is served by Air Botswana from Gaborone. The Supa-Ngwao Museum is interesting.

The impressive nature makes Botswana one of the most impressive travel destinations in Africa. The country consists of around 80% semi-deserts with rich wildlife in many areas. A fairly high fee is charged for visiting many national parks. (Reservations: Parks and Reserves Reservation Office, PO Box 131, Gaborone (Tel: 580 774, Fax: 580 775; Email: [email protected]).

Perhaps the most beautiful region is the approx. 15,000 sq km Okavango Basin in the northwest, which can be reached from Maun between June and September. This city is the starting point for all safaris in the national parks and the Okavango Delta, where, in addition to the varied flora, there are 36 species of mammals, 80 fish and 200 birds. By raising the surface of the earth, the river system was displaced from the original valley and the largest inland delta in the world was formed. The pool consists of an unmistakable network of waterways that merge into lagoons. The papyrus of the waters is so dense that the northern area can only be accessed by mokoro (dugout canoe). You can see crocodiles, hippos, elephants, zebras, giraffes and hundreds of African bird species in the wild. Many safari camps are located in the delta, including Island Maun Safari Lodge, Crocodile Camp, Xigera and Okavango River Lodge to name a few.

One of the most beautiful animal protection areas in Africa is the 1812 sq km Moremi Game Reserve in the northeast of the Okavango Basin. There are some comfortable accommodations like Mombo Camp, Kwara, Chitabe and Duba Plains. However, the roads can only be driven by four-wheel drive. In addition, the risk of malaria should not be neglected. Chief’s Island, known for safaris in the Moremi Reserve, can be reached by plane or Mokoro; there is also a tent camp in Xaxaba. If you leave Maun with the Mokoro and guide, you can visit the lagoons Xakanaxa, Gcobega and Gcodikwe or drive through the branched network of waterways to the 300 km northwest Shakawe near the Angolan border. The Gcwihaba caves with their impressive stalactites are 240 km from Tsau. The name means “hyena hole” in the Bushmen language.

The Tsodilo Hills are located north of the Okavango Basin near Namibia. There are over 1700 rock paintings here, mostly animal scenes. Similarities to rock paintings in southern Africa are striking. The hills can be reached by plane or car, and recently there is a campsite with water supply.

The wildlife of the approximately 11,700 sq km Chobe National Park is extremely diverse. The main attraction is probably the over 70,000 elephants and the rhinos. On the river bank you can see buffalos, hippos, kudus and the delicate impalas. With the exception of certain parts, which are closed during the rainy season (November – April), the park is open all year round. A visit is particularly worthwhile between May and September, when thousands of animals can be seen.

An asphalt road leads to the Victoria Falls, 69 km away. The Savuti / Linyanti area, which borders the Okavango Basin in the west and the Chobe in the east, is known for lions and spotted hyenas, as well as buffalo, zebra and elephant herds. The 5,500 sq km Makagadikgadi / Nxai Pan National Park is located 32 km north of the main road from Francistown to Maun. Huge herds of animals graze on the flat grasslands during the rainy season. The region is particularly known for the Makgadikgadi salt pan, a lake that only carries water in the rainy season and was populated with tons of pink flamingos at the time. Herds of zebra and wildebeest come here to drink. Tent facilities are available, but bring water, food and petrol. South of Maun and the Okavango Basin is the Kalahari semi-desert, which blooms after rains in March and April.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second largest protected area in the world (51,800 sq km). The San or Bushmen, the indigenous people of southern Africa, live in this region.
The Gemsbok National Park (26,000 sq km) lies in the extreme southwest on the border with South Africa and, after the merger with the South African Kalahari Gemsbok Park (9600 sq km), bears the name Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Sand dunes and deep river beds define the landscape in this national park. A road leads from Gaborone to Tsabong, from here all-wheel drive should be available. Flocks of chamois and springboks as well as numerous other antelope species, cheetahs and lions can be observed here. The best time for a safari are the winter months from May to September. Between December and March it gets very hot and heavy thunderstorms and heavy rain can be expected. The normally dry rivers can then suddenly carry water, paths are difficult to cross. Parts of the park can then be closed to traffic. Camps in the park are Mata Mata and Nossob in the north and Twee Rivieren in the south.