Do I need a passport or visa to enter?
A passport valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure is required to enter Botswana. U.S. citizens are permitted to stay up to 90 days total within a 12-month period without a visa. If visitors are planning on staying longer, have already exceeded the 90-day per year maximum, or have not already obtained an airline ticket to depart Botswana, they will be required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Travelers who attempt to enter Botswana with a temporary travel document (12-page emergency photo-digitized passport [EPDP]) must have a visa to enter Botswana. It is not possible to obtain a visa upon arrival in Botswana, and U.S. citizens without a visa in their temporary passport will face possible fines and long administrative delays.
While there is no specific requirement in Botswana that visitors have a certain number of blank pages in their passport, most flights in/out of Botswana transit through South Africa, which has a strictly enforced policy requiring at least one completely blank visa page and frequently insists on travelers having two completely blank visa pages. Please note that these pages are in addition to the endorsement/amendment pages at the back of the passport. Without a sufficient number of blank pages, travelers, even when in possession of a valid South African visa, may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at the traveler’s expense.
For additional information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana, 1531-1533 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, telephone (202) 244-4990/1, fax (202) 244-4164, or the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana to the United Nations, 103 E. 37th St., New York, NY, 10016, telephone (212) 889-2277, fax (212) 725-5061. There are also honorary consuls in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. Visit the Embassy of Botswana’s website for the most current visa information. As a general precaution, all travelers are advised to carry a photocopy of the photo/bio information page of their passport and keep it in a location separate from the passport.
The Embassy is unaware of any required vaccinations to enter Botswana. Visitors to the Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls areas should be aware that Zambia is now considered a low-risk yellow fever country, and any traveler with Zambian immigration stamps in their passport may be required to present their current and valid “International Certificate of Vaccination as approved by the World Health Organization (WHO)” (commonly called a “yellow card”) or statement of medical exemption (also located on the same yellow card). This requirement is also imposed on travelers flying through South Africa via yellow fever countries, even when transiting passengers are required to stay on board the plane (e.g., on flights stopping in Dakar, Senegal or Accra, Ghana, or Nairobi, Kenya), or if the plane makes an unscheduled landing in a yellow fever country. As a precaution, all travelers to or through South Africa should carry their original yellow card. Letters, scans, copies, or faxes regarding prior yellow fever vaccination will not be accepted. While this requirement may not be consistently applied, travelers who cannot present an original and currently valid yellow card upon request will be refused entry into or transit through South Africa. Yellow fever vaccinations are not administered at South African ports of entry for the purpose of entry into South Africa. Travelers are reminded that they are required to obtain a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days prior to their arrival in South Africa in accordance with WHO regulations.
There are no restrictions on the number of currency visitors can bring into Botswana. However, visitors carrying more than 10,000 Pula or the equivalent in a foreign currency (approximately $1,200.00 USD) are required to declare their currency to the Department of Customs at the port of entry.