Botswana is a beautiful country blessed with several natural wonders, ranging from dazzling streams to dense forests and diverse wildlife to rare human settlements and lifestyle. The beautiful green hills have unexplored trails waiting, while the ancient places have rock carvings to marvel at. Indulge in lodging and camping in the desert or the green lawns of nature. Spot the rarest of animals and birds and enjoy wildlife photography. Botswana puts up a mesmerizing world in front of you. So, visit Botswana this season and revel in its pristine wonders.
Map Referred: Africa
Famous For: Diverse Wildlife | Beautiful Landscapes | National Park | Natural Beauty | African Culture | UNESCO Sites
Time Zone: Botswana (GMT +2)
Driving Side: Left
Airports in Botswana: Gaborone International Airport
Botswana has a history that dates back to thousands of years as it has remained inhabited by local tribes since the Stone Age. However, as per archaeologists, the country has remained home to hominids for about two million years, though development found its way in recent centuries.
It was in the medieval era when Botswana witnessed a great rise in several different fields such as trade, politics, economy, and history. This was the time when the country was emerging as one of the major territories in the southern parts of Africa. The arrivals of numerous foreign explorers in the country open the way for the trade of gold, ivory, glass, and cloth.
Batu-speaking people moved in from the north and settled down in the 7th century. In the subsequent centuries, numerous other tribes dwelled in the region and made Botswana their homeland. It was in the 19th century after the partition of Africa when Botswana was claimed by the British. Later on, several British colonies were formed in the region. The British expanded their territory until 1964 when Botswana was released from their rule.
Hence, the country became independent and started functioning on its own. Today, Botswana is one of the major countries in southern Africa and is known for its game drives and safari tours. The nation also holds several records in terms of natural beauty. That’s why thousands of tourists from around the world visit it every year.
Botswana is a landlocked nation in the southern parts of Africa and is known to have a great topographical landscape. With streams, rich wildlife, green grasslands and beautiful hills, Botswana is one of the most biologically and ecologically diverse nations on the continent. It is surrounded by South Africa in the south, Namibia in the east and north, and Zimbabwe in the west.
Here, one would come across all kinds of natural beauties. The country is spread over an area of about 581,730 sq km, out of which, about 97.5% make up the land region and the remaining 2.5% constitute the water areas. Tsodilo Hills is the highest point in the country with an elevation of about 1489 metres and the junction of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers make the lowest point in Botswana with an elevation of about 513 metres.
As the country is blessed with several natural beauties, it houses beautiful rivers and lakes. The major rivers in Botswana are Cubango, Chobe, Boteti, Limpopo, Shashe, Thamalakane, and more. As the country is landlocked, it doesn’t have any coastline; the nearest beach from Botswana lies in South Africa.
As Botswana has a history of thousands of years, the raw art in the country is also quite old. And the cave paintings found at different places in the country signify that. However, over a while, centuries-old traditional art has lost its authenticity. Hence, the form one would find today has got influences from different countries around the continent. Visit the art galleries and museums in Botswana to witness the great masterpieces of art from the past.
Music in Botswana is also quite old as the history of folk music in the country traces back to several centuries when it was most vocal. However, over the years, numerous local instruments have found their way into the rooms of musicians. Setinkane, segankure, moropa and phala are some of them. Today, Botswana hosts dozens of music festivals and other such celebrations where artists from around the country and continent come and perform. Apart from folk compositions, people also love rock, hip-hop, and other styles of music.Food and Drink
Botswana cuisine has its flavours derived from the major South African kitchen practices. Its cooking techniques and other basic characteristics showcase the styles of South Africa and other neighbouring countries. Hence, it would be perfect to say that Botswana cuisine is a mix of several cuisines from around the southern parts of the continent. Setswana food is mainly based on seasonal vegetables, mashed-up meat, and other produce. However, in recent times, owing to globalization Botswana has accepted all kinds of flavours. That's why tourists enjoy delicacies from around the world at places like Gaborone and other major urban centres.
