How do you get there? Getting to Botswana is not complicated.
The way to travel to Botswana is either by air or road. It is
important to note that although not impossible to get to, some areas are quite remote.
Some places are only accessible by air, while other areas are simple to drives to.
The major airlines that fly into Botswana are South African Airways, Kenya Airways and Air
Botswana, which is Botswana's major airline. There are no direct flights from Europe or most parts of the world. You can
only fly directly into Botswana via commercial airlines from Johannesburg
or Cape Town (South Africa), Lusaka (Zambia), Windhoek
(Namibia), or Nairobi (Kenya).
Maun Airport (Maun), Kasane Airport (Kasane), Francistown International Airport (Francistown) and Sir Seretse Khama
International Airport (Gaborone) are the international airports in Botswana. From these you can link to smaller airports
and airstrips across the country.
Multiple entry points are available with all 4 of Botswana's
neighbours. These border posts are mostly efficient, well managed and
maintained. The border with South Africa specifically has a large number of
entry points (15 to be exact) some of these are on busy roads, others are remote
and are extremely quiet. Border posts opening and closing times vary so one
would need to confirm these beforehand. The timetable listed below is from the
Government of Botswana website:
Intercape bus offers a Johannesburg/Pretoria to Gaborone route. It is also
possible to link from Cape Town and other cities in South Africa. You can book online via
Intercape, and make your payments online.
Mahube Express is a bus service
based in Botswana which services routes into Zimbabwe and also to Johannesburg
From Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) or
Livingstone (Zambia), it is
possible to get a
transfer vehicle take you to Kasane and other places around the Botswana
town. However, these tend to be a bit costly, especially if there a only a few
passengers at a time. For transfers or other Botswana travel information,
The Kazungula Ferry
The Kazungula Ferry
The single border crossing between Zambia and Botswana is
via the Kazungula Ferry. It is a pontoon ferry which crosses the
where it is about 400 metres wide. Passengers, cars and even commercial trucks use
the ferry to cross to and from Botswana. The times for crossing are between 6am to 6pm. It is ideal for self-driving between Zambia and
northern Botswana. This crossing can get busy during the peak travel season.
Here is a detailed article of
need to knows for self-drivers.
Important Botswana Travel Information - Entry Regulations
All visitors to Botswana are required to have a valid passport. Visitors to Botswana are allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days per year. There are different
visa regulations for nationals of
different countries, so be sure to understand whether or not you will need to obtain a visa prior to travelling to Botswana, or if you can get a visitor's visa on your arrival. See our
Botswana visa page for more information.
Botswana requires visitors who have been to high risk yellow-fever countries to provide
a vaccination certificate upon entry into the country. If you do not live or
have not visited a yellow fever zone, you do NOT need to produce a yellow
fever certificate. For more information
about countries that are considered high-risk areas, please visit our
For such a large country Botswana has relatively few roads. The major arterial
roads are generally good quality tar, although pot holes can be encountered in some areas.
There are dirt roads in the more remote areas which are mostly encountered when
travelling between and to the National Parks, due to the thick sand. 4x4 vehicles
are essential in these parts.
Distances between Botswana's towns and cities Click to download the full chart
If you decide to drive into Botswana, you must have your drivers' license and accompanying vehicle registration documents with you at all times. Driver's
licenses from outside Botswana are valid for six months. If the driver's license is not in English, a translated document should accompany the license.
Driving in Botswana is on the left hand side of the road. The speed limits are 60km/hr in residential and rural areas, and 120km/hr on the highways. Watch out for numerous speed traps. Botswana has relatively few Police roadblocks.
In most areas drivers must be aware of wild animals and livestock, especially on the highways at night when visibility is greatly reduced. In fact, it is not advisable to drive at night on Botswana's highways as fences are limited and these animals wander freely.
Car Hire within Botswana's border is pretty straight forward, with the
big names like Avis, Europcar, Bidvest etc being available at all the major
airports and cities. However if you are thinking of hiring a car from South
Africa and driving into Botswana that's a bit more tricky. Here is a very
useful article on just that subject
Cross Border Car Hire South Africa
Third party insurance is required for all vehicles that enter Botswana. It is available at the border, together with a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) which is valid for six months. Third party insurance valid within the South African Customs Union is also valid in Botswana.
A road tax/levy will be charged for all vehicles and trailers entering Botswana. This can
only be paid in Botswana Pula at the border post (foreign currency cannot be used to pay for the road tax). Credit cards can be used at some border post but it's not advisable to rely on these
completely, so carry some cash which you can exchange at the bureaux de change
It is important to note that there are no fuel stations within the country's National Parks, so please bear this in mind and plan ahead - carrying enough extra fuel in metal jerry cans if you have a long journey.
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