AUTHORITIES IN BOTSWANA EXTEND THE STATE OF PUBLIC EMERGENCY FOR A FURTHER SIX (6) MONTHS, THROUGH TO AT LEAST MARCH 2021, TO CONTAIN THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19). THE EXTENSION IS A RESULT OF THE STEADY INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES. SEVERAL RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN PLACE. ALL LAND AND INTERNATIONAL AIR BORDERS REMAIN CLOSED. MEETINGS OF MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE ARE PROHIBITED. THE MAJORITY OF BANKS, SHOPPING CENTERS, AND OTHER PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERED NOESSENTIAL BUSINESSES CONTINUE TO OPERATE AS LONG AS SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES AND THE WEARING OF PROTECTIVE FACEMASKS ARE ADHERED TO. PRECAUTIONARY TRAVEL MEASURES, SUCH AS SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING BETWEEN PASSENGERS, ARE IN PLACE FOR DOMESTIC FLIGHTS, WHICH RESUMED ON JUNE 12. HEALTH SCREENINGS BEFORE BOARDING FLIGHTS ARE MANDATORY. INTER-ZONE TRAVEL WITH A TRAVEL PERMIT IS PERMITTED SINCE AUGUST 14. THERE ARE RESTRICTIONS ON WHO CAN TRAVEL. UPON REQUEST FOR A TRAVEL PERMIT, TRAVELERS MAYBE REQUIRED TO TAKE A COVID-19 TEST. PERMITS WILL NOT BE ISSUED UPON A POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULT.
Note: this page contains basic risk information. For more details, please contact the Risk Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are traveling to the Botswana on University-related business, please sign up for the University’s travel insurance program by going here. For more information on the travel insurance program, please go here.
Because everyone’s health is unique, we suggest seeking the advice of a medical professional before traveling internationally. Members of the campus community interested in protecting their health while abroad may schedule an appointment with the University Health Services International Travel Clinic.
Protests occasionally occur in Botswana, but seldom devolve into violence. Most demonstrations relate to economic conditions and social issues. Protests are most common in Gaborone and occasionally cause significant transportation delays. Police have increasingly used force to disperse demonstrations, despite organizers' having obtained appropriate authorization.
Nonviolent crime poses a moderate threat to foreign nationals, expatriates, and local staff, and is concentrated in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun. Snatch-and-grab tactics by knife-wielding criminals typically target purses, bags, wallets, smartphones, and other exposed electronic devices. These opportunistic crimes can occur anywhere, especially in cars parked or waiting in traffic, outside of ATMs/banks, houses, restaurants or bars. Criminals do not typically target foreign nationals and expatriates, but foreign nationals may become vulnerable due to their perceived wealth.
Crimes against foreign nationals, expatriates, and local staff are more likely to escalate late at night or if the victim attempts to resist. Criminals often act in pairs or in groups.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Some crimes are prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.
LGBTI Travelers: The law does not explicitly criminalize consensual same-sex sexual acts, but it includes language criminalizing some aspects of same-sex sexual activity. What the law describes as “unnatural acts” is criminalized with penalties up to seven years’ imprisonment. There are no reports of police targeting persons suspected of same-sex sexual activity. There is stigma and discrimination against LGBTI persons particularly in villages and rural areas outside the capital. LGBTI travelers should exercise caution with regard public displays of affection.