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Botswana: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Botswana. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Domestic flights

Please note that light aircraft flights in Botswana are not always direct and often touch down at various other lodges to collect and drop-off other travellers to their respective destinations.

The lodges in Botswana have a relationship with the flight companies to assist them with moving clients between camps and this makes the service rather like catching a bus but without a set schedule. Please know that the companies who are responsible for the flight operations between camps do their utmost to make this process as painless as possible.

You might not know your departure time from your lodge until the night before you fly which is worth bearing in mind.

Weight restrictions

Please note that when packing for your trip to Africa, it is extremely important to note that there are strict weight restrictions enforced by the airlines. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers on board. Light aircraft are designed with a maximum body weight and luggage weight allowance in mind, and are limited to physical space restrictions.

Important: Max luggage allowance on your light aircraft flight is 20kg/44lbs (including camera equipment and hand luggage). Luggage must be in soft bags, with no wheels or hard aspects, as it needs to pack in to small undercarriages of light aircrafts Maximum dimensions are 25 cm (10 in) wide x 30 cm (12 in) high x 62 cm (24 in) long.

Please inform us in advance if anyone travelling has an individual weight of more than 100kgs (220lbs) as additional weight allowance on the aircraft must be purchased for safety and comfort.

On ALL light aircrafts, only one soft bag per person will be accepted – no hard suitcases, as they cannot physically fit in the aircraft. The most efficient bags are soft, non-rigid bags with no wheels. Some airlines also impose luggage size restrictions – these can be found in the information to follow.

These luggage restrictions may sound very limiting, but bear in mind the following:

– Most safari camps / lodges and hotels provide basic toiletries

– Laundry can be done on a daily basis (and many camps provide this service free of charge but hotels do charge a nominal fee)

If you wish to bring additional luggage with you that exceeds the allotted weight restrictions for one person, you may choose to purchase another seat.

Do I need any vaccinations before I go away to Botswana?

Please seek professional medical advice and recheck close to the date of travel as the situation may change. For those travelling to certain areas you will require yellow fever. It’s also very important that if you have recently travelled to a country where Yellow Fever is prevalent (or if this forms part of your itinerary with us), you will need to show your yellow fever certificate on arrival in Botswana (otherwise you may be denied entry). What is recommended for all is that you ensure you are up to date with hepatitis A, typhoid and routine immunisations – specifically tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Malaria is prevalent throughout Botswana, especially in the Okavango Delta, Linyanti and Chobe. We advise that all travellers to Botswana take anti-malarial prophylaxis with them when travelling here. Check with your medical advisor about the areas you are going to before travelling. We recommend you bring some mosquito spray.

Should I bring travellers cheques?

Travellers’ cheques are accepted in city hotels, shops and travel agencies. However we don’t usually suggest bringing them as they can be troublesome and time consuming to change.  Cash machines are always nearby in big cities and airports.

Which currency should I bring?

The local currency is called the Pula (Setswana for ‘rain’). In addition to local currency, Botswana banks only accept US Dollars, GBP Sterling, Euro and South African Rand in cash. Any cash payments made to camps for curios, or gratuities to guides or staff, need to be in one of these currencies.

MasterCard and Visa are usually accepted throughout Botswana, including however, Diners Club and American Express are not accepted by the banks in Botswana, and therefore are not accepted at most camps. Your total daily expenditure can be reckoned on 30% cash and 70% card payments.

Banking Hours are Monday to Friday: 09:00 – 15:00 & Saturday: 08:00 – 10:45

Do I need to get a visa?

This can always change, and you should check with your local embassy before travel. To enter Botswana visas are not currently required by citizens of EU, US, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Residents of UAE do require a visa. Some nationalities have to obtain visas prior to arrival in Botswana, and some can obtain them on arrival at the port of entry; please ask us, or check with your local embassy. If your itinerary crosses into other countries, please bear in mind that you may need visas for these.

Please also ensure that you have sufficient blank visa pages (not endorsement pages) in your passport, with at least two consecutive/side by side blank pages. Our recommendation is three pages (or even four if you are travelling through more than one country on your journey). If there is insufficient space in your passport then entry into a country could be denied. It is also important that your passport if valid for at least six months after your intended departure.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are travelling through Botswana’s borders with minors (children under the age of 18), you will be required to produce certified/notarised copies of their unabridged birth certificates in addition to their valid passports. In the event that one parent is not travelling with the child, the other parent’s affidavit consenting to such travel should be availed. However, an affidavit will not be required if the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.

Travel insurance

It is vital that you take out valid comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical repatriation, cancellation and curtailment for you trip to Africa. This gives you peace of mind that you will not lose money should you be forced to cancel your trip due to illness before you travel or during your vacation.

Please ensure that your insurance covers you for medical evacuation and repatriation both internationally and locally, and we could advise that your policy covers loss and theft of your possessions. It is your responsibility to ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all aspects of your vacation. You must ensure that you will be covered for activities such as walking, rafting, canoeing and horse riding.

Remember to carry your insurance details with you at all times.

Laundry

Most camps and lodges have laundry facilities, provided you have sufficient time to allow for drying and ironing. Some properties charge a nominal fee for this (some include it). As laundry in lodges is generally done by hand, we suggest that you wash your own underwear.

Electrical plugs in Africa

There is a huge variation in the type of plug socket in use in Africa and it is best to be armed with a universal adaptor. Most sockets tend to be the larger three pin socket in South Africa.