Local laws and customs

Drug taking and smuggling is a serious offence. The punishments can be severe.

Taking photographs or using video equipment near military and government installations is prohibited. Always ask permission before taking photographs of people in Botswana.

Same-sex sexual acts are considered illegal in Botswana. However, being LGBT in itself is not a crime. Local attitudes and levels of tolerance may vary, so it is advisable to refrain from any overt displays of affection in public, particularly in more rural areas. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

You should carry some form of identification with you at all times. A photocopy of your passport is sufficient.

It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts. Those caught hunting, purchasing or trafficking such goods will be prosecuted and sentences if found guilty can be severe.

Botswana authorities do not always inform the British High Commission when British nationals have been arrested. If you are detained, you may insist on your right to contact a British consular officer and have access to lawyer. There is currently no comprehensive legal aid scheme and you would need to pay for any lawyer yourself.

Botswana residence and work permits are only valid when held with a valid passport. Don’t allow your passport to expire whilst staying in Botswana. If you send your British passport for renewal, make sure you have a certified copy that you can present if needed.