Pre-Departure Checklist for External Visitors

External visitors are individuals who are not students or employees of Penn or CHOP. See this form for a full list of what services BUP can and cannot provide to external visitors

Below is a pre-departure checklist to help guide you as you prepare to travel to Botswana:

Check your passport

Make sure your passport is valid and does not expire for at least six months following your intended return. It also should have at least three blank pages - this is only required if you are travelling via South Africa.

Make travel arrangements

Book your flights to/from Botswana. If you requested airport transfer and/or BUP accommodations at Village View, confirm with Josephine Thankane (

NEW! Travel Requirements for Botswana – Permit Waiver

This is a new requirement for all visitors working in Botswana. You must be prepared to apply for a permit waiver. The application includes two documents: a notarized copy of your passport photo page and a letter of invitation. If you requested assistance with this on the Pre-Arrival form, a BUP staff member will be in contact with you shortly. If you did not request assistance, please be aware that it is required by the immigration authority of Botswana to apply for a Permit Waiver application and you must do so at your own volition.

Botswana Health Professions Council (BHPC)

No physician can work in Botswana without registering first with the BHPC. If you plan on practicing medicine and/or treating/seeing patients you must register with BHPC. If you requested assistance with this on the Pre-Arrival form, a BUP staff member will be in contact with you shortly. If you did not request assistance and plan on performing clinical care in Botswana, you must register on your own accord.

Immunizations and Travel MEd Visit

External visitors must consult with a healthcare provider to obtain any recommended prescriptions. These medications should be filled and brought with you to Botswana. You should be immunized against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid (IM or oral).  If you plan to travel to Chobe Game Reserve in Kasane, the Okavango, or any other place up north while in Botswana, you will need to bring malaria prophylaxis. Gaborone is free of malaria.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

If you plan on providing clinical care, a PEP prescription should be filled and brought to Botswana to be taken in the event of an exposure. As an external visitor, you will need to establish an action plan with your healthcare provider in the event that you are exposed to these infectious diseases, especially regarding  access to testing, counseling, and follow up treatment as needed.

Confirm Travel Health/ Medical Insurance Coverage

External visitors working with BUP must provide proof of travel health insurance for the duration of the individual’s stay in Botswana. Please print your insurance information and bring a copy with you to Botswana.


Penn medical professional liability insurance is limited to Penn employees, faculty, and students. It is important that any external clinicians who work with BUP and practice medicine in Botswana are aware that they are not covered by Penn’s medical professional liability insurance and are at risk for any legal implications that may arise as a result of your clinical practice. In Botswana, it is not required by law to have medical professional liability insurance to practice medicine in the public sector. However, Penn/ BUP strongly recommends that you consult with your home institution or clinical practice regarding its coverage and/or advice for its clinicians practicing medicine in other countries.  If your home institution or clinical practice provides medical professional liability insurance while you are practicing in Botswana, please bring any documentation of this coverage with you.

Read the BUP Handbook

This handbook is full of valuable information on how to prepare for your experience in Botswana. From cultural guidance to language tips and packing lists, we highly recommend that you read this handbook. If you have not received it, email Megan Doherty (