‘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 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.
Major hotels have foreign exchange facilities and most shops, lodges and travel agencies will accept traveller’s cheques.
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 TELEPHONE DIALLING
International code +267
Botswana is a very safe destination with a low crime rate and the people of Botswana are generally very friendly.
Our safaris may bring you into close contact with wild animals, and whilst attacks are extremely rare, we encourage you to listen to your Guide and take the necessary precautions. One of Botswana’s main attractions is that it is still so wild and natural.
TRAVEL AND MEDICAL INSURANCE
All visitors should carry comprehensive travel and medical Insurance. Uncharted Africa, 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 however, require visas. Visitors from other countries should check with Botswana embassies and consulates as to what documentation would be required.
Requirements for obtaining a visa are a photocopy of passport, an original application form and two passport photos. All visitors may be requested to show proof of sufficient funds and their onward travel/ return ticket. A letter of support from your host or host company or your confirmed hotel bookings/tour itinerary may also be necessary.
Visas are usually granted for 30 days and may be extended for a total of three months.
All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. There should be sufficient blank pages for entry stamps upon arrival.
All border posts open daily.
ROAD: Zimbabwe / Botswana:
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:
Charter services can be arranged to reach remote areas. These tend to be expensive, but are cheaper when booked through a tour operator.
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 to negotiate these roads in the wild. Botswana is not recommended as a self-drive destination, except as a 4x4 adventure. If you will be 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 on the roads!
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.
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.
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