Botswana

Botswana Alt


WHY TRAVEL TO BOTSWANA?

Botswana is one of the most popular wilderness safari destinations in Southern Africa, offering a true African Safari experience and one of the largest game populations in Southern Africa.

Our Botswana safaris & travel packages we have to offer cover the Okavango Delta Chobe National Park, Makgadikgadi Pans and The Kalahari.

WHY TRAVEL TO BOTSWANA?

To experience a truly wild and pristine African wilderness safari. The Okavango Delta and Chief’s Island offering the best game viewing in Africa. Chobe National Park offers the greatest populations of elephant in Africa. The Kalahari desert offers the greatest species diversity in the world. The Makgadikgadi is host to Southern Africa’s last great zebra and wildebeest migration – set to become the Serengeti of Southern Africa. The Bushmen which are an ancient culture that is in harmony with the natural environment.


Geography

Botswana Travel Information

Botswana is a land-locked country dominated in geographical terms by the Kalahari Desert – a sand-filled basin averaging 1,100 meters above sea level.

The country lies between longitudes 20 and 30 degrees east of Greenwich and between the latitudes 18 and 27 degrees approximately south of the Equator.

The country is bordered by Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south and southeast.

At Kazungula, four countries – Botswana , Zimbabwe , Zambia and Namibia – meet at a single point mid-stream in the Zambezi River.


Money Matters

Botswana’s currency is the Pula (P), which is divided into 100 Thebe (t). The word ‘Pula’ means rain and ‘thebe’ means shield. The shield appears on the national coat of arms.

Bank notes come in denominations of P10, 20, 50 and 100, and coins in denominations of 5t, 10t, 25t, 50t, P1, P2 and P5.

Major credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express and Diners Club, are accepted widely. Most hotels and lodges accept foreign currency or travellers’ cheques.

There are also Exchange bureaus at major border posts. Credit card cash advances are available in major cities through Barclays Bank or Standard Chartered Bank. Cash transfers are easiest through Western Union money transfer.

Please note that credit card cash is also available at First National Bank.


Travel & Safety

The country remains a relatively safe place to travel in, however there are a few incidents of crime. It is advisable to take basic precautions: always lock car doors; always lock your hotel room or house; do not leave valuables in your hotel room or car; and take care with your bags in crowded places, particularly the malls and nightclubs.


Important telephone numbers

  • Country code:+267
  • Police –999
  • Ambulance –997
  • Fire – 998
  • MRI Medical Rescue – 911
  • Gaborone Private Hospital – 301-999
  • Princess Marina Hospital – 353-221

Weather & Season

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 kilometers 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.

Pula one of the most frequently heard words, it is not only the name of Botswana’s currency, but also the Setswana word for rain.

So much of what takes place relies on this essential, frequently scarce commodity.


CLIMATE & SEASONS

Botswana’s climate is semi-arid. Though hot and dry for much of the year, life-giving rains fall during 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.

Jan – Mar: Summer:
High rainfall and high temperatures. Highs range from 35°C to 45°C. Lows around 18°C.

April – May: Autumn:
Dry and warm, cool evenings and mornings.

Jun – Aug: Winter:
No rainfall. Cold nights and early mornings.

Days are sunny and generally warm.
Temperatures range from 15°C to 30°C. Nights can drop below freezing in some areas.

Sept – Oct: Spring:
Dry and warm. October can be extremely hot.

Nov – Jan: Summer. High rainfall and high temperatures. Highs range from 35°C to 45°C. Lows around 18°C.

Seasons

The summer season begins in November and ends in March. It usually brings very high temperatures. However, summer is also the rainy season, and cloud coverage and rain can cool things down considerably, although only usually for a short period of time.

The winter season begins in May and ends in August.This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm; however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas, especially in the southwest.
The in-between periods – April/early May and September/October – still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter.


Rainfall

The rainy season is in the summer, with October and April being transitional months. January and February are generally regarded as the peak months.

The mean annual rainfall varies from a maximum of over 650mm in the extreme northeast area of the Chobe District to a minimum of less than 250mm in the extreme southwest part of Kgalagadi District .

Almost all rainfall occurs during the summer months while the winter period accounts for less than 10 percent of the annual rainfall.

Generally, rainfall decreases in amount and increases in variability the further west and south you go.


