BOTSWANA

 

Botswana is a country in the south of Africa and has a little more than two million inhabitants. The neighboring countries are Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The country is mainly related to a desert climate and in the northeast a steppe climate.

 

Gaborone is the capital of Botswana. It is a modern city with everything you need. At the Gaborone Dam you can swim, sail, windsurf and fish in the beautiful nature. Not far from the capital lies the Gaborone Game Reserve. The smallest game park in the country and yet very crowded.

 

The Kalahari desert covers most of Botswana. The habitat of the Bushmen is therefore the main tourist attraction of the country, along with many other nature reserves and phenomena. The Chobe River, the Victoria Falls, the national parks, the many game and bird species, can all be visited during a safari.

 

To the north lies the Okavango Delta, one of the last remaining large wildlife habitats in Africa. Large parts of the delta belong to the Moremi Game Reserve, where more than 400 species of birds live as black and white rhinos and other animals of the big five.

 

Besides the delta, there are four large reserves: Kwando NP, one of the most famous reserves in Botswana. It is one of the most beautiful places in Africa to view large game. Wide, dry grasslands make Selinda NP a scenic environment. When it is dry, it is considered one of the best areas of Botswana to spot predators. The Linyanti Reserve is heavily populated with animals especially in the dry winter months, when the elephants migrate to the rivers and water pools in huge numbers. You can also see antelopes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. Chobe NP is the ideal location for anyone interested in combining the natural wonder of Victoria Falls and wildlife spotting. You can not miss a boat trip on the Chobe River. Look especially for hippos, monkeys and birds.

 

Because of the diamond trade, Botswana is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. The Botswana government consciously maintains (relatively) high prices, in order to counter mass tourism and to preserve its nature. For nature lovers with a reasonably filled wallet, Botswana is ideal.

“Adventure is worthwhile.”@Aesop

BUDGET

We are travelers that like to experience everything a country has to offer. In every country we visit there are also a few basics we value and that is comfortable sleeping and good food. Of course this has to fit within our budget, which isn't a backpacker budget, but we also don't have unlimited financial resources.

 

What we usually strive for:

  • Local food which is cheap and most of the time the best food you ever had.

  • Value for money accommodation where we focus on cleanliness and a comfortable bed.

  • A mix of must sees which are almost for nothing as it is a hard to reach place or yet unknown and must sees which are pricy as it is very touristy.

To travel through Botswana you can use the figures below to set up your daily budget. This budget is based upon traveling by 4x4 with rooftent and staying on campsites. We have placed the rental of the car under the header ACCOMMODATION as this was our place to sleep in. We have also added the one way fee, which is around EUR 500 as we had Bushlore pick up the car in Botswana. You can save these costs by bringing the car back to its rental location. 

ACCOMODATION
EUR 255,62
TRAVELING EXPENSES
EUR 74,41
ACTIVITIES
OTHER COSTS
VISUM
FOOD & DRINKS
EUR  58,95  per day per person
on the basis of 10 days and excl. fly ticket
EUR 58,16
EUR 194,55
EUR 6,08
EUR 0,00
 

For Botswana you need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after departure from these countries. If you do not stay in Botswana for more than 3 months, you do not need a visa.

BORDER CROSSING
We crossed the border at Muhembo/Shakawe which is a small border post in the north of Botswana. From Divundu Namibie a road leads to the border with Botswana. The border post Mohembo / Shakawe is open from 7 to 18:00. The road A35 to Maun is tarred. This border crossing is relatively easy and doesn't take much time. 

 

VISUM

 
 

HOTSPOTS

 

Botswana has a lot to offer. But before you go you need to know what the hotspots of the country are. Beneath, we have selected a few of our finest moments. Of course there is much more to explore and if you want to see more, please click on the button below. You will not only find our highlights, but also from fellow travellers. Are you also one of these travellers that takes the unbeaten path, leave us a message.

 

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GETTIN' TO
Biggest Elephant
Biggest Elephant

Watching the biggest Elephant of Botswana @ Chobe National Park

Offroad route
Offroad route

If you have a 4x4, take the offroad between Savuti en Kasane. It's a road with alot of mudsand.

Mokoro drive @ Okavango Delta
Mokoro drive @ Okavango Delta
Ntwetwe Salt Pans
Ntwetwe Salt Pans

Best of all... overnight on the Pans under the most spectacular night skies in the world, enjoying a barbecue of a lifetime. Curl up under a canopy of stars - a light which you cannot switch off. Botswana has the largest variety of mammals in Africa & the Kalahari is the desert with the greatest species diversity in the world... You can make a reservation by Planet Baobab. Costs: EUR 110,- per person.

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CAMPSITE & HOTELS
Pom Pom Camp in Okavango Delta
Pom Pom Camp in Okavango Delta

In the heart of the Okavango Delta within the MATSEBE concession area, Pom Pom camp is another jewel in Botswana's crown! Here hippo grunt and frolic in front of camp that is surrounded by miles of reeds. In a clear water oasis "makoro's" offer you a wonderful means of viewing wildlife as you glide between palm fringed islands.

