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BOTSWANA - Country Guide
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Botswana weather is generally quite pleasant. The hottest time of year in Botswana is also the wettest. The rainy season occurs in summer between October and April. Dry and cool weather, with cold and often frosty nights, occur between May and September, when the average daytime temperature is a comfortable 25ºC. The months between April and October are the best months to visit Botswana in terms of weather and game viewing. This is the time when the wildlife is most prolific and easily spotted around the natural waterholes and dams.
All flights to Botswana are via South Africa. Air Botswana, Botswana’s national airline, provides daily flights from Johannesburg to Gaborone, Kasane and Maun. SA Airlink also offers daily flights from Johannesburg to Maun and Kasane as well as daily flights from Cape Town to Maun. Road transfers are available to or from Victoria Falls to Kasane.
Most nationalities entering Botswana require a visa - check with the High Commission of Botswana for your specific country’s requirements. Visitors need to obtain visas before travelling to Botswana. Passports should be valid for at least six months from the date of departure. Those arriving from an infected country must hold a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Free import of; less than 200 cigarettes or 20 cigars or 250g of tobacco; 2 litres of wine and 1 litre of alcoholic beverages; less than 250ml eau de toilette and 50ml of perfume; other gift articles up to a value of BWP 500.
Malaria is a particular risk in Botswana between November and June in the northern parts of the country. There are no compulsory vaccinations, but a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected countries. Botswana has a good public health system, but facilities are limited outside of urban areas. The tap water in the towns is safe to drink.
We highly recommend that you take out adequate Travel Insurance for the duration of your holiday for peace of mind and to avoid the high costs related to medical emergencies!
Languages:  English is the official language but Setswana is widely spoken.
People:  The population of Botswana is divided into the main ethnic groups of Tswana people (79%), Kalanga people (11%), and Basarwa (or Bushmen) (3%).
Religion:  An estimated 70% of Botswana’s citizens identify themselves as Christians.
Botswana’s currency is the Pula (BWP), meaning ‘rain’ in Setswana. It is divided into 100 thebe, meaning ‘shield’ in Setswana. Foreign currency may be changed at banks, bureaux de change, and authorised hotels. The US Dollar, Euros, British Pound and the South African Rand are the most easily convertible currencies. We strongly advise travelling with some cash when visiting the national parks (especially to pay guide tips, etc.). Major credit cards, such as Master Card and Visa, are accepted throughout the country.
The morning and afternoon light is perfect for photographing wildlife and your safari guide is an expert at positioning the vehicle for the best results. Wildlife photos must be taken from the vehicle and clients are never allowed to get out of the vehicle for a closer shot. Occasionally, where it is safe, you will be able to get out of the vehicle to take a scenic picture. Do not photograph people without first asking permission, as many take great offense to this.
The majority of visits to Botswana are trouble-free, but visitors should be aware of the increasing incidents of crime, particularly armed robbery in the main towns. Free-roaming wildlife and livestock makes driving hazardous, so driving at night should be avoided.
Tipping is expected in tourist hotels and restaurants. Many automatically add a service charge, but where this does not apply, a 10-15% tip is appreciated.
Recommended Tips:
Driver or Safari Guide: $5 to $10 per person per day while on safari.
Waiters / Porters / Room Stewards: $1.00.
Camps, hotels and lodges that cater for overseas visitors will serve an international spread, and the quality of the food prepared in the most remote camps are usually of a high standard. When coming to Botswana on safari your biggest problem with food is likely to be the danger of gaining weight. Botswana’s traditional dishes use sorghum or maize as their basis, prepared as a porridge or pap. This staple is accompanied by servings of meat such as seswaa (a salted stewed beef) or vegetable sauces such as wild spinach or pumpkin. There are two distinct beers in Botswana, one clear and the other opaque. Most visitors tend to drink the clear versions, as they are similar to European lagers. Water is usually purified, so it is generally safe to drink.
When packing for a Botswana safari, practicality is key. In the summer months, daytime temperatures can exceed 40°C, so protect yourself against the sun. Pack neutral-coloured, comfortable, lightweight clothing. During the cooler months, it is best to layer up as the days are still warm and sunny but the night-time temperatures can drop close to freezing point. Be sure to pack a thick fleece jacket or coat for early morning and evening game drives which can be very cold.
* Book through eXplore Plus Travel & Tours and receive a detailed ‘What to Pack’ list which is applicable to the area you are travelling to!
New Year's Day1 Jan        01 Jan
New Year Holiday2 Jan        02 Jan
Good Friday30 Mar        19 Apr
Easter Monday2 Apr        22 Apr
Labour Day1 May        01 May
Ascension Day10 May        30 May
Sir Seretse Khama Day1 Jul        01 Jul
President's Day16 Jul        15 Jul
President's Day Holiday17 Jul        16 Jul
Botswana Day30 Sep        30 Sep
Botswana Day Holiday1 Oct        01 Oct
Christmas Day25 Dec        25 Dec
Boxing Day26 Dec        26 Dec


Botswana Packages

B1: Belmond Explorer

Highlights:  Moremi / Okavango Delta / Savute
Duration:  8 Days / 7 Nights
Dates:  24 Apr - 01 May / 04 - 11 May 2020

B2: Belmond Moremi & Savute Safari

Highlights:  Moremi  / Savute National Park 
Duration:  6 Days / 5 Nights
Dates:  08 - 13 Apr / 22 - 27 June 2020

B3: Belmond Khwai and Savute Safari

Highlights: Moremi / Savute
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Dates: 27 May - 02 Jun 2020

B4: Chobe Houseboat Safaris

Highlights:  Chobe NP
Duration:  4 Days / 3 Nights
Dates:  Valid between 1 Nov 2019 - 31 March 2020 (Friday departures)
Stay for 3 nights / Pay for 2

B5: Chobe Water Villas

Highlights:  Chobe River Experience
Duration:  You choose
Dates:  Private Getaway
Stay for 3 nights / Pay for 2


B6: Bush and Cruise Safari

Highlights:  Chobe NP / Houseboat
Duration6 Days / 5 Nights
DatesPrivate Safari

B7: Botswana and Vic Falls

Highlights:   Makgadigadi Pans / Moremi / Victoria Falls
Duration 8 Days / 7 Nights
Date:  Private Safari

B8: Under the Botswana Skies

Highlights:  Makgadigadi Pans
Durations:  4 Days / 3 Nights
Dates:  Private Safari


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