Botswana is a very well-developed country, which main income comes from tourism and diamond mining. As the region is considered safe, it has recently become quite a popular tourist choice when visiting African countries. However, it is a rather expensive choice.
You will need local Pulas and US dollars. In big cities or official facilities you should easily be able to communicate with people using English. However, more rural areas use Tswana language.
Read further to learn about Botswana currency. In the article you will also find some basic tips for handling money and payments there.
What is Botswana Currency?
The national currency of Botswana is Pula (BWP). Pula translates into “rain”, which happens rarely in these regions, therefore it’s valuable and considered a blessing.
This currency is also widely used in Zimbabwe. However, if you plan to visit Zimbabwe, US dollar is the most convenient currency.
What money can I use in Botswana?
If you need to handle any business with Botswana Banks, they accept US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, Euro and South African Rands in cash. So you can easily exchange these currencies there. Visa international card payments also shouldn’t be a problem. Mastercard is also often available but it’s not as widely popular. Express and Diners Club aren’t officially accepted anywhere.
It’s also important to note, that bigger tourist places don’t even accept Pulas, so you will be able to pay only in USD there. Therefore, it’s best to check your hotel rules, before coming to the country.
South African Rands can be used to pay for buses or taxis when moving from city to city.
Should I use card or cash?
Terminals are widely available in most of the tourist places. Even in the smaller cities you shouldn’t have problems with finding stores or restaurants, which accept card payments. If not, the ATMs also shouldn’t be too problematic to find.
Remember not to carry too much unnecessary cash, as it may simply be dangerous. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be also careful when making card payments. Try to be cautious about terminals or ATMs, which you use. If they look suspicious don’t risk having your card details stolen.
How much money do I need in Botswana?
It all depends on your needs of course, but even if you want to eat in restaurants and visit a few attractions, you shouldn’t need more than $75 a day.
A budget dorm or hostel costs on average $20. On the other hand, an average-quality hotel will cost you $50-75 a night. A good meal at a local restaurant won’t exceed $15.
$5 a day should be enough to move around the city or visit local attractions.