How to use this guide
This magazine will inspire you to plan your own trip to Botswana. But where to start? Here’s what you should know.
There are four detailed map pages that cover the whole of Botswana (pages 12 – 15). These maps indicate all the tar roads and main gravel roads, as well as the distances between the big towns. Use the maps to plan your route if you’re travelling in a 4x2 and you’d prefer to stick to the main routes.
When you’re driving 4x4 routes in wilderness areas like Moremi, Chobe or Makgadikgadi Pans, our maps should be used in conjunction with other quality guides and maps. We recommend the GPS products from Tracks4Africa ( tracks4africa.co.za).
We’ve used the decimal degree format in this guide. Set your GPS to the same format to avoid confusion. We checked all the co-ordinates using Google Earth and there might be small discrepancies. Let us know if you pick up an error.
PLACES TO STAY
Turn to page 83 for 133 places to stay in Botswana, the Zambezi Region in Namibia (formerly the Caprivi Strip) and around Victoria Falls on the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides.
We’ve listed the best campsites – always the most affordable option – plus a selection of lodges, self- catering units and other places. For a full list of accommodation available at a particular place, visit their website (supplied) or call the lodge or camp directly.
Sometimes we’ll also list a few luxury alternatives to give you an idea of the range of accommodation available in a particular region.
Accommodation rates and other prices listed in this guide were correct at the time of going to print. We have included rand conversions, but these might change. Use the rates as a general guideline: Always call or e-mail a place beforehand to check current prices.
Rates also vary depending on the season. In Botswana, winter is considered peak season so summer rates will be lower.
When you book accommodation, make sure to mention that you’re South African – SADC residents often get a discount.
The rand is equal in value to the Namibian dollar and you can use rand anywhere in Namibia. In Botswana, only pula is accepted. (Some tourism destinations are the exception.) In Zimbabwe and Zambia you’ll need US dollars. Always carry cash with you – many shops and filling stations don’t accept South African debit and credit cards. Get US dollars from your bank in South Africa beforehand.
ATMs in the various countries dispense the local currency: pula in Botswana, US dollar in Zim and kwacha in Zambia. Travel with two or more debit and credit cards (eg Visa and Mastercard) and remember to notify your bank that you’ll be using these cards in other countries before you leave.
Turn to the maps on pages 12 – 15 – we’ve listed the opening and closing times for all the border posts. Allow extra time for unforeseen hold-ups. Want to beat the border blues? Turn to page 10 for some handy tips.
The international dialling code for each country is included ahead of each number. If you’re calling from South Africa, remember to add “00”: Botswana 00 267; Namibia 00 264; Zimbabwe 00 263; Zambia 00 260.
WEBSITES & E-MAIL ADDRESSES
Some older websites require you to type the “www” into the address bar in order for them to work; others don’t. Sometimes we list e-mail addresses instead.