BOTSWANA

Botswana is a landlocked southern African country. Facilities for tourism are available.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: For information on entry requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana, Suite 7M, 3400 International Drive, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-4990/1. There are also honorary consuls in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. Overseas inquiries should be made to the nearest Botswana embassy or consulate.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Botswana are limited. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate cash payment for health care services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical services outside the United States. Travelers have found supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas and medical evacuation coverage to be useful. For additional health information, travelers can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at telephone (404) 332-4559. Internet: http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Violent crime is increasing and has affected the American community in Gaborone. Auto theft and auto highjacking have become a daily occurrence in Gaborone. Prudent security measures, such as alarms and immobilizers, may deter such crimes. Petty crime and crimes of opportunity, such as pickpocketing and stealing of personal possessions, remain the most common forms of crime in Botswana. It is dangerous for visitors to travel alone at night on foot in unfamiliar areas. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The pamphlets "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa" provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced. Botswana's laws mandate harsh punishments for unlawful dealing and possession of cannibis (known locally as motokwane or dagga).

Road Safety and In-Country Travel: Travel by automobile outside of large towns may be dangerous. Although major roads are generally in good condition, the combination of long, tedious stretches of two-lane highway, high speed limits, and the occasional presence of large animals on the roads makes fatal accidents a frequent occurrence. Driving at night on rural highways is particularly hazardous and is strongly discouraged.

Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security in Botswana. The U.S. Embassy is located in Gaborone on Embassy Drive, Government Enclave. The mailing address is P.O. Box 90, Gaborone. The telephone number is (267) 353-982; the fax number is (267) 356-947, and the after-hours emergency telephone number is (267) 357-111.

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