country guide Botswana

Botswana is Southern Africa's success story – political and economical. Since the independence from Great Britain in 1966 Botswana has been under a democratic civilian leadership, implemented progressive social politics and used the enormous diamond resources to become one of the most successful economies in Africa. Beside the mineral extraction, which is still dominating the economy, the tourism industry is the new growing activity in Botswana. Targeting especially on high-class tourism Botswana is now using its natural beauty to become one of the key players in the Southern African tourism market. Check out Botswana Safaris by Signature for some great tours around the country.

For backpackers and individual tourists Botswana it is actually quite difficult to get around the country and to find accommodation and tours. Due to the official policy focussing on high-class tourism only a few backpacker hostels and “low-budget” tour operators have been developed, but there are a few tour operators (Okavango Delta, Chobe NP) and even some budget accommodation!

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How to get around in Botswana?

By car - by far the easiest way of getting around in Botswana. Rental cars are available at populations centres at relatively moderate prices. If you’re in a group, renting a car is also often the most economical way of exploring the country. Most major roads are in excellent condition. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. All major hubs in Botswana are connected by highways and very good tarmac roads. Off main routes, the roads range from good, high-speed gravel to deep, rutted sand. 4x4 enthusiasts and offroader will find there favourite routes there.
As in most other southern African countries, driving is on the left side of the road. The national speed limit on tarred roads is 120km/h, while through towns and villages the speed limit is 60km/h, even in the absence of a sign.
Taxi - All vehicles licensed to carry passengers can be easily identified by their number plates, which have blue backgrounds. Taxis carry up to 5 passengers at a time. If however you would prefer not to share a taxi with other passengers, at an additional fee, this can be arranged with the taxi driver.

By bus - There is a number of passenger transport companies in Botswana which offer services throughout the country. Some of them are AT&T Monnakgotla, JNG, Mahube and Seabelo Express. They offer daily routes from Gaborone to: Selebi-Phikwe, Palapye, Mahalapye, Serowe, Francistown, Ghanzi, Tshabong, Hukuntsi, Orapa, Lobatse, Maun, Kasane, Ramotswa, and other routes. is connecting South Africa (Johannesburg) with Botswana.

By air - regular flights are available from South Africa to Gaborone, as well as to Maun, Kasane & Francistown. Flights from Gaborone to Maun, Kasane & Francistown are also available. Flights to Botswana aren't that cheap, so you might want to consider renting a car or travelling by bus to get there. If you have some money to spend - the air charter industry is well developed in Botswana, offering flights to the national airport network as well as private destinations.

Accommodation in Botswana

Botswana is mainly foccussing on the "high-class" tourism sector, so no backpacker or budget accommodation network like in the neighboring country of South Africa has been established. But due to high demand, the first backpackers and budget lodges and camp sites are opening up nowadays. See the's accommodation booking for a list of affordable accommodation establishments.


Botswana at a glance

  • Weather: Botswana is mainly a dry country, but it does have a summer rainy season,which runs roughly from November to March. From late May to August, rain is rare anywhere in the country. Days are normally clear, warm and sunny, and nights are cool to bitterly cold. In the Kalahari, below freezing temperatures at night are normal in June & July.
  • Malaria in Botswana:
    prophylaxis is recommended for all travel to the northern part of the country (north of 22 degrees south in the provinces of Central, Chobe, Ghanzi, and Ngamiland), including safaris to the Okavango Delta area. No risk in the city of Gaborone. Transmission occurs mainly from November to June.
  • Area: 581,730km²
  • Capital: Gaborone
  • Currency: Pula
  • Languages: Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
  • Population: 1,990,876
  • Ethnic groups: Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
    Climate: semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
  • Elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m | highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
  • HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 23.9% (2007 est.)
  • Electricity: 230V - 50hz
    plugs: rectangular blade plugs or "South African" plugs - click here
    Buy your adapter now - USA | UK | Germany
  • Internet country code: .bw


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© Sebastian Hermanns - All Rights Reserved - last modified 2021-01-07 3:42 PM

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School & public holidays
in Botswana 2018

World Heritage Sites in
Southern Africa

Southern Africa has currently 14 official UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. Read more »»

Since 01 August 2008:
Motor Vehicle Accident Fund payment for all foreign registered vehicles

All non residents of Botswana who drive foreign registered motor vehicles into Botswana, shall upon entry into Botswana, pay a third party insurance cover.
Read more (pdf) »»

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