Botswana 2 South Africa


Date: 29th September 2013

Border Post: Martin’s Drift

We chose to go to Martins Drift for two reasons. One, it is on the best and fastest road between Francistown and Johannesburg. Two, it has a proper South African customs presence for stamping carnets. The last point proved to be un-necessary.

Exiting Botswana
Arriving at the border post it is easy to see where to go. We parked next to a swarm of Bushlore vehicles and entered the building.
1. The immigration building has a familiar lay-out, with the customs desk next to the immigration desk. The immigration officer stamped us out no issues, and we headed over to customs.
2. At customs we presented the carnet to have the vehicle stamped out. But the lady didn’t want to. After a bit of explaining we learned that since Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are in the same customs union it is not necessary to have the carnet stamped in and out for every country. It is only needed when entering and exiting the union.
3. We then exited the building and got back in our vehicle. The exit from the compound is manned by the Police, and Viking Explorer had to produce his drivers license. We then entered no-mans-land and crossed the Limpopo to South African soil.

Entering South Africa
1. We parked in the parking area and went across to the immigrations and customs building on the right hand side.
2. The first set of hatches was immigration. We presented out passports and they were quickly stamped. Easy.
3. We then moved to the customs counter to confirm with South African customs that we did not need to have the carnet stamped out of Botswana and into South Africa. They confirmed – in fact they were happy that we had not had the carnet stamped out of Botswana – and we could head back to the car. Easy.
4. Last step was to go through the gate to exit the border post. Two friendly customs officials collected the gate pass and wished us safe travels.

Total time spent at the border was about 30 minutes. This is a very efficient crossing.

Tags: border crossing from Botswana to South Africa; overland border crossing from Botswana to South Africa, South Africa Botswana border crossing, Martins Drift border crossing, Martins Drift