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Country Botswana

ID: w241753 View large map

Located in Botswana :: Central Kalahari
Category: Places :: Country

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TOP ATTRACTION: Central Kalahari Game Reserve
TOP ATTRACTION: Chobe National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Manyana Rock Paintings
TOP ATTRACTION: Mokolodi Nature Reserve
TOP ATTRACTION: Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: D'Kar Kuru Bushman Museum
TOP ATTRACTION: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Mabuasehube GR)
TOP ATTRACTION: Khama Rhino Sanctuary
TOP ATTRACTION: Gcwihaba Caves (Drotsky's)
TOP ATTRACTION: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (Gemsbok NP)
TOP ATTRACTION: Dqae Qare Game Farm
TOP ATTRACTION: Tsodilo Hills (World Heritage Site)
TOP ATTRACTION: Okavango Houseboats
TOP ATTRACTION: Nxai Pan National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Nata Bird Sanctuary
TOP ATTRACTION: Moremi Game Reserve
TOP ATTRACTION: Matsieng Footprints (Historical Site)
TOP ATTRACTION: Chobe River Boat Cruises
TOP ATTRACTION: Okavango/Moremi
TOP ATTRACTION: Lekhubu Island

Description [ correction ]

If you love wildlife, Botswana is one of the best destinations in Southern Africa. Apart from geographical delights like the Okavango Delta and the Central Kalahari, both of which have an abundance of game and birds, Botswana has many parks and reserves where one can enjoy unfenced wildlife. Botswana’s protected areas are without doubt its biggest attractions and tourism contributes a large part to its GDP.

The Botswana government have adopted a high-cost, low-volume approach to tourism which means that this can be an expensive country to tour. Although a few areas cater only for fly-in safaris and exclusive lodging, there are many regions which are accessible to self-drive travellers who want to camp. Maun and Kasane are the main tourist hubs but travellers who prefer remote and rugged overlanding will choose the likes of the drier, wide open Mabuasehube and the Central Kalahari Game Reserves as well as Makgadikgadi National Park.

Photographers will love Kubu Island on Sua Pan, an outcrop of huge boulders and baobabs which stands alone in the pan’s vast lunar landscape. Nxai Pan National Park is home to Botswana’s famous Baines’ Baobabs, a clutch of these majestic trees which have stood for over a thousand years. Camping underneath one of these ancients is a magical experience.

For a cultural experience you can visit the Dqae Qare Game Farm near Ghanzi, where you can immerse yourself in the Bushmen (San) culture. To learn more about Botswana’s first people, a visit to the nearby D’Kar Kuru Bushmen Museum is a must.

Contact [ correction ]
Address :  Botswana
Website :  Click Here

Directions [ correction ]

Not available

Travelling Information

CURRENCY:
Botswana pula (BWP).

DRIVING IN BOTSWANA:
Drive on the left-hand side of the road and adhere to British driving rules. Botswana’s highways are all paved (tarred) and form a basic network of access routes around the country. But as soon as you leave the main highways, you are faced with unpaved tracks which require an off-road vehicle with good ground clearance and 4WD.

The main roads are well maintained but in the remote areas road maintenance is very bad; thus, road conditions often depend when it was last graded and the season.

In some places the sand on these tracks can become deep. Southern Botswana’s roads are notorious for their corrugations. The long grass which grows in the middle of the road after the rainy season makes for a very real risk of a vehicle fire if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

During the rainy season places like Moremi and Makgadikgadi will flood and many of the smaller tracks will become muddy, waterlogged and simply undrivable. Driving in the Okavango Delta requires many water crossings. If you plan on travelling during the rainy season, you need to enquire about road conditions from lodge/camp owners or fellow travellers. Make sure you have enough fuel and recovery equipment with you as you might have to retrace your tracks or get yourself unstuck.

The general speed limit is 60 km/h in towns and villages, 80 km/h when passing intersections or villages on the main roads and 120 km/h outside urban areas. These limit are strictly enforced by authorities so watch your speed. In any case, the limits are always very clearly marked.

The driver and all passengers must wear safety belts and it’s illegal to talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving. 4-Way stops (indicated by a red STOP sign with the number 4 below it) are commonly found at the quieter intersections – the first vehicle to arrive has priority. On roundabouts, give way to the right and proceed with caution.

If you see branches in the road (especially freshly cut) you should immediately slow down as it possibly signals that a vehicle has broken down ahead. A red cone or oil drum in the road signals a police or veterinary fence checkpoint – slow down immediately and be prepared to stop.

FUEL:
Fuel is usually available in most towns and, generally speaking, of good quality. That said, it’s a sensible idea to fill up at every fuel station you pass, regardless of how full your tank is. The distances between towns can be sizable and sometimes a fuel station will run out of fuel or the fuel pumps might be out of order. This is especially true when the demand for fuel peaks, e.g. during the holiday season when small settlements need more fuel than normal. For this reason it’s a good plan carry at least 40 litres of extra fuel if you don’t have a long-range fuel tank.

Keep in mind that low sulphur diesel (50 ppm) is not available everywhere. You will only find it in the main centres. It’s advisable to buy your diesel from reputable fuel stations; some travellers have discovered, at great cost, that they’ve been sold impure diesel by an informal vendor.

GENERAL TIPS:
Before you set off on game drives, let the lodge/camp owners know that you’re going out, which route you’ve planned and what time you expect to return.

Botswana’s roads are not fenced and domestic animals like cattle, donkeys, goats and dogs roam the roads freely. Cattle have right of way.

Never drive at night because of the danger of stray animals crossing the road.

Always carry a good high-volume compressor and a pressure gauge so that you can adjust tyre pressure as required. Before you leave on your trip for the day, ensure that your tyre pressures are correct for the kind of roads you plan to travel and the weight you’re carrying. If at all possible, carry two spare tyres.

A tyre repair kit is essential.

Keep your lights on at all times, this allows you to be seen in dusty or low visibility conditions.

If you don’t have any 4WD experience, do a course before you venture into remote areas.

Due to the risk of burning out your vehicle (caused by long grass collecting near or on your hot exhaust) you should always have a fire extinguisher readily accessible.

If you see a road block, stop at the stop sign and only proceed to the officer once he/she waves you forward. Don’t drive past the stop sign to the official without stopping as you can be fined for not stopping at the stop sign, which is usually 50-100 m before the actual road block.

Shakawe River Lodge campsite just east of Shakawe village is a convenient place to stay if you want to visit Tsodilo Hills World Heritage Site.

Campsite number 3 at Mabuasehube Pan has a wonderful view across the pan. Lions are regularly seen and there’s a permanent waterhole about 800 m to the north. Stands 2 and 3 are quite close together and thus ideal for a big group.

Piper Pan is arguably the best camping area in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve for observing wildlife.

The wildlife around Moremi’s Third Bridge is generally excellent, but it is important to check on the accessibility of the bridge. It’s affected by water levels so if it’s part of your route ask park staff at the reserve gate whether the bridge is open.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE:
English.

POPULATION:
2.3 million.

TIME ZONE:
GMT+2 Central Africa Time.

VISAS:
Nationals from the following countries don’t need visas for Botswana: Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marico, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

These nationals can travel in Botswana for a maximum of 90 days per year, thereafter they have to apply at the Ministry of Home Affairs for permission to extend their stay.

Other visitors must apply for visas at their nearest consulate prior to departure.


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External Links Related to Botswana
Veterinary fences in Botswana
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