As we know, when it comes to going through any sort of customs or immigration procedures, it is always going to be a monotonous process. Therefore, we would like to provide you with our top border tips to ease these for you and make it a much more pleasurable experience. We tend to find that when traveling throughout Southern Africa, the border posts officials are welcoming and friendly, so do not fear.

Our Top 7 Border Crossing Tips:

  1. Do not be tempted to wear your best safari shoes for the border transfers as you may be asked to step in disinfectant whilst crossing over into another country, so our advice is pack and wear an older pair of shoes and save your best for when you get there!
  2. Keep a ballpoint pen handy for filling in immigration forms. Nine times out of ten there will be no pens available and this will increase your wait time.
  3. Remember to smile and engage in a bit of small talk with the custom officials. You are excited after all to be continuing your safari to a new destination.
  4. Always have your passport and visa (or payment for your visa) ready to ensure a smooth and quick delivery. Botswana does not process visas at the border without prior arrangement and they will only accept BWP as payment so be sure to consider this prior to travelling.
  5. We recommend that you carry low denominations of US dollars to make it easy for any visa payments you may need.
  6. Keep hydrated by carrying a bottle of mineral water with you and some interesting reading material.
  7. Keep an eagle eye out on your belongings as there is a lot of foot traffic and it is always wise to be careful.

What to expect at the following border posts:

Zimbabwe – Botswana

  • If you are traveling from Zimbabwe to Botswana in a transfer bus, your journey has come to an end on reaching the border. You will be required to change vehicles here and continue with your luggage to an open 4×4 game viewing vehicle. This is the start of your Botswana safari experience.
  • On presenting yourself to the immigration officials, completing the necessary paperwork you are free to enter Botswana.
  • On the Botswana-side you will be required to step on a treated mat for foot and mouth disease control. The foot & mouth control is a regular occurrence and required by Port Health before entering Botswana.
  • We suggest that you carry all your shoes as hand luggage in a separate bag for the border crossing to ease this procedure.

Zambia – Botswana

  • After presenting yourself at the Zambian Immigration and completing your forms, you will be required to walk a short distance from the transfer vehicle to a speedboat boat on the Zambian side of the River.
  • The boat crossing will take approximately five minutes and upon reaching the Botswana side of the river, you will be transferred in an open 4×4 game viewing vehicle to the Botswana immigration and customs hall.
  • Here again, you will need to present yourself to the Botswana immigration official and go through the same process.
  • Once you have crossed over onto the Botswana side you will be required to step on a treated mat for foot and mouth disease control, which will disinfect your shoes before entering Botswana.
  • We suggest that you carry all your shoes as hand luggage in a separate bag for the border crossing to ease this procedure.
  • Sometimes you may experience a delay due to heavy trucks crossing over the border at the same time as you and we ask that you be patient and soak up the sun whilst contemplating what the first animal sighting will be as you embark on a new safari experience.
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