Gaborone - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

In the last two years, there has been a rise in crimes of opportunity, home burglaries, and smash and grabs. Diplomatic homes and vehicles have also been struck. The crime level is nowhere near the level in South Africa, but it is worrying. Locals report that attacks on their homes and vehicles have been violent. - Dec 2023

There was crime but if you are careful you should not have any major issues. Keep your doors locked in a vehicle because they do open doors to grab purses. It is very rare for there to be violent crime against expats but home invasions are becoming more prevalent for some of the local staff to deal with. - Jul 2019

There are a lot of break-ins and home invasions, often at knife point. Walking around Gabs during the day seems safe. I took my dog for a walk daily and never felt in the least bit threatened. - Apr 2017

People should take typical security precautions. There are home break-ins. Keep valuables in safes. Always hide purses or other valuables in cars, and take care at stoplights at night - this is when people sometimes get "smash and grabs." Home alarms and barred windows/doors are recommended. Crime isn't as bad as South Africa but it does happen. I walk around the city during daylight often and feel very safe - as a woman I am never harassed. Still, one should always take common-sense precautions. - Jul 2016

Some are surprised to find that there is a considerable amount of crime here, so you need to use your security features (home alarm, safe havens, etc.) and exercise common sense (lock your car doors, stash your bag under your seat, etc.). Smash-and-grabs are reasonably common, esp. if you are a woman out alone after around 9pm. I am moderately cautious and seldom out at night, and have not had any problems. - Mar 2015

There are lot of house break-in's. Crime rate is going up and police are useless. You need to be alert as some members of the Embassy have been robbed while at the mall and some houses have been broken into. - Oct 2014

Crime is increasing but I wasn't fearful as I engaged in my daily activities. There has been an increase in robberies against restaurants, hotels and businesses. There are crimes of opportunities such as smash and grabs from vehicles, and petty theft. A few people I know were robbed at knife-point for cell phones and small valuables. Residential crime has been an issue as well, particularly if you don't have the luxury of high walls, electric fences, security grilles and intrusion alarms. However, if you use situational awareness you can live in Gaborone with little to no security issues. It's much safer than most major cities in the United States and no indication that foreigners are targeted. - Nov 2013

There are instances of home invasions, smash and grabs, muggings, and thefts, even in the embassy community. Crime seems to be increasing. Embassy housing (all houses, there are no apartments) are surrounded by 8-ft. walls topped with electric fence; every window and door has iron grilles, and every home has a safe haven. It is imperative to use them, and use the motion-detecting alarm at night and when leaving the house. It is not advised to go walking or running by oneself. The common sentiment in regard to security is "Well, it's not as bad as Johannesburg ..." - Jul 2013

Petty crime - don't leave things in your car. Home break-ins have become more frequent, although not nearly on the level of South Africa. We had one, though, and after that we had a guard. Most expats have the full security range: guard, wall, electric fence, and in-home security alarm system. - Apr 2013

Crime is increasing in Gaborone, but we have so far been able to avoid the violence that is common in South Africa. We know many people whose houses have been robbed and there are certainly car thefts and "smash and grabs" in parking lots or at traffic lights. However, most criminals will simply steal your belongings and will not use violence or hurt their victims. My biggest worry is car accidents. Botswana has more than its fair share of road fatalities, many of them alcohol related. I do not advise driving late at night if you can avoid it, especially during the last weekend of the month (pay day), when alcohol-related car accidents are most common. - Jun 2010

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