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THE "OLD BRIDGE" BACKPACKERS
THE "OLD BRIDGE" BACKPACKERS

10 km out of Central Maun, the gateway to the Okavango, overlooking the hippo pool is The Old Bridge Backpackers. One of the great boltholes on Southern African overland trails, ‘the Bridge’ has a great bar-at-the-end-of-the-world kind of vibe. Accommodation ranges from dome tents by the riverbank to well-appointed campsites and some more private tents. Costs campsite: EUR 6,72 Costs dome tent: EUR 12,61

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Campsite Third Birdge
Campsite Third Birdge

Third Bridge is located between South Gate and Xakanaxa and is known for the many game in the dry period. Third Bridge is often the most peaceful camping in Moremi. Usually there is a lot of wildlife to see. Third Bridge was privatized in 2010. Bookings can currently only be made via Gemsbok Reizen (info@gemsbok.nl) Admission costs 2011: 22 usd pppd, valid for 24 hours from 11.00 - 11.00 hours. By car: 9 usd.

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FOOD & DRINKS
Traditional food
Traditional food

Sorghum is cultivated in the Kalahari and as a result many people eat bogobe (sorghum paste with a porridge or mashed potato consistency sometimes flavoured with a tomato or meaty relish). The local beef is famous. Seswaai (salty mashed meat) is unique to the country but Botswanan cuisine also borrows from other parts of Africa. Pap (maize porridge), samp (broken maize corns with beef or chicken in gravy), and the tasty sounding mopane worms (moth larvae) are popular.

Mama African Restaurant
Mama African Restaurant

Mama Africa Eating House, the name “Mama Africa” refers to a typical African woman who is generous and always treats her guest great with love. Select something different – our menus contain from all over the African continent. Enjoy our local township live jazz band dancing is always welcome.

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TIPS & TRICKS

 
CLOTHES
Wear comfortable clothes when going on safari. Also don’t wear any clothes with bright colors.
TIRE PRESSURE
If you are exploring the country by car, you will find different kind of roads. The general rule we apply to the pressure in our tires are:
  • Tar roads: approx. 2,5 bar
  • Gravel roads: approx. 2.2 / 2.3 bar
  • Sand roads: 1.6 to 1.2 if the road is very sandy
     
Take in mind the car, the tires you use and how heavy your vehicle is loaded. This will have an effect on how much pressure you should have in the tires.
ANIMALS 
When travelling off road, keep in mind that you are in animal territory. Always give them its space.
If you’re trapped, turn the vehicle off and sit dead still. Do not rev your engine or blow your horn. This will only aggravate the situation.
The signs of aggression to look out for in an elephant include:
  • shaking his head,
  • lifting his trunk and rolling it over his head and eyes,
  • flattening his ears against his head,
  • rocking his back legs and crossing them.
     
If he displays any of these warning signs, be very careful. These are all clear indications that he is not happy with your presence and will more than likely attack you.

 

  • Male elephant who are alone, are most of the time rejected of the group and are more aggressive and on their guard.
  • Rhino’s have no coordination and have poor eyesight. When they flee be very wary as they do it unconsciously.
  • Never stand with your car between the water and the hippo. In case of danger, they run back to the water where they feel safe.
Watch your step and wear long trousers, socks and shoes or boots if tramping through undergrowth as 12 species of venomous snake call Botswana home.
CAR TROUBLE OR GETTIN' STUCK
For all road users in Africa, you always help another road user in the event of a breakdown or if someone is stuck.
 
EXPLORE BY CAR
Never drive at night. Travel in a group of at least two 4WDs. Carry everything you need to be self sufficient (satellite phone, extra tyres etc); there is no rescue service or phone reception. Bring plenty of drinking water.
 

BEST TIME TO GO

 

Winter (May-August) is the dry season with mild temperatures of around 25ºC, sunshine and barely any rainfall. Animals congregate around watering holes at this time making for great game viewing.

Summer (November-March) is hot with temperatures of up to 40ºC, cloud, rain and muddy roads. Of these months January and February are the wettest and see some heavy downpours. The rainy season attracts many birds to the delta. April and May are good months to visit weather-wise. Between April and November huge numbers of animals migrate towards the Okavango Delta and in November/December it's calving season, offering ample opportunity to see animal mums with their babies.

Rainfall (mm)                 Temperature (°C)

HOLIDAYS

16th of January Martyrs' Day , 1st of July Seretse Khama Day, 30th of September Independent Day, 26th of December Day of Goodwill.

TRAVEL ADVICE

A positive travel advice applies to Botswana. Check the current travel advice for Botswana before departure.

HEALTHY

 
Yellow fever vaccination is required if you have been in a yellow fever infected area prior to your visit to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A malaria treatment and vaccination against DTP, BMR and hepatitis A are recommended in these three countries. You also need a 'Cholera Not Indicated' declaration for Zambia and Zimbabwe (this must be arranged before departure from the Netherlands). Risk of Bilharzia in contact with water in lakes and rivers is present. Since tap water is not safe everywhere to drink, we recommend drinking water from bottles. We advise you to consult your doctor or the National Coordination Center for Travelers Advice (www.lcr.nl) in good time before departure.
 
If, like us, you leave for a longer period of time taken in malaria tablets every day isn’t good for your health. You would also go bankrupt here ;-). Our solution is to measure our temperatures regularly. If by change our temperature is higher and we have been bitten by a mosquito we will use an emergency treatment, which consists of taken 4 malaria tablets a day for 3 days straight. This corresponds to the shot they will give you in the hospital. Of course it is of your own interest to visit a hospital as soon as possible.
 
TIP! If you already have had a vaccine for yellow fever and rabies they are no longer bound by a certain period, but are valid for life. This has been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO).
 
 

" Do you have a favorite spot that we really need to see? Or would you like to see something added to this site? Feel free to contact us and use the button below. "

NAMIBIA