The local voltage is 220V, delivered at 50Hz. Sockets usually fit plugs with three square pins, like the current design in the UK, though plugs with three large round pins, like those in South Africa, are also widely in use. Ideally bring adapters for both.
When staying in bush lodges and the more upmarket camps, you are relatively unlikely to have sockets in your room/tent. However, it's usually easy to arrange for items to be plugged in for you (eg: to charge the batteries in video cameras), as behind the scenes most camps run generators in order to power their kitchens and communications equipment.
Embassies and consulates
There's often a list of Gaborone's diplomatic missions, including those in neighbouring countries when necessary, in the front of the telephone directory. Alternatively see the government website page: www.gov.bw/tourism/embassies/embassies.htmlAngolan Embassy
5131 Kopanyo House, Nelson Mandela Road, P Bag BR 11, Gaborone; tel: 3900204 or 3905453; fax: 3975089 or 3181876British High Commission
P Bag 0023, Gaborone; tel: 3952841; fax: 3956105Canadian Consulate
PO Box 882, Gaborone; tel: 3904411Chinese Embassy
3096 North Ring Rd, PO Box 1031, Gaborone; tel: 3952209; fax: 3900156Cuban Embassy
Plot No 5198, The Village, PO Box 40261, Gaborone; tel: 3911484 or 3911485; fax: 3951750Danish Consulate
Plot 10227, Mopororo Rd, PO Box 1973, Gaborone; tel: 3953505; fax: 3953473; email: firstname.lastname@example.orgFrench Embassy
761 Robinson Rd, PO Box 1424, Gaborone; tel: 3973863; fax: 397173
German Embassy 3rd Floor Professional House, Segoditshane Way, Broadhurst, PO Box 315, Gaborone.Indian High Commission
5375 President's Drive, P Bag 249, Gaborone; tel: 3972676; fax: 3974636Kenyan High Commission
5373 President's Drive, P Bag BO 297, Gaborone; tel: 3951408; fax: 3951409Libyan Embassy
(aka the People's Bureau of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamairiya) Plot 8851 (Government Enclave), PO Box 180, Gaborone; tel: 3952481; fax: 3956928Namibian High Commission
PO Box 987, Gaborone; tel: 3902181; fax: 3902248Nigerian High Commission
PO Box 274, The Mall, Gaborone; tel: 3913561; fax: 3913738Norwegian Consulate
Plot No. 3284, Bontleng Close, Extension 12, P Bag 242, Gaborone; tel: 3908648/9; fax: 3908648 Russian Embassy
Plot 4711, Tawana Close, PO Box 81, Gaborone; tel: 3953389; fax: 3952930; email: email@example.comSouth African High Commission
P Bag 00402, Gaborone; tel: 3904800/1/2/3; fax: 3905502Swedish Embassy
4th Floor Development House, The Mall, P Bag 0017, Gaborone; tel: 3953912; fax: 3953942; email: firstname.lastname@example.orgUnited States Embassy
PO Box 90, Gaborone; tel: 3953982; fax: 3956947Zambian High Commission
PO Box 362, Gaborone; tel: 3951951; fax: 3953952Zimbabwean High Commission
Plot 8850, PO Box 1232, Gaborone; tel: 3914495; fax: 3905863
Honorary consuls in Botswana
There are many countries that don't maintain a full embassy in Botswana, but do have honorary consuls who can help their citizens in case of need. Their contacts can be found on www.gov.bw. Currently they are as follows:Austria
Doreen Khama Attorney, PO Box 335, Gaborone; tel: 3952638; fax: 3953876Belgium
Mr M C Tibone, PO Box 821, Gaborone; tel: 3957438; fax: 3957476Finland
Mr S A Mphuchane, Trade World, PO Box 1904, Gaborone; tel: 3901500; fax: 3901966Ghana
Mrs Helfer, PO Box 906, GaboroneGuyana
Mr T H Pariang; tel: 3912655Ireland
Mr J M Walking, 1st Floor Standard House, P Bag 00347, Gaborone; tel: 3903333; fax: 3903400Israel
Mr Richard Lyons, PO Box 160, Gaborone.Italy
Mr G R Grach, 4th Floor Tirelo House, PO Box 451, Gaborone; tel: 3952882; fax: 3975045Netherlands
Mr P L Steenkamp/Mrs Vink (asst.), 2535 Nyerere Drive, PO Box 457, Gaborone; tel: 3902194; fax: 3951200Spain
Mr Guido Renato Giachetti, Plot No. 5624, Real Estate Office Park, Lejara Rd, Broadhurst Industrial, Gaborone; tel: 3912641; fax: 3973441Thailand
Mrs Vonna Hermans, 22358 Semowane Rd, Gaborone West Phase IV, PO Box 60945, Gaborone; tel: 3906818; fax: 3906811; email: email@example.com
International organisations in Botswana
Contact details for a few of the larger international organisations who have offices in Botswana include:European Commission Delegation
Plot 68, North Ring Rd, PO Box 1253, Gaborone; tel: 3941155; fax: 3913626; email: firstname.lastname@example.orgSouthern African Development Community (SADC)
P Bag 0095, Gaborone; tel: 3951863; fax: 3972848United Nations Children's Fund
PO Box 20678, Gaborone; tel: 3952752 or 3951909; fax: 3951233United Nations Development Programme
PO Box 54, Gaborone; tel: 3952121; fax: 3956093World Health Organisation
Rizka House, 1st Floor, PO Box 1355, Gaborone; tel: 3971505/6; fax: 3959483World Conservation
Plot 2403, P Bag 003000, Gaborone; fax: 3971584; email: email@example.com
Hospitals and dentists
Should you need one, there are good hospitals in Botswana. However, the public health system is over-stretched and under-funded – so unless your illness is critical, it will take time for you to be attended to and treated at the public hospitals. Also a large number of patients in the public hospitals have serious infectious diseases, so there's a risk of coming away from these with something worse than you had when you arrived.
