Botswana Guide

Botswana Guide

Country data

Location: South Africa

Time zone: CET + 1 (during summer time: CET)

Total area: 581,730 km²

Land area: 566,730 km²

Water area: 15,000 km²

Length of the state border: 4,347.1 km

Bordering countries:
Namibia: 1,544 km
Zambia: 0.1 km
Zimbabwe: 834 km
South Africa: 1,969 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Gaborone

Districts: 16
Central, Chobe, Francistown, Gaborone, Ghanzi, Jwaneng, Kgalagadi, Kgatleng, Kweneng, Lobatse, North East, North West, Selebi-Phikwe, South East, Southern, Sowa Town

Telephone code: 00 267 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m

Population

Population: approx. 2.2 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.3% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 4

Life expectancy: 56 (male), 52 (female)

Official language: Setswana, English

Religions:

  • 71% Christian
  • 6% Badimo
  • 23% other

Climate

The seasons are shifted by about 6 months compared to the European ones. There is generally a hot and dry desert climate.

Summer (December – March) corresponds to the rainy season and is very hot with frequent downpours and heavy thunderstorms. Several flood disasters have already occurred!

In winter (May – September) it is dry and much cooler. At night, the temperatures sometimes drop to the frost line. The amount of precipitation decreases towards the southwest of the country.

Botswana

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Pula (BWP)

Classification: 1 pula = 100 Thebe

ATMs: Occasionally available in large cities. Usually only VISA cards are accepted.

International credit cards: are accepted by larger hotels and some shops.

Regulations: National and foreign currencies can be imported in unlimited amounts, but must be declared upon entry (including travelers’ checks!).

The export is allowed in the amount of the declared import.

A very high fee is often charged when cashing travelers checks.

Since there are hardly any exchange offices where you can exchange foreign currencies, you should do this on arrival at the airport or in one of the banks in the center of the capital.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

The duty exemption is granted once per person within 30 days. A renewed duty-free import after this period is only possible after a stay of at least 48 hours outside the customs union ( Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland ).

When entering the country, a declaration of the photo / film equipment is required.

Important:
Married couples traveling together are treated as ONE person for customs purposes !

Travel advice

The average exposure for tourists is pickpocketing and car break-ins. Otherwise Botswana is safe as a travel destination.

Behavioral advice

It is pointed out that when traveling to the national parks a healthy degree of caution is exercised when encountering and handling the wild animals living there.

Photography of public buildings, military facilities and uniformed people is prohibited.

Economy

Livestock farming and the cultivation of basic foodstuffs (maize, millet) are the main branches of income in which a large part of the population is employed.

Severe periods of drought and floods have reduced agricultural yields in recent years.

Mining is mainly focused on the extraction and export of diamonds.

Industries: mining, livestock

Natural resources: diamonds, iron, coal, copper, salt, silver

Land use:

  • Usable land: 1%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 46%
  • Forests: 47%
  • other: 6%

Plants

The southwestern landscape is characterized by dunes and simple grass steppes.

To the north, thorn bush landscapes, various types of dry wood and deciduous dry forests occupy large areas.

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