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Botswana Is Ready to Welcome Tourists Again — and the Safari Possibilities Are Endless

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 11/10/2020 Alison Fox
a herd of sheep grazing on a lush green field: Courtesy of Xigera Safari Lodge Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana © Provided by Travel + Leisure Courtesy of Xigera Safari Lodge Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana

Botswana is looking to welcome tourists once again to its expansive and elephant-rich delta as the country began a phased reopening of its borders on Monday, according to the government.

The country allowed air travel to resume at several major airports, including the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in the capital of Gaborone, and will require travelers to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced last week.

On Dec. 1, Botswana expects to reopen its land borders with neighboring countries, including South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, and once again allow international air travel at the Phillip Gaonwe Matante International Airport in Francistown.

In addition to the required testing, incoming travelers will be screened for symptoms upon arrival and have to self-monitor themselves and remain in contact with health authorities for 14 days. Anyone exhibiting symptoms upon arrival will be re-tested and potentially be subject to quarantine.


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A post shared by Xigera Safari Lodge (@xigeralodge) on Jul 18, 2020 at 12:35am PDT

Botswana, which joins several other African nations that have reopened their borders to international tourism, has reported just over 7,800 confirmed cases of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The country, which sits in southern Africa and features the world’s largest elephant population, is home to some of the most breathtaking safari experiences on the planet. Plan your own personal safari bubble with a full buyout of a luxury bush camp, or surround yourself with an extensive African art collection inspired by the incredible natural surroundings at the Xigera Safari Lodge, which is set to open in January.

a herd of sheep grazing on a lush green field: Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana © Courtesy of Xigera Safari Lodge Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana

But if heading to Botswana is not on your travel itinerary in the immediate future, those looking for a little adventure can explore the open lands of the African bush from home with virtual safaris, including spending time at the Tau Waterhole in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve near the border with Botswana.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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