In the main towns – Gaborone, Maun, Francistown – there are better-funded private clinics that cater for both affluent citizens of Botswana and expats/diplomatic staff/travellers. These will accept payment from genuine travel health insurance schemes.
Pharmacies in these towns generally have a good range of medicines, though specific brands are often unavailable. So bring with you all that you will need, as well as a repeat prescription for anything that you might run out of. Outside of the larger towns you probably won't be able to find anything other than very basic medical supplies. Thus you should carry a very comprehensive medical kit if you are planning to head off into the wilds.
The best way to find details of the nearest private clinics is to look up 'medical – private clinics/practitioners' in the yellow pages at the back of the phone book or, in an emergency call MediRescue on 911, or an ambulance from a public hospital on 997.
Imports and exports
There is no problem in exporting normal curios, but you will need an official export permit from the Department of National Parks to take out any game trophies. Visitors are urged to support both the letter and the spirit of the CITES bans on endangered species. In any case, without such permits you will probably have big problems when you try to import items back into your home country.
The best maps of northern Botswana for most visitors are the Shell series, and the Contimap.
However, if you want more detailed, Ordnance Survey-type maps, then by far the best plan is to go directly to the offices of the Department for Surveys and Mapping, in either Maun or Gaborone (P Bag 37, Gaborone; tel: 3953251).
Each of these two offices has roughly the same variety of excellent maps on offer, although some are always out of print. A particular favourite is the 1:350,000 map of the Okavango Delta that covers the whole of the Okavango area in detail – although don't expect its safari camps to be up to date.
SocietiesThe Botswana Society
The Botswana Society is the learned society of Botswana. It publishes the excellent annual journal Botswana Notes and Records
and various books, including the proceedings of a series of conferences held under the Society's auspices.
You'll find its current webpage on the site of the University of Botswana's History Department: http://ubh.tripod.com/bsoc/botsoc.htm.The Kalahari Conservation Society
Plot 112, Independence Avenue, PO Box 859, Gaborone; tel: 3974557; fax: 3914259
The Kalahari Conservation Society (KCS) aims to conserve Botswana's natural heritage by promoting knowledge of Botswana's wildlife and environment, to encourage and finance research into issues affecting Botswana's resources, and to promote and support policies of conservation. In recent years it seems to have taken a conciliatory approach to government-sponsored developments, and now it doesn't generally get involved in any aggressive campaigning.The Okavango Wildlife Society
PO Box 2137, Cresta 2118, South Africa; tel: (2712) 365 1625; fax: (2712) 365 1622; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.sintef.no/units/chem/chemengr/staff/paals/owls
Formed in 1964, Okavango Wildlife Society was initially concerned just with the Okavango Delta's survival, though now its aims have widened to encompass conservation throughout Botswana. Its newsletters, stretching back as far as 1996, are available for download (in .pdf format) on its website – and there's also a useful (if incomplete) archive of pieces on various topics relating to conservation in Botswana, including the controversial veterinary fences. The OWS adopts a generally more pro-active campaigning stance, and clearly isn't the least bit afraid to tackle awkward subjects.The Chobe Society
PO Box 55, Kasane; tel: 6250516; fax: 6250223; email: email@example.com; web: www.chobewildlifetrust.com or (at time of press) www.envngo.co.bw/pages/cwt.html.
The Chobe Wildlife Trust aims to assist with the conservation of natural resources of the Chobe National Park and the region as a whole, co-operating with the government, various NGOs and community-based organisations. It has several projects supporting conservation and fostering awareness of projects to care for Botswana's wildlife – and especially that of Chobe.