Overland Botswana Travel

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Visiting Botswana[edit]

Botswana is a stunning country most famous for it's wildlife and stunning National Parks. People are extremely friendly, there is no bribery and camping is cheap. It doesn't get any better than this!

Entering Botswana with a Car or Motorbike[edit]

Correct as of: September 2017

Travel Visa for Botswana[edit]

The travel visa for Botswana is free for virtually all nationalities, and is given at the border.
Duration is usually 30 days, you can request up to 90 days.

Required Paperwork[edit]

(no copies are required)

NOTE: If you are driving into any country in the South Africa Customs Union (SACU) (Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland) You do not require a Carnet de Passage. If you are shipping into or out of any of those countries, you absolutely must have a Carnet de Passage, no exceptions.

If you don't have a Carnet de Passage and are driving in, many of those countries will only issue a 14 day Temp Import Permit. If you go to South Africa, you will be issued a 6 month Temp Import Permit, which you can use in all the SACU countries. So once you have the 6 month one from South Africa, travel between all those countries is extremely simple - you don't even need to visit Customs or complete any vehicle-related paperwork at each border.

Process at border[edit]

  • Get yourself stamped in at Immigration.
  • Go to Customs to get a temporary import for the vehicle. Using the vehicle registration the officer will write out an import form, valid for 30 days.
  • If you have a Carnet de Passage, you don't need the temp import permit, just get the Carnet stamped.

Cost of entry[edit]

The Temp Import Permit is free, as is entry with a Carnet de Passage.
All foreign vehicles must pay for a Road Permit, Road Fund and mandatory State Insurance, for a total of $30.77 USD for a 4x4.

Permitted length of stay[edit]

The Temp Import Permit is valid for 30 days.

Extension of stay[edit]

The Temp import permit can be extended at Customs for another 30 days.

Storing a vehicle and temporarily leaving the country[edit]

People have reported leaving the vehicle and returning without problem. Make sure you are back and leave the country before the Temp Import Permit expires.

Exiting with a vehicle[edit]

  • Get yourself stamped out at Immigration.
  • Get your Carnet de Passage stamped out if you have one, or hand in your Temp Import Permit.

Driving in Botswana[edit]

Recommended books for Overlanding in Botswana[edit]

Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia (travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia (travel Guide)
by Lonely Planet, Alan Murphy, Anthony Ham, Trent Hol...
From $13.69 on Amazon
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
Work Less To Live Your Dreams: A Practical Guide To Sa...
by Dan Grec
From $click on Amazon
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route And Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $22.49 on Amazon
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Gu...
by Chris Scott
From $click on Amazon
South Africa Handbook (footprint Handbooks)
South Africa Handbook (footprint Handbooks)
From $33.43 on Amazon

Travel insurance for Botswana[edit]

World Nomads offer the most flexible Travel Insurance at the best prices for multi-country / multi-year trips. You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home.

Vehicle insurance requirements[edit]

You will buy it at the border when you enter, it's mandatory.

Cost of vehicle insurance[edit]

Included with all the other entrance fees for a foreign vehicle.

Where to purchase vehicle insurance[edit]

At any border on the way in - you get it at Customs.

Driving license[edit]

Anything from your home country will be accepted.

Driving side of road[edit]

LHD vehicles can be driven in Botswana with no restrictions.

Mandatory items in vehicle[edit]

You probably need two safety triangles, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and a bright yellow safety vest for every person in the vehicle. It's a good idea to have them to avoid a ticket.


General Road quality[edit]

Highways are paved and usually excellent. Some have bad potholes, keep your eyes open. Secondary roads are bad pavement or gravel. Gravel roads can be corrugated, sandy and very bad.

Road signs[edit]

Are typically very good, you could get around without a map if you needed to.

Toll roads[edit]


Bribery in Botswana[edit]

Bribery is extremely uncommon in Botswana. Don't assume it's happening, you might get in more trouble if you offer money.


Checkpoints are extremely rare in Botswana. Don't worry, you will have no problems.

