Visiting Botswana? Then these tips may be handy.
Words and images by Ann Gadd
Also read: How do drive in a dust storm
- May to September the drier months are the best time to visit.
- Malaria: during the rainy months, it’s advisable to take precautions. Although we went in the dry months, I still took precautions, though we personally came across few mosquitos.
- Allow longer time for travel than you would normally. Slowing down for animals and potholes is time-consuming. Note: If an animal is lifting its head (as opposed to grazing), it’s likely that it may want to cross the road. (We even had elephants crossing the main road from Kasane to Nata.)
- Speed limits are very strictly enforced, and even the smallest cluster of huts necessitates reducing your speed to 80km then 60km. Sometimes the speed traps are situated quite far out of town where you presume the speed limit is 120km but find to your detriment it’s not. Be vigilant.
- Don’t drive at night – with potholes and animals it’s extremely dangerous.
- There are police roadblocks as well as veterinary roadblocks. These require you to remove your shoes and dip the soles in the basin provided. Should you only produce a single pair, they may ask to look through your bags for more shoes, so best to have your other shoes easily accessible. This is particularly so on the Kasane to Gaborone road.
- Do the one-hour flight from Maun over the Okavango Delta – it’s a truly awesome experience.
- People expect to be asked before you take a photograph, some may expect a few pula to pose, so be respectful.
- The roads can be long, straight and boring, so be sure to swap drivers.
- Facilities such as toilets, food stops etc. can be limited, so come prepared.