Travel to Botswana by Road:
Botswana is accessible by tarred road from South Africa, Zimbabwe,
Zambia and Namibia. Vehicles are driven on the left hand side of
the road. A valid international drivers license, along with vehicle
registration documents, are required to drive in Botswana, and drivers
should carry them at all times.
Major roads in Botswana are tarred and driving conditions are generally
good. The main roads to establish areas are regularly graded. Four-wheel
drive is required with traveling in the national parks and reserves,
as well as in remote areas.
Car and four-wheel drive rental services ar widely available in
major tourist centres, airport and hotels.
There are scheduled bus services across borders between Botswana
and South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia, as well as good
internal bus services linking major and minor towns and villages
across the country.
Getting around towns:
Taxis are normally a convenient way to get around in towns and are
reasonably priced. They are easily identified in designated stations
or can be contacted by telephone. Taxis to Gaborone are also avialable
from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.
Drivers are required to carry their licenses at all times. Licenses
from neighbouring countries are accepted in Botswana. if not written
in English, a certified written translation is required. International
drivers licenses are accepted in Botswana.
Importation of Motor Vehicles:
Non-residents visiting Botswana and coming from a country outside
the Southern African Common Customs Area for a limited period are
normally required to produce a carnet or bill of entry (any duty
liability thereon being secured by bond or cash deposit) in respect
of their motor vehicles. For further information please contact
Department of Customs.
Note: The Southern African Common Customs Area comprises Botswana,
Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland and Namibia.
Duty Free Allowances:
Customs duties are not charged on the following goods imported as
accompanied or unaccompanied passengers baggage:
Wines - 2 litres
Spirituous* - 1 litres
Cigarettes - 200
Cigars - 20
Perfume - 50ml
Toilet Water - 250ml
* Includes all other alcoholic beverages
** Includes cigarette and pipe tobacco
Note: Duty will be payable at the applicable rates when travelers
import goods exceeding the above allowance. Travelers importing
goods for business or commercial purpose will not qualify for the
Importation of Goods:
The following consumer goods may be imported for private
use without an import permit, provided they do not exceed the maximum
Key: PP- per person, PF - per family.
Red meat, goat / lamb - 25kg PF
Poultry meat - 5kg PP
Tinned poultry meat - 20kg PP
Eggs - 36 eggs - PP
Fresh Milk - 2 litres PP
Maize / maize products - 25kg PP
Wheat - 25kg PP
Pulses (beans, peas, lentils) - 25kg PP
Sorghum / sorghum - 25kg PP
Cabbage, Onions, Potatoes, Oranges, Tomatoes, Chimolia, Ripe, Spinach
- 1 bag PP
Bread Loaves 6 per week
Plants may be imported subject to plant and health restrictions,
and South African transit permits may also be required in respect
of plants shipped through South Africa.
These are goods that can only be imported with a license or permit.
- Narcotic, habit forming drugs and related substance in any form
- Firearms, ammunition and explosives
- Indecent and obscene material such as pornographic books, magazine,
films, videos, DVD's and software
Self Drive Camping:
Embarking on a camping trip in Botswana requires a good deal of
planning and preparations. You will be going to remote areas, accessible
only by for-wheel drive, where water, petrol or food may not be
You may often be driving on rough terrain, and through heavy sand,
in conditions very different from those you ar used to.
As a general rule, take all food requirements to last your stay.
Take at least 20 litres of water per person, preferably more; for
desert destinations, carry between 50 and 100 litres. Carry at least
100 litres of petrol in long-range tanks or in metal jerry tins.
Take spare vehicle parts for breakdowns.
As campsites within game reserves and national parks are usually
not fenced, it is important for campers to take necessary precautionary
measures to ensure their safety, and to abide by the information
provided by wildlife officers.
The following basic camping rules should be strictly heeded:
- Only camp in designated campsites
- Always sleep in your tent, roof tent or vehicle. Make sure your
tent zips up well.
- Don't sleep with legs or arms protruding from the tent.
- Use rubbish receptacles a the campsites, if there are non, carry
away all rubbish until you get to the next town.
- Cigarette butts should be well extinguished and placed in a rubbish
bag, not thrown on the ground.
- Make sure the campfire is well extinguished at the end of the
evening, or after use and cover it with sand.
- Dont sleep on bridges or animal paths, particularly those of
elephants an hippos
- Bury all faecal matter and burn all toilet paper.
- Dont bathe or drink from still bodies of water, there is the
danger of bilhazia
- in the Okavango, dont swim in lagoons or streams, there is a
danger of crocodiles an hippos
- Children must be constantly supervised. Never leave them alone
in the campsite. Never allow children to nap on the ground or in
- Dont stray far from the campsite, or walk in the bush, unless
with a quantified guide.
The general rule of thumb for camping in botswana is take
only memorised, leave only footprints.
In the Panhandle area of the Okavango, there are a number of camps
and lodges that specialise in fishing excursions. Fishing can also
be done on the Chobe River, outside the park. Fishing is only allowed
in designated areas of the national parks, and only with an official
Firewood is defined as wood that is both dead and fallen and which
can be removed without the use of tools. Self-drive campers should
use firewood sparingly and only when necessary.