Botswana Getting there & away, Botswana Transport

Overland take a trip to or from safari in Botswana is frequently straightforward as most travelers either arrive by private vehicle or by Intercape Mainliner (www.intercape.co.za). At border crossings, arriving travelers are frequently requested to wipe their shoes, even those packed away in their luggage, in a disinfectant dip to stop them from carrying foot-and-mouth disease into the country. Vehicles must also go through a pit filled with the same disinfectant.

Border opening hours

Changes often, but most significant crossings between Botswana and Namibia or South Africa generally open for a while between 6am and 8am and shut sometime between 6pm and 10pm. The major crossings between Botswana and Zimbabwe are open from 6am to 8pm, and the Kazungula ferry to Zambia sails from 6am to 6pm.

Land

Namibia

The Trans-Kalahari Hwy goes through the border at Mamuno–Buitepos (open 8am to 1am). In the Caprivi Strip, you can cross the border into Namibia at Ngoma Bridge (8am to 6pm) or between Mohembo and Mahango (6am to 6pm). The border crossing linking Kasane and Mpalila Island (7am to 12.30pm and 1.45pm to 4pm) exists especially for visitors of safari lodges on the island. Note that in the period of the winter months (late May to August), Namibia is one hour behind Botswana.

South Africa

The largest part overland traffic stuck between Botswana and South Africa goes through the Ramatlabama, Tlokweng or Pioneer border crossings. Additional border crossings serve back roads across the Limpopo River, in the Tuli Block, and the Molopo River in southern Botswana; some of these are impenetrable by the 2WD vehicles, and may be blocked altogether during the time of high water.

Zambia

Botswana and Zambia (along with Zimbabwe and Namibia) share what’s surely the world’s straight international border – one point in the middle of the Zambezi River. Direct travel connecting the two countries is on the Kazungula ferry, which works from 6am to 6pm each day and costs US$0.50 per person and US$5 for motorbikes, US$15 for cars and US$20 for larger vehicles. If there’s a long line or the ferry isn’t in use, it’s not hard to arrive Livingstone via Victoria Falls,

Zimbabwe.

If you’re hitching from Kasane-Kazangula or the Zambian shore of the Zambezi, inquire from the truck drivers concerning lifts to Livingstone.

Zimbabwe

The two most usually used borders are at Ramokgwebana–Plumtree and at Kazungula, west of Victoria Falls. There’s also a lesser-used back-road crossing at Pandamatenga.

Air

Botswana’s chief airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (35 11 91) 15km north of the capital Gaborone. Even though this is finely served with flights from Johannesburg (South Africa) and Harare (Zimbabwe) it is hardly ever used by tourists as an entrance point into the country. Far more admired are Maun Airport (66 02 38) and Kasane Airport (65 01 36).