Temperature

Summer days are hot, especially in the weeks that precede the coming of the cooling rains, and shade temperatures rise to the 38°C mark and higher, reaching a blistering 44°C on rare occasions.

Winters are clear-skied and bone-dry, the air seductively warm during the daylight hours but, because there is no cloud cover, cold at night and in the early mornings.


Humidity

In summer during the morning period humidity ranges from 60 to 80% and drops to between 30 and 40% in the afternoon.

In winter humidity is considerably less and can vary between 40 and 70% during the morning and fall to between 20 and 30% in the afternoon.

For tourists that wish to travel to Botswana, the best visiting months are from April through to October – in terms of both weather and game viewing.


VISAS

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 travel arrangements.

Valid entry visas for the countries which do require them may be obtained from 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 30-90 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.


Requirements for visa

  • Completed immigration supplementary Form D by the applicant (Visa form).
  • Letter of support from the host.
  • Two passport size photos (identical).
  • Fee of P25.00 (around USD 5)
  • Return visa or residence permit from his/her country of residence
  • Return air ticket.

COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES WHO’S NATIONALS REQUIRE VISAS

    • Ghana
    • India
    • Nigeria
    • Sri Lanka

COUNTRIES WHOSE NATIONALS REQUIRE VISAS TO ENTER BOTSWANA

1. Afghanistan 32. Côte do Ivoire 63. Kyrgyzstan (Kirghizia) 94. Qatar
2. Albania 33. Croatia 64. Laos PDR 95. Romania
3. Algeria 34. Cuba 65. Latvia 96. Russia
4. Andorra 35. Czech Republic 66. Lebanon 97. Rwanda
5. Angola 36. Djibouti 67. Liberia 98. Sao Tume and Principe
6. Argentina 37. Dominican Republic 68. Libya 99. Saudi Arabia
7. Armenia 38. Ecuador 69. Lithuania 100. Senegal
8. Azerbaijan 39. Egypt 70. Macedonia 101. Slovakia
9. Bahrain 40. El Salvador 71. Madagascar 102. Slovenia
10. Bangladesh 41. Equatorial Guinea 72. Mali 103. Somalia
11. Belarus 42. Eritrea 73. Marshall Islands 104. Sudan
12. Bentn 43. Estonia 74. Mauritania 105. Suriname
13. Bhutan 44. Ethiopia 75. Mexico 106. Syria
14. Bolivia 45. Gabon 76. Micronesia 107. Taiwan
15. Bosnia and Herzegovina 46. Georgia 77. Moldova 108. Tajikistan
16. Brazil 47. Guatemala 78. Monaco 109. Thailand
17. Bulgaria 48. Guinea 79. Mongolia 110. Togo
18. Burkina Faso 49. Guinea Bissau 80. Morocco 111. Tunisia
19. Burundi 50. Haiti 81. Mozambique 112. Turkey
20. Cambodia 51. Honduras 82. Myanmar (Burma) 113. Turkmenistan
21. Cameroon 52. Hungary 83. Nepal 114. Ukraine
22. Cape Verde 53. Indonesia 84. Nicaragua 115. United Arab Emirates
23. Central African Republic 54. Iran 85. Niger 116. Uzbe Kistan
24. Chad 55. Iraq 86. Oman 117. Venezuela
25. Chile 56. Israel 87. Pakistan 118. Vietnam
26. China 57. Ivory Coast 88. Palau 119. Yemen
27. Colombia 58. Jordan 89. Panama
28. Comoros 59. Kazakhstan 90. Paraguay
29. Congo 60. Korea DPR 91. Peru
30. DRC Congo 61. Korea ROK 92. Philippines
31. Costa Rica 62. Kuwait 93. Poland

Health

Compared to the rest of Africa , Botswana is not a risky place to visit from a health perspective. In spite of this, there are certain precautions visitors should take even though there are no legal requirements for taking these precautions. There are no inoculations required except for visitors from yellow fever zones.

Botswana ‘s public health system consists of different kinds of health facilities: 23 district health teams, 3 referral hospitals, 12 district hospitals, 17 primary hospitals, 222 clinics, 330 health posts and 740 mobile stops.


Tourism information

Helping the country attract a segment of the tourism market with what is widely considered to be very significant growth potential.Raising the profile of the country as a tourism destination.Generating resources for conservation.

