In addition to the services that the Ministry provides, it is critical that Batswana accept personal responsibility for their personal travel. In addition, personal responsibility must also be taken for any and all agreements and arrangements entered with third parties locally or internationally.
Adequate due diligence must be exercised before any business relationship is established with any foreign interest as it is often difficult to litigate over international private agreements in local courts. To assist Batswana to avoid the pitfalls of international travel and engagements, the following advice must always be followed;
- Before you travel abroad, ensure that you have a valid passport with the necessary visas. Make sure your passport is valid (at least six months’ validity from your planned return date home), have the right visas for your country of destination and transit visas if necessary before you embark on your journey.
- Consult the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation’s (MIAC) website (www.mofaic.gov.bw) or help lines for contact information of Botswana Diplomatic Missions. Where necessary, particularly in trouble spots, relevant information can be sourced upon request. Some countries have Resident Diplomatic Missions, Consulates or Honorary Consuls in Botswana where such information can be sourced.
- Make sensible and precautionary arrangements for your accommodation. Take comprehensive travel and health insurance and ensure proper behaviour and safety overseas.
- Register your travel details with the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation or Botswana Missions providing ALL relevant information.
- Inform your family/friends of your travel plans and leave copies of your passport, itinerary, insurance policy, visas and ID/Omang with them. Inform them of your arrival, location and your new contacts so they know where you are. Carry at least one extra copy of each document in a separate place in case of loss of the original.
- Obey the laws of the country of your destination. DO NOT cross illegally at un-gazetted entry points into a foreign country or cross without the necessary documents. In this case, you will be an illegal immigrant.
- Check vaccination requirements or other necessary health precautions of the country of your destination at least ten (10) weeks in advance of your travel. Contact the Ministry of Health and Wellness and/or Labour and Home Affairs for detailed assistance. It is advisable to get travel insurance to avoid expensive medical costs should you need medical attention abroad.
- It is your responsibility to ensure your personal security and protection once abroad and your safe passage home. Always ensure that you have enough funds for your travel and minimize interaction with strangers.
- Unless it is highly important and you are assured of your security, avoid travelling to countries/places that are prone to or undergoing natural disasters, human rights violations, terrorist attacks and civil/political unrest. If necessary, have a travel companion or group. There is limited assistance and authority that Government can give when Batswana are involved in such serious crimes as abduction, kidnapping, hostage situations or human trafficking.
- Kindly exercise patience and the necessary courtesies when approaching the Ministry for assistance. The Ministry is cognizant of the stressful circumstances that those seeking assistance are often under but must with equal measure appreciate the volume of requests and the limitations the Ministry has particularly in cases for which Botswana has no jurisdiction. The bulk of the assistance provided will thus be facilitatory as other governments and Government Ministries and Departments would have primary responsibility.
Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation
Private Bag 00368
Opening hours: 07:30 to 12:45 and 13:45 to 16:30 Monday to Friday, except weekends and public holidays.