Botswana (Africa)Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Malaria Map Other Health Risks Alerts News
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and travel restrictions being imposed without notice.
Before making travel plans you should check all of the following:
- check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website for country specific Travel Advisory Notices (travel restrictions) and entry requirements
- click the 'Alerts' link on the menu above for details of your risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in this country
- check the GOV.UK website for self-isolation (quarantine) rules for when you return to the UK
- read the information on the COVID-19: Health Considerations for Travel page
Advice for All Destinations
If you're planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation, including:
- your destination
- how long you'll stay
- what you’ll be doing
- your general health
Ideally consult with your travel healthcare practitioner 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. If your trip is sooner, contact them anyway, they may still be able to help and its never too late to seek advice.
Many of the health problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other measures need to be taken. These include food and water safety, accident prevention, care with sun exposure, avoiding insect bites and animal bites, and practicing good respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene.
For advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings you should visit the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website.
If you will be travelling with medication (including over the counter medication) you should check for any restrictions on medications before you travel, you can do this by contacting the embassy of the country you're visiting.
Ensure you have travel insurance and are fully covered for medical emergencies including repatriation.
Make sure you know how to access healthcare at your destination:
- A list of doctors and medical facilities worldwide can be accessed on the FCDO website.
- A worldwide list of travel clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on their website.
If you are unwell on return from travel, seek medical attention and let your healthcare practitioner know where you have been.
- Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
- Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus.
- Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis B; Rabies; Typhoid.
- Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: none.
Yellow fever vaccination certificate required from travellers aged 1 year or over arriving from or having transited through countries with risk of yellow fever transmission
Notes on the diseases mentioned above
spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.
Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.
spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.
Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.
Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.
- Rabies:  spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
- Tetanus:  spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
- Typhoid:  spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes.You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.
Malaria precautionsMalaria Map
- Malaria risk is present throughout the year (but highest from November to June). Risk is highest in the northern districts of Chobe and Ngamiland. In North east district and the northern half of Ghanzi and Central districts, risk is not high enough to warrant antimalarial tablets for most travellers, however, it may be considered for certain groups who may be at higher risk (see below under Low risk with additional advice). There is low to no risk in all other areas.
- Malaria precautions are essential Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
- Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets.
- See malaria map – additional information can be found by clicking on the Regional Information icon below the map.
- High risk areas: atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is usually advised for those visiting risk areas during the transmission season.
- Low risk with additional advice: antimalarial tablets are not usually recommended, however, they can be considered for certain travellers who may be at higher risk e.g. longer stay in rural areas, visiting friends or relatives, those with medical conditions, immunosuppression or those without a spleen. Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is advised for those at risk.
- Low to no risk areas: antimalarial tablets are not usually advised.
- If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
- If travelling to an area remote from medical facilities, carrying standby emergency treatment for malaria may be considered.
Other Health Risks
SchistosomiasisA parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. For further information see Schistosomiasis.
There is a high risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in this country and local healthcare capacity may be severely impacted. You should consider:
- Is your journey really necessary?
- Are you at an increased risk of severe COVID-19? Will you be able to access to medical facilities at your destination?
- If you are at increased risk you should reconsider your travel plans and seek medical advice prior to making any decisions.
- To find out if you are at increased risk of severe COVID-19, see the FAQ’s
- 19 Mar 2021 - COVID-19: Arrivals into the UK from Red List (Acute Risk) Countries
- 04 Mar 2021 - Country Specific Risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Update 32)