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May 10 2013

Budget Update – Botswana

As we always expected, travelling in southern Africa was bound to be more expensive than our travels in north west Africa had been.  Botswana was certainly a rude awakening!

The currency of Botswana is the Pula.  The exchange rate while we visited was 12.5 pula to the British pound.

We did spend a lot of time in national parks in Botswana, and so maybe Botswana could be travelled in more cheaply.  The National Park fees were pretty standard: 120 pula per person and 50 pula for the vehile – about £25 per day in fees.  Fortunately, these fees run from approximately 11am one day to 11am the next day, so an overnight camping in the park only incurs 1 day of fees.

The largest expense is certainly the camping in the National Parks – you certainly do pay for the privilege of falling asleep to the sounds of hippos wandering through the camp, listening to lions roaring through the night, and starting the day seeing elephants.  Camping for international visitors is an eye watering US$50 per person per night.

Fuel cost 9.88 pula per litre (approx. 80p per litre), so our driving in sandy conditions averaged about £14 per day in fuel.

We had crossed into Botswana amply stocked with food, so we only shopped once in Maun.  Prices felt similar to South Africa.

We loved our time in Botswana, and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the National Parks – 10 magical days in total – but our daily cost far exceeded our £50 per day budget we managed to live on in north west Africa, at over £70.


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