Providing an incentive for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources.Generating renewed pride in local culture.Facilitating and rewarding responsible tourism planning and management practices.

Botswana views Eco-tourism as an enhanced travel package to Botswana ‘s historical, cultural and natural environments, with the aim of enjoying and learning, and in so doing promoting the financial development of the local host communities, whilst sustaining the natural environment and developing the tourist industry.

The Department of Tourism thus sees Eco-tourism as minimizing the strain and disagreements caused by the complicated interaction between the tourism industry, visitors, the environment and local communities.

Botswana National Eco-Tourism Strategy will ensure tourism planning and management aimed at minimizing negative social, cultural and environmental impacts;

Maximizing the involvement in, and economic benefits to, host communities;

Maximizing revenues for re-investment in conservation;

Educating both the visitor and the local people as to the importance of conserving natural and cultural resources;

Delivering a quality experience to tourists.


What to pack

Bring casual, comfortable clothing and preferably light, long-sleeved blouses and lightweight trousers for protection against the sun and insects.

Don’t forget

      1. Sun block, sun glasses, good walking shoes
      2. A light and compact raincoat
      3. Swim suit
      4. Torch
      5. An elegant outfit for a cocktails

If traveling with an organized safari, see if there is a weight limit, in which case you may have to restrict your luggage to 10-12kg.


Attractions

Botswana is one of the finest tourist destinations on the African continent. The Okavango , which originates in the uplands of Angola to the north-west, flows into and then spreads over the sandy spaces of the Kalahari to form an immense and wondrous inland delta of lagoon and labyrinthine channel, palm-fringed island and fertile floodplain.

A number of safari lodges and camps have been established in and around this watery wilderness.
This wilderness and the nearby game-rich Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park reserves, offer the visitors the best of several worlds, appealing variously to the game-viewer and bird-watcher, the hunter and the sporting fisherman, the explorer of hidden places and the lover of Africa in its loveliest and least spoilt state
However it is in the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve that visitors will find unforgettable beauty.

In the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this great marriage of water and sand, more than 400 species of birds flourish .

On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals – warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels.


Wildlife

Botswana is well known for its diverse range of wildlife. Most of the major African game species can be found, along with a number of species that are endemic to the region.
Compared to the rest of Africa the game has been well protected from the scourge of poaching. The statistical picture reveals that the country is home to 164 species of mammals, 157 of reptile, 80 of fish, 550 of bird and uncountable different kinds of insects.
The Government of Botswana has set aside thousands of square kilometres of national territory as protected travel areas (around 17% of the country area) and wildlife management areas (another 20% of the country).
Among the largest protected areas in Botswana are Chobe National Park in the north, Central Kalahari Game Reserve (second largest protected area in the world), Moremi Game Reserve in Okavango Delta and the recently launched Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which spans the border between Botswana and South Africa.

In addition, the government carefully monitors 42 Controlled Hunting Areas, where hunters may shoot small quantities of game. Authorities issue only a limited number of shooting permits each year.


Mammals

Mammals have a number of common characteristics that set them apart from other animals; they breathe with lungs; females have mammary glands that produce milk for suckling the young; they possess a four-chambered heart; and nearly all species have a covering of body hair. Approximately 164 species of mammals have been recorded in Botswana.

The mammals that may be seen during your travel through the country include the following: vervet monkey, chacma baboon, wild dog, bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, large-spotted genet, small-spotted genet, mongoose, spotted hyena, brown hyena, lion, leopard, cheetah, aardvark, Burch ell’s zebra, square-lipped (white) rhino, warthog, giraffe, common duiker, klipspringer, springbok, steenbok, impala, blue wildebeest, tsessebe, gemsbok, sable antelope, roan antelope, reedbuck, waterbuck, lechwe, bushbuck, kudu, eland, buffalo, hippopotamus, elephant.


Birds

Some 550 bird species in total have been accepted for the Botswana national bird list. These are species known to live in the country at some time of the year, including the various rare vagrants, which are from time to time recorded.
Total numbers of birds within the country fluctuate within a year and also from year to year. On more local scale, many bird species may undergo irregular movements within Botswana . Such movements may be triggered by rainfall, temperatures, food, breeding requirements or a combination of these ( see maps).

Not only is the diversity of bird species high in the national parks and reserves, but also throughout the north and east of the country.

