Visitor Information

General

Area:                                      581 730 sq km (224 610 sq miles)

Population:                           1 680 863 (estimate 2011)

Population Density:             3.4 per sq km

Capital:                                  Gaborone

Time:                                      GMT +2

Geography

Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, north of South Africa. Botswana occupies an area of 600,370 square kilometres (231,800 sq mi), of which 585,000 km2 (226,000 sq mi) is land. Botswana has land boundaries of combined length 4,013 kilometres (2,494 mi), of which the constituent boundaries are shared with Namibia, for 1,360 km (850 mi); South Africa 1,840 km (1,140 mi); Zimbabwe, 813 km (505 mi) and Zambia, less than 1 km (0.62 mi). Much of the population of Botswana is concentrated in the eastern part of the country.

Climate

Botswana is semi-arid, due to the short rain season. However, the relatively high altitude of the country and its continental situation gives it a subtropical climate. The country is remote from moisture-laden air flows for most of the year. The dry season lasts from April to October in the south and to November in the north where, however, rainfall totals are higher. The south of the country is most exposed to cold winds during the winter period (early May to late August) when average temperatures are around 14 °C (57.2 °F). The whole country has hot summers with average temperatures around 26 °C (78.8 °F). Sunshine totals are high all year round although winter is the sunniest period. The whole country is windy and dusty during the dry season.

Gaborone average temperatures

MAX˚C                   MIN˚C

January                 31                           22

February                30                           21

March                     29                           19

April                        26                           16

May                        23                           12

June                       21                           7

July                         21                           7

August                   24                           11

September            31                           15

October                  29                           18

November             30                           20

December             30                           21

Best time to travel

Botswana is a all year around destination to see wildlife. Though between November and April is not too popular due to the heavy rains.


Currency

The pula is the currency of Botswana. It has the ISO 4217 code BWP and is subdivided into 100 thebe.

Drinking Water

Tap water is purified and safe to drink in most places.

Driving

Driving in Botswana is on the left, based on the UK’s model. The standard of driving is reasonably good. Most roads in the towns, and the major arteries connecting these, are tarred and are usually in superb condition. Note that Botswana’s police have radar equipment, and do actively set up radar traps, especially just outside the towns.

Electric Appliances

220-240 V; (like in Asia)


Health

Vaccinations for tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Hepatitis C occurs. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is endemic; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Tick-bite fever can be a problem when walking in the bush. It is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes and to search the body for ticks. Rabies is present in animals. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

Language

The official language of Botswana is English although Setswana is widely spoken across the country.

Airlines

There are two ways to fly within Botswana: on scheduled airlines or using small charter flights. The national carrier, Air Botswana, operates the scheduled network. This is limited in scope, but generally very efficient and reliable.

Airports

Botswana has numerous domestic and international Airports with numerous Batswana airline carriers besides other international airlines flying to domestic and international destinations.