Living In Botswana: A Guide To Moving To Botswana As An Expat

From the Okavango Delta, home to lions, hippos and elephants, to the sprawling salt flats of the Makgadikgadi Pan, living in Botswana gives expats the unique opportunity to experience some of most extraordinary natural landscapes in Africa.

With a highly affordable cost of living, Botswana is fast becoming a popular alternative to South Africa among British expats. Discover all the benefits of living in Botswana with this handy expat guide, including how to move to Botswana, how to find accommodation and what to look for in your medical cover.

What to expect from living in Botswana as an expat

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with a population of just over two million. More than a third of this inland nation is made up of national parks and nature reserves, providing one of the world’s last remaining natural havens for wildlife such as elephants, leopards and buffalo.

Botswana thrives on its tourism industry, especially eco-tourism which has put the country on the map as a sought-after eco-friendly destination. Botswana also has a big diamond industry, and is the continent’s richest country, maintaining one of the most stable democracies in Africa.

This is great news for expats moving to Botswana, providing promise of a stable economy with a GDP of US$15.78 billion dollars, a good job market and an affordable cost of living.

How to move to Botswana as an expat?

Citizens from Commonwealth countries, with a few exceptions, do not need a visa to enter to Botswana. However, if you’re planning on working or living in Botswana for more than 3 months, you will need to apply for a Residence Permit through the government website.

The Residence Permit application process is relatively straightforward. Here’s a quick outline of what to expect:

  1. Fill out the application form for Residence Permit
  2. Submit the form to any Immigration office and pay the BWP 1500.00 fee (just under GBP£100)
  3. Receive the outcome of your application within 30 days
  4. After 5 years of living in Botswana on a Residency Permit, you’ll be able to apply for permanent residency status

Supporting documents include passport photos, a copy of birth certificates, marriage certificates if applicable and a medical report.