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AGENT'S RESOURCE LIBRARY

Botswana Information

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GENERAL

LANGUAGE 

The national language of Botswana is Setswana, however English is an official language of the country. English is widely spoken, especially in the lodges and hotels. Translators are also available in certain regions via prior request.

CURRENCY  

The national currency is the Pula, which is divided into100 Thebe. The easiest currencies to convert in Botswana are the US dollar, GB Pound and South African Rand. Foreign currency and travelers checks can be changed at banks, bureaux de change and authorized hotels. ATMs will accept most visa cards, and most credit cards can be used in accommodating lodges and hotels.

BANKING 

Banking hours are usually from Monday to Friday 

08h30 to 15h30 

and Saturdays 

08h30 to 10h30

OTHER

Electricity is supplied at 220/240V in Botswana, and there are charging facilities in almost every lodge and hotel. Most will also have international adaptors available however it is wise to travel with one incase.

There are several shops and shopping centers in Maun and Kasane where basic commodities can be obtained

TIME ZONE 

Botswana is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

One hour ahead of Central European Time.

Seven hours ahead of Eastern USA time.

Ten hours ahead of Western USA time.

CONNECTIVITY 

There is WIFI available at most lodges and hotels, however some are located in remote areas that will not be covered by internet or cellphone reception. There are public telephones located in even remote areas of Botswana. SIM cards can be purchased for cellphones in most shops and service stations. The main cellular network providers are Mascom, Orange and Mobile. 

The dialing code for Botswana is +267.

CLIMATE & TERRAIN

The Kalahari Desert covers approx. 84 % of the surface of Botswana. About 2 thirds of the country lies in the tropics. Botswana has a generally flat landscape, will a few small hills located in the eastern regions. Areas of Botswana can get very hot during certain seasons, with some places reaching temperatures between 35 - 40°C during the day. It is important to stay hydrated and take precautions against sunburn. 

HEALTH & SAFETY 

Botswana in considered on of the healthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. There are good health care facilities available across the country. The popular tourist destinations of Botswana are malaria zones and it is recommended that visitors visit their doctors a few weeks before their date of travel and begin a course of anti-malaria tablets prior to entering the country. It is advisable to keep your valuables locked away or on your person. 

VISAS & TRAVEL

Citizens of most Commonwealth countries do not need visas to enter into Botswana. For countries where Botswana has no diplomatic representation, visa processing is available through British Embassies and High Commissions.

Please click here for visa requirements for your country.

 

CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

CLIMATE & SEASONS 

Dry Season: April to October 

Wet Season: November to March 

The best time to visit the park is between August and October, however October is known as the hottest month of the year. The best weather is front May to August as it is a bit cooler during the day. It remains fairly hot during the wet season, however it can get quite cool during night and in the mornings. It will usually rain for a short while in the afternoon during the wet season. 

WILDLIFE

Four of the Big Five can be found in Chobe, rhino are not found in this region. Chobe National Park boasts the largest elephant population in Southern Africa.The best time for game viewing in Chobe is during the dry season. This is the only place in Botswana to see Puku. Wild dog are present in the region but are rare to spot. 

 

The following species are common in Chobe include elephant, hippo, buffalo, zebra, lion, giraffe, red lechwe, puku, kudu, sable, impala, waterbuck, warthog, leopard, jackal, hyena, baboons and monkeys. 

BIRDING

There are over 460 bird species in Chobe National Park. The best time for birders to visit the park is during the wet season, migrant species are present during this period. This is also the breeding period for most species and they can be found nesting near the Chobe river. 

Some species that can be seen in Chobe include African hobby,  Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Geese, comorants, darters, Spur-Winged Geese, Pel’s Fishing Owl, carmine bee-eaters, most members of the kingfisher family, all rollers, Fish Eagles, Martial Eagle and many different types of storks.

ACCESS

The park is generally accused from Kasane. The most popular area of the park, the riverfront, is just a short trip from Kasane. The Chobe Gate is located 6km west of Kasane / 80km west of Victoria Falls. The trip from Victoria Falls is approximately 1 hour. Guests can take a boat from Kasane into the park.  Mack Air offer chartered flights to most of the camps and lodges in the area. 

