Botswana: useful information


Botswana tour guide, practical information and useful tips for organizing trips and vacations in the state of southern Africa.

Botswana in short

  • Capital: Gaborone
  • Area in sq km: 581,726
  • Population: 2,006,945 (2010)
  • Religion: mostly animists, followed by Protestants and Catholics, as well as a small minority of Muslims.

Where is it

Botswana flag Botswana is a state of southern Africa, which borders South and South-East with South Africa, North and West with Namibia, North with Zambia, North-East with Zimbabwe, has no outlets on the sea.

The territory of Botswana, formed by a large plateau covered with savannas, is occupied mostly by the Kalahari desert which is located in the southern and western part of the country.

At the northwestern border of Kalahari are the Tsodilo Hills, an area where four hills rise up from the expanse of the savannah.

The historical site, considered a place of worship and ancestral spirits, is very ancient and is characterized by about 4,000 cave paintings, made in the past by the Bushmen.

The northwestern part of Botswana is also characterized by the Okavango River, which from Angola flows in a southeast direction, dispersing its waters in the sand of Kalahari through a network of canals, thus forming an alluvial plain that gives life to a extraordinary ecosystem.


The major streams of Botswana, in addition to the Okavango river with its vast internal delta, are the Limpopo and Shashe rivers, which flow along the eastern borders with South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the Chobe river that originates in Angola and marks the border with Namibia before flowing into the Zambezi.

The park of the same name overlooks the Chobe River, in the north-west of the country, famous for the variety of vegetation and fauna, in particular of the elephants, who live numerous in this place. In the southern part of Botswana there are no permanent rivers.


The climate of Botswana is tropical, characterized by few rains in the north and south-east, while it is desert in the south-west.

The seasons are distinguished in cool, hot, rainy, post-rainy seasons. The cool and dry season runs from mid-May to mid-August, with daytime temperatures around 19/25 ° C and minimum temperatures around 1/8 ° C.

Between mid-August and September the temperatures begin to rise to reach between the end of October and the beginning of November (late November in the south) at highs between 29 ° C and 34 ° C.

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From mid-November to mid-March (in the south from late November to early March) it is the rainy season, which reaches its peak in January.

From mid-March to mid-May, dry and cool winds gradually re-establish themselves, and the weather becomes more and more clear with maximum temperatures between 24 ° C and 31 ° C.


The majority of the population belongs to the Bantu Tswana ethnic group, then there are minorities of other Bantu ethnic groups, as well as ethnic groups of the Khoisan group, white and mulatto.

Time zone

The time difference in Botswana is 1 hour ahead of Italy. When daylight saving time is in Italy, the time is the same.

Spoken language

The official languages ​​are English and Tswana.


After independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, Botswana has benefited from significant economic growth, which has allowed it to transform itself from one of the poorest countries in Africa, into a medium-income country, according to the international classifications of economies in developing.

The country can count on a good institutional situation and a prosperous economy, however there is a strong inequality in the distribution of wealth, and about half of the population lives below the poverty line, due to high unemployment, scarcity of qualified human resources, and especially for the AIDS epidemic.

The main wealth of Botswana are the immense deposits of diamonds, which are the basis of the economic structure of the country.

When to go

The best time to visit Botswana is from May to September. In these months the weather is clear and sunny during the day, while at night the temperature drops significantly.

It is also easier to spot animals, as they do not stray far from the pools of water.

Necessary documents

To enter Botswana you need a passport with at least 6 months of residual validity. The visa is not required for visits for tourist purposes.


- The international code for calling from Italy to Botswana is: 00267

- The international dialing code for calling from Botswana to Italy is: 0039

As for the use of the mobile phone, it is advisable to check with your operator if there are roaming agreements, but the network coverage is limited and does not cover the whole country.

In the most remote areas, a satellite phone is required. Internet points are located in the most important cities.


The electric current is 220 V 50 Hz.

The sockets are old and new 3-pole British type, therefore a plug adapter is required.

Money and credit card

The official currency of Botswana is the chaff.

In the main cities there are ATMs where you can withdraw cash, and banks that all offer banking services.

The most popular credit cards are accepted in hotels and restaurants in major cities and villages.

How to get

There are no direct flights from Italy to Botswana. From Europe there are direct flights to Johannesburg in South Africa, where the airlines, Air Botswana and South African Airways, make the connecting flights with Botswana.

The main airport "Gaborone Sir Seretse Khama International, is located 15 km north of the capital.


No mandatory vaccinations are required to enter Botswana.

The yellow fever vaccination certificate is required only from travelers over the age of one year from areas at risk of transmission of this disease.

After medical consultation, vaccinations against typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A and B are recommended.

With regard to antimalarial prophylaxis, it should be borne in mind that malaria rice occurs from November to May / June in the northern areas of Boteti, Chobe, Ngamiland, Okavango, Tutume.

It is also advisable to follow some hygienic measures, drink only bottled water without adding ice, eat only cooked meats and vegetables, fruit only if peeled personally.

Before departure, it is recommended to take out health insurance that covers medical costs and a possible repatriation.

Self Drive Botswana Free 4x4 Travel Guide. (September 2023)

Tags: Africa