'Pula', one of the most frequently heard words in Botswana, is not only the name of Botswana's currency, but also the Setswana word for rain. A symbol of hope, the Pula (P),
is divided into 100 Thebe (t) which means shield in Setswana.
Major hotels have foreign exchange facilities and most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept traveller's cheques.
Major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diner's Club are all widely accepted at hotels, shops and restaurants. However, certain lodges and restaurants do not accept payment by Diners or American Express. Credit cards are not accepted at petrol filling stations.
Banks in Maun & Kasane:
- Mon - Fri 08h30 - 14h30
- Sat 08h15 - 10h45
First National Bank, Maun:
- Mon - Fri 09h00 - 12h45; 14h15 - 15h30
- Sat 08h30 - 11h00
Standard Chartered Bank, Maun:
- Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri 08h15 - 14h00
- Wed 08h15 - 13h00
- Sat 08h15 - 10h45
Service is not usually included in the bill. Provided the service is good, it is usual to tip porters, waiters, taxi drivers, room attendants, golf caddies, game rangers and trackers. 10% of the bill is considered appropriate at restaurants and bars while, at luxury camps US$10-20 per Guest per day is considered appropriate tip for the general Staff at safari camps. Guides can be tipped from US$20-25 upwards or, as your heart dictates!
GMT plus 2 hours
International code +267
The official language is English, which is used in government and business affairs. Setswana is the national language, and is widely spoken. Other ethnic groups speak their own languages.
Safety & Wild Animals:
Botswana is a very safe destination with a low crime rate and the people of Botswana are generally very friendly. The greatest dangers are out in the wild and visitors should always adhere to the rules when visiting parks. Never get out of your vehicle unless absolutely safe to do so and never confront wild animals.
Travel & Medical Insurance:
All visitors should carry comprehensive travel and medical Insurance. We, unfortunately, have to charge cancellation fees as per our stated policy, no matter what the reason for the cancellation.
Visas & Entry Requirements:
Visitors from the European Union, most Commonwealth countries and the USA do not require visas for a stay of less than 90 days. Visitors from Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka do require visas.
All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay, with sufficient blank pages for entry stamps.
Road Botswana/South Africa:
- Pont Drift 0800-16h00
- Martins Drift 08h00-18h00
- Tlokweng Gate 06h00-22h00
- Mamuno 07h00-24h00
- Ngoma (Kasane) 07h00-18h00
- Mohembo 06h00-18h00
- Kazungula Ferry 06h00-18h00
- Kazungula 06h00-18h00
- Pandamatenge 08h00-16h00
- Ramokgwebana 06h00-20h00
No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.
The following goods declared on arrival are duty free: Two litres of wine, one litre of spirits, 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 250gm of cigarette and pipe tobacco, 50 ml perfume, 250 ml toilet water. All goods acquired outside Botswana must be declared when you enter the country.
Air & Airports:
Air Botswana provides international flights from Gaborone to Johannesburg, Windhoek, Harare and Cape Town and internal flights
to Francistown, Maun and Kasane.
Domestic air services operate between the major airports:
• Gaborone Airport (GBE)
• Francistown Airport (FRW)
• Maun Airport (MUB)
• Kasane (BBK)
There are 18,482 km of highways in Botswana, of which 4,343 km are paved. Road conditions in the reserves of Botswana are extremely rough and dusty, and the roads can be badly signposted. Four-wheel drive vehicles are essential, as are good driving skills. Botswana is not recommended as a self-drive destination, except as a 4x4 adventure. If driving in Botswana, your normal driving license is accepted, with an English translation, if necessary. Driving is on the left side of the road. The national speed limit on tarred roads is 120 km/h and 60 km/h in towns and villages. Watch out for wildlife!
Rail & Bus:
A single railway line runs from Ramatlabama on the South African border to Ramokgwebana on the Zimbabwean border. The main stops on this route are Lobatse, Gaborone, Mahalapye, Palapye, Serule and Francistown. Public transport is very limited. Bus and minibus services operate in the more populated areas, but service is generally unscheduled and runs according to demand. As rail service is scheduled, it is a more reliable form of public transport.