The Republic of Botswana

  • Capital » Gaborone


  • Population » 2 million
  • Languages » Setswana (also commonly known as Tswana)
    • English is readily understood throughout much of the country
  • Religions » Christianity, indigenous beliefs
  • Life expectancy » 54 years (men), 51 years (women)
  • Currency » Pula


  • Area » 581,730 sq km (224,607 sq miles)


  • Carry identification with you at all times. A photocopy of your passport is sufficient.
  • Botswana has a countrywide ban on plastic bags
  • One of Africa’s most stable countries
  • Relatively free of corruption
  • Has a good human rights record
  • Sparsely populated

Basic phrases

Hello » Dumêla mma/rra
Yes » Ee
No » Nnyaa
How are you? » Le kae?
Thank you » Ke a leboga mma/rra (“LE-BOHA”, as “g” is generally pronounced as an “h”)


  • The best time to visit is from May to September, during the dry season and winter, resulting in more moderate temperatures.
    • September and October temperatures start to climb (40ºC)
  • November to April is known the wet Season and Summer
    • Rains can be heavy in January and February


  • You can drive using an International Driving Permit (IDP) for up to 90 days.
    • If you intend to stay longer you may need to apply for a Botswana driving licence.
  • Botswana has good tarmac roads covering most of the country
  • Speed limit is 120 km/h
  • Dangerous driving and drunk driving contribute to frequent serious and fatal accidents (FiA)
  • Wildlife and livestock on roads are a hazard, particularly at night.
    • Be alert to unpredictable behaviour by wild animals.


  • Remoteness of certain areas require adventure travellers carry extra fuel.
  • 610+ kilometer unpaved road from Kasane to Maun through Chobe National Park has no fuel stops. Carry extra fuel.
  • The remoteness of the iconic and expansive Central Kalahari Game Reserve requires good fuel planning.

Overlanding Adventures

  • Botswana’s requires a 4×4 vehicle to self-drive most of it’s national parks. Tracks are sandy and can become muddy in the rainy season.
  • The Okavango Delta, Moremi, and Chobe are Botswana’s most popular parks
  • Khama Rhino Sanctuary (Map) – 8-10hr drive from Johannesburg
    • Built to protect Botswana’s remaining populations of black and white rhinos, the sanctuary is also home to zebras, giraffes, leopards, ostriches and wildebeest.
  • Okavango Delta (Map) – one of the world’s most renowned and complex ecosystems – 16,000 square kilometre maze of wetlands
  • Makgadikgadi Salt Pans (Map) – covering some 12,000 square kilometres, some of the largest salt flats on earth
  • Chobe National Park (Map)

Government Travel Advisories


This page was updated October 1, 2023