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Country Profile


Botswana is a country in southern Africa with a stable democratic government and a growing economy. Facilities for tourism are widely available. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Botswana for additional information.



Image of Botswana
Country Name: Botswana
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Gaborone
Boundary Countries:

Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Gaborone Private Hospital
Botswana Adventist Medical Services, Kanye Hospital, Maun Hospital, Nyangabgwe Hospital, Princess Marina Hospital

Main Cities:

Gaborone, Kasane, Kanye, Maun, Francistown

Country Size: 600,370 sq km
Population: 1,639,833



Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4%

Currency: Botswanan Marka (BAM)
Predominant Religions:

Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6%

National Holidays: Independence Day (Botswana Day), 30 September (1966)
Economic Status:

Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $11,200 in 2006. Two major investment services rank Botswana as the best credit risk in Africa.


Botswana Defense Force (includes an air wing)

US Presence:


U.S. Embassy Gaborone
Embassy Drive
Government Enclave
Gaborone, Botswana
Phone: (+267) 395-3982


Document Requirements:

A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. US citizens are permitted stays up to 90 days total within a 12 month period without a visa. For additional information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana, 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, telephone (202) 244-4990/1, fax (202) 244-4164 or the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana to the United Nations, 103 E. 37th St., New York, NY, 10016, telephone (212) 889-2277, fax (212) 725-5061. There are also honorary consuls in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. Visit the Embassy of Botswana’s web site for the most current visa information. As a general precaution, all travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location separate from the passport.

Visitors to Botswana who also intend to visit South Africa should be advised that the passports of all travelers to South Africa must contain at least two blank (unstamped) visa pages each time entry to South Africa is sought; these pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport. Otherwise, the traveler, even when in possession of a valid South African visa, may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at the traveler’s expense.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.

Major Airports:

Airports:  85, Airports w/paved runways:  10

Kasane Airport, Botswana (BBK/FBKE)
PO Box 349, Kasane, BOTSWANA
Tel: +267 650136
Fax: +267 650174, +267 650598, +267 650420
Customs Tel: +267 650175
Customs Hours:Summer 04:00-16:30 UTC, Winter 04:30-16:00 UTC

Gaborone Airport, Botswana (GBE/FBSK)
PO Box 250, Gaborone, BOTSWANA
Tel: +267 351191, +267 371397
Fax: +267 304557/9, +267 353709

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Crime is a serious concern in Botswana. Visitors must be vigilant and take common-sense security precautions. The criminal threat is very similar to that of any large urban area. Petty street crime and crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are not uncommon. Home invasions, ‘smash and grabs’ from vehicles, and cell phone thefts, often at knife point, are routinely reported to the police. Visitors should use care when talking on a cell phone while walking. Visitors are urged to exercise caution near the Gaborone Dam and Kgale Hill in Gaborone, especially at dusk or after dark due to the number of criminal incidents over the years.
Travelers arriving in Botswana via South Africa should be aware that there is a serious continuing baggage pilferage problem at OR Tambo (Johannesburg) and Cape Town International Airports. Travelers are encouraged to use an airport plastic wrapping service and to avoid placing electronics, jewelry, cameras, designer athletic gear, or other valuables in checked luggage. Also, make an inventory of items in checked baggage to aid in claims processing if theft does occur.
Civil unrest and disorder are rare, but in the event of a protest US citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  53.7 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 33.74 years  (male 33.9/female 33.56)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies, Malaria as needed (see Infectious Diseases Concerns)
Boosters:  MMR, DPT, polio

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Malaria is prevalent only in the north of the country, particularly around the Chobe and Okavango National Parks.  Malaria prophylaxis is not required in Gaborone but is suggested for travel to the north.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), African tick bite fever, a rickettsial infection, and African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness), transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly, are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in Southern African countries, mostly in rural areas. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in Southern African countries. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in Southern African countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.)

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in Gaborone are adequate, but available facilities in other areas are limited. Well-equipped emergency rooms and trained physicians are available in the capital but services are rudimentary elsewhere. For advanced care Americans often choose to travel to South Africa. Most prescription drugs are available in Gaborone.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 2
Referrals: 12
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Polio reappeared in 2006 in Namibia. Reported cases in neighboring countries have occasionally occurred.
Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +267
Internet Country Code:  .bw


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