The Botswana currency is Pula (meaning ‘rain’ in Setswana). It is divided into 100 thebe (meaning ‘shield’ in Setswana). Travellers’ cheque and foreign currency may be changed at banks, bureau de change, and authorised hotels in the country.

The US dollar, Euros, British Pound and the South African Rand are the most easily convertible currencies. Automatic teller machines accept foreign visa cards, but are mostly found in larger towns and cities. Cultural sites and community art and craft outlets usually accept cash or use a Point Of Sale (POS) machine.


Seven main commercial banks, as well as a number of foreign exchange bureau, operate in Botswana.

Banking Hours

Monday to Friday 08:30am - 15:30pm
Saturday 08:30am - 10:45am

Credit cards

Major credit cards, such as MasterCard and Visa, are accepted throughout the country, in most hotels, restaurants, retail outlets and safari companies.

Travel insurance

It is essential for visitors to have a comprehensive medical insurance policy, to provide coverage for the treatment of serious illnesses/accidents, and if required, medical evacuation. Personal effects insurance is also advisable.

Check that your insurance policy will be accepted by service providers in Botswana. Ensure that you are treated by licensed medical personnel to enable you to provide your insurance company with appropriate documentation and receipts. Reasonably priced medical services are available at government clinics and hospitals throughout the country. Private medical practitioners are available in the cities and major towns, such as Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.

Value Added Tax

To claim 12% VAT refund for total value of goods purchased, the amount spent should be more than P5 000. In such cases, the following is required: a tax invoice stating VAT paid, your passport number and your bank account details. It is always advisable to keep a copy of the VAT form as a record for any follow-up on the transaction. VAT claims usually can be made at all major border posts and airports.

Gratuity Guide

In Botswana, one is not under any obligation to offer gratuity (tips) for services rendered at restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. It is at the discretion of the individual whether or not to pay gratuity for services.

Electrical Supply

Electricity is supplied at 220/240v. Both square and round wall plugs are used.

What to Bring / Wear

We are currently in Summer, experiencing moderate to high temperatures.

Insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses and hats, cosmetics, medications, and cigarettes are all available in major towns, but if specific brand names are needed, it is best to bring enough to last your stay.

However, care needs to be taken to comply with international aviation security regulations for items in carry on luggage. Contact your airline for details.

Local Number

The International access code in Botswana is 00 followed by the country code. When calling international to Botswana, dial 00267.

Drinking water

Tap water throughout the country is safe to drink. Bottled mineral water is readily available in most shops and supermarkets, and at hotels and lodges.