Travel in Botswana, Ten Tips to hassle free travel in Botswana
Self-driving through Botswana is generally a very relaxed affair, however these ten tips will make your trip an absolute breeze
1. Throughout Botswana you will encounter numerous road blocks, although in general these are merely veterinary check points that monitor the movement of fresh meat throughout Botswana in order to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease, on approaching one of these road blocks take care to observe the decreasing speed limit as indicated on the signage leading up to the check point normally this is 120kmh down to 80kmh and then 60kmh its not uncommon for police to speed trap on the approach to these stops . Take note of the police officer as he will direct you by hand signals as to when and where you must stop, however regardless, always remember to stop at the stop sign just before the police officer and then wait for him to request that you drive forward on his signal. (Remember to stop at the stop sign before the officer)
- The people of Botswana are a friendly people who love a good chat (where you going, where you from, who you with, why you going where you going, or just a good laugh at one's own expense.) and a warm greeting and a smile do wonders. Learning a few words in the local language also helps to the furtherance of many happy travels throughout the country.
- Going back to the subject of driving, the speed limits through any village no matter how small is 60kmh, police speed trap everywhere so take care to follow the speed limits, so as not to cause injury to oneself or to others and avoid yourself some hefty fines.
- If you are caught speeding in Botswana, here are a few DONTS: don’t argue with the officer, don’t try justify your actions, don’t try bribe the officer (bribery is an criminal offense) and now a few Dos: do apologise, do be polite, do treat the officer with respect,(sir and madam are appreciated and duly noted) it is not uncommon for the police officer to let you off with a warning if one is sincere and respectful, however don’t count on it, so take good care to follow the road signs they are not unreasonable.
- Taking photos, while you may take as many photos as you like of the wildlife that you may encounter in your explorations its always considered disrespectful to take photographs of people without their permission. The exception is in the general street photography sense and even then it pays to be discreet.
- Traveling at night. Botswana has more animals then people both wild and domesticated, so in general its best to avoid traveling at night, if you do find yourself driving at night it is recommended that one does not exceed 80kmh, remember to dip your headlights to oncoming traffic and warn other drivers of animals along the verge of the road by making good use of you hazard lights.
- Crime: although crime is not a big thing in Botswana it does happen. So try not to leave valuable items in plain sight, in unattended vehicles. And the same goes for leaving things of value in your tents or other accommodations when going out on game drives or just going out. Violent crime is still rather uncommon in Botswana however in the bigger towns one should always be alert and make good use of one's own common sense . Emergency services can always be reached on 999.
- Drink bottled water, tap water is normally very clean and drinkable, however why risk it.
- Remember that you can't move fresh meat through veterinary gates unless you taking it into a red zone area, for example you can't take fresh meat from Maun to Gaborone or Ghanzi, but you can take it from Maun into Moremi, but if you coming from Kasane to Maun via Chobe and Moremi then you will be stopped at the Maun/Moremi gate and any fresh produce will be confiscated. The same goes for if you would take fresh produce into Moremi from Maun, this you would be allowed to do, however on returning to Maun once again at the Maun/Moremi gate all returning fresh produce would be confiscated.
- And at last, familiarize yourself with your destination's, learn as much as you can about the places you want to visit before you hit the road, the best way to do this is by following us here on exploring Botswana……..it really it is the best way!! You can subscribe via email (top right corner of this screen) or check the side tab,
- yes we added a bonus tip, check out AirBnB for some very cool and affordable accommodation options
All the best on your travels have fun and tag us in your adventure's on Instagram @exploringbotswana