The best time to visit Botswana is during its dry winter season of May to September, when temperatures are more moderate. The Okavango Delta is flooded during the months of June to October. Game viewing is generally good all year round but may differ depending on your destination.
Tap water throughout the country is safe to drink. Bottled mineral water is readily available in most shops and supermarkets, and at camps and lodges. Tourists travelling by road are advised to carry sufficient water at all times.
Driving yourself in Botswana is very possible but some roads of this arid country are only accessible via 4×4 vehicle. Public transport is generally good and many safari lodges even have access to their own airstrip.
While many hotels and lodges have a menu influenced by western and European cuisine, tourists should try Botswana’s traditional cuisine as part of their stay. Most Botswana dishes use maize or sorghum as a base accompanied by meat such as seswaa (a salted stewed beef) and vegetable sauces.
Besides anti-malaria pills, travellers should pack their personal prescription medication along with the following:
- Cameras, lenses and binoculars
- Light clothing for summer safaris
- Bathing suits
- Walking shoes
- Mosquito repellent, sunscreen and hats
- Warmer clothing for winter stays
Botswana’s climate is semi-arid. Though it is hot and dry for much of the year, there is a rainy season, which runs through the summer months. The summer season begins in November and ends in March. The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. The in between months are also dry.
Electricity is supplied at 220/240v. Both square and round wall plugs are used.
Consult your doctor about vaccinations and boosters for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, Cholera, Malaria and Dengue Fever.
English and Setswana are the two official languages of Botswana.
The Botswana currency is the Pula (meaning ’rain’). Travellers’ cheques and foreign currency may be changed at banks, bureaux de change, and authorised hotels. Major credit cards, such as MasterCard and Visa, are accepted throughout the country, in most hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and safari companies. American Express is not as widely accepted. Shops in remote areas and service stations may only accept cash.
Some of Botswana’s premier national parks include Moremi Game Reserse, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi Pan National Park, Nxai Pan National Park, Chobe Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta.
Mashatu Main Camp is a lush enclave in Central Kalahari. It offers its guests 5-star luxury in 14 exquisite suites, each one boasting fantastic views and superior service courtesy of the lodge’s friendly staff.
The best of Desert & Delta itinerary allows travellers free reign of their choice of safari lodges in both the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari regions. Wildlife safaris merge with water-based adventures to leave tour members with memories to last a lifetime.
Tipping is entirely voluntary in Botswana.
A safari, either by 4×4 vehicle or by foot, in any one of Botswana’s game reserves is recommended but the Okavango Delta is Botswana’s most famous destination. A mokoro tour through the Delta comes highly recommended but a cultural tour of a traditional Botswana village is also an idea and is offered by many of the country’s game lodges.
Travel insurance for a Botswana holiday will cover you for emergencies and physical injuries. Personal effects cover is also recommended.