Overland trips to or from safari in Botswana are usually straightforward and mosttravellers arrive by private vehicle. At border crossings, visitors are frequently requestedto wipe their shoes as well as the ones they have packed away in their luggage in adisinfectant dip to keep them from carrying foot-and-mouth disease into Botswana.Vehicles too must go through a pit filled with the same disinfectant. This shows just howserious the Republic of Botswana is when it comes to eliminating the foot-and-mouthdisease (FMD) problem.
Border opening hours change often however, most crossings between Botswana andNamibia or South Africa open between 6am and 8am and close between 6pm and10pm. important crossings between Botswana and Zimbabwe usually open from 6am to8pm. The Kazungula ferry to Zambia sails from 6am to 6pm.
Requirements for Cars Crossing the Borders
- South African, Namibian, Zambian, Zimbabwean, Malawian, Angolan, Swazilandand Mozambique licenses are recognised in Botswana. Therefore if you haveone of these licenses (current), there is no need to get an international driverslicense before entering the country.
- Vehicle registration papers – owners must provide original registration papers orcertified copies (original registration papers are better). Non-owners must have acopy of registration papers and a letter from the owner giving them permission totake the vehicle from Botswana.
- Botswanan authorities recognise South African vehicle registration and licensingdocuments and must be carried at all times.
- South African vehicles travelling into Botswana must bear a ZA sticker which designates that they are foreign vehicles.
- Drivers of foreign registered vehicles must pay a levy on entry into Botswana.This is a once off payment paid in Pula. Note: When travelling in Botswana, itis important to have funds in the local currency (Pula) as very few accept Rand,USD or Euro.
- Third party insurance issued in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho are recognised in Botswana. For vehicles not covered by third party insurance from these countries, third party insurance must be obtained at point of entry into Botswana. Third party insurance premium in Botswana is included in the price of petrol so no third party insurance is payable in respect of vehicles registered in the country.
Entry Points into Botswana
There are many entry points into Botswana from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.During heavy rains, many of the smaller border posts may be closed especially alongthe Limpopo River. It is recommended to call the border posts and check whether theyare open before driving all the way there.
Botswana / Namibia border posts
- Ngoma Bridge – 7am to 6pm
- Mohembo – 6am to 7pm
- Buitepos / Mamuno – 6am to 7pm
- Wenela – 6am to 6pm
Botswana / Zimbabwe border posts
- Pandamatenga – 8am to 6pm
- Ramokawebena Road (Plumtree) – 6am to 8pm
- Kazangula – 8am to 6pm
South African/Botswana border posts
- Bray – 7:30am to 4pm
- Derdepoort – 7am to 6pm
- Pontdrif – 8am to 4:30pm
- Zanzibar – 8am to 4pm
- Stockpoort – 8am to 6pm
- Ramatlabama – 7am to 8pm
- Mokopong – 8am to 4pm
- Middelputs – 8am to 4pm
- Platjan – 8am to 4pm
- Groblersbrug – 8am to 6pm
- Kopfontein – 7am to 7pm
- Skilpadshek – 7am to 7pm
- Makgobistad – 8am to 6pm
- McCarthy’s Rest – 8am to 4pm
The Zambia – Botswana territories only meet at one point and have one bordercrossing: a reliable ferry across the Zambezi linking Kazungula with the corner of Botswana.