Situated in the southern reaches of Africa, Botswana is renowned for its pristine wilderness areas characterised by deep lagoons, wetlands, lush palms, rugged hills and desert plains. The country’s primary tourist drawcard is undoubtedly the vast red expanse of the Kalahari Desert and its remarkably beautiful Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of African wildlife to thrive. Other highlights include the impressive Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, where visitors are privy to massive zebra migrations during the flood season; the Savuti plains, which host a significant pride of lions; and the Tsodilo Hills, where 4500 rock paintings form a unique record of human settlement over many millennia.

Banking and Currency

Local currency: Pula (BWP) 
Symbol: P 
ISO code: BWP 
Central bank: Bank of Botswana 
Subunit: Thebe 
Banknotes: P100, P50, P20, P10 
Coins: P5, P2, P1; T50, T25, T10, T5 

Card Transactions: Yes 
ATMs: Yes 
Mastercard: Generally, no 
Visa: Yes 
American Express: Generally, no  
Diner’s club: Generally, no 
Banking Hours: 
Weekdays: 08h00 or 09h00 – 16h15 or 17h15 

Weekends: 08h00 or 09h00 – 10h45 or 12h00  
Public Holidays: No 

Foreign exchange services: Yes 

Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Air: Airports in major cities  
Main airlines: Mack Air and Kalahari Air  
International Airports: In major cities 

Tar roads: Yes 
Gravel roads: Yes 
Valid International Drivers License needed: Yes, if your national licence is not in English. If your national licence is in English, you may use it for up to 6 months.  
Car hire available: Yes 
Taxis: Yes 
Uber available: No, but similar services 
Inter-city bus services: No 
Local city bus networks: No 
Railway system: Yes, overnight train from Francistown to Gaborone to Lobatse. 
Subway System: No 
Ferries: No 
Water taxis: No 
Leisure cruises: No 

Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Food and water safety:  
Can you drink the tap water: Yes within major cities 
Fresh fruit and veg: Yes within major cities 
Ice: Yes within major cities 
Meat: Yes within major cities 
Street food: Yes within major cities 
Local cuisine: Food centres around meat such as goat, beef, chicken and fresh water fish, and a maize meal known locally as “pap”.  Adventurous culinary enthusiasts may want to try the traditional speciality of Mopane Worms, while those with a sweet tooth should make sure to sample the local Kalahari Truffles (made as a dessert) and unusual fruit called Marula. It is believed that watermelon originated here.  

Drinks:  Bojalwaja Setswana (the beer of Botswana) - created using fermented sorghum seeds.  

Tipping: 10%, usually added to the bill at restaurants. It is also customary to tip game drivers and guides.

Climate and Weather

Climate and Weather 
Annual rainfall: 475 mm  
Average temperature: 27°C 
Average in highs: 31°C 
Average in lows: 20°C 
Average in highs: 23°C 
Average in lows: 22°C 
Best time to visit: It’s best to visit Botswana between April and September – the dry winter months. At this time, animals usually stay close to their water sources, increasing your chances of seeing them.  

Internet Availability 
Internet cafes: Yes in cities 
Accommodation options: Yes 
Restaurants: Yes in cities 
Cafes: Yes in cities 
Shopping malls: Yes 
Public parks: No 
Libraries: Yes in cities 

Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Spring and Summer 
Cool, light, breathable and comfortable: Yes 
Lightweight warm clothes: Yes 
Winter and Autumn 
Jerseys, cardigans, sweaters, jackets: Yes 
Heavyweight clothing and boots: Yes 
Umbrella and raincoat: Yes 
Warm gloves, hat and scarf: Yes 
Swimming costume (bathing suit): Yes 
Hat, sunglasses and sunblock: Yes 
Walking shoes: Yes 
Casual: Yes 
Smart-casual attire: Yes 

Internet Availability

Internet cafes: Yes in cities 
Accommodation options: Yes 
Restaurants: Yes in cities 
Cafes: Yes in cities 
Shopping malls: Yes 
Public parks: No 
Libraries: Yes in cities 

Electricity and Plug Standards

Plug Type: D/G 
Voltage (V): 230 
Frequency Hertz (Hz): 50 
*Travel plug adapter and voltage converter might be necessary depending on your appliances. 

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