Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa for visitors, with a low crime rate, a relatively stable political situation, a strong economy, and very little risk of natural disasters. It is also a very cost-effective place to enjoy the very best of the southern part of Africa.
Located in the southern part of Africa, Botswana is completely landlocked, surrounded by South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
It is renowned for its spectacular national parks and many people flock to the country with high hopes of spotting a large array of wildlife. It also boasts an interesting culture, with several different tribal groups calling the country home. There are certainly plenty of things to see and do when in Botswana.
If you’re thinking about visiting, this Botswana travel guide may come in useful.
What Languages are Spoken in Botswana?
Although several different indigenous languages are used throughout the country, there are two official languages – Setswana and English. Setswana is the main spoken language, especially in rural areas. English is used in business transactions and is used as the main language for education in some schools. In schools where lessons are conducted in Setswana, English is still taught as a second language.
In the main tourist areas and cities you should have no problems at all finding people who can speak very good English.
Will I Need a Visa to Visit Botswana?
Citizens of many different countries don’t need a visa to enter Botswana as a tourist. These countries include the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and numerous European nations.
If you come from a country that does need a visa, you will need to apply for this in advance of travel.
Make sure that you check with your nearest Embassy well before you plan to travel for all up to date visa information. Some British Embassies can also process Botswana visas if there is no diplomatic presence from Botswana in a particular country.
Is Getting Between Places Easy?
It is pretty easy getting between the major destinations by buses and combies, but away from the main cities and places of interest, public transport can be somewhat hit and miss. Many people sign up for tours for complete convenience and ease.
The road conditions are good, although you may encounter a variety of farm animals roaming about on the roads and police stops are fairly common. In rural areas there is a chance of running into larger wildlife – which can be dangerous. People who are planning longer stays, or visiting several nearby countries, sometimes find that buying a car in Botswana is a good way to have total independence and travel around freely. The prices are relatively cheap, and it is more affordable to buy a vehicle in Botswana than in nearby countries. Travellers who do this then sell the vehicle on again at the end of their trip.
What are the Main Things to See and Do?
Nearly one fifth of the country is made up of wildlife parks and nature reserves – so it is easy to see why nature and wildlife are one of the top reasons for people to visit Botswana! A huge variety of wild animals roam around freely, including lions, elephants, cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, and zebras. The country is also a dream for bird spotting enthusiasts.
Botswana also has one of the biggest displays of ancient rock art in Africa, and you can see hundreds of fascinating images and carvings, some of which date back thousands and thousands of years.
Botswana really is a brilliant place to discover when travelling around the southern parts of Africa.