Visitors to Botswana are likely to arrive by air at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE or FBSK), around nine miles north of the capital city, Gabarone. This airport was originally built in 1984, but was comprehensively upgraded in 2010 to provide passengers with modern terminal facilities.
Sir Seretse Khama airport is also the base for many domestic flights, to destinations such as Francistown, Kasane and Maun.
Car rental at Sir Seretse Khama Airport, Gabarone
At the time of writing (November 2017), we were able to obtain car rental quotes at the airport from the following suppliers:
- Bidvest Car Rental
A full range of cars was available, including mini, standard, SUV/4×4, pickups and nine-seater minivans.
Driving in Botswana
UK licence holders can drive using an International Driving Permit for up to 90 days, according to the UK Foreign Office. As in the UK, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road in Botswana.
The country has a good network of tarmac roads, but many rural roads are unsurfaced and some areas are extremely remote. Make sure you are prepared if you plan to visit such areas.
Driving standards are generally lower than in western Europe or the UK and wildlife can be dangerous at night in rural areas, so it pays to be extra careful and drive during daylight hours when possible.
Petrol stations are said to be fairly scarce in rural areas, so always top up your tank when passing through a town.
You are reportedly likely to encounter government checkpoints periodically, who may check your car and vehicle papers.
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office (UK govt) travel advice for Botswana
- Earth Trekkers personal blog covering a trip from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Kasane, Botswana.
Two of Botswana’s largest industries are diamond mining and tourism. Visitors flock to the country each year to see the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and other wildlife attractions, where animals such as giraffes, zebras and cheetahs can be seen in their natural habitats.
Other popular parks include Chobe National Park and the Moremi Game Reserve on the Okavango River.
Many visitors will fly between destinations in the country, and safari flights are also popular as they allow visitors to cover a wide area (and see a lot of animals) in a short time.