HOW TO GET FROM SOUTH AFRICA TO BOTSWANA

There are various means of travelling to Botswana. The easiest route is to fly. Air Botswana and South Africa airways will fly to Gaborone from OR Tambo international airport. There are connecting flights from Cape Town and Durban. Flights between Cape Town and Botswana are 2 hours and 4 minutes long.

In the pass, there were trains that ran between Botswana and South Africa, but this was stopped in 1999. However, there are still luxury bus service that runs between Cape Town and Gaborone and Johannesburg and Gaborone. Price ranges are between R 250 and R 350. For more information on the bus trips, see link below. http://www.intercape.co.za/home

The other option would be to drive to Botswana. There are various borders between South Africa and Botswana. See list below. The borders between South Africa and Botswana are about 1.8 km long. When crossing to Botswana, you will require a valid passport, certified copy of vehicle registration papers, letter if authority if it’s a rental car and if the vehicle is still being financed, a letter of authority from the bank and the vehicles license papers. Cross border charges are R 220 per vehicle and R 140 per trailer. Police Clearance Certificate is required if you are entering Botswana on a work permit. A ZA sticker is also required on the vehicle. Motor Insurance Certificates are obtained at the border, free of charge and are valid for 30 days.

South Africa - Botswana Border Posts

Printable version of cross border information
South African Border Posts Opening Hours Contact Number GPS Coordinates
Pont Drift - Mashatu 07:00 - 16:00 015-575 1056 22°12′53″S 29°08′18″E
Platjan 08:00 - 16:00 015-575 1040 22°29′08″S 28°50′01″E
Zanzibar 08:00 - 16:00 014-767 1024 22°34′19″S 28°27′59″E
Groblersbrug / Martin's Drift 08:00 - 18:00 014-767 1019 22°59′53″S 27°56′31″E
Parr's Halt - Stockpoort B 08:00 - 18:00 014-763 4586 23°24′10″S 27°21′24″E
Sikwane - Derdepoort B 06:00 - 19:00 014-778 0725 24°38′33″S 26°24′13″E
Tlokweng Gate - Kopfontein 06:00 - 00:00 018-365 9055 24°42′23″S 26°05′38″E
Ramotswa - Swartkoppie 06:00 - 22:00 018-365 9010 24°52′21″S 25°52′57″E
Pioneer Gate - Skilpadshek 06:00 - 00:00 018-366 0011 25°16′32″S 25°42′50″E
Ramatlabama 06:00 - 22:00 018-390 2533 25°38′31″S 25°34′27″E
Phitshane Molopo 07:00 - 16:00 067-548 7204 25°44′55″S 25°06′27″E
Bray 07:00 - 16:00 053-937 0026 25°27′24″S 23°42′51″E
Makopong 08:00 - 18:00 053-781 0285 25°21′55″S 22°58′29″E
McCarthy's Rust 08:00 - 18:00 053-781 0285 26°12′05″S 22°34′04″E
Middleputs 07:30 - 16:00 053-781 0212 26°40′14″S 21°52′57″E

HOW TO GET FROM NAMIBIA TO BOTSWANA

The quickest option to get from Namibia to Botswana would be to fly. This is not always the cheapest option. A lot of people suggest you should hitchhike, but that is not the safest options in my opinion. There are trains that run from Maun to Windhoek, but it is still much safer and cheaper to rent a vehicle. It’s more convenient to driver yourself. The Mamumo border Control is the main border post between Namibia and Botswana. This is a dirt road. Any goods acquired outside the country must be declared at the border gate. Prices are displayed at the border post and only cash is accepted.

Namibia - Botswana Border Posts

Namibia Border Posts Opening Hours Contact Number GPS Coordinates
Mamuno / Buitepos 07:00 - 18:00 6592013 / 6592064 22°16’93”S 19°59’48”E
Muhembo / Shakawe 06:00 - 18:00 6875505 18°15’642”S 021°45’719”E
Ngoma Bridge 07:00 - 18:00 6236002 / 6250736 17°55’538”S 024°43’244”E
Impalila Island 07:00 - 18:00 71303418 17°45’52”S 025°11’30”E

BOTSWANA PLACES TO VISIT

Abu Concession

In the southwest of the Okavango Delta, the Abu Concession encompasses deep blue channels and lagoons, verdant green floodplains and sandy islands with Ilala and wild date palms. The floodplains are home to large herds of red Lechwe which are hunted by several prides of lion and leopards are often seen.

 

Central Kalahari

 

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the world's largest game reserves. The big game is here, but occurs in low densities due to its harsh and arid environment.

