You will need a complete guide for travelling to Botswana if you’re heading there soon!
It is one of the more simple countries to visit, as there wasn’t a great deal of hassle on the Botswana side of the border crossing from South Africa.
Many people traveling to Botswana seem to be going for either business or wildlife and not much else in between. The CBD isn’t very large but is filled with buildings on the rise, embassies and office buildings. We had a pretty easy time at the border (not on the side when leaving South Africa) and it was quick and painless.
Botswana Visa Situation
The Botswana visa is good for 1 month and we utilized almost the whole 30 days offered. Both Canadian and UK residence don’t have to pay upon arriving and we didn’t have to wait very long, it could have been because of the time of night we arrived or perhaps that gate of entry isn’t one of the busiest but it was hassle free.
Botswana use Pula which at first was confusing because there isn’t really a set or simple rule to converting in your mind like it was with Rand in SA but we figured it out after about a week or two. Their dollar is quite strong and the cost of living isn’t cheap in Botswana. I think that they are open to USD and both our Canadian and UK bank cards worked perfectly fine in the country. Pulling out Pula wasn’t an issue and the bills are quite pretty!
Gaborone (capital) has really great roads but everything is really spread out. You can easily find yourself needing to be on the other side of town from where you’re staying if you’ve got any type of itinerary. Driving is quite easy as they have civil road rules and not a lot of bumps, hills or potholes. If you are planning on leaving the capital and want to visit anywhere else in the country you are going to want to consider a 4×4 as many of the roads off of the main A1 and other freeways aren’t as well paved or directed. We drove out to the Tuli Block in a little Sudan and while we made it there and back alive it isn’t really suggested and should it have rained during out time away we would have likely been really trapped! When we were in the city we found ourselves a trusty transport company called Gifa Transport, he was reliable, on time and really helpful. We were able to call on him more or less at any time and if Gifa himself wasn’t available he would send one of his staff. If you are doing self drive around the city I would highly suggest contacting him as he was a great deal of help while we were there!
Places to Stay
You would have seen some of our previous posts on places to stay so I won’t get into detail about it too much, rather I will just include some links below. What advice I can give you about staying in Gaborone in particular is that you really want to try and do your research before you pick a spot, we were unlucky to stay at a few places that we didn’t love or were really far out from everywhere. The one thing you don’t really want when travelling is getting stuck in an area that is quiet and away from everything unless you’re looking for that in particular.