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Health and Services

OFFICE HOURS

Government Offices/Departments

08h00-17h00 Monday to Friday

08h30-12h30 Saturday

FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

The issue of firearms licenses in Botswana is strictly controlled and all firearms imported under the authority of an import permit must be licensed immediately upon arrival in Botswana. The importation of firearms that do not have the manufacturer’s serial number or other number by which they can be identified, stamped or engraved on a metal part of the weapon is totally prohibited.

It should also be noted that police permits for firearms are issued on a limited quota basis, and there can be a considerable delay in obtaining a permit, particularly on first importation. It is advisable for intending importers to make applications well in advance of dispatch, so that unnecessary inconvenience and expenses can be avoided.

HEALTH

Botswana is one of the healthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with good primary health care facilities available throughout the country. However, the following health precautions are advised.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is essential for visitors to remote areas of Botswana to have a comprehensive medical insurance policy, to provide coverage for the treatment of serious illness or accidents, and if required medical evacuation. Personal effects insurance is also advisable.

Check that your insurance policy will be accepted by service providers in Botswana. Ensure that you are treated by licensed medical personnel to enable you to provide your insurance company with appropriate documentation and receipts.

Reasonably priced medical services are available at government clinics and hospitals throughout the country. Private medical practitioners are available in the cities and major towns, such as Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.

Gaborone Private Hospital is the largest private hospital in Botswana. The hospital requires medical coverage or cash payment in advance where medical coverage is not available.

DRINKING WATER

Tap water throughout the country is safe to drink. Bottled mineral water is readily available in most shops and supermarkets and at camps and lodges.

Tourists travelling by road are advised to carry sufficient water at all times.

HIV/AIDS

Visitors are advised to take the necessary precautions against HIV/AIDS AND OTHER Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

MALARIA

Malaria, including cerebral malaria, is common in northern Botswana, in the Okavango and Chobe areas, particularly during and immediately following the rainy season, from November to April.

As the strains of malaria, and the drugs used to combat them, frequently change, and as certain strains can become drug resistant, it is best to seek medical advice before your departure and take any medication prescribed. Pregnant or very young children are not advised to travel to malaria areas.

Other precautions are: to wear long sleeves, socks, closed shoes, and generally keep the body covered, to sleep with a mosquito net and to use mosquito coils and repellent.

SUN AND HEAT-RELATED PROBLEMS

Always take preventive measures that include wearing a wide-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses, liberally applying sunscreen every three or four hours, regularly taking rehydration mixes, drinking plenty of water and fruit juices (at least three litters of liquid daily), avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, which causes dehydration.

SHOPPING

All major towns in Botswana, including Maun and Kasane have shopping centres and supermarkets, and all basic commodities can easily be purchased. Many regional chain stores operate in Botswana. In addition, there are 24 hours convenience shops at most fuel service stations.

There are increasing range of local arts and crafts on sale in Gaborone, Maun and Kasane and other tourist areas; they include Botswana’s renowned world-class baskets, woodcarving, jewellery, pottery, tapestries, fabrics and clothing, glassware, and San crafts.

VALUE ADDED TAX

To claim 10% vat refund for total value of goods purchased, the amount spent should be more than P5 000. In such cases, the following is required: a tax invoice stating VAT paid your bank account details. It is always advisable to keep a copy of the VAT form as a record for any follow-up on the transaction.VAT claims usually can be made at all major border posts and airports.

SAFETY

The self-drive camper driving the open roads in Botswana should always drive at a reasonable speed, and avoid over-taking, except when absolutely necessary.

CRIME

Botswana remains a relatively safe place to visit or live. Take the normal precautions you would take anywhere else:

  • Always lock car doors
  • Always lock hotel rooms
  • Don’t leave valuables in cars or hotel rooms
  • Take care with your bags in shopping centre’s and other crowded places, and after coming out of banks or ATM kiosks;
  • Avoid walking alone at night.

ACCOMODATION

All major towns and villages in the country have hotels, lodges, motels and guesthouses, catering to a range of budgets, and some have camping facilities. In and around parks and reserves, there are a variety of lodges, as well as camps in private concessions.

Camping facilities are widely available around the country, both at private lodges and/or hotels and within the government parks and reserves.

Government Offices/Departments

08h00-17h00 Monday to Friday

08h30-12h30 Saturday

FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

 The issue of firearms licenses in Botswana is strictly controlled and all firearms imported under the authority of an import permit must be licensed immediately upon arrival in Botswana. The importation of firearms that do not have the manufacturer’s serial number or other number by which they can be identified, stamped or engraved on a metal part of the weapon is totally prohibited.

It should also be noted that police permits for firearms are issued on a limited quota basis, and there can be a considerable delay in obtaining a permit, particularly on first importation. It is advisable for intending importers to make applications well in advance of dispatch, so that unnecessary inconvenience and expenses can be avoided.

HEALTH

Botswana is one of the healthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with good primary health care facilities available throughout the country. However, the following health precautions are advised.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is essential for visitors to remote areas of Botswana to have a comprehensive medical insurance policy, to provide coverage for the treatment of serious illness or accidents, and if required medical evacuation. Personal effects insurance is also advisable.

Check that your insurance policy will be accepted by service providers in Botswana. Ensure that you are treated by licensed medical personnel to enable you to provide your insurance company with appropriate documentation and receipts.

Reasonably priced medical services are available at government clinics and hospitals throughout the country. Private medical practitioners are available in the cities and major towns, such as Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.

Gaborone Private Hospital is the largest private hospital in Botswana. The hospital requires medical coverage, or cash payment in advance where medical coverage is not available.

DRINKING WATER

Tap water throughout the country is safe to drink. Bottled mineral water is readily available in most shops and supermarkets and at camps and lodges.

Tourists travelling by road are advised to carry sufficient water at all times.

HIV/AIDS

Visitors are advised to take the necessary precautions against HIV/AIDS AND OTHER Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

MALARIA

Malaria, including celebral malaria, is common in northern Botswana, in the Okavango and Chobe areas, particularly during and immediately following the rainy season, from November to April.

As the strains of malaria, and the drugs used to combat them, frequently change, and as certain strains can become drug resistant, it is best to seek medical advise before your departure and take any medication prescribed. Pregnant or very young children are not advised to travel to malaria areas.

Other precautions are: to wear long sleeves, socks, closed shoes, and generally keep the body covered, to sleep with a mosquito net and to use mosquito coils and repellent.

SUN AND HEAT-RELATED PROBLEMS

Always take preventive measures that include wearing a wide-brimmed sunhat and sunglasses, liberally applying sunscreen every three or four hours, regularly taking rehydration mixes, drinking plenty of water and fruit juices (atleast three litres of liquid daily), avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol, which causes dehydration.

SHOPPING

All major towns in Botswana, including Maun and Kasane have shopping centres and supermarkets, and all basic commodities can easily be purchased. Many regional chain store operates in Botswana. In addition, there are 24 hours convenience shops at most fuel service stations.

There are increasing range of local arts and crafts on sale in Gaborone, Maun and Kasane and other tourist areas; they include Botswana’s renowed worldclass baskets, woodcarving, jewellery, pottery, tapestries, fabrics and clothing, glassware, and San crafts.

VALUE ADDED TAX

To claim 2%vat refund for total value of goods purchased, the amount spent should be more than P5 000. In such cases, the following is required: a tax invoice stating VAT paid, your bank account details. It is always advisable to keep a copy of the VAT form as a record for any follow-up on the transaction.VAT claims usually can be made at all major border posts and airports.