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Border control

SA citizens with valid passports get a free tourist visa at the border. McCarthy’s Rest, Platjan and Mohembo are open from 6 am to 6 pm, Pontdri from 8 am to 4 pm, Two Rivers from 7.30 am to 4 pm and Bokspits from 8 am to 4.30 pm. There is a road tax and mandatory insurance per vehicle and per trailer. If you don’t own your vehicle, you’ll need a certified letter granting permission to cross borders.

Money matters

Credit cards are widely accepted, but facilities are unreliable in remote areas. ATMs run out of cash so carry enough for emergencies. Rands are o en accepted near the SA border but further north it’s Pula or, on the Zimbabwe border, US dollars.

National Park bookings

The Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) handles park entrance fees and also operates all campsites in the Kgalagadi , certain campsites in the Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi. 

Bookings at non-DWNP camps must be paid before park entrance and vehicle fees. DWNP fees can be paid in cash at park gates (credit-card facilities are sometimes available), in advance at a DWNP office or through central reservations. +267-318-0774, www.dwnp@gov.bw

Camp operators

Bigfoot Tours operates in Khutse and the Central Kalahari, +267-3953360, www.bigfoo ours. co.bw

Gaing-O Community Trust operates Kubu Island campsite, +267297-9612. Kwalate Safaris operates in Chobe and Moremi, +267-686-1448.

Xomae Group operates in Moremi and Nxai Pan), +267-686-2221, www.xomaesites.com.

SKL operates in Chobe, Moremi and Makgadikgadi), +267-686-5365, www.sklcamps.com

The Tsodilo Hills community operates Tsodilo Hills), +267-6878025.

Khwai Development Trust operates in the Khwai community concession, +267-680-1211.

Tyre pressure

Experts differ on exact pressures but go as low as 1 bar for sand and mud and between 2 and 2.4 bar on graded dirt and gravel. In general, so er tyres (around 2 bar) are better for sharp rocks, but provide less protection to the wheel rim. If overspun at pressures below 1 bar, tyres may come off the rim. Tyre pressures should be taken when the tyres are cold.

Vet fences

Botswana has vet control fences, including foot-and-mouth stations where travellers are required to disinfect shoes and car wheels before continuing. Vet fence checks can be anything from a smile and a wave to a full inspection. Fresh red meat and citrus are the major concerns and may be confiscated.