People in Botswana also love to drink regularly. Beer is the most loved and savoured drink here. Chibuku, mainly prepared from either maize or sorghum, is loved across villages and small towns. Soft drinks like Fanta and Coca-Cola are equally popular in the country. Non-alcoholic ginger beer is also savoured with utmost love.Must-try Delicacies
Seswaa, Morogo, Goat Meat stew, Vetkoek, Pap, DitlooMust-try Drinks
Castle Beer, Soft Drinks, Ginger BeerHospitality
People in Botswana are helpful and kind. They wouldn’t mind helping you whenever and wherever possible. They respect tourists and perfectly know how to cater to their needs and desires. Hence, no tourist finds difficulty while exploring the country. However, tourists need to be cautious while visiting the remotest and unexplored regions of the country
Botswana experiences a semi-arid climate and hence, it gets hot and dry summers and calm winters. The average temperature in the country ranges between 11° C and 35° C.
The best time to visit Botswana is from May until the end of October as this is the time when you can relish the best in the country. This is the period when you can explore comfortably as the climate is quite favourable. The climatic conditions throughout the country are optimum from May to October
One of the best wilderness spots in the country where an entire world of diverse wildlife awaits, Okavango Delta has to be on the top of the bucket list of every backpacker. You can indulge in safaris, game watching, extreme wildlife photography, exploring grasslands and more here. Spot the beauties of zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinos and more and take home the best wildlife shots. Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being immensely rich in nature and greenery.Gaborone
Gaborone is the capital city of Botswana and is the only place in the country where a tourist would encounter major urban vibes. Other than its beautiful skyline, the city has a wide variety of tourist attractions to explore. Gaborone also serves as a gateway to numerous game reserves and protected areas. The must-visit places in Gaborone include the National Museum and Art Gallery, Botswana Craft Art Centre, Christ the King Cathedral, Gaborone Dam, Kgale Hill, and more.Chobe National park
One of the largest national parks and the first-ever in Botswana, Chobe National Park was established in the year 1967 and is biologically diverse. It is spread across an area of about 11,700 sq km and is home to thousands of species of animals and birds. The kind of lush greenery and colourful landscapes one would find here is unmatchable and hence, it is every wildlife lover’s dream destination in Botswana. Visit it and explore its magical world.Francistown
Francistown is one of the major tourist attractions in Botswana for the city and its surrounding areas offer an incredible amount of beauty to relish. Because of numerous game reserves, it is often credited by offbeat travellers as one of the most beautiful gateways to the rich wildlife of Botswana. The city also has wonderful street food to savour. The city is located at the conflux of Inchwe and Tati rivers and hence, provides us with great panoramas.Maun
Maun is one of the major stops for tourists exploring the game reserves in Botswana. However, it has enough beauty for tourists to stay for a weekend. Here, one would find the best hotels, restaurants, and tourist amenities in the country. Some great campsites are located by the river, providing a great place to stay for a few nights. So, if you are in for unspoilt pristine nature, then do stay at Maun for a day or two.Moremi Game Reserve
One of the best places to visit in Botswana, Moremi Game Reserve offers stunning scenery to its visitors. Due to its richness in nature and wildlife, it has been voted as the best game reserve in Africa. Plan a tour of this great destination and have an amazing African experience. Situated on the east side of the Okavango Delta, the reserve offers an impressive ecosystem. Many tourists visit the park by self-drive campervan, however, the park also boasts of several great campsites.Other important places to visit in Botswana
It is the day when the entire country celebrates the idea of the nation and observes its independence. People on this day feel proud of their country and indulge in various other activities. Parties, dance performances, street parades, and traditional events make Botswana Day a festival to remember forever. Do partake in this glorious celebration and set your mood right.
Time: 30 September
Place: Across the country
If you are a culture explorer and always look forward to witnessing the beautiful lifestyle and traditions of a place, then Maitisong Festival in Botswana is a must for you. The festival lasts for nine days and is all about celebrating art, music, and dance. Theatre shows are held across the capital city and its suburbs and people attend them with utmost passion and enthusiasm.
Another festival in Botswana that shares an insight into the love of the country towards art is the beautiful Maun Festival. The celebrations focus on traditional poetry, music, and other art forms. People from all over the country partake in such boisterous functions and relish great nights. The festival also honours the rich tribal culture of the country through its various performances.
