Botswana is a country located in Africa with name that begins with letter B. Botswana, located in southern Africa, is 582,000 km², seven times the size of Austria, but is only inhabited by around two million people. With four residents / km², the population density is one of the lowest in the world. For comparison: In Germany the density is 226 adults / km 2.
It is also difficult to describe Botswana without superlatives: Almost 40% of the national territory is under nature protection, which is one of the highest values in the world. The country has the lowest level of corruption in all of Africa and the highest standard of development of all South African countries. The school and health systems are among the best on the continent, and economic growth is even among the strongest in the world. This is due to the enormous deposits of rough diamonds that are mined in the world’s largest diamond mine.
Entry and visa
A passport that is still valid for six months is sufficient for entry; a visa is only required for stays of more than 90 days. However, a return or onward travel ticket and proof of the financial means required for the stay are required.
Most of the country has a subtropical climate, but in the winter months from May to September it can even freeze at night. The best time to travel is the Botswana spring from October to December. The daytime temperatures are then between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Food and drink
In the cuisine of Botswana, black African traditions mix with influences from India, the former colonial power England and the Boer cuisine of the neighboring country South Africa.
A close relative of polenta, the corn porridge “Pap”, forms the basis of many dishes. Together with boiled beef and a spinach-like leafy vegetable called “Morogo”, it becomes the national dish “Seswaa”. The specialty “Mopane”, fried caterpillars, is far more exotic.
Lime lemonade, corn or millet beer and imported South African wines are mainly drunk.
Botswana’s free health system is considered exemplary for Africa, but health care cannot be compared with Central European standards. It is therefore recommended to take out additional insurance that also includes repatriation.
Precautions against malaria should be taken, especially when traveling to the north of the country. Vaccinations are not required for direct entry from Europe.
Botswana is a safe country to travel to.
In Botswana people take a lot of time to greet them. Anyone who does not inquire in detail about the health of their counterpart and the well-being of their family is considered impolite. It is also expected that older people are treated with the greatest respect.
Homosexuality is banned in Botswana.
Climate and travel time
Botswana has the best travel weather all year round.
Every season has its own charm in every region of Botswana. The subtropical, continental semi-desert climate ensures that temperatures hardly fall below 20 degrees all year round. It is mostly dry. Winter in Botswana lasts from May to November and promises dry weather, blue skies and pleasant daytime temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees. At night, however, the temperature can drop to zero.
The driest and hottest months are September to November. The colors are brownish-greyish, parched soil, low parched vegetation and withered trees characterize the landscape. This time of year promises particularly good observation opportunities for safari tourists in the Okavango Delta and the Chobe National Park, because the withered vegetation and the low grass make visibility very good. The animals gather around the few remaining water holes and can also be seen very well near the camps. The Kalahari shows its desert character, especially at this time, the air shimmers, hot desert wind stirs up dust, the soil has dry cracks, the landscape looks inhospitable, repellent and offers a real desert atmosphere.
The summer rainy season sets in in December. This growing season, in which the landscape changes completely, lasts until March. During this time, Botswana is very scenic. Hot daytime temperatures of 30 to 35 °C, thunderstorms, frequent short showers are typical for this time of year. The vegetation is lush in the delta and along the Linyanti and Chobe, tall grasses and flowering plants predominate. Precipitation is strongest here and the water levels are very high. Numerous places in the delta can no longer be reached by road, but only by boat or small aircraft. In the Kalahari too, the rain turns the landscape into an oasis of flowers. The pans fill with water and provide habitat for numerous species of birds. The spectacle of the flamingos is a unique experience in the Kalahari at this time of year. But also the herd animals and their hunters are in large numbers around the pans and river valleys and can be observed in the vastness of the landscape against a fantastic backdrop.
Other essential information
Time difference to CET is +1 hour in Botswana