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Volunteer in Botswana

Volunteer in Botswana and discover a country with amazing wildlife and untouched by mass tourism...

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Volunteer Projects and Internships in Botswana

Volunteer opportunities in Botswana

Before you become a volunteer in Botswana, you might like to know what kinds of projects you will be able to work for here. Given that a large percentage of Botswana’s land is dedicated to national parks, wildlife conservation is particularly big in this country. This is especially true compared to Botswana’s neighboring African nations. If you love animals and are dreaming of becoming a vet one day, Botswana might just be the perfect place for you to volunteer. Find out what it means to join a wildlife conservation project as a volunteer in Botswana below.

Protect Botswana’s fascinating wildlife

If you have always wanted to experience Botswana for yourself, becoming a wildlife conservation volunteer in Botswana is the perfect opportunity to do so. Of course, there will be different volunteer opportunities in Botswana for you to choose from so that you can select a project that matches your set of skills as well as your interests. If you are particularly interested in watching lions up close, your very own big cat wilderness adventure project is certainly waiting for you in Botswana.

You might find yourself volunteering at the second largest game reserve in the entire world, for example, which just happens to be located in this Southern African nation. Moreover, you will be able to encounter a wide range of wild animals when becoming a volunteer for the wildlife in Botswana. This will likely not just be an incredibly educational, but also a very fun experience for you.

For example, you might be asked to partake in various ecotourism activities your project offers. From game drives to bush work to simple clerical tasks, you surely will not get bored as a volunteer in Botswana anytime soon. Whether it is lions and African wild dogs or leopards, the number of majestic wild animals that you are going to encounter during your time at a volunteer project in Botswana might just blow you away. So why not decide to embark on this kind of adventure and experience?

Cost of living

The suggested daily budget abroad for living as a volunteer in Botswana is between 30 US$ and 60 US$. This is an estimate made considering the average price of some of the services you might need and things you might want to buy. It gives you a general overview of how much things cost in this country, so you can be prepared and save the money you will need.

Additional costs you should consider when volunteering in Botswana:

An exemplary overview of living costs in Botswana (in US$, for one person) is:

Things to know before volunteering in India

Before starting your volunteer job in Botswana, it’s important to think about the cultural norms you’ll need to adjust to. In addition, learn about the precautions you might need to take. The following list might help you with that:

Safety & precautions

Lucky for you, Botswana is considered one of the safest countries in all of Africa. Of course, this is great news for you as a prospective volunteer in Botswana. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that you will be a foreigner visiting a foreign country. Any prospective volunteer in Botswana should thus make sure to adhere to the following precautions, which are meant to ensure both your health and safety. If you want to know what you can do to make sure that your trip to Botswana turns out to be as pleasant of an experience as possible, we certainly ask that you read on.

For your own safety, we ask any volunteer in Botswana to keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid openly displaying your valuables
  • Do not leave any valuables in your car
  • Avoid driving 4x4s as these kinds of cars are an attractive target for thieves
  • Do not walk around by yourself after dark and in desolate parts of town/ areas
  • Avoid talking on the phone as you are walking - this makes you an easier target for pickpockets
  • Do not place valuables in your checked luggage
  • Be sure to avoid all demonstrations and other large gatherings
  • Watch out for unpredictable behavior by wild animals and try to maintain a safe distance at all times
  • After 90 days of driving with your international driving permit, you will need to apply for a Botswana driving license
  • Be especially careful if you are planning on driving after dark - at night, Botswana’s wildlife can unexpectedly appear in front of your car, which might put your safety at risk
  • Make sure you agree on the price for your cab ride before you set off

Health advice

Before you leave to join one of the volunteer opportunities in Botswana, you should make sure that you have gotten all of the routine vaccines, which are listed below:

  • MMR
  • Diphtheria/ Tetanus/ Pertussis
  • Chickenpox
  • Polio
  • Flu (optional)

Since you will be traveling to Africa, your doctor will likely advise you to get the following vaccines as well:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever
  • Rabies

As soon as you make plans to become a volunteer in Botswana, you should be sure to talk to your doctor about potential medical concerns or what medications you are going to have to bring on your trip. Also keep in mind that private hospitals in Botswana will only treat you once you have paid for their services. As such, you might be asked to pay for your medical treatment first and will have to contact your insurance company for a possible reimbursement of these healthcare costs later on. Any volunteer in Botswana will thus want to make sure that he or she has adequate health insurance. Your program of choice will likely require having this kind of insurance to begin with.

Moreover, you need to keep in mind that occasional anthrax outbreaks can occur in the wild animal population of Botswana. In turn, you should never touch animal carcasses by any means. If you suspect a possible infection with anthrax, which is highly unlikely, you should nonetheless be sure to seek medical advice right away. If you need to call an ambulance when volunteering in Botswana, simply call 997. If you can, contact your medical insurance company right away as well. They might refer you to a particular medical facility that they are working with.

Culture and religion

As a volunteer in Botswana, you will find that about half of the local population adheres to traditional African religions, which you likely will not be familiar with at all. Another 29% of the population is Protestant Christian, while 11,8% are African Christians. Catholics make up about 9,4% of the population, while 0,6% of all people in Botswana ascribe to other religions or no religion at all.

Who can volunteer in Botswana?

As you will have noticed by now, there are different volunteer opportunities in Botswana that expect different skills and abilities from their volunteers. While you can find out the specific requirements for each project on their program page, here are some general requirements that apply to most volunteering projects in Botswana:

  • The minimum age for being a volunteer in Botswana is 18, depending on the project you choose to volunteer with. When in doubt, we advise you contact the local project coordinator to ask if you are able to join the project.
  • You should speak at least a basic level of English
  • All childcare and teaching projects require a criminal background check and a minimum stay of four weeks.

What visa do I need to volunteer in Botswana?

You have made it to the last section of this guide, which is another really important aspect while planning your trip: getting your volunteer visa for Botswana.

Please consider that the following information is based on a best practice approach, which has been made according to the best of our knowledge and in cooperation with several volunteer organisations. That’s why you should please make sure to discuss your visa requirements with your contact person on Volunteer World. If in doubt, we also recommend getting in touch with the Botswana embassy or consulate in your country.

General entry information

There are some general requirements you should comply upon your arrival in Botswana:

  • Please check the current validity of your passport. Your passport should have at least 6-month validity from the date of arrival in Botswana
  • Make sure to be in possession of a valid return ticket
  • Ensure you have at least two blank pages available for stamps
  • Visas are available on arrival for most nationalities and valid for 30 days - can be extended up to 90 days if requested at the time of entry
  • Visas are available for free to passport holders from most Commonwealth countries (except Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), all EU countries, the USA, and countries in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), i.e. South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Swaziland
  • If you hold a passport from any other country, apply for a 30-day tourist visa at an overseas Botswanan embassy or consulate
  • Since May 2017 all visitors must pay a US$30 Tourism Development Levy (TDL) upon arrival, which will help fund conservation
  • Anyone travelling to Botswana from an area infected with yellow fever needs to proof vaccination before entering the country