Country Reports

Botswana Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won 38 out of the available 60 seats in parliament in the general election in October 2019. Consequently, President Mokgweetsi Masisi was elected by parliament for his first full term as leader at its first sitting in November 2019. This majority has allowed Masisi to implement the reforms that he has espoused since taking office, including lifting the ban on elephant hunting and relaxing liquor laws.In March 2020, the government announced that its borders were closed to any person travelling from a COVID-19 high-risk country, although the country had not yet had a confirmed case of the virus. The lockdown was later extended to 7 May, when it would be gradually eased up until 30 May.Masisi is very likely to forge closer ties with China, in an effort to diversify foreign relations away from those established under the long-ruling Khama family. Relations with China were poor under previous president Ian Khama. Masisi is working to attract greater investment from China in Botswana's mining sector and there is a low likelihood that this will result in the cancellation of licences issued under Khama to allies of the former president, thus clearing the way for new investment in lucrative mines.Botswana’s economy continues to be heavily reliant on the diamond-mining sector, which comprises above 60% of total exports and is thus vulnerable to external shocks. Although it has a narrow economic base, the country still has strong institutions and a low debt burden and is making efforts to diversify the economy through measures including tax concessions in manufacturing. We forecast GDP will grow by 4.6% in 2019 and soften to 4.3% in 2020, given our expectation of slowing global growth.
Last update: June 17, 2020

Operational Outlook

Botswana’s operational environment ranks among the best in Africa. Bureaucratic issues, skills shortages, and electricity and water constraints are some of its operational challenges. Overall, Botswana ranks 86th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business report; however, it stands, for example, at 157th 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.

Last update: December 24, 2019



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 remains low.

Last update: December 31, 2019


Botswana is relatively secure, with modest crime levels by regional standards. However, crime has risen and is more prevalent in urban areas, such as Gaborone (the capital) or Francistown. Petty street crime and crimes of opportunity, primarily theft of money and personal property, are the most commonly reported, but incidents of armed robberies, housebreaking, and other violent attacks have increased. There is an increasing risk of rhino poaching. Women, children, and the rural poor are vulnerable to trafficking.

Last update: December 24, 2019

War Risks

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 Robert Mugabe as president in 2017. Botswana faces no security threats that would lead to war with its neighbours.

Last update: December 24, 2019

Social Stability


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 remains unlikely.

Last update: December 24, 2019

Health Risk


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).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


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.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 267
Police: 999


Voltage: 231 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019