Your Botswana safari plans are all set and you are ready to head into one of the best and most exclusive safari countries in Africa! The only thing left is to get there… but we’re here to help, with this article looking at Botswana flights - bringing you straight into the main safari hotspots, as well as Victoria Falls, where some tours begin. Plus, some useful information to know before you head out. You can also account for flight prices along with your safari prices We hope you find this useful, and enjoy your safari!
You need to bring a passport with at least 6 months validity remaining and may need to show your onward ticket from the country on arrival. Children under 18 require a birth certificate to be shown.
A 30 day visa on arrival is available for EU countries, most Commonwealth countries, the USA and a few other countries. Otherwise you will need to arrange a visa separately, check this list to see if your country is included.
If you have visited a Yellow Fever risk country you will need to bring proof of Yellow Fever Vaccination to enter Botswana.
Some safari areas of Botswana have a malaria risk, particularly in the wet summer (or “green season ”) when mosquito presence is high. Check in advance whether the areas you are visiting have a malaria risk and consult your doctor about anti-malarial medication. Bear in mind that sometimes malaria medication courses often begin a week or two in advance of your trip. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you will be flying on the small internal domestic flights between safari camps, when packing, make sure you account for the weight and size of your luggage as the airlines have strict limits - usually 15 to 20kg, stored in soft bags only.
Although Botswana’s main airport is Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) at Gabarone, for many safari tourists this isn’t an ideal destination as it is far from the northern safari regions. Instead, most safari visitors fly into Maun (MUB) near the Okavango Delta, or Kasane (BBK) at Chobe.
Lion seen in Chobe, Botswana
Some Botswana tours begin or end at the mighty Victoria Falls, just over the border from Chobe. In this case you will probably be using Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls Airport (VFA) or Zambia’s Livingstone Airport (LVI).
For most international travellers, it’s easiest and cheapest to fly into Botswana via flights to South Africa - at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) or Cape Town International Airport (CPT). It is possible to fly in via other African cities like Nairobi but there’s usually no need when the South African route is so straightforward.
For European and American tourists, there are a number of flight carriers to choose from if flying into Maun and Kasane, most of which go via Johannesburg using South African Airlines for the final leg into Botswana. The number of flights to Kasane are much more limited than Maun.
The fastest, most straightforward flights to Maun and Kasane are with British Airways, South African Airlines and Virgin Atlantic which all fly direct to Johannesburg before transferring to the Botswana airports. Air Botswana , the country’s main domestic flight carrier also does flights from Johannesburg to the safari spots, and typically doesn’t feature on websites like Skyscanner.
Here are the flight carriers offering the most straightforward trips from Europe to Botswana:
Most European flights to Livingstone or Victoria Falls go via Nairobi (Kenya) or Johannesburg. Again, South African Airlines and British Airways offer fast and straightforward options, but here are some other good flight carriers for the journey:
Botswana is a popular destination to see Elephants
It’s a long journey to Botswana from the USA, but there are plenty of options. The fastest fly direct to Johannesburg from US airports before transferring to Maun or Kasane - the best being South African Airlines. The other good but slightly longer options are to fly via Europe or the Middle East (usually also going through Johannesburg) - depending on which part of the US you are flying from. Air Botswana , the country’s main domestic flight carrier also does flights from Johannesburg to the safari spots, and typically doesn’t feature on websites like Skyscanner.
Here are some of the best flight carriers for the USA to Botswana:
For American travellers starting out at Livingstone or Victoria Falls, the flight carriers offering these routes are much the same as to Botswana. You’ll fly in via Johannesburg or Europe (or both).
Most of the Livingstone flight companies also fly to Victoria Falls. In addition, check out:
Most tours and tour operators will also arrange your internal flights to ferry you between safari locations. Air Botswana is the main flight company if you need to arrange them yourself.
Small charter flights are used from the main safari spots like Maun to fly to private concessions, tour operators will arrange these for you. If you want to arrange them yourself, look at companies like Mack Air , Kavango Air , Wilderness Air and Air Botswana .
Fortunately, getting right into the heart of the safari lands is easy. After booking international flights, travel and tour agents will be happy to arrange all your internal transfers between camps whether that’s by road or light aircraft. Now all you have left to do is choose your safari lodge and look forward to your safari! If though, you are still in the planning phase, or want to know more about safaris in Botswana, check out our other articles on the site. We have loads of information about when to go, where to go, and the best places to stay. We hope you have a fantastic safari!