Explore Botswana

 

Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert where you will discover the famous Okavango Delta. Known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the Okovanga Delta is a destination not to be missed on your travels around Africa. Botswana also boasts some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. Home to more than 130 thousand elephants, Botswana is said to have the highest elephant concentration in Africa.

 

Where to stay

Travelling to Botswana - accommodation options range from hotels, lodges, self-catering, guest houses, tented camps, bed and breakfast, safari camps, camping and caravanning, backpackers, houseboats, and mobile camps. The options are diverse and geared to cater for the most personal preferences. What  you want to spend, where  you want to be, and what kind of experience are you looking for. And finding reviews on these accommodations is as easy as opening your browser and googling their name.

 

How to get around

Botswana’s public-transport network is limited. Public transport in Botswana includes bus and combis (minibuses) which are said to be cheap and reasonably frequent but are confined to specific routes. Buses are usually comfortable and normally leave at a set time, regardless of whether they are full or not. Finding out the departure times for buses is a matter of asking around the bus station, because schedules are not posted anywhere. Combis leave when full, usually from the same station as buses. Tickets for all public buses and combis cannot be bought in advance; they can only be purchased on board.

Car Hiring is said to be the best and most practical option to get around. Your home driving licence is valid for six months in Botswana, but if it is not written in English, you must provide a certified translation. It is always recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).

 

What to eat

The national dish of Botswana is “seswaa” often served at weddings, funerals, and other celebrations. Seswaa's ingredients are very straightforward: meat on the bone, water, and salt. Most traditional dishes in the country use sorghum or maize, prepared as a porridge or pap known as “bogobe”, as their base. This is often served as an accompaniment to seswaa.

Western based meals are available and can be ordered from the menu of your hotel, lodge, and safari camps, the catering offered is of a high quality. However, one should not miss out on the traditional cuisine that Botswana has to offer.

If you’re open to trying something new, try Mogodu. This Botswanan dish is prepared with a combination of chopped serobe (tripe) and mala (intestines) served as a stew often with hot pap or dumplings. The other traditional offer for the more adventurous is Mopane worm - a grub that looks similar to a caterpillar. The worm is cooked in hot ashes or can be boiled, dried or fried and enjoyed on their own or cooked with onions, tomatoes and spices and are an important source of protein, calcium and iron for remote desert populations.

Botswana has two distinct beer types: clear and opaque. Most visitors and more affluent people in Botswana drink the clear beers, which are said to be similar to the international lagers and they are always served chilled.  

 

Budgeting

Botswana  is home to some of the largest remaining areas of pristine wilderness in Africa. Not only that, alongside South Africa it is also one of the most affordable safari destinations in Africa. Your daily cost is largely determined by what activities you have planned. Travelling alone to Botswana for one week is likely to cost around P661,00 per day. A sit down lunch from inexpensive to medium range restaurants could range from P120,00 to P250,00 per person.  Add in a glass of local beer and you can pay anywhere from P23,00. For a cheaper alternative, there are plenty fast-food outlets including a few brands that are known to deliver and adequate meals at no more than P70,00. It is customary to tip in restaurants. A general guideline for tipping servers at restaurants is to add 10% of one's bill as a gratuity.

 

Local currency

The local currency is the Pula. Most ATMs in Botswana charge withdrawal fees that can be high. They usually apply per transaction rather than by the amount withdrawn. Botswana Banks accepts the following foreign currencies: US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and South African Rands in cash. Credit and debit cards, including International Visa and MasterCard, are accepted at most hotels and lodges, but cheaper accommodations, tourist sites and smaller restaurants tend to only take cash. We do caution you not to accept unsolicited help when withdrawing money from an ATM.