Botswana is a vast land, highly prized for its safaris and game. Astonishingly, around 17% of the country is designated national park, and when Botswana’s huge private concessions are also totalled up, the figure swells to a proud 40%.
Botswana has ensured that its spectacular Delta region has been well developed for tourists, with its impressive lagoons crammed with hovering birdlife, elephants, giraffes and other exotic animals that amble through its vast grass flats. Incidentally, this is the largest inland delta in the world, which explains its wealth of wildlife. It is almost enough to make you forget that most of Botswana is given over to desert.
QUICK FACTS AND INFORMATION
Full Country Name: Republic of Botswana
Area: 582,000 sq km
Population: 2.03 million (UN 2011)
Borders: South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Religion: Christian is the main religion of Botswana followed by other indigenous religions
Time Zone: Standard time is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time
Languages: Official language is English but the National language is Setswana
Country Dialling Code: +267
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.
For tourists, the best visiting months are from April through to October – in terms of both weather and game viewing. It is during this period that the wildlife gathers around what water there is – the natural waterholes and the borehole-fed dams – and are at their most visible.
CURRENCY & BANKS
The unit of currency in Botswana is the Pula (BWP), which is made up of 100 Thebes (cents). Full banking services are available in all the main towns although a commission is normally charged. US Dollars are the common currency used whilst on safari. It is recommended to carry some cash in small denominations.
In Botswana the general voltage is 220-240 and the frequency is 50 Hz. Electricity in most camps is provided by generators. Batteries may be recharged in the camp during the day but it is wise to double check with the camp manager.
As the sockets can vary a ‘Travellers Adaptor Set’ is recommended. Voltage sometimes fluctuates and whilst power cuts are rare, they are not unknown. It is useful to carry a torch.
Health requirements vary from country to country. We recommend you speak to your local Travel Doctor for up-to-date information and advice. The following information is to be used as a guide only.
Malaria: It is recommended that precautions against malaria are taken for travel to most regions in Africa. We suggest you contact your doctor for advice on which prophylactic is recommended.
Please note that road surfaces vary from tarmac, gravel, sand and occasionally vehicles may travel “off road”. Additionally, if visiting remote areas or National Parks and Reserves, the roads may well be rough, bumpy and in a poor condition and may be affected by adverse weather conditions.
At the time of writing, no visa for Botswana is required for travellers on Australian Passports. Please double check this with your travel agent as this may change at any time. You must hold return or onward flight tickets.
We hope that you will find this country Information on Botswana useful for reference when preparing for your holiday. All the information above was correct at the time of writing and is to be used as a guide only. Health, visa and other specific details should be double checked by your travel agent at the time of booking.