With the recent US CDC and various countries’ announcements that travel is now permitted, you may be getting a little more excited about a Botswana safari!
Botswana has always been a relatively easy and straight forward country to visit, and this is still true during the global COVID pandemic. With no quarantine requirements and only a negative COVID test required on arrival and upon departure, it is a great destination for those looking for some post-lockdown therapy.
COVID-19 specific entry and exit requirements for Botswana
Botswana is open to all visitors, and the only additional requirement with respect to Coronavirus is for travellers to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test on arrival and departure. Visitors with a valid certificate do not need to quarantine on arrival.
- The COVID-19 PCR test must be performed no more than 72 hours before arriving in Botswana or departure from Botswana.
- Visitors must present paper copies of their COVID-19 PCR negative test certificate on entry and exit.
- Electronic copies of the certificate will not be accepted.
- Children under 5 years do not need COVID-19 PCR negative test certificate.
- The COVID-19 PCR negative test certificate must include the date on which the test was performed, and this must be no more than 72 hours from the date of arrival into Botswana or 72 hours before departure to Botswana.
- Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry by taking temperatures. If you show symptoms of Coronavirus you will need to undertake mandatory testing and possible isolation or quarantine at your own cost.
An additional rapid test of all passengers is also being carried out at airports (at no cost to travellers). If you test positive or show symptoms of Coronavirus you will need to undertake further testing and possible isolation or quarantine at your own cost.
Accessing COVID-19 test certificates for departure from Botswana
- All travellers are required to produce a negative PCR COVID-test on departing Botswana.
- Tests must be performed no later than 72 hours from departure.
- Testing facilities are available in several towns, including Maun, Kasane and Gaborone.
- Testing is provided by Pharma Group and Diagnofirm. Testing is done 5 minutes from Maun Airport.
Currently, testing in Maun has a 24-hour turnaround so we recommend staying a night in Maun before departure to allow adequate time for processing. Alternatively, arrangements can be made for tests to be taken in camp the day before departure to avoid a night in Maun, at an additional cost for flying the test administrator into camp.
Botswana travel advice for visitors during the Coronavirus pandemic when travelling through South Africa and other countries to reach Botswana
Most visitors to Botswana fly via South Africa or overland from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Travellers are reminded that unless their journey to Botswana is entirely on an airport transit basis they will need to comply with the relevant entry requirements for any country in which they clear immigration. Currently, South Africa’s entry requirements are similar to Botswana’s but travellers are advised to monitor these in the lead up to travel. As such, travellers should ensure they have allocated adequate time for testing and pre-booked a test online (see above).
Regular entry requirements for all visitors to Botswana
The following standard entry requirements should be noted in addition to the special COVID conditions for entry.
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry to Botswana.
- Passports must include at least two clear pages facing each other.
- Dual nationals using two different passports can only enter the country on the same passport they used to exit the previous country.
- Visas- The majority of visitors to Botswana do not require a Visa. A list of countries whose citizens do require a visa to enter Botswana can be found on the Botswana Tourism Page. It is strongly recommend that visitors allow a month to process their Visa.
- Travelling with children – all children (under 18 years of age) who are travelling into or through Botswana must provide a certified copy of their full unabridged birth certificate (or the original) as well as a valid passport. An abridged (short) birth certificate won’t be accepted. If only one parent is travelling with the child an affidavit from the other parent consenting to the travel should be presented. If both parents are not travelling then temporary guardianship must be given.
- Health requirements – No immunisations are required in order to enter Botswana. However, if you have previously been to an area designated as ‘at risk’ of yellow fever will need to show proof of immunisation in order to enter Botswana.