Planning a 4X4 trip to Botswana? Here are a few pointers to help you on your way.
Do I need a visa?
Let’s start by saying that South Africans do not need a Visa to enter into Botswana. The border is between 4 and 7 hours from Johannesburg, depending on which route you choose. From there it is another day or so to get to the national parks.
What money do I need?
To go on a 4X4 adventure in Botswana you will need the right money. The currency of Botswana is called Pula and it is currently just stronger than the rand. Prices of groceries and such are around the same price as in SA and you can find similar franchise outlets as in SA.
The fuel price is slightly cheaper in Botswana than in SA and most petrol stations accept credit cards, but garage cards are not widely accepted. If you wish to pay cash for fuel then you will need Pula.
Botswana Border Crossings
Every person who wishes to cross the border has to check in at customs. You will have to pay a small fee of around R200 which goes towards their road fund. Ensure you have Pula as Rands won’t be accepted. The queues at the border can take forever so you should factor in around 3 hours of time to your journey.
Driving around Botswana
The main roads in Botswana are usually in good condition and they are similar to ours for the most part. We would strongly advise against travelling at night because animals, from donkeys to elephants, cross the roads at night. You can use a normal car if you are going to stick to the national roads but if you want to enter the parks, you will need a 4X4 like one you get from SA 4X4.
Navigating through Botswana
Even though you have a GPS, we suggest you take a printed road map with you as well. This is in case the GPS dies or loses signal. A GPS will guide you through numerous sand roads, etc, which may not be depicted on a map. All our rentals include a GPS that will keep you on track while 4X4ing in Botswana.
Cell phone reception
You will be able to pick up signal on a South African network but roaming rates will unfortunately apply. Most towns on the main roads and highways have good cell reception and it is intermittent between towns. Some areas such as Moremi and Chobe have virtually zero cell phone coverage. We supply you with a satellite phone so that you will get signal anywhere in case of emergencies and also so you can communicate with other vehicles.
Trust SA 4X4 to give you the trip of a lifetime. We will ensure that all your needs are taken care of and that you are well equipped to tackle the wilderness of Botswana.