Is Botswana a safe country to travel in? The short answer is yes, provided you stick to a number of guidelines such as do not exceed the speed limit, give animals their space, do not drive or walk after dark and keep your valuables out of sight.
Like any bigger city in the world, the cities in Botswana suffer from petty crimes such as pickpocketing and sometimes robbery. The most important advice is to arrive at your campsite or hotel before dark, lock your car when you drive, do not walk around with expensive equipment or a lot of money and hide your valuables out of sight in the car. We also recommend that you keep small amounts of cash in a pocket separate from the rest of your money. So you don’t have to show how much money you have on you, and nobody gets tempted.
In Botswana you drive on asphalt, gravel or dirt roads. The gravel and dirt roads are of course of lesser to poor quality, but unfortunately that is also the case with some asphalt roads. Potholes can be found throughout the country and are an major cause of accidents. Especially in the rainy season when you hardly see them.
In Botswana you drive on the left side of the road. With the exception of the larger cities such as Gabarone, Francistown, Maun and Kasane, the amount of traffic is very low. Especially if you compare that with Europe. Just don’t rush and be vigilant is the motto here.
Don’t drive or walk in the dark! Even the locals hardly do this. There is no street lighting and you just don’t see animals like elephants in the dark with all the consequences. So make sure you’re back at your campsite around sunset and if you really have to drive in the dark, don’t drive faster than 30 km/h.
Speed, stopping at stop signs, but also if you wear your face masks (mandatory everywhere, even if you walk outside alone), is regularly checked throughout Botswana. Stick to the rules and be friendly, it saves a lot of money and misery. Do not try to bribe anyone, that is really not done in Botswana and can get you in serious trouble.
The reason you travel to Botswana is most likely to visit the wildlife. To ensure that the visit to the animals is as safe as possible for you and, just as important, for the animals, it is crucial that you keep sufficient distance and give the animals plenty of room to walk away. If accidents do happen, it is often because the animals feel enclosed or have become frightened by the presence of people and cars. Be aware that you are the visitor in their habitat, take your time and by all means, do not get out of the car in the vicinity of animals.
Transport meat and vegetables between zones
From North to South and from East to West it is no problem to transport meat and vegetables. The other way around it is however, and at the so-called veterinary checkpoints there is a high risk of having to hand in your meat and/or vegetables.
Like every country in the world, Botswana is also affected by the Corona outbreak. The latest measures in this regard can be found in our blog Corona measures in Botswana and Zambia.