Gaborone - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

You can bring anything but if you want to safari or camp you will want a 4 wheel drive. - Jul 2019

An SUV is best if you want to go on safaris. Driving is on the left hand side of the road, but it is permissible to import vehicles with steering wheels on the left hand side. I imported an American vehicle (steering on the left) and found this situation to be of minimal inconvenience. There was one paid parking garage that I frequented where I would have to climb over the passenger seat to get the ticket, but other than this having a vehicle with steering on the left was a total non issue. People often say that overtaking another vehicle on a dual lane road can be more difficult, but I never found this to be problematic. - Apr 2017

We have 2 cars, one Prado and a Toyota Prius. The city is fine for driving an economical car. Anywhere outside it's nice to have a little more clearance. Overall, the roads are good here. "Smash and grab" robberies are not uncommon - we are always encouraged to lock doors! Carjacking is unheard of though. - Jul 2016

Suggest waiting until you get here - if you plan to do a lot of road-tripping and off-roading, I'd suggest an SUV (but you'll want a comfortable one for those 10-hour drives). If you plan to stick around town, a small commuter car is fine. - Mar 2015

Driving is on the right side like in the UK. People import cars from Japan. Availability of parts for cars is limited. - Oct 2014

Botswana is a right-hand drive country. You can use anything to get around the city. If you are adventerous and want to do self-drives, I would recommend a SUV and preferably a 4 wheel drive. You will see Mercedes, Range Rovers, etc. driving around the city. You can also drive throughout the country in a car (although there are potholes in certain areas). The only time I was very happy to have a SUV was going off-road onto the salt pans, going off-road to reach a lodge, and self-drive game drives. - Nov 2013

For in town, any type of vehicle is fine. The roads in town are mostly well-maintained. If you plan to drive into the bush, you'd want an SUV. Driving is on the left here, but left or right-hand-drive vehicles are acceptable. There is no restriction on imports. Many expats purchase cars from Japan and have them shipped here. Thanks to diamond revenue (and easily obtained loans), locals drive all manner of luxury cars. It is completely normal to pull up by one (or several) late-model Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Audi, Jaguar, etc. etc. ... at a stoplight. - Jul 2013

Roads are good but not great (lots of potholes), but in and around Gabs almost any car would work. If you want to get out into the bush, obviously you'll need something sturdier. - Apr 2013

4x4s are popular, as so many people travel outside the city on the weekends. This is a country that drives on the left, so that is a consideration. Most popular brand here is probably Toyota, but you find most brands represented here and can get parts and service. Many expats import used cars from Japan. - Jun 2010

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