Time: AprilPresident's Day
President's Day in Botswana is a major public holiday in the country. The day brings joy to the faces of people here as they return to their native lands to indulge in singing, dancing, and other fun-filled activities. President's Day serves as a major break from daily life as people enjoy spending time with family, cook their favourite meals, and spend time together on this day.
Every tourist looking forward to visiting Botswana needs to have a visa with a passport with a validity of at least 6 months to enter its country unless they belong to a visa-exempt nation. As per the visa policy of Botswana, the following given are the countries that have the right to stay within Botswana without any visa. Nationals of all these countries can stay in the country for a maximum period of 90 days (within 12 months). The list includes:
All European Union Citizens, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, Holy See, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, South Korea, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Sudan, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Botswana also allows tourists to have a visa on arrival. However, only the nationals of India are allowed to obtain a visa on arrival which is valid for a maximum period of 14 days.
The citizens of all the remaining countries need to apply for a regular visa to enter the boundaries of Botswana.
If you seek ultimate comfort while exploring the beauties of Botswana, then you must use taxis/cabs for getting around. They are available at all the tourist destinations in the country. However, make sure you decide on the final fare before getting into the vehicle to avoid arguments later on. They are the best for exploring between two places to travelling between cities.Trains
Though Botswana has quite a good rail network, most of the trains are used for cargo and other such services. As of now, there are only two-night passenger trains running in the country. Hence, this mode of transport is rarely preferred by tourists here. Both of these connect Lobatse and Francistown with stopovers at Gaborone, Palapye, Serule, and MahalapyeBuses
Buses in Botswana make for the most used form of transport. It is used by locals as well as tourists to a large extent for being the cheapest mode of commutation. Buses are available at all the major locations in all the cities and towns of the country, thereby, making travelling easy and comfortable.
Located in Gaborone, Sir Seretsekhama International Airport is the major airport in the country that is connected to several parts of the world. However, most of the flights coming here are from South Africa and other neighbouring countries. Hence, if you are coming from the west or the middle east, you would be visiting Botswana with a stopover in South Africa.Via Road Route
Botswana has quite a decent road network and hence, all the major cities and towns in the country are greatly connected to other parts of Africa by road. Hence, you can easily access it via the road route.
You can either hire a car or drive your vehicle to reach Zimbabwe. You can also use international bus services from Johannesburg. It would drop you in the capital city of Gaborone.Via Water Route
Botswana cannot be accessed via water route as it is a landlocked country.
One of the few nations sharing borders with Botswana, South Africa is a wonderful place for a weekend getaway. The country has incredible cities, beautiful natural sites, and dozens of historical places where one can live in the past. Visit it and explore the wilderness of Kruger National Park or take a look at the busyness of Johannesburg. The country offers ample places to explore.Namibia
Namibia in Africa is a small wonder in itself. Apart from thick forests and diverse wildlife, it has great shores and beautiful seawaters to explore. Explore the beautiful landscapes of Etosha National Park, red dunes of Sossusvlei, desert clay pan of Deadvlei, Twyfelfontein rock carvings, ancient granite peaks at Spitzkoppe, and a lot more. That's why it makes for a wonderful excursion from Botswana.Zambia
Another country that deserves to be on your bucket list while visiting the northern parts of Botswana. Zambia is a landlocked nation and is generally recognised for its extensive landscapes and beautiful national parks and sanctuaries. The country has a fair share of waterfalls, streams, forests and a lot more to soak in.
Country calling code: +267
Medical rescue: 911
Pula is the official currency in Botswana and has been in the market for more than four decades now. Pula was introduced in the year 1976 as it replaced the South African rand as the legal tender in the country. Since then, Pula has been used extensively across the country for the exchange of goods and services. However, Zimbabwe is the unofficial user of Botswana pula.1 Botswana Pula = 100 thebe
Symbol - P
Code - BWP
1 BWP = 0.092 USD
1 BWP = 0.34 AED
Botswana Pula banknotes are generally found in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200
Botswana Pula bank coins are generally found in the denomination of 5, 10, 20, 50 thebe and 1, 2 and 5 pula