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Travelling with our pets
Travelling with your Pets

This site describes the requirements to move dogs and cats out of or into Botswana successfully without putting the animals in distress.

Movement of dogs and cats within SADC region

Since dogs and cats normally travel with their owners often at short notice to allow fulfilment of an elaborate import and export documentation system, A few member states of Southern African Development Community (SADC) went into an agreement to develop and harmonise  pet travel conditions that will facilitate pet travel within the member states.  This arrangement does not require a veterinary import permit from the country of destination before a health certificate can be issued. Dogs and cats  may be imported into Botswana from the following countries or exported out of Botswana to the following countries within (SADC):


Country of Origin or Destination

  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland

 Before visiting your Veterinary Official

Please check that the dogs and or cats have a:

  • valid rabies immunisation record;
  • or in the case of kittens and puppies under 3 months old, the mother (dam) was vaccinated against at least one month but not more than 12 months prior to giving birth, and
  • there are no movement restrictions for rabies control in your area.

The certifying official veterinarian in your district will require to examine the animals before issuing a "Veterinary Certificate of Identity, Rabies Vaccination and Movement Permit for Dogs and Cats" to satisfy themselves on the health status and fitness to travel. This certifiate must accompany the animals whilst travelling as it also serves as a movement permit within Botswana. 

What about other SADC Member States?

To move dogs and cats to other SADC Member States not listed above requires the owners to apply for a veterinary import permit from the respective country before the official veterinarian in Botswana can issue a veterinary health certificate to move the animals out of Botswana.  This will apply to all other countries in the rest of the world and the reverse will also apply if dogs and cats are to be moved into Botswana.

What if I have to travel through other countries?

It is the responsibility of the owner/ agent or custodian of the animals to seek intransit permit for such countries. Permits office may assist in providing contact details of the authorities to seek for intransit permits.

Travelling by air

Pets may be transported unaccompanied as cargo by air. Various pet travel agencies exists including airlines that may be contacted for further details.

Are other pets such as ferrets, gerbils and guine pigs covered under this arrangement?


How long does it take for the certificate to be issued?

The certificate for movement is issued on immediately on presentation if all the above requirements are met. The service is provided between 0730 - 1245 and 1345 - 1630 on weekdays. There is no service during weekends and public holidays.


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