Use a small border post. Our favourites are McCarthy’s Rest (Northern Cape) and Stockpoort (Limpopo). Try to avoid the bigger border posts, especially around the end of the month and peak holiday season. Keep cash handy. Most border posts don’t have card facilities; pay in cash. Take note. Before you leave home, write down the serial numbers for your cameras, lenses, cellphone, laptop, GPS etc. Print copies of this list and attach them to customs declarations when needed. Leave your meat at home. What? Yes, we know our readers like to take their favourite butcher’s cut along on holiday, but it will mean a lot less border- crossing stress if you leave your meat at home. This will also make crossing any veterinary control point (there are many in Botswana) less of a hassle. Simply buy meat in Botswana – it’s available everywhere. Our favourite butcheries: Fire & Ice in Kasane ( 00 267 625 0620; firstname.lastname@example.org) and Beef Boys in Maun ( 00 267 721 36 006;
email@example.com). Call ahead to order.
• Passport with more than two blank pages, and valid for six months or more. ( You don’t need a visa for Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe or Zambia.) • Vehicle registration documents – copies will do. Remember your trailer’s documents, too. • Letter of authorisation from the bank if you’re still paying off your vehicle, or from the owner of the car if you’re borrowing your cousin’s Cruiser. This should specify the dates you intend to take the vehicle across the border, countries you plan to visit, the registration number, and the physical address, ID number and name of the owner. • Unabridged birth certificates for all children under 18. • SA driving licence – it’s valid, bring it.
FOR YOUR VEHICLE
• ZA sticker stuck on the back. • Two emergency triangles. • Fire extinguisher – especially when travelling in Zimbabwe and Zambia. • Reflective vest – wear it when you alight from the car at the side of the road to fix a tyre. • Reflective strips stuck to the front (silver) and rear (red) bumpers. Compulsory in Zim and Zambia.