Over 400 species have been recorded in the Gaborone area alone. In many regions the terrain adds to the ease of bird viewing on your African travel expedition.
The Department of Wildlife and National Parks has recently instituted a bird research programme. Current research projects include a study of the breeding sites of several aquatic birds such as storks, herons, pelicans, flamingoes and cranes.

The birds you are most likely to see include the following: ostrich; cormorant; darter; stork; hammerkop; greater and lesser flamingo; pygmy goose, knobbilled duck and Egyptian goose; African jacana; black korhaan and kori bustard; Cape vulture, bateleur eagle and African fish eagle; Cape turtle dove, laughing dove, red eyed dove and Namaqua dove; bee-eater; kingfisher; hornbill; fork tailed drongo; black and pied crow; pied and whiterumped babbler; yellowbilled and redbilled oxpecker; masked weaver, paradise and shaftailed whydah. The majority of these species can be seen in the Okavango Delta or by River Chobe in northern Botswana .


Reptiles

About 157 species of reptiles have been recorded in Botswana Most obvious characteristic of reptiles is their dry, horny skin that is usually modified into scales or plates. This prevents rapid water loss and has allowed them to move on to dry land, whereas amphibians are still restricted to moist habitats. Many reptiles lay eggs that have thick shells and which undergo development independent of water or parents.

All reptiles are cold-blooded, which means that they absorb their warmth from the environment, as opposed to mammals or birds which generate their heat internally. Many reptiles simply sit in the sun until their body reaches correct temperature, and subsequently shuttle between sun and shade, maintaining a constant optimal temperature. They do not generate heat internally by metabolizing foods as do mammals and birds.

The reptiles are divided into crocodilians, tortoises, terrapins and turtles, snakes, lizards and amphibians. Some of the most common for Botswana are: crocodile, python, gecko, tortoise, black mamba, green mamba, Cape cobra, Egyptian cobra, spitting cobra, puff adder, horned adder, egg eater, tiger snake, boom slang, shield-nose snake, Cape skink, striped skink, bushveld lizard, sand lizard, ground agama, flap-neck chameleon.

Area 600,370 square kilometres (231,800 sq mi)
Languages spoken Tswana, English
Currency Botswana Pula
Visa requirements Visa is required

Picturesquely situated 100 km west of the Victoria Falls, overlooking the Chobe River and the Caprivi floodplains, the iconic Chobe Game Lodge is the only permanent safari lodge within the Chobe National Park and is Botswana’s premier venue for guests looking for a perfect base to explore Chobe National Park and the Chobe River.

Chobe’s wildlife roams in abundance and diversity and is home to the largest concentration of elephant in Africa. During the dry season these large herds, as well as vast herds of buffalo, congregate along the fertile flood plains of the Chobe River where they come to drink, bathe and play. Sightings of lion, African wild dog, puku, red lechwe, sable, giraffe and roan antelope are frequent reported in the area.

Accommodation

The lodge accommodates up to 94 guests in absolute luxury. Rooms are river-facing, and include minibars, en-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities as well as private terraces. In addition, four exclusive suites have their own plunge pools and separate lounges.

Other facilities include a fully equipped conference room seating up to 90 people, broadband internet, billiards, library, gym, beauty salon, a stylish cigar bar overlooking the Chobe River, a large terraced swimming pool and riverside boma area.

Guests wishing to pamper themselves can schedule an appointment with our in-house beautician or book our gym for a private workout.

Meals are catered for at the terrace restaurant, and themed BBQs are regularly held at our boma on the Chobe River’s grassy banks.

Each of the 47 rooms at the lodge is river facing and air conditioned, featuring overhead fans, complimentary mini bar, en-suite bathrooms and private terrace. For those guests who demand the ultimate in exclusivity, Chobe Game Lodge has four river view suites, each with their own plunge pool and a separate lounge area.

The Safari Experience

All safari activities are tailored to suit individual requirements. Game drives, game viewing by small boats with a maximum capacity of twelve guests, sunset cruises along the Chobe River and after-dinner stargazing are offered.

Chobe Game Lodge offers a choice of land or water-based activities and the most complete game experience in the Chobe National Park.

Early morning and late afternoon game drives are conducted by our expert guides in open sided 4×4 vehicles to ensure maximum visibility of Chobe National Park’s spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife. Meanwhile, riverside game viewing is conducted by small and highly manoeuvrable boats, perfect for morning or sunset cruises.

