Permits Included

We don’t like added extras, so our tour and independent and extension package prices include entrance to all national parks and reserves.

A day on safari

Safari is the quintessential African experience. Whether you're spotting lions in the Maasai Mara, or tracking wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater - every day is a new adventure.

Capital
Capital — Gaborone
Population
Population — 2.3 million
Language
Language — English & Setswana
Religion
Religion — Christianity
Time Zone
Time Zone — 9 hours behind AEST
Currency
Currency — Botswanan Pula
  • The name Bot swana means ‘place of Tswana’, the native people of south-west Botswana who now comprise about 85% of Botswana’s population.  
  • Citizens of Botswana are called ‘Batswana’ (singular ‘Motswana’), regardless of ethnicity
  • Botswana has the highest concentration of elephants in Africa, approximately 1.28 elephants per square kilometre 
  • The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world, and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Formerly a protectorate of the British, Botswana was known as Bechuanaland until 1966 when it gained independence 
  • About 80% of Botswana is Kalahari Desert, and 40% is dedicated National Parks and Wildlife Reserves
  • Botswana is believed to be the birthplace of all modern humans, some 200,000 years ago
  • The San Bushmen are descendants of the first Homo sapiens, with the oldest gene pattern of any existing people 
  • Botswana is the second-largest producer of diamonds, and produces over 20 million carats per year.  
  • The Nakgadigadi Pan is one of the largest salt pans in the world 

Australian passport holders travelling to Botswana do not need a visa at this time.

We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you. 
 
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information. 
 
The Australian High Commission in South Africa is responsible for Botswana:

292 Orient Street
Arcadia
Pretoria 0083
Ph. +27 12 423 6000
Fax. +27 12 342 8442

Australian Honorary Consulate in Botswana:

Plot 50637, Block 10, Airport Road
Gaborone
Ph. +267 390 2996
Fax. +267 391 4293

The official currency of Botswana is the Botswanan Pula (symbol P, BWP). Notes come in denominations of P5, P10, P20, P50 and P100. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations. 
 
The recommended currency to take to Botswana is the USD. Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen. 
 
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card. 
 

If you don’t have Pula with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money. 
 
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia. 

  • The price of a cappuccino in Gaborone is approximately 2.90 USD 
  • The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately 11 USD 
  • The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately 45 USD 
  • The price of a domestic beer in a local pub is approximately 2 USD 

Food is fairly basic in Botswana – beef and goat feature regularly, however hotels and game resorts generally have a larger range of international style cuisine on offer. Sorghum (corm meal porridge) is a staple and appears at most meals. The breakfast version, known as ting, is thinner, served with soured milk, sugar and tea. At lunch, a thicker version, known as bogobe, is served with a stew of meat, greens or beans. Other breakfast options include pathata (flat cakes, similar to an English muffin), or megunya (also known as fat cakes, they are balls of fried dough that are sometimes stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings). 

The national dish is seswaa, usually served at special occasions. Made from either beef or goat, the meat is simmered until soft, then pounded, and served over thick pap (porridge/polenta). Local specialties include Kalahari truffle (an edible fungus that is similar to the European truffle), mophane worms (worms from the mopane tree that are served boiled, stewed or deep fried), morama bean (a large underground tuber) or morogo (wild spinach). Watermelon (legapu) is believed to have originated in Botswana.  

Native to Botswana is bojalwah, or Chibuku, a locally brewed cloudy beer made from fermented sorghum seeds, tasting similar to apple cider. The national beer of Botswana is St Louis Lager, brewed locally in Gaborone. Non-alcoholic options include ginger beer, madila (sour milk), and mageu (made from fermented sorghum mash). 

Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later!  If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc. 

If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.  

Botswana’s climate is semi-arid. Though there are warm and dry days with cold nights from April to October, the rainy season runs through the summer months of November to March, bringing with it the humidity. Rainfall tends to be erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. 

Want to get out and explore on your own? 


In Botswana, taxis are generally safe, although it is advisable to agree on a price before getting in. Botswana does not have a postal delivery system that uses street addresses, so many locals are unfamiliar with street names. Directions will generally be given in terms of landmarks. 
 

When catching taxis, make sure you have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. We recommend you ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies. 

