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20 Things to know before traveling to Botswana

20 Things to know before traveling to Botswana
20 Things to know before traveling to Botswana
  1. You can get to Botswana by flying into Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, which is the main international airport in the country. There are also land border crossings with South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  2. The best time to visit Botswana depends on your preferences and the activities you want to do. The dry season, from April to October, is generally considered the best time to visit, as the weather is warm and dry and the countryside is lush and green. The dry season is also the best time for wildlife viewing, as the animals tend to congregate around water sources. The wet season, from November to March, is characterized by hot and humid weather, with occasional heavy rainfall. This is the low season for tourism, so prices may be lower and crowds thinner.
  3. Accommodation in Botswana ranges from luxury lodges and tented camps to budget guesthouses and hostels. There are also options for homestays, which offer a more authentic and immersive experience of local life.
  4. Some top things to do and see in Botswana include visiting the Okavango Delta, exploring the Chobe National Park, visiting the Tsodilo Hills, and taking a boat ride on the Chobe River.
  5. The local currency in Botswana is the Botswana pula, and you can exchange money at banks, money changers, and most hotels. Credit cards are also widely accepted in tourist areas.
  6. The official language of Botswana is English, but the local language is Tswana. It is always appreciated when tourists make an effort to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “goodbye.”
  7. The climate in Botswana is subtropical, with hot and dry weather during the dry season and hot and humid weather during the wet season. It is recommended to pack lightweight and breathable clothing, as well as a rain jacket or umbrella during the wet season.
  8. There are a few cultural customs and traditions that you should be aware of before visiting Botswana. For example, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home or traditional hut, and it is important to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites. It is also considered rude to touch someone’s head or point your feet at someone, and it is important to use your right hand for giving or receiving items.
  9. Botswana is generally a safe destination to visit, but it is always advisable to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions to protect your valuables. There are areas of the country that are more rural and less developed, and it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  10. Before visiting Botswana, it is recommended to check with your healthcare provider or a travel health clinic about any necessary vaccinations or preventive measures. It is also a good idea to bring a supply of any prescription medications you may need, as well as a basic first aid kit.
  11. There are various ways to get around Botswana, including by car, bus, and airplane. In the cities, it is also possible to use taxis or ride-sharing services like Uber.
  12. The local cuisine in Botswana is diverse and reflects the country’s multicultural heritage. Some popular dishes include seswaa (a slow-cooked meat stew), bogobe (a type of porridge made from ground sorghum or maize), and dikgobe (a type of dumpling made from ground sorghum). There are also a variety of international restaurants available in the major cities.
  13. There are several local festivals and events that you may want to be aware of when visiting Botswana. Some examples include the Domboshaba Cultural Festival, which is held in June and celebrates the country’s traditional cultures, and the Maitisong Festival, which is held in April and features music, dance, and theater performances.
  14. You can use your phone in Botswana, but it is advisable to check with your mobile carrier about international roaming fees and coverage. Alternatively, you can also buy a local SIM card, which can be purchased at the airport or at many mobile phone shops throughout the country.
  15. There are a few natural disasters and weather events that you should be aware of when traveling to Botswana. The country is prone to droughts during the dry season, and there is also a risk of malaria in some areas. It is a good idea to stay informed about the local weather and any potential hazards during your visit.
  16. The local time zone in Botswana is GMT+2. This is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and may be different from your home time zone, so it is important to check the time difference before your trip.
  17. There are a few local laws and customs that you should be aware of when traveling to Botswana. For example, it is illegal to take photographs of certain government buildings, military installations, and airports. It is also important to respect local traditions and customs, such as removing your shoes before entering a home or temple.
  18. There are a few local scams and dangers that you should be aware of when traveling to Botswana. One common scam is the “overcharging” scam, in which tourists are charged significantly more than the advertised price for goods or services. It is also important to be aware of pickpockets and scams involving transportation, such as taxi drivers overcharging tourists.
  19. The local dress code in Botswana is generally casual, but it is important to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites. It is also a good idea to avoid wearing clothing with offensive slogans or images.
  20. It is generally easy to find vegetarian and vegan food in Botswana, as many local dishes are based on vegetables, beans, and grains. There are also a number of vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in the major cities.

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