Guests can also enjoy the wide expanses of the Chobe River with sundowners and snacks courtesy of our double-decker river cruiser, the Mosi-oa-Tunya.

Our professional guides and resident environmentalist also offer the chance to spot some of the Southern Hemisphere’s most beautiful constellations on our stargazing deck.

Botswana Alt

Baines Camp

Price per night from $755.00

Chobe Muchenje Safari Lodge accommodates just twenty guests in intimate exclusivity.

Camp Moremi

Price per night from $465.00

Peering out beneath giant ebony trees, Camp Moremi brings true meaning to the word safari in the Xaxanaka area of the Moremi Game Reserve.

Camp Okavango

Price per night from $465.00

Enchanting Camp Okavango sits at the heart of the Okavango Delta on Nxaragha Island.

Chiefs Camp

Price per night from $1160.00

The Chief’s camp is situated on the northwestern tip of Chief’s Island, in what is termed seasonal delta.

Chobe Chilwero

Price per night from $650.00

Chobe Chilwero, means “place of high view” in the local language of Setswana. The lodge sits above the Chobe River and offers unparalleledpanoramic views across the islands and floodplains as far as Namibia.

Chobe Game Lodge

Price per night from $465.00

Chobe’s wildlife roams in abundance and diversity and is home to the largest concentration of elephant in Africa.

Kings Pool Camp

Price per night from $1240.00

overlooks the Linyanti River and the oxbow-shaped Kings Pool Lagoon, apparently named after a Scandinavian monarch who spent a number of nights camping out on the banks of the lagoon, long before any camp was built here.Kings Pool Camp

Mombo Camp

Price per night from $1780.00

Mombo Camp, on the northern tip of Chief’s Island within the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, is built under large shady trees and overlooks an open floodplain more often than not alive with wildlife.

Ngoma Safari Lodge

Price per night from $495.00

Ngoma Safari Lodge provides luxury safari accommodation on the Chobe River. Situated in on the edge of the valley in Northern Chobe, Botswana, within the Chobe Forest Reserve.

Pom Pom Camp

Price per night from $455.00

The Camp is located on Pom Pom Island in a private concession situated in the heart of the Okavango Delta and on the head waters of the Xudum river system.

Vumbura Plains Camp

Price per night from $1240.00

Vumbura Plains Camp is unlike any safari camp you will have seen before. Each large, luxurious room is raised off the ground on wooden decks and each comprises a bedroom, lounge, shower and full en-suite bathroom.

Xakanaka Camp

Price per night from $495.00

Xakanaxa Camp has stylish main buildings that extend over the Khwai River and are set on raised platforms to maximize the views over the surrounding lagoons and islands.

A Botswana Treat Honeymoon

Price From $4550.00

4 Nights/ 5 day tailor-made safari with Botswana’s luxury safari loges in the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.

Ultimate Luxury Honeymoon

Price From $4948.00

8 Nights/ 9 day tailor-made fly in safari of Botswana starting in Chobe National Park and then flying through to Linyanti Wildlife Reserve and then follwed by the Okavango Delta

Botswana Highlights

Price From $3613.00
6 Nights/ 7 day tailor-made safari in Botswana with the first 2 nights in Victoria Falls and then followed by 2 nights in Chobe National Park and ending with the highlight of the Okavango Delta

Botswana Rhino Safari

Price From $3995.00

8 Nights/ 9 day tailor-made fly in safari of Botswana starting in the Makgadikgadi Pans and then flying through to the Okavango Delta and ending in Chobe National Park.

Heart of Botswana

Price From $4948.00

6 Nights/ 7 day tailor-made fly-in safari in Botswana where you will visits the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park so you get to experience the best possible game viewing safari Botswana has to offer.

Legendary Okavango Delta Safari

6 Nights/ 7 day Botswana and Victoria Falls safari starting in Victoria Falls Zambia and then driving through to Chobe National Park followed by a flight to the Okavango Delta

Victoria Falls Safari Highlights

4 Nights/ 5 day tailor-made fly-in safari in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Victoria Falls and Chobe Family

Price From $3717.00

5 Nights/ 6 day Victoria Falls and Botswana Chobe National Park family safari based on a luxury 5 star standard.