Getting to Botswana
* By air - Most flights connect to either Gaborone, Maun or Kasane via
South Africa or Namibia. There are no direct international flights (by
international we mean from out side of Africa).
* By road - Most cities / towns are accessible by car as the main roads
into the country are tarred and are in good condition. A 4x4 is only required
when driving into the National Parks, a normal car will never make it
due to the deep Kalahari sands one will encounter.
Unabridged Birth Certificate For Minors
From 1 June 2015, the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa will
require all passengers under 18 to travel with an Unabridged Birth Certificate.
What is it?
A new immigration law is coming into effect on 1 June 2015.
Under the new law, all minors under the age of 18 years will be required
to produce, in addition to their passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate
(showing the particulars of both parents) when exiting and entering South
African ports of entry.
Why is it happening?
This is being done to curb human trafficking. According to the Department
of Home Affairs, 30 000 minors are trafficked through South African borders
every year. 50% of these minors are under the age of 14.
When the new immigration regulation comes into effect on 1 June, it will
be the responsibility of passengers to ensure their children have the
correct documentation or risk being denied boarding. The new law will
be enforced by airlines and immigration officials across the board (land,
sea and air). Although airlines and travel agents are doing everything
to keep passengers informed, ultimately it will be passengers’ responsibility
to know what is required of them.
In all cases an Unabridged Birth Certificate will be required for minors
departing and arriving in South Africa ... they will not be allowed to
travel without it. In cases where the Unabridged Birth Certificate is
in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation
issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.
Children travelling with only one parent
When a child travels with only one parent, additional documents should
include an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the
child to travel, a court order granting full parental responsibilities
or legal guardianship of the child, or the death certificate of the absent
parent. The affidavit should be no more than 3 months old from date of
Children travelling without either parent
In the case of a child travelling with a person other than a parent, the
Unabridged Birth Certificate must be supplemented by affidavits from the
parents or legal guardians confirming that the child may travel with that
person, copies of the ID documents or passports of the parents or legal
guardian, and the contact details of the parents or legal guardian.
Similarly, a child travelling as an unaccompanied minor
would have to produce not only the Unabridged Birth Certificate, but also
proof of consent from both parents or legal guardians and contact details,
plus documentation relating to the person receiving the child in South
Africa. The latter documentation should include a letter stating the person’s
contact details and residential address, contact details where the child
will be residing, plus a copy of his or her ID document, passport or residence
Application process for Unabridged Birth Certificates
· Apply at your nearest Home Affairs office where your Biometric
information will be verified.
· Take your ID book along, as well as your child's ID number.
· All documents submitted must be originals or certified copies.
· The Unabridged Birth Certificate costs R75.
· It can take up to 8 weeks to acquire an Unabridged Birth Certificate
from the date of application.
Since last year, Unabridged Birth Certificates have been issued automatically
for newborns. If your infant was born after 14 March 2013, you should
be in possession of a UBC.
Certified copies of documents are usually valid for 6 months only.
Don't delay applying for Unabridged Birth Certificates as the time frame
for obtaining the documentation varies greatly, from a few weeks to several
Minors travelling in school groups or with their grandparents are not
exempt from the requirement.
Who is exempt?
· The new law does not apply to children travelling domestically
(E.g. Between Johannesburg and Cape Town).
· Minor passengers on a 'Cruise to Nowhere'. For example a cruise
that departs Durban Harbour and returns to Durban Harbour, or a cruise
that goes from Durban Harbour to Cape Town Harbour.
Department of Home Affairs toll free hotline: 0800 60 11 90
Duty-Free Allowances and cross border food restrictions
detailed information on what you are can take across the border, food,
animals,etc click here
Visa's and Passports
Entry Requirements. Please note that these notes
are not exhaustive and may change routinely.
Passports Everyone needs a passport to enter Botswana.
* It must be current and valid for 6 months (some borders are not so fussy
on this but under 30 days becomes a problem)
* It must be your passport
* Two clear pages are required
* Torn, wet, grubby passports especially where the picture or pages are
damaged may be refused entry
Holders of a passport that does not require a visa means that you can
simply turn up at an entry point to the country and you will be issued
up to 30 day tourist stay in Botswana free of charge (not even an admin
fee). you will be given a form at the border to fill in with such information
as passport number name etc it will also require an adress in Botswana
and ask length of stay, ALWAYS fill in the address (even if it is just
where you are going to stay for one night of your trip and ask for more
days that you intend to stay (30 being the maximum) generally they will
give you the number of days requested on this form so make it a little
longer in case you want to stay a few days longer.
Do your best to never exceeed the number of days granted on your entry
stamp, Botswana officials are very strict and are not corrupt (bribe offers
can reult in arrest) penalties for overstay are hefty fines, prison while
it gets sorted and a record of your passport/stamp in passport making
it impossible to reurn to Botswna (and this makes if difficult to travel
to other countries !). If for some legitimate reason you miss the deadline
- for example breakdon/illness - where this occurs go to the local police
explain what has happened and get a headed letter from them and Dr confirming
what happened, present this at the border and it should smooth things
Visas Foreigners from Commonwealth countries are not
required to obtain visa for entering Botswana, except in cases where the
Minister of Labour and Home Affairs has directed otherwise (see charts
below). Botswana has also signed visa abolition agreements with a number
of countries, and their nationals are not required to obtain
entry visa, these include South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
|Countries Whose Nationals Require Visa To Enter Botswana
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
DRS – Democratic Republic of Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
United Arab Emirates
|Commonwealth Countries Whose Nationals Require Visa To Enter Botswana
Requirements for visa application:
* Completed immigration supplementary Form D by the applicant (Visa form).
* Letter of support from the host.
* Two passport size photos (identical).
* Fee of P500.00 (around USD 72.00)
* Return visa or residence permit from his/her country of residence.
* Return air ticket.
* Confirmation letter from the country if the person is coming for business
If a person visiting Botswana wants to stay more than three months, he
must apply before entering Botswana to the Chief Immigration Officer,
P. O. Box 942, Gaborone, tel. (267) 361-1300.
English is widely spoken by everybody.
Money credit cards and currency
GMT + South Africa
220v plug socket
Malaria is found in the Northern regions including The Okavango Delta,
Moremi and Chobe National Park - precautions need to be taken.
Areas like Chobe's Savuti, the Linyanti/Kwando Swamps and the unpolished
Kalahari gems of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Central Kalahari
Game Reserve and Nxai Pan National Park will delight the safari holiday-goer
with their rugged, yet accessible, remoteness and are creaking at the
seams with wildlife.
Food of Botswana
History and Culture of Botswana
National Flag of Botswana
A safe, clean and sunshine-filled country, landlocked Botswana has been
described as "Africa's success story" since its independence
in 1966 - and is a peaceful, well-tempered country.
It is also a land of the starkest contrasts.
Modern, technology-driven urban areas are a short flight from the bows
and arrows of San Bushmen hunting parties deep in the burning Kalahari;
crystal-clear floodwaters attract massive concentrations of wildlife in
parched, bone-dry savannas and woodlands; simple starlight reflects off
the cut crystal of candle-lit dining tables.
Most of Botswana's tiny population is concentrated in the kinder, more
fertile southeast, leaving enormous tracts of uninhabited central and
northern wilderness for you to experience a safari holiday that will live
on in your memory long after you've shaken the Kalahari sand out of your