IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Botswana

Botswana: At a glance

Capital: Gaborone

Population: 2.29 million

Official language: English

Time zone: Central African Time

Emergency #: 998

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

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Botswana: Travel Health Information

Botswana is known for its wildlife and safaris. Visitors can explore multiple nature parks including the Khama Rhino Sanctuary – where rhinos can be seen – or the large Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where travellers can see many different animals, including cheetahs, giraffes, and hyenas.

Healthcare

The standards for patient care and medical services in Botswana may differ from your home country. Botswana has a public healthcare system and a small private sector. The government of Botswana has, in recent years, made universal health coverage a priority, so access to health services across the country is improving. Most public facilities are located in Gaborone and healthcare in rural regions is limited and generally inadequate. The quality of care in private facilities is adequate, but the costs for medical services can be high.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals and private practitioners in Botswana require upfront payment, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation to South Africa may be required for serious medical emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Botswana.

Pharmacies and medications

Pharmacies and prescription medications are available in Botswana, and access has increased in recent years. However, many locals continue to opt for traditional herbal medications to pharmaceuticals, so the pharmaceutical sector is relatively underdeveloped.

If you are travelling with medication, check with Botswana’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Roads in urban areas of Botswana are generally well maintained and in good condition, but road conditions vary by region and may be poor in rural areas. Many roads in rural regions are unlit which may pose a risk to travellers. Seat belts must be worn by drivers and passengers of vehicles at all times. Helmets must be worn by motorcycle drivers and passengers at all times. In Botswana, traffic drives on the left.



Botswana: At a glance

Capital: Gaborone

Population: 2.29 million

Official language: English

Time zone: Central African Time

Emergency #: 998

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

Travel Health Journal

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