If you need a visa for Botswana, then you must get one before you arrive. Contact your local Botswana embassy or high commission – who are also the best source to verify that the information here is still current.
Currently visitors holding passports from the following countries do not need a visa
• All EC (European Community) countries
• USA, South Africa, Scandinavian countries, Uruguay, Western Samoa and countries from the former Yugoslavia
• All Commonwealth countries (except Ghana, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Mauritius – whose citizens do need visas).
Citizens from these countries will be granted a one-month entry permit on arrival. Though Botswana hasn't changed these rules often in the past, it's always wisest to check with your local embassy before you depart – or on the government's website: www.gov.bw/tourism/entry_req/entry_req.html
The prevailing attitude amongst both Botswana's government and its people is that visitors are generally very good for the country as they spend valuable foreign currency – so if you look respectable then you will not find any difficulties in entering Botswana.
Given this logic, and the conservative nature of Botwana's local customs, the converse is also true. If you dress very untidily, looking as if you've no money when entering via an overland border, then you may be questioned as to how you will be funding your trip. Very rarely, you may even be asked for a return ticket as proof that you do intend to leave. Dressing respectably in Botswana is not only courteous, but will also make your life easier.
Visitors can stay for a maximum of three months in a 12-month period, and it's a serious offence to stay longer without permission. If you want longer than a month, then you must renew your permit at the nearest immigration office. If you want to stay longer than three months, then apply to the Department of Immigration, PO Box 942, Gaborone; tel: 374545 – preferably before entering Botswana.
If you wish to work, then work permits can be obtained from the Department of Labour, Private Bag 002, Gaborone; tel: 360100. Note that Botswana is now quite strict about granting work permits only for jobs for which a suitably qualified Botswana citizen is not available.
Botswana's diplomatic missions abroad
For an up-to-date list of Botswana's diplomatic missions, see the useful government website: www.gov.bw. Currently the relevant page to look for is: www.gov.bw/tourism/embassies/embassies.html. A list of the current missions includes:Belgium Embassy of the Republic of Botswana to the European Community
169, Av de Tervuren, B1150 Brussels; tel: 02 735 2070 or 735 6110; fax: 02 735 6318China Embassy of the Republic of Botswana
Unit 811 IBM Tower, Pacific Century Place, #2A Gong Ti Bellu, Cha Oyan District, Beijing 100027; tel: 6539 1616; fax: 6539 1199Ethiopia Embassy of the Republic of Botswana
PO Box 22202, Code 1000, Addis Abbaba; tel: 01 715 422/23; fax: 01 717 215Japan Embassy of the Republic of Botswana
Shiba Amerex Building No. 2, 4-5-10 Shiba Minato-Ku, Tokyo; tel: 03 5440-5676; fax: 03 5765-7581; web: www.botswanaembassy.or.jpNamibia Botswana High Commission
101 Klein Windhoek, PO Box 20359, Windhoek; tel: 061 221 941/2-7; fax: 061 236 034South Africa Botswana High Commission
24 Amos St, Colbyn, PO Box 57034, Arcadia 0007, Pretoria; tel: 012 342 4761/2/3/4; fax: 012 342 1845South Africa Botswana Consulate General
8 Riebeeck St, 4th Floor, Southern Life Centre, PO Box 3288, Cape Town 8000; tel: 021 211 045; fax: 021 211 046South Africa Botswana Consulate General
122 De Korte St, 2nd Floor, PO Box 32051, Braamfontein 201, Johannesburg 2017; tel: 011 403 3748; fax: 011 403 1286Sweden Embassy of the Republic of Botswana
Tyrgatan 11, PO Box 26024, 10041 Stockholm; tel: 08 723 0035; fax: 08 723 0087Switzerland Botswana Permanent Mission to the United Nations
80 Rue de Lausanne, 1202 Geneva; tel: 022 906 1060; fax: 022 906 1061UK Botswana High Commission
6 Stratford Place, London W1C 1BA; tel: 020 7499 0031; fax: 020 7409 782United Nations Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana
103 East 37th St, New York, NY 10016, USA; tel: (212) 889 2277 or 889 2331 or 889 2772 or 889 2491; fax: (212) 725 5061USA Embassy of the Republic of Botswana
3400 International Drive NW, Suite 7M, Washington DC 2008; tel: (202) 244 4990: fax: (202) 244 4164Zambia Botswana High Commission
5201 Pandit Nehru Rd, Diplomatic Triangle, PO Box 31910, Lusaka; tel: 01 252 058; fax: 01 253 895Zimbabwe Botswana High Commission
22 Philips Av, Belgravia, PO Box 563, Harare; tel: 04 729 551/3; fax: 04 721 360
Botswana's national tourist board offices
Until relatively recently, Botswana had done little in the way of tourism promotion overseas. However, now that tourism is becoming increasingly recognised as Botswana's best base for a sustainable income after its diamonds run out, resources are being mobilised very effectively to raise Botswana's profile as a destination for tourists.
Currently these efforts are concentrating on four representatives, in four different countries:Germany Karin Zwiers Interface International
GmbH, Petersburger Str 94, D-10247, Berlin; tel: 030 4225 6027; fax: 030 4225 6286; email: email@example.com; web: www.interface-tourism.comJapan Kinki Nippon Tourist Co Ltd
Club Tourism Division, Shikjuku Hand Wind, 6-3-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-8308UK Southern Skies Marketing
Index House, St George's Lane, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7EU; tel: 01344 636430; fax: 01344 873737; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.southern-skies.co.ukUS Henry Kartagener, Kartagener Associates Inc
631 Commack Rd, Suite 1A, Commack, NY 11725; tel: 631 858 1270; fax: 631 858 1279; email: email@example.com