So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Botswana… 
 

Souvenirs in Botswana centre on wood carvings, specially woven products known as wickerwork (including plates, baskets, accessories, and kitchen utensils), handmade rugs and textiles, pottery and terracotta, and handcrafted jewellery. Bone carving is gaining popularity with former ivory carvers who were losing their livelihoods thanks to the worldwide ban on the sale of ivory. Traditional handicrafts of the Bushmen have been revived, these include hunting items, fire sticks, beaded jewellery and belts, and items made from ostrich eggshells. If you are going to buy diamonds, ensure you receive a certificate of authenticity with your purchase. 

  • Many Batswana can speak a bit of English, however it is always appreciated if visitors learn a little of the local language, greeting locals with ‘Dumela’ followed by ‘rra’ for men or ‘mma’ for women, especially before asking for something or help.
  • It is always best to err on the side of modesty with clothing choices, especially when visiting religious sites, and be aware that excessive public displays of affection are frowned upon.
  • Always travel with others, especially after dark. Travelling in groups of three of four is strongly advised. Keep to well-lit, public places such as shopping malls and restaurants. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, as street crimes are commonplace. 
  • Keep identification on you at all times – a photocopy of your passport page is sufficient. 
  • Don't take photos indiscriminately. Many people object to having their pictures taken, so ask permission first. Military installations, airports and bridges should never be photographed. 
  • Don’t carry around nonessentials and valuables. Use your hotel safe and don't flash expensive jewellery, watches and cameras. 

Botswana has a rich cultural heritage, and many festivals are still celebrated the same way as they were hundreds of years ago. The many ethnic groups of Botswana have their own traditions and festivals, alongside more modern celebrations, including the Toyota 1000 Desert Race for motoring enthusiasts! 
 
The Maitisong Festival is held every March in Gaborone, a nine-day carnival of traditional music, performing arts and culture. In April, Maun hosts the Festival of Maun, a culturally rich two-day celebration of poetry, music, and tribal dance and culture.  

President’s Day in July is celebrated with a four-day national holiday celebrating the current and former Presidents of Botswana. Botswana Day, or Independence Day, celebrates the day Botswana gained freedom from the British, with street parties, parades, and events, including an impressive fireworks display. Many wear the colours of the flag, blue, white and black.   

 
Other national public holidays to be aware of include: 

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Labour Day (1st May) 
  • Ascension Day  
  • Sir Seretse Khama Day (1st July)
  • President’s Day
  • July Public Holiday
  • Botswana Day (30th September)
  • October Public Holiday (1st October)
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day 

Small Group Tours

Namibia, Botswana & Victoria Falls

Discover spectacular wildlife and incredible natural wonders on this diverse adventure. Visit the highest dunes on earth at Sossusvlei and see an array of wildlife in Etosha and Chobe National Parks.

Airfares included

Days 24
From (Per person / Twin share) $16,995

Independent Travel

Victoria Falls, Chobe & The Zambezi Queen, 7-Day

Explore the thunder of Victoria Falls, search for game along the banks of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, watch spectacular African sunsets and soak up the luxurious atmosphere on board the Zambezi Queen.

Independent
Days 7
From (Per person / Twin share)

Victoria Falls, Chobe & The Zambezi Queen, 8-Day

Explore the thunder of Victoria Falls, search for game along the banks of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, watch spectacular African sunsets and soak up the luxurious atmosphere on board the Zambezi Queen.

Independent
Days 8
From (Per person / Twin share)

Victoria Falls & The Chobe Princess, 7-Day

Explore the thunder of Victoria Falls, search for game along the banks of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, watch spectacular African sunsets and soak up the luxurious atmosphere on board the Chobe Princess.

Independent
Days 7
From (Per person / Twin share)

Victoria Falls & The Chobe Princess, 8-Day

Explore the thunder of Victoria Falls, search for game along the banks of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers, watch spectacular African sunsets and soak up the luxurious atmosphere on board the Chobe Princess.

Independent
Days 8
From (Per person / Twin share)

Extensions

Chobe

On this amazing tour extension, you’ll enjoy cruising along the Chobe River, as well as brilliant game drives within the national park. Keep your eyes peeled for some of Africa’s finest wildlife, including hippos, elephants, lions and buffalo, on this three-day adventure.

Extension
Days 3
From (Per person / Twin share)

Bunnik Reviews