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Car Rental in Botswana

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Car Rental in Botswana: A Complete Guide

Understanding Local Driving Laws and Requirements

When renting a car in Botswana, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the local driving laws and requirements. The minimum age for renting a car in Botswana is 21 years old, and you must have held a valid driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years. It’s also important to note that driving is on the left-hand side of the road in Botswana, and seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers.

Choosing the Right Rental Car

When choosing a rental car in Botswana, it’s important to consider the type of terrain you will be driving on. If you plan to explore the rugged terrain of national parks and wildlife reserves, a 4×4 vehicle may be necessary. It’s also important to consider the size of the car, especially if you plan to travel with a lot of luggage or passengers.

Booking a Rental Car

Booking a rental car in Botswana can easily be done online through various car rental companies. It’s important to compare prices and read reviews to ensure you are getting the best deal. Many rental companies also offer the option to add on extras such as GPS navigation or additional insurance coverage.

Driving in Botswana

When driving in Botswana, it’s important to be aware of the potential presence of wildlife on the roads, especially at night. It’s also important to be cautious of the road conditions, especially during the rainy season when roads can become muddy and difficult to navigate.

In conclusion, renting a car in Botswana can provide the freedom and flexibility to explore this beautiful country at your own pace. By understanding the local driving laws and requirements, choosing the right rental car, and being aware of the driving conditions, you can have a safe and enjoyable driving experience in Botswana.

Rental Requirements

Age Limits

To rent a car in Botswana, the minimum age requirement is typically 21 years old. Some car rental companies may have a maximum age limit as well, usually around 70 years old. It’s important to check with the specific rental company for their age restrictions.

Driving License Requirements

To rent a car in Botswana, you will need a valid driver’s license from your home country. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is also recommended for non-English licenses. Some car rental companies may require that you have held your license for a certain amount of time, usually at least one year.


When renting a car in Botswana, you will need to provide a valid passport, a credit card in the name of the main driver for the security deposit, and any additional documentation required by the specific car rental company. It’s important to check with the rental company beforehand to ensure you have all the necessary documents.

Insurance Information

When renting a car in Botswana, it’s important to understand the insurance options available to you.

Basic Insurance

The basic insurance typically includes Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection. Collision Damage Waiver covers damage to the rental car in the event of a collision, while Theft Protection covers the loss of the car in case of theft.

Additional Insurance

In addition to basic insurance, you may have the option to purchase additional coverage such as Personal Accident Insurance and Supplemental Liability Insurance. Personal Accident Insurance provides coverage for medical expenses and accidental death benefits for the driver and passengers, while Supplemental Liability Insurance offers protection in case of third-party claims for bodily injury or property damage.

Insurance Tips

Before renting a car in Botswana, it’s recommended to check your existing travel insurance policies to see if they already provide coverage for rental cars. This can help you avoid purchasing duplicate coverage and save money on insurance costs. Additionally, it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance coverage offered by the car rental company to ensure you have the protection you need during your trip.

Local Driving Laws and Regulations in Botswana

General Traffic Rules

Driving Side: In Botswana, driving is on the left side of the road.
Speed Limits: The speed limit is typically 60-80 km/h in urban areas, 80-100 km/h on rural roads, and 120 km/h on highways.

Overtaking and Lane Usage

Overtaking Rules: Overtaking should be done on the right and is only allowed when it is safe and legal to do so.
Lane Discipline: Keep left, except to overtake on multi-lane roads.

Seat Belt and Child Safety

Seat Belt Laws: It is mandatory for all occupants of a vehicle to wear a seat belt.
Child Safety: Children under the age of 8 are required to be in a child seat or restraint.

Use of Mobile Phones

Mobile Phone Restrictions: The use of mobile devices while driving is prohibited, unless using a hands-free system.

Alcohol and Driving

Legal Blood Alcohol Limits: The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%.
Zero Tolerance Policies: There are no specific zero tolerance policies for certain drivers.

Tolls and Charges

Toll Roads: There are no toll roads in Botswana.
Congestion Charges: There are no urban congestion charges in Botswana.

Roundabouts and Intersections

Navigating Roundabouts: Roundabouts are commonly used, and drivers must give way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
Intersection Rules: The vehicle that arrives first has the right of way.

Headlight and Windshield Wiper Laws

Headlight Usage: It is mandatory to use headlights at night and during rain.
Windshield Wiper Rule: There is no specific requirement to turn on headlights when using wipers.

Emergency Vehicles

Right of Way for Emergency Vehicles: Drivers must give way to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens.

Driving Tips for Botswana

Road Conditions

In Botswana, the road conditions can vary widely. While major roads and highways are generally well-maintained, many rural and off-road areas can have rough and rugged terrain. It’s important to have a vehicle that can handle different types of roads, especially if you plan to explore the countryside.

Urban vs. Rural Driving

In urban areas like Gaborone, the capital city, you’ll encounter more traffic and congested roads. In rural areas, the roads may be less developed and have fewer amenities. It’s important to adjust your driving style accordingly and be prepared for different road conditions.

Navigational Tips

It’s recommended to use GPS navigation or have detailed maps when driving in Botswana. While major roads are well-marked, some rural areas may have limited signage. Having a reliable navigation system can help you reach your destination more easily.

Other Useful Tips

– Drive on the left side of the road in Botswana.
– Be cautious of wildlife, especially in rural and game reserve areas.
– Make sure to have the necessary permits and paperwork if you plan to cross the border into neighboring countries.

By keeping these driving tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience when renting a car and exploring Botswana.

Roadside Assistance and Emergency Procedures

When renting a car in Botswana, it’s important to be prepared for any roadside emergencies. Here’s what you need to know about breakdown procedures, emergency services, and rental company policies.

Breakdown Procedures

In the event of a breakdown, the first step is to safely pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If possible, try to move the vehicle away from traffic to a safe location. Contact the rental company immediately to inform them of the situation and follow their instructions for further assistance.

Emergency Services

It’s essential to have the contact numbers for emergency services readily available. In Botswana, the emergency hotline for police is 999, while the ambulance service can be reached at 997. Additionally, most rental companies provide a dedicated roadside assistance number that you can call for immediate support.

Rental Company Policies

Before embarking on your journey, familiarize yourself with the support offered by the rental company. Many rental companies in Botswana provide 24/7 assistance for breakdowns and mechanical issues. They may also offer towing services to transport the vehicle to a nearby repair facility if necessary.

By understanding the breakdown procedures, emergency services, and rental company policies, you can have peace of mind when renting a car in Botswana and be prepared for any unexpected situations on the road.

Where can you Rent a Car in Botswana?

You can browse all the city locations below, sorted alphabetically. Use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on a Mac) to quickly find the one you want to explore.