Botswana Travel

About Botswana

The landlocked Botswana located in Southern Africa is approximately the size of France with a widely disbursed population of 2 million people. Botswana is an upper middle-income country, with English as an official language, a long history of good governance and democratically elected leadership. Botswana also has the 3rd highest HIV prevalence rate in the world and, like many African nations, a shortage of physicians. Botswana has both national health and education systems that have been funded by the nation’s significant diamond wealth.

Please read through each section below to help you prepare for travel to Botswana.

BUP can provide certain services and guidance to visitors who are traveling to Botswana on Penn business.

Summaries of BUP services are available for Penn Visitors and External Visitors (individuals who are not students or employees of Penn or CHOP). Please click the links provided. Penn faculty and staff who would like to utilize the services for Penn visitors should complete this questionnaire. External visitors who would like to utilize the services for non-Penn visitors should read the section towards the bottom of this webpage titled External Visitors.


The government of Botswana has specific requirements for visitors who carry out work in country. These requirements apply to most of Penn’s visitors (clinicians, faculty, students, staff) coming to Botswana through BUP.   

To determine what requirements apply to you, please follow these instructions. The requirements described in this document are enforced by the government of Botswana and therefore all BUP visitors must abide by them.

Most of our visitors need to apply for a Permit Waiver so please read the instructions to make sure you understand what is required for that application. Any visitor who will be clinically active in Botswana, must register with the Botswana Health Professional Council (BHPC). Please refer BHPC Registration Guide for additional guidance.

Guidance for Penn travelers going to Botswana.

For the latest copy of the BUP Handbook, contact Charlotte Beever. Additional travel recommendations and guidance from the Center for Global Health can be found on CGH's website.

Penn Medical Students

Any Penn medical student planning to travel to Botswana must be registered with the Center for Global Health. Please read these instructions carefully. Registration must be submitted at least six weeks advance.

International SOS

The University of Pennsylvania provides (at no cost to you) International SOS (ISOS) benefits. Through International SOS, Penn provides members of the Penn community who travel abroad on a Penn-affiliated activity, 24-hour worldwide assistance and emergency evacuation services. This includes pre-trip planning advice, access to country-specific travel/health/safety/security information, and in-country medical and personal assistance. For more information, read this summary of benefits. Register your trip with Penn's Global Activities Registry to be automatically registered for ISOS. Make sure to print your membership card to carry with you on your travels.

Travel Health & Safety

Even for a short stay in Botswana, it is wise to make plans to safeguard your health.


Village View is a complex of guesthouses located in the Village neighborhood of Gaborone near the Riverwalk Mall. BUP leases two apartment units at Village View to provide accommodations for visiting trainees and faculty. Bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens are intended to be shared similar to a hostel. Guests stay at the BUP apartments at Village View at the discretion of the BUP.

Location and Amenities

Village View is conveniently located within a twenty minute walk to the University of Botswana and a thirty minute walk to Princess Marina Hospital. Also located within easy walking distance is the Riverwalk Mall which has secure bank ATMs, a large grocery store, SIM card and air-time vendors, coffee shop, various restaurants, and taxis and public transportation (combis).

Village View amenities include:

  • Biweekly Housekeeping
  • Security
  • Personal key to accommodations, to be returned at end of stay
  • Full kitchen
  • WIFI
  • Items provided: hand soap in bathrooms, one bottle of water upon arrival, bed linens, pillow, towel
  • Pool access

The Village View units are fully furnished. Bedrooms are intended to be shared, however, due to social distancing measures, BUP will not enforce this until it is safe to do so.

These accommodations will mainly be occupied by medical students, and residents, but faculty and fellows are also welcome to stay depending on availability.  


Village View accommodations are available only on a space-available basis and reservations must be made in advance. Reservation requests should be made no less than one month prior to your arrival. For Penn-affiliated guests, email Liza Rissik to request a reservation.


The table below shows how the various accommodation rates. The rates listed below are subject to change to correspond with the current operating costs of Village View and BUP. These rates take effect as of July 1, 2021.

Accommodations Rates
Daily Rate $60
Monthly Rate $1,200
Resident Rotation Rate (4 weeks) $1,200
Medical Student Rotation Rate (6-7 weeks) $1,500



There are three options to pay for accommodations at Village view – internal transfer at Penn, credit card or check.

Internal Transfer (Available to Penn-affiliates only)

If a guest is paying for accommodations with an internal transfer from another Penn department, the  26-digit account number of that department needs to be included in the reservation. Funds will be transferred electronically. An invoice will be issued at the time of reservation. Payment is due 30 days from the invoice date.

Credit Card or Check

If paying by credit card or check, an invoice will be issued at the time of reservation. A 50% deposit is due at the time of reservation. The balance payment is due 30 days from the invoice date.

Have questions? Please see our FAQs for more information about BUP Accommodations.


If you are an external visitor (an individual who is not directly employed by or formally affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania or BUP), we want to ensure that you understand what steps you need to take before you arrive in Botswana.

Learn more about the summary of services that BUP may provide to external visitors and their associated fees. If an external visitor would like to request any of those services, they must complete the External Visitor Pre-Arrival Form at least one month prior their arrival.