While civil and political unrest is rare, there are some other safety concerns for expats in Botswana.
Expats must take precautions against health issues like malaria and heat exhaustion, and remain aware that crime is an increasing concern, with vehicles and homes being popular targets for thieves.
Crime in Botswana
With crime on the rise, expats must be vigilant and take common-sense security precautions. Petty street crime and crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are common. Home invasions and muggings at knifepoint are also often reported to the police.
We advise expats to keep their valuables and bags out of sight when in a vehicle and to securely lock doors to their cars and houses, especially in large towns such as Gaborone, Francistown and Maun.
Road safety in Botswana
Driving in Botswana can be challenging and sometimes dangerous. Some vehicles are not roadworthy and not all drivers follow the traffic regulations.
We advise expats to drive defensively, stick to the speed limits and keep an eye out for drunk drivers. If in a rural area, drivers should be vigilant of livestock on roads, especially at night.
Health safety in Botswana
A number of infectious diseases are prevalent in Botswana, with malaria being of particular concern in some areas like Chobe and Ghanzi. To prevent malaria, expats should take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. These include using insect repellent and mosquito nets. Before travelling to the country, we also advise expats to consult their local healthcare professional about anti-malarial medication.
Newcomers should also take care to avoid the intense heat and sun. Sunscreen, hats and appropriate clothing are recommended. We also advise drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Various poisonous snakes and insects such as scorpions and spiders may be encountered throughout Botswana. Expats must be especially cautious in the rural areas or when on safari in the bush and should educate themselves and their families on how to identify and avoid these creatures.
Botswana has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world, and many families have been impacted by it in some way or another. Expats should take appropriate precautions and educate their children on the subject.