Botswana Visitor's Guide
Botswana Tourism: Important information for Visitors and Tourists to Botswana, including Gaborone, the Okavango Delta, National Parks and Kalahari Desert.
BOTSWANA VISA REQUIREMENTS
All visitors entering Botswana must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months, except those with United Nations Convention travel documents. Visitors must also have outgoing travel documents and sufficient funds to finance their stay.
Valid entry visas for the countries which do require them may be obtained from Botswana's various embassies and high commissions abroad. In countries where Botswana is not represented, visas may be obtained from the British High Commission. Entry visas obtained at border posts are valid for a maximum of 30 to 90 days. Extensions may be obtained from any immigration office in Botswana. No visitor is allowed more than a 90-day stay in every calendar year, unless permission has been granted in the form of a waiver pending the outcome of a residence permit application.
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. Often a heavy downpour may occur in one area while 10 or 15 kilometres away there is no rain at all. Showers are often followed by strong sunshine so that a good deal of the rainfall does not penetrate the ground but is lost to evaporation and transpiration.
DRIVING IN BOTSWANA
The general road network between the main cities of Gaborone, Fancistown and Kasane is good. The new road network from Francistown to Maun and Shikawe has also added a better infrastructure to the country. If you plan to explore and venture beyond these limits you would best equip yourself adequately for the arduous terrain you can expect to navigate.
The roads through the Kalahari sands require four-wheel drive vehicles and it is advised that if you plan to venture into remote areas that you travel in convoy with another vehicle. This adventurous way of traveling through Botswana’s great wildlife reserves has become a popular budget option. It allows complete flexibility to drive at your own pace, provided your overnight arrangements are booked in advance.
Botswana remains a relatively safe place to visit, however there are a few incidents of crime. It is advisable to take basic precautions as in any large city: Always lock your car doors, always lock your hotel room, do not leave valuables in your hotel room or car; and take care with your bags in crowded places, particularly in the malls and night-clubs.