Chief's Island

Chief's Island is in the very center of the Okavango Delta and one of its largest islands. On game drives there's always something to see, the photographic opportunities are endless so stay for a while to make the most of this magical island.

Chitabe Concession

Bordering the Moremi Game Reserve in the southern Okavango Delta, the Chitabe Concession is both picturesque and rich in game. Though lion are often seen it is Chitabe’s leopard and wild dog pack that perhaps hold the greatest attraction. It is also the base for the three day Chitabe Walking Trail.

Chobe National Park

Encompassing an impressive 10,700km of wilderness the Chobe National Park stretches from the tip of Northern Botswana to the fringes of the Okavango Delta. Chobe is most famous for its elephant and buffalo populations.

Duba Concession

The Duba Concession is home to Botswana’s largest herds of buffalo, and as a consequence, to Africa’s densest lion population. The concession is owned by the local Okavango communities, from which most of the guides and camp staff are recruited, and staying here you are in the hands of experts

Gaborone

Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, has a modern and bright city centre with wide tree lined avenues. It is currently best known for Alexander McCall Smith’s books – 'The Ladies No 1 Detective Agency'

Ghanzi

Ghanzi, also known as 'the capital of the Kalahari' is one of Botswana most intriguing towns situated in the middle of nowhere and separated from the rest of the world by hundreds of kilometres of road. Not far from Ghanzi is an area known as the Kanana Wilderness which has game in abundance

Gunns Concession

In the heart of the Okavango Delta, Gunns Concession is dominated by the deep Boro River. Many of the activities in the Gunns' Concession are focused on the water. Mokoro trips are perfect for birding whilst boat trips are ideal for watching crocodiles, hippo and elephant.

Jao Concession

In the southwest reaches of the Okavango Delta is the Jao Concession. There are a number of small camps on the reserve, ranging from luxury chalets to tree top houses. All offer a variety of activities including game drives, walks and night drives, as well as boating and mokoro trips which are superb.

Khwai Concession

The private Khwai Concession is situated adjacent to the world renowned Moremi Game Reserve. Kwhai also has large palm islands and large dry land areas, where the big game is found.

Kwando Concession

The Kwando Concession is one of Botswana’s wildest concession areas, situated in the far north of the country, along the winding Kwando River. It has excellent resident game that swells to great numbers during the dry season.

Kwara Concession

The Kwara Concession borders the Moremi Game Reserve and is a maze of waterways, islands, seasonal floodplains and thick bush. Game viewing is excellent and mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) trips provide a chance to photograph this game as well as the prolific birdlife.

Linyanti Concession

The Linyanti Concession covers 120,000 hectares of pristine wilderness. As well as being superb for elephant, there are also some excellent drives along the floodplains where red lechwe, impala, zebra, waterbuck and giraffe can all be seen.

Linyanti Wetlands

The Linyanti Wetlands are a vast area of pristine wilderness located in the north of Botswana, stretching from the Linyanti River to the Okavango Delta. As well as being superb for elephant, there is also a vast array of other game and bird life.

Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari

The Makgadikgadi Pans is a huge expanse of shimmering white salt pans; the relic of a once mightly ’super-lake’. Nowadays, the wildlife living here has to be both hardy and highly nomadic to survive.

Maun

Maun is a small but delightful little town, an eclectic mixture of modern buildings and traditional homes. Maun is ideal as a starting off point for trips to Moremi or fly-in safaris to the Okavango Delta.

Moremi Wildlife reserve

The Moremi Wildlife Reserve encompasses the central and eastern areas of the Okavango Delta. Both flora and fauna are rich and diverse and it is one of Africa’s finest wildlife areas.

Nxabega Concession

Situated deep in the heart of the Okavango Delta, the Nxabega Concession is predominantly about water. Whilst game drives are possible on the larger islands amongst elephant, kudu, tsessebe, giraffe, lion and more, it’s really the water that’s the highlight here.

Nxai Pan National Park

The Nxai Pan National Park is situated on the northern fringes of the ancient Makgadikgadi Lake basin. Being ancient salt lakes, the park itself is very flat with huge open grasslands and is most famous for Baine's Baobab trees.

Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is one of the world's truly unique wildlife areas. Water from the Okavango River spills into the Kalahari Desert and forms a labyrinth of waterways and palm-fringed islands. It is the only safari which you can do from a mokoro (a canoe made from the trunk of a tree).

The Panhandle

The Okavango Panhandle is a 70 kilometres long, deep channel of water, off which branch further side streams, lagoons and swamps. It is ideally suited to those wanting to see areas that most tourists never go to.

Savuti Area

The Savuti Area is a rich game area in the Chobe National Park. The entire area is superb for elephant, with large herds numbering in the hundreds. Other common game include lion, zebra, kudu, impala, baboon and buffalo.

