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Botswana Travel Facts

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Natural Features: Botswana is a land locked country and it forms a part Southern African plateau. The country is almost entirely flat above the sea level except in the southeast where the terrain is hilly and broken. Two distinct topographical regions are found, in the east, hilly grassland and the Kalahari in southwest about 80% of Botswana consists of Kalahari sands. The only sources of permanent surface water are the chobe, Okavango and Limpopo rivers.


Rainy Seasons: October to April there are warm winters and hot summers

Accommodation: Most hotels and lodges do provide camping areas as well, which offer a wide range of facilities including cooking areas. Wild camping is also permitted out of government freehold land and outside national parks provided permission is obtained before hand.

Climate: A large part of the country is desert although its climate is variable with two major seasons. Winter is from May to August. During this period, the atmosphere is clear, warm and sunny in the day, and cold or very cold in the night. In June and July, frost can be experienced in humid areas. The country receives very low levels of rainfall; the rainy season is from November to March which is the summer. Thunderstorms accompanied by rains could be experienced during this period. From April to early May and September to October, the country is dry. During these periods, the days are cooler than in summer and nights are warmer than in winter.

Culture: There is a good collection of art works in Botswana. Most of these can be seen or purchased directly from producers or at weaving cooperatives in Gaborone and Francistown. Famous Botswana baskets and beautiful dolls of the Herero women normally capture people's interests. The dolls depict the women's four life stages of maturity.

Food: Hotels and restaurants offer a wide selection of food including traditional delicacies and international cuisine while supermarkets in almost all major cities sell a wide range of natural fruit juices. Local alcohol production is limited to beer, of which Black Label and Lion are some of the available options.

Post and Communications: Post services are available and some sort of identification is required when picking up a parcel. Besides, there are call boxes around post offices in all major towns. International calls are made from designated centres in cities like Gaborone and Francistown.

Shopping: Botswana is famed for its basketry, wood carvings and Bushmen craft. These are available in curio shops in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.

Tipping: It is not mandatory. Taxi drivers for instance are not tipped generally. In most places, a service charge has instead been introduced.

Travel Highlights: One place that ought to be visited is the Okavango Delta, formed by the waters of the Okavanga River which has its source in the mountains of Angola. The delta is part of the larger geographical network which embraces Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park and Makgadigadi and Nxai Pans. Rail: There is an overnight service once a week from Johannesburg as well as daily trips from Gaborone to Bulawayo and Francistown.

Road: Botswana is easily accessible from neighbouring countries and there are local restrictions between these countries. All the main roads are tarred.

Best Time To Visit: If you want to hit the back roads, enjoy wildlife viewing or explore the Okavango , summer isn't the

Travel Around:

Air: Air Botswana provides scheduled flights between Gaborone, Francistown and Maun while air charter services are available to most national parks.

Road: Most centres are linked by highways although the central and south-western parts of the country are accessible only by 4WDs. Off-main routes range from good to sandy and some may challenge the vehicle.

Rail: You can take a train form Gaborone to Francistown and Lobatse. All necessary information can be obtained at railway station offices.

Driving: Driving is on the left.

Passport and Visa: required, but not by the following: 1) Holders of United Nations Convention travel documents. Please contact nearest

Embassy / Consulate. Visas required, but not by the following: 1) Nationals of Commonwealth countries (excep Ghana, India, Mauritius, Nigeria & Sri lanka) 2) Nationals of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Rep, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Samoa, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States,
Uruguay & Yugoslavia.

Notes:

  • Visas for nationals of Ghana, India, Nigeria & Sri-lanka will take 2/3 weeks to issue from date of application.
  • For a stay of more than 90 days visitors should apply to the nearest Immigration Office or the Chief Immigration Officer, P.O.Box 942, Gaborone Botswana

Recommended Immunisation: *diphtheria, hepatitis A, *hepatitis B, *malaria, polio, *TB, tetanus, typhoid *recommended in some

Compusory Vacination: None

Museums: National Museum and Art Gallery

Religion: Christians, indigenous beliefs

Languages: En, Tn

GDP: $3300 per capita

Currency: Pula(P) (100 thebe)

Credit Cards: Credit cards are accepted in a limited basis.

Time: GMT+2

International Dialing Code: 267

International Radios: BBC KHz:(daytime)21470, 6190, 3255(evening) 15400, 6190, 3255

Business Hours: Government offices open from 0730 to 1230 and 0145 to 0430 Monday to Friday. Banking hours are from 0900 to 1530 on Monday,Tuesday,Thursday and and Friday,and from 8.15am to noon on Wednesday and from 8.15 to 10.45am on Saturday.

Weekly Days Off: Saturday and Sunday

Public Holidays: New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) , New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), Public Holiday (Jan. 2), Sir Seretse Khama Day (Jul. 1), President’s Day Sept 30 Independence Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day Variables Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day and Ascension Day (Third Monday and Tuesday in July), Independence Day (Sept. 30), Christmas Day (Dec. 25), Boxing Day (Dec. 26), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day and Ascension Day (Variable).

Last Updated on Monday 30th November 2009

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