 

OKAVANGO DELTA

CLIMATE & SEASONS 

Dry Season: April to October 

Wet Season: November to March 

The climate in the Okavango is generally hot. During the dry season June and July can be slightly cooler during the day, with cold mornings and nights. Temperatures reach a high around October, which can get up to 35°C. The rains usually come in November or December, and typically end by April. The best time to visit is from July to October, during the wet season it the weather can hinder game viewing activities.

WILDLIFE

The Big Five are present in the Okavango, however rhino numbers are still very low and sightings are rare. Both black and white rhino cane found in the Okavango. There are over 100 different species of mammal in the delta, including plenty of antelope and other herbivores which attract predators. There are healthy populations of wild dog in the northern areas of the Okavango.

Common species include: Elephant, Lion, Hyena, Buffalo, Leopard, Giraffe, Zebra, Hippo, Crocodile, Cheetah, Genet, Serval, Tsessebe, Leopard, Red Lechwe, Sitatunga, Sable, Roan, Caracal, Wildebeest, Kudu, Waterbuck, Reedbuck, Duiker, Hartebeest, Impala 

BIRDING

The wet season is the best time for birding. However to heavy rains 

and flooding it becomes difficult to reach many areas, there March - April may be a better time for birding. 

 

Species to be seen include: African Fish Eagle, Black coucal, African Green Pigeon, Bateleur, Hamerkop, Saddle-billed Stork, African pygmy goose, Lesser jacana, Swamp boubou, Slaty egret 

ACCESS

The Okavango Delta is accessed via Maun. Guests can fly into Maun and travel by road to destinations nearby. Charter flights are available to most of the lodges in the area. Self drive is possible from Chobe, which is approximately a 600km drive.

 

LINYANTI

CLIMATE & SEASONS 

Dry Season: April to October 

Wet Season: November to March 

June and July can be quite cool, and the mornings are typically cold, around 7°C. The temperature rises in the following months, reaching it's peak in October. The rains begin around November, and does not usually rain all day. Afternoon storms and brief showers are more common. The wet season is quite warm despite all the rain.

BIRDING

There are many birds of prey present in the Savute Channel. Linyanti also boasts many of the Okavango Species.

Species to be seen include: white-headed black chat, racket-tailed roller, coqui francolin, African skimmer, Kori bustard, Ostrich, Secretary birds, Slaty egret 

WILDLIFE

This is possibly the best region in Botswana to encounter wild dog. There are huge numbers of elephant that migrate through the area in the dry season. Something special to witness is the newborn zebra during the migration in the wet season. 

Species to be seen include: Red Lechwe, Wild dog, Hyena, Lion, Cheetah, Roan, Sable, Aardwolf, Serval, Lesser Bushbaby, Spotted genet, Pangolin, Elephant and Zebra 

ACCESS

To access lodges in Linyanti guests will fly from Maun or Kasane on a chartered flight.

 

MAKGADIKGADI PANS

CLIMATE & SEASONS 

Dry Season: April to October 

Wet Season: November to March 

Makgadikgadi is hot and is part of the Kalahari Basin, meaning is it desert like. It can be very dry during the dry season, however the wet season sees the pans filling with water and attracting wildlife to the area. Temperatures stay high during the wet season, averaging around 30°C in the day.

BIRDING

The pans are a fantastic place to view flamingos in the wet season, just after the rains have begun. They are often accompanied by pelicans. The flamingos usually breed in this area, and hundreds upon hundreds can be viewed at one time. There are many other birds species present in this region, especially during the wetter months.

WILDLIFE

The wildlife in this area are mostly found near the Boteti River during the dry season, as the animals congregate around the water source. After the rains animals move towards the pans, and large herds of zebra and flocks of flamingos are present.

Species to been seen: Burchell's zebra, Blue wildebeest, Springbok, Oryx, Eland, Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Hyena, Lion, Aardvark, Bat eared fox, Striped polecat and Elephant 

ACCESS

The Makgadikgadi Pans are situated approximately162 km from Maun. The area can be accessed by road from there. Chartered flights are also available to the airstrips near the lodges.