Botswana Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Gaborone tourist information, Botswana food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Gaborone. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Botswana Travel Guide

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Full country name: Republic of Botswana
Area: 581,730 sq km
Population: 1,990,876
Capital City: Gaborone
Language: English, Setswana
Religion: 71,6% Christian, 20% non-religious, 6% Badimo, 2,4% other
Government: Parliamentary republic
Time Zone: Central Africa Time (UTC+02), summer - (DST) not observed (UTC)
Dialing Code: +267
Electricity: 230V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Pula (BWP)

Money & Costs:
Average Yearly Salary:

Budget: 15-20 BWP
Mid-range: 25-35 BWP
High: 40-60+ BWP


Budget: 300-450 BWP
Mid-range: 600-800 BWP
High: 1200+ BWP


Geography: The Republic of Botswana lies in the center of the Southern Africa bordering Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The majority of this sub-Saharan and landlocked country is flat with some gentle undulations. The Kalahari Desert is dominant in Botswana, because it covers 70% of its land surface. There is almost no surface water, therefore all the human beings and animals are dependent on groundwater. There are also no large streams, except for the Limpopo River on the southeastern border.

Climate: The subtropical climate dominates in most of the country, with the only exception being the higher altitudes. Winter days are relatively warm, but the nights are cool, with heavy frost common in the desert area. The average temperatures in January are 18 C - 33 C and 5 C - 22 C in July. The seasonal winds, that carry dust and sand across the country, usually begin in the middle of August. Days in Botswana are clear, warm and sunny, whereas nights vary from cool to bitterly cold. The heat and humidity during the moderate rainy season, which lasts from October to April, are quite uncomfortable, therefore traveling to Botswana during this exact period is not recommended.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight clothing would be the best choice when traveling to Botswana in summer months (November-March). The weather can get uncomfortably hot and there is usually no air conditioning in any public buildings. When traveling in winter months (May-September), pack accordingly, as it can get quite chilly at night. Since Botswana experience seasonal winds, which carry dust and sand, don't bring any fancy clothes to wear on a daily basis, as you may have to throw them out afterwards. However, people do dress up to go to the restaurants or social events, so you may want to have one or two nice outfits to wear. If you are on a business trip, dress professionally (suit, tie, skirt etc.).

Food: The markets of Botswana can offer you a large variety of fruits, meet or vegetables. Some of them are grown locally using irrigation and some are imported from neighboring countries. A large number of high quality beef, lamb, chicken, mutton and other meats are plentiful in Botswana. Wheat, rice and other kinds of cereals are imported, however, sorghum and maize are the corps grown locally. There is also a large variety of vegetables to choose from, such as spinach, carrots, cabbage, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and lettuce. Fruit lovers will be able to enjoy the locally grown marula, tons of watermelons (which are believed to have originally come from Botswana), lerotse or lekatane (another kind of melon) etc.

Drink: Factories of Botswana produce many soft and alcoholic drinks, including such brands as Fanta and Coca-Cola. A very good non-alcoholic homemade drink is ginger beer, which is a local favorite drink. Botswana can also be proud of its beers - Castle and Lion. Tap water is considered safe to drink, however, outside the bigger towns, visitors are advised to drink bottled water, which is available in most shops.

Health: Generally, Botswana has a good public health system, however, it can be harder to get medicine or a doctor outside urban areas. Therefore, health insurance for visitors is vital. Malaria is of a particular risk in northern parts of the country. Visitors camping or simply walking somewhere around bushes, should be cautious of tick bites.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
2 Apr - 1 Apr Easter
1 May Labour Day
13 May Ascension Day
1 Jul Sir Seretse Khama Day
20 Jul President's Day
30 Sep Botswana Day
25 Dec - 26 Dec Christmas

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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