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Getting To Botswana

Getting There by Air

Currently there is no non-stop or direct service between North America and Botswana. The national airline, Air Botswana (BP), provides international air services into Botswana (Gaborone, Kasane, Maun and Francistown) from Harare (Zimbabwe) and Johannesburg, South Africa.

The most convenient route from the USA is via the primary connecting gateway into Botswana - Johannesburg, South Africa.

Daily air service from the U.S.A. is offered by South African Airways via Johannesburg, South Africa through its gateway airports in Washington, DC (IAD) and New York City (JFK). South African Express provides frequent daily service between Johannesburg and Gaborone, Botswana.

Delta Airlines also offers direct service into Johannesburg from Atlanta (HAR) and New York City (JFK).

Approximate Flight Times
Flight times vary depending upon U.S. gateway (New York, Atlanta, or Washington, D.C.) and final destination of Gaborone. At present, minimum elapsed travel time from U.S.A. gateway to Gaborone, including stopovers and connections, range from 21 - 24 hours, but can be longer depending upon connections.

Entry/Exit Requirements

A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. U.S. citizens are permitted stays up to 90 days without a visa. Visitors must also have outgoing travel documents and sufficient funds to finance their stay. Nationals other than United States citizens are advised to contact their country's high commission/embassy to determine passport and visa requirements.

For additional information on entry/exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana, 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, telephone (202) 244-4990/1, fax (202) 244-4164 or the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana to the United Nations, 103 E. 37th St., New York, NY, 10016, telephone (212) 889-2277, fax (212) 725-5061. The Embassy of Botswana web site contains the most updated information online.

As a general precaution, all travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location separate from the passport.

For complete guidelines on Botswana's customs requirements, click here.

Departure Tax
International: P100 (approximately USD12). Local P50 (approximately USD6).

Getting there by Water

A car ferry operates across the Zambezi River to/from Zambia.

Getting There by Road

By Auto
There is reasonable road access linking Botswana with South Africa and Zimbabwe. There are also roads connecting Botswana and Namibia.

Border Crossing
Border opening hours change all the time, but major crossings between Botswana and Namibia or South Africa generally open sometime between 6am and 8am and close sometime between 6pm and 10pm. The main crossings between Botswana and Zimbabwe are open from 6am to 8pm, and the Kazungula ferry to Zambia runs from 6am to 6pm.

At border crossings, arriving travelers are often requested to clean their shoes, even those packed away in their luggage, in a disinfectant dip to prevent them carrying foot-and-mouth disease into the country. Vehicles must also pass through a pit filled with the same disinfectant.
Click here for a map showing all border posts and opening times.

By Bus
Frequent services operate between Gaborone and Johannesburg. Services are also available from Windhoek in Namibia to Maun, and between Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and Francistown. Private transfers can be booked between Victoria Falls and Kasane (for Chobe National Park). Complicated formalities may be necessary for crossing the border to or from South Africa, where the South African Customs Union agreement is in operation.

Getting There by Rail
The Botswana Railways system is limited to one line running through eastern Botswana. It stretches from Ramokgwebana on the Zimbabwean border to Ramatlhabama on the South African border. Although inexpensive and reliable, it is slow and serves places of little or no interest to the tourist.



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