Selinda Concession

The Selinda Concession covers 1,350km2 of wilderness, which stretches southeast from the Linyanti River towards the Okavango Delta. It has excellent resident game, and there are two permanent camps in the reserve from which to view it

Sepupa

Located on the eastern side of the Okavango Pan Handle this area is great for those on self-drive itineraries with easy access from Namibia's Caprivi Strip along tar roads. The focus here is on bird life, flora and fauna rather than big game viewing.

Shinde Concession

The Shinde Concession is located in the northeastern Delta and shares a long southern boundary with the Moremi Reserve. There are a large number of big cats including lion, leopard and cheetah, and given the open nature of the environment it's a good area for wild dog.

Stanleys Concession

Stanley's Concession is situated to the south of Chief's Island. With the Moremi Game Reserve as its border this is a classic Okavango concession. As you would expect with such a diverse habitat, the game is varied and prolific.

Vambura Concession

The Vumbura Concession stretches for 30,000 hectares in the far northern reaches of the Okavango Delta. There are three little camps, all of which are excellent. With a mixture of water and dry land, the camps offer game drives, night drives, walks, and boat and mokoro trips.

Xigera Concession

The Xigera Concession is situated in the absolute heart of the Okavango Delta. The Xigera Concession is not for those seeking the big five. However, it is an area superb for bird-watching and exploring the Delta by boat and mokoro.

Xudum Concession

Located to the south-west of the Okavango Delta this huge private concession stretches for 25,000 hectares. The plentiful plains game attracts the predators, in particular prides of lion. Activities include game drives, night drives, mokoro and boat trips.




VACCINATIONS

Yellow fever is the only required vaccination.

Recommended are: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever.

Driving in Botswana

Botswana has roads ranging from tarmac to either gravel or sand tracks with the highways tarred having one lane in each direction.
Drivers must carry their driving licenses at all times while driving and International driving permits are advised for foreign drivers.

Here are some of the important road regulations in Botswana: 
  • Traffic flows fromon the left hand side of the road.
  • The minimun driving age is 18 years.
  • it is mandatory to use seat belts at all times while driving.
  • Speed limit is 120 km/h (75 mph) outside built-up areas; 100 km/h on approach to towns and villages; 60 km/h (37mph) in towns and villages, 30km/h in built-up areas.
  • Babies and children must be riding in appropriate child restraints.
  • Using cell phones while driving is prohibited; the exception is cell phones with hands-free systems.
  • The International driving permit can be used for driving by foreign drivers for six months after arriving.
  • The emergency phone number is 999.
Some additional advices:
  • Foreign drivers should be careful while driving since wildlife and stray livestock which are big enough to destroy a vehicle; it is best to avoid driving at night.
  • Foreign visitors should carry their identification documents with them at all times and their original and International driving permits while driving as the car registration documents and insurance.
  • To rent a car, foreign visitors must have their valid International driving permits and home driver licenses. Their identification details must be written in English.
  • It is permitted to park cars along the roadside in most places.
Roads in Botswana
  • The roads that are represented in the map are tar roads and are in a good condition, with few minor potholes.
  • The traffic is not hectic but proper planning is pivotal as there are no close by gas stations and toilet points. It’s also vital to constantly look at the tyre pressure because all areas have high temperatures throughout the year.
Driving at night

Driving during the night is not an option in the whole country due to the wildlife that is always on the road some people that even sleep there as night falls, so it is advisable to try and reach your destination before sunset and always obey the speed limit in the area and be careful of any distraction on the road.

Speeding limits
  • It is always advisable to comply with the speed limit, to avoid fines as they are instant.
  • 120km/h outside the city
  • 100km/h going near towns and villages
  • 60km/h passing towns and villages
  • 30km/h driving in the built areas

When driving in gravel roads it’s advisable to drive slowly as some are sandy and their quality differs and can change anytime, during heavy rain falls and flooding many roads it’s difficult to drive on them. It’s important to check the how deep is the water before crossing to avoid sinking.

Driving in flooded areas

Driving in flooded areas alone is not advisable, as you can stuck with nobody to assist you, preferable the should be another vehicle and then can pass one at a time. It possible also to check the water depth by walking through but be careful as there are wild animals walking also so it’s not entirely safe.

Getting to Maun
  • All roads going to the Maun are tarred
  • Road to the south goes to Ghanzi
  • To the west road goes to Gweta and Nata via the turnings for Nxai Pan and the Makgadigadi pans.
  • And to the north the road is a tar until Shorobe and then starts graded gravel road, and at the Buffalo Gate it’s sandy.