Traveling with pets[edit]

If entering from one of the SADC listed countries all that is required is to have the movement permit/health certificate completed by a local vet and then stamped by the state vet from the SADC country you are leaving from. Immigration doesn't seem to concerned and never asked for proof of permit however every Vet Fence control you drive thru will ask to see the permit.

Gas price in Botswana and Diesel price in Botswana[edit]

Last updated: September 2017

Currency and unit to display:

Gasoline Grade Price
Unleaded 95 $0.76 USD per Liter
Unleaded9395 $0.74 USD per Liter
Diesel $0.72 USD per Liter (listed as as 50ppm sulphur)

Gas and Diesel Availability / Frequency[edit]

Petrol stations are prevalent on major roads and shortages are very uncommon.

Gas and Diesel Quality[edit]

Gasoline is clean, and diesel is listed as 50ppm sulphur.

Safety and Security Considerations[edit]

Driving at night[edit]

Is not typically recommended due to road hazards and wild animals. It's pretty safe, but be careful.

Vehicle parking[edit]

Vehicles should be fine on the street during the day - often there are parking attendants you can pay a couple of Pula to watch your car. Try to find secure parking overnight.

Special driving considerations[edit]

Police in Botswana have radar guns, and they love to use them and issue a ticket. They often sit at the entrance to a town get you when the limit drops from 100 to 80 to 60. Also they will sit on the exit to a town and get you if you resume your higher speed before you have actually passed the sign. They are serious about writing a ticket, and it's all legit - you will have to pay.
In short - DON'T speed.

Security advisories and information[edit]

Camping in Botswana[edit]

Pay campsite are common throughout Botswana. Most campsites in national parks are administered the government and are priced reasonably. Wild camping is common and safe. Also many reserves have strict no wild camping policies and fines are quite steep.

Camping guide books[edit]

List and link to books specifically for camping.

Drinking water[edit]

Tap water is safe to drink in almost all of the country. In rural areas, ask first.


Paper maps[edit]

Reise Know-How are among the best paper maps. Purchase paper maps before arriving in Botswana

Road Map Of Namibia
Road Map Of Namibia
by tracks4africa
From $39.52 on Amazon
Botswana = Botsuana = Botsvana
Botswana = Botsuana = Botsvana
by Reise Know-How Verlag
From $8.95 on Amazon
Botswana (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Botswana (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $8.35 on Amazon
Botswana (national Geographic Adventure Map)
Botswana (national Geographic Adventure Map)
by National Geographic Maps - Adventure
From $8.35 on Amazon
Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland (trave...
Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland (trave...
by Lonely Planet, James Bainbridge, Jean-Bernard Cari...
From $15.74 on Amazon

GPS Maps of Botswana[edit]

  • Garmin Open Street Maps has excellent coverage of all roads - highways and cities.
  • Tracks4Africa is an SD Card for Garmin GPS, and contain Routable turn-by-turn maps with 809,000 kms of roads and over 129,000 points of interest.
Gps Map Of Africa
Gps Map Of Africa
From $click on Amazon

GPS co-ordinates for camping, propane, gas, repairs, etc. in Botswana[edit]

  • iOverlander is a website and iPhone application designed by Overlanders, for Overlanders. It contains GPS co-ordinates and reviews for camping, hotels, propane, water, mechanics, borders and much more.

Link to sites that have a list of GPS co-ordinates (or directions) for camping locations (including "wild" campsites), propane filling, gas stations, repair shops, places of interest, etc.

Special Overland Travel interests[edit]

  • Many, many places deserve to be explored! Any guide book will give you a good start.

Vehicle Maintenance[edit]


4x4s / Trucks


Local Garages[edit]

Buy or sell a car or motorbike in Botswana[edit]

Describe how a foreigner can buy a vehicle. List any difficulties or limitations on where the vehicle can be driven.

Describe how a foreigner can sell a foreign-plated vehicle, or list not possible.'


Links to the source of any information - blogs or discussion forums, etc.

Helpful External links[edit]

Add any helpful external links here.