In my ongoing series about world borders, I aim to make it sound easy for you to venture across one border and into a new country. This post deals with getting to Botswana from South Africa. I make it sound easy here, because it is. I personally LOVE border crossings, there is a thrill about them for me in a life of constant adventure! Here’s my reliable guide (from my journey) on how to get to Botswana from South Africa. Please note that for all these world bordes posts, I travel with an Irish or a British passport. The same goes for my visas section.
My Journey – Pretoria to Gaborone
I got an Intercape Bus in order to get to Botswana from South Africa. I booked my bus in Pretoria. You can book this bus from the booking office at the main bus station in Pretoria, you can also book online. My bus wasn’t full, but they may have busy and quiet periods so research in advance of your visit. Intercape offer a range of border crossings in countries in Africa and I found them to be good value, reliable and easy to organise.
I booked a bus from Pretoria, South Africa to Gaborone, Botswana. You can also book the same bus from Park Station in Johannesburg, as my bus stopped in Johannesburg. The rough route of my journey was:
– Pretoria – Johannesburg – Groot Marico – South African exit border control point at Kopfontein – Botswana entry border control point at Tlokweng – Gaborone
(the entire journey took around 8 hours, the border crossing element took about 45 minutes maximum)
Once you arrive at Kopfontein, you get off the Intercape Bus. You can either: take all your belongings with you (which I did) or leave your big backpack on the bus (in the locked up lower compartment). Leaving South Africa is easy. A short queue – you fill in a departure form, get your exit stamp then walk across the border. It’s that simple. There is nothing much to worry about.
Once you arrive at Tlokweng border post in Botswana, fill in your Botswanese entry immigration form and line up. There wasn’t a massive queue when I went and unless there is a special event on, I honestly cannot imagine this ever getting busy! Getting into Botswana is easy.
There are no questions asked at all – I was the only white man I saw all day and night and they chatted to me, stamped my passport and through I went.
Next up was a security checkpoint AFTER having already got my stamp. Here they simply checked my bag quickly before letting me into Botswana. A litter bin with Botswana written on it, and a half lit Botswana flag by night were the only other tell tale signs that I was now in a new country. The terrain is a soiled road and you just wait by the roadside for the Intercape Bus to let you back on. Make sure you keep your ticket by the way.
Please note that no visa, no pre booking and no payment was required for me either in leaving South Africa or in entering Botswana. This was an entirely fuss free and visa free border crossing. You can also exchange your South African rands into Botswanese Pula at a booth on the Botswanese side of the border.
Congratulations you are now in Botswana! Home of the zebras and the Okavango Delta. Enjoy yourself – it’s a great country! From the border point at Tlokweng to the capital city of Gaborone is another 1 hour or so. I headed there for a reunion and a night on the rip!
My South Africa exit stamp at Kopfontein and Botswana entry stamp at Tlokweng:
Arrival into Botswana at Tlokweng entry point:
The Intercape Bus journey from Pretoria to Gaborone:
Leaving Pretoria on the Intercape Bus to Gaborone:
Thanks for reading my tips on how to get to Botswana from South Africa – if you have any comments or travel tips/questions please get in touch! Don’t Stop Living!
5 thoughts on “World Borders: How to get to Botswana from South Africa”
Hi there – this sounds great. Here’s a blog about another way of getting from South Africa to Botswana at Pont Drift near Mapungubwe – this takes you into the Northern Tuli Game Reserve.
Hi! Thanks I love your blog! Busting to go back to Botswana sometime. Jonny