Botswana Country Report
Botswana has a long record of sustained stability. Although the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has ruled since independence in 1966 and has won all previous national elections, most recently in October 2014 with 33 of 57 parliamentary seats, its share of the vote has been declining in urban areas, where the opposition UDC has broadened its coalition and electoral appeal. Botswana’s economy is heavily dependent on diamond exports, accounting for 85% of total exports, rendering it vulnerable to exogenous shocks. Botswana's sustained record of stability means that a significant change in the government's overall investor-friendly policies is unlikely under either a continued BDP administration or the opposition UDC. Efforts have been made to incorporate local beneficiationmeasures, while economic diversification remains among the country's priorities.
Botswana’s operational environment ranks among the best in Africa. Bureaucratic issues, skills shortages, and electricity and water constraints are among operational challenges. Overall, Botswana ranks 71 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business report; however, it stands, for example, at 153 for starting a business. Botswana has spent much of its diamond wealth on upgrading infrastructure. Corruption is not considered a significant problem, with Botswana often being among the best in the region in surveys and indices measuring graft.
There are no active domestic non-state armed groups in Botswana. There was a rare, minor scare in March 2010 when a grenade was found and safely detonated outside the president's office while he was away on a state visit abroad. The overall risk of terrorism and insurgency within Botswana is low.
Botswana had historical territorial disputes with Namibia, which were settled via mediation, while relations with Zimbabwe also became strained amid that country’s political and economic instability. Relations with Zimbabwe are being restored following the ousting of former President Robert Mugabe. Botswana faces no security threats that would lead to war with its neighbours.
Besides increasing crime rates, Botswana is not exposed to significant internal security threats. Political violence and civil unrest are rare. The traditional hunter-gatherer San people have been involved in court battles with the government over issues such as their eviction from ancestral land (which they won in 2006), but an uprising against the state is unlikely.
Vaccines Required to Enter the Country
Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Botswana. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.
Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers
Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).
Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers
Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.
Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).
Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers
Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.
Malaria: There is currently no malaria vaccine. However, various antimalarial prophylactics are available by prescription and can reduce risk of infection by up to 90 percent. Different medications are prescribed depending on the risk level and the strains of the virus present in the destination. Antimalarial tablets need to be taken throughout the trip to be effective and may need to be taken for as long as four weeks following the trip.
Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).
The climate in Botswana is relatively temperate. The summer - from October until April - is very hot and rainy. From May until September the weather is drier and cooler, with an average temperature of 25°C. Early mornings and late evenings can be cold and icy during winter months.
Voltage: 231 V ~ 50 Hz