General Botswana Info

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General Botswana Info

Post by » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:25 pm

General Botswana Info

Border Posts Opening/Closing times:
* Pont Drift - Mashatu 08:00 - 16:00
* Platjan 06:00 - 18:00
* Zanzibar 08:00 - 16:00
* Martins Drift 08:00 - 22:00
* Parrshalt - Stockpoort 08:00 - 18:00
* Sikwane - Derdepoort 07:00 - 19:00
* Tlokweng Gate - Kopfontein 06:00 - 24:00
* Ramotswa - Swartkoppie 07:00 - 19:00
* Pioneer Gate - Skilpdshek 06:00 - 22:00
* Ramatlabama 06:00 - 20:00
* Phitshane Molopo - Makgwebi Stad 07:30 - 16:30
* Bray 08:00 - 16:00
* Makopong 08:00 - 16:00
* McCarthy's Rust 08:00 - 18:00
* Middlepits 08:00 - 18:00

Border Entry Fees
Vehicle Levy: P40-00 per vehicle less than 3.5 Ton. Trailer is P40-00 as well. (Payable every time you enter)
Road Safety: P20-00 per vehicle. Trailer is also P20-00. (This is valid for the calendar year. Jan 1 to Dec 31)
There is a new P50-00 per vehicle 3rd party insurance for all foreign registered vehicles from January 2009.
If you are planning to go through Botswana to Namibia/Zambia and back through Botswana, ask for a Multi entry Permit. It’ll save you some money.

Border Procedure
At “Immigration”, ask for a “blue form” (all passport holders older than 16). Fill out the form and hand it in with your passport. The driver must ask for the “vehicle register” and complete the details. You will receive a “Gate Pass” (missing one stamp). The driver must proceed to “customs”, pay all applicable “entry fees” (see above) and get the second stamp. Declare anything if needed. That will do it. (Something personal…. Please remove your hat and sunglasses when you approach the official at the gate. It is just good manners. Ummm – and safety belt ON)

Vehicle Registration Papers
You will need the following:
1. If you are the owner: The original reg. papers. Certified copies are dodgy.
2. If you are not the owner, copy of registration papers and an original letter from owner, giving you permission to take vehicle into Botswana.
(Personal note: In my 8 years crossing the border frequently, I have never been asked for the papers. BUT !!! Rather be safe than sorry. Please note: This is with a Botswana registered vehicle.)

On the Road
The general speed limit is 120km/h, and 60km/h in towns and villages. There is 80km/h limit when passing intersections or villages (where not indicated) on the main roads. Respect and obey these.

Money Matters
Cash in Pula is King. 1 Pula (rain) = 100 Thebe (shield).
Most shops in the bigger towns will accept ZAR, but at a "not so good" exchange rate. Use Pula in cash in small towns and villages.
I have found to be the most accurate for the exchange rate. The actual rate will be 5 to 10 thebe higher or lower (buying or selling), depending on where you exchange.
Where credit/debit cards are accepted, your Visa will work. Cash can be withdrawn from most ATMs with Visa cards. It is worthwhile to withdraw large sums at a time, as there is a fixed fee per transaction. (Ask your bank for the current international fees)

Fuel (As from Nov/Dec 2011)
Petrol BWP8-10
Diesel BWP8-26
All fuel originates from the South African refineries and is usually about 50c per liter cheaper than in sunny South Africa.
Fuel can be bought by credit card in most main towns, but cash is always the best.
No "Petrol Cards" or "Garage Cards" are accepted.

National Parks
(DWNP = Department of Wildlife and National Parks)

Park Entry Fees
Adults 18 and above - P120-00/d
Children 8-17 inclusive - P60-00/d
Children under 8 years - Free

Vehicle Entry Fees
Botswana Registered

Under 3500kg - P10-00/d
Between 3500kg and 7000kg - P500-00/d
More than 7000kg - P800-00/d
Foreign Registered
Under 3500kg - P50-00/d
Between 3500kg and 7000kg - P1000-00/d
More than 7000kg - P1500-00/d
Rates for Mabuasehube:
Camping: P30-00 pppn
Park Entry Fee: P20-00 pppn
Vehicle Fee: P3-00 pvpn
Wilderness Trail: (One way - Mabuhasehube to Nossob. Including one nights accomodation at Mosomane)

It is allowed to bring 25kg per family…. BUT, if there is any word out on Foot and Mouth disease, it will not be allowed. Meat in Botswana is in any case of good quality, and not expensive. Rather buy it here.
Even if you buy it here, the following rules apply… Now concentrate a little on this one: (Thanks to FreeFlyd for this explanation)
You can move meat from South to North.
You can move meat from East to West.
You can however not move meat from North to South or West to East.
So meat that you bought in Maun, for example, you can not take to Nxai Pan or Makgadigadi, but you can take it to Tsodillo Hills or Moremi, Chobe and Savute. Meat that you bought at Woolworths in Gauteng, you can drive with to Maun, to Chobe, to Kasane, to Livingstone and beyond… But as soon as you turn south, you can’t have it any more. (Understand ? )

Botswana has two Cellphone operators. Mascom and Orange. Look at the websites for coverage maps.
All providers in SA have roaming agreements with the Botswana service providers

Last edited by on Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: General Botswana Info

Post by Frank » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:46 pm

Nice work Hans!!
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Re: General Botswana Info

Post by Pbbensch » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:08 am

Are there VHF radio frequencies that are commonly used by camp sites in Moremi and Chobe? Looking for ways to contact camp sites for road and camp conditions while traveling in the area.
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Campsites report Botswana...

Post by » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:24 am
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Re: General Botswana Info (Using VHF radios in Botswana)

Post by henry » Mon May 05, 2014 10:20 am

Pbbensch wrote:Are there VHF radio frequencies that are commonly used by camp sites in Moremi and Chobe? Looking for ways to contact camp sites for road and camp conditions while travelling in the area.
I have not come across any official VHF frequencies for park rangers or gates - end even if you found such - you are not allowed to communicate on any VHF frequencies without a license to do so, and you will probably get a fine and perhaps even confiscated your equipment if you don't have an appropriate license, e.g. a HAM (Radio amateur) license.
I don't think LF (License Free) radios like PMR radios will be a problem, they consider them to be toys, and the reach is very limited as they should be. PMR's (UHF 446) are cheap and will work okay between two (or a group) of vehicles if you are within 2-3km or less from each other. You can increase this reach by adding external antennas to the radios, although that is strictly speaking not legal since you may not alter/modify PMR's.

You have been warned :mrgreen:

If you chose to bring VHF radios anyway, you should take care at the border, put the antenna and radios away while crossing.

All that said, boring :geek:, I hold a license (HAREC class 1) for HAM frequencies and even I will have apply for an temporary license in Botswana (which is in progress), it is cheap to do so, but the process is quite heavy and even though I have applied in January and also pre-paid, I still don't have my temp. license... :ugeek: This is Africa at it's best :lol: .

If anybody here has interested in this topic (Radios in ZA/Botswana) please let me know and I'll share whatever knowledge I have collected.

Here's the link to the official BOCRA application for for a HAM license.

BTW is also a great source for information about radios and licenses in southern Africa.
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