What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Proximity to your job site, to schools and to other expatriates, as well as to major shopping areas are some of the keys to settling in well in Botswana. You'll want to avoid long commutes. The type of accommodation (such as free-standing house, apartment, etc.), and the level of security required, should also be considered.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
The suburbs of Gaborone include Broadhurst, Gaborone West, The Village, Naledi and Phakalane. Phakalane is the preferred residential area for expatriates and foreign professionals, although some people prefer to live closer to town, nearer to schools and workplace.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Gaborone has several popular suburbs, but it depends on the type of accommodation required. Many expats do opt to buy, and some have been living in Botswana for many years.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Once a suitable rental home has been selected, the relevant papers will be drawn up and a deposit of one month's rent paid before the keys will be handed over for occupation.
A range of short- and medium-term accommodation can be found: guest-houses, bed and breakfast, corporate apartments and furnished homes, depending on the duration required. A few suggestions are listed below:
- Brackendene Lodge
- Phakalane golf resort villas
- Innisfree apartments
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities must be paid for by the tenant. These include water, electricity, gas (if in an area where piped gas is used) and refuse removal. Charges are calculated on a scale according to the size of property and level of usage in the case of water, electricity and gas. Refuse removal rates are determined by whether it is household or commercial waste. Any queries regarding utilities should be directed to Botswana Power Corporation and Botswana Water and Utilities Corporation.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
It is advisable to choose a safe suburb away from high pedestrian and vehicle traffic. An intercom system, high walls and electric fencing are part of the Botswana lifestyle. Automatic gates and garage doors are essential and it is best not to have shrubs or trees on the pavement as cattle walk around freely. Street lights are highly recommended. Botswana remains a relatively safe place to visit, however there are a few incidents of crime.
It is advisable to take basic precautions:
- Always lock car doors
- Always lock your hotel room or house
- Do not leave valuables in your hotel room or car
- Take care of your bag in crowded places, particularly malls and nightclubs
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
This depends on the sort of accommodation you decide to rent and whether it will be furnished or unfurnished. A fully furnished apartment is likely to contain everything from knives and forks to bed linen and appliances. If this is the case, you need only bring items of a personal nature.
If you intend to rent an unfurnished apartment, you should bear in mind that these will already contain the following items:
- Fully fitted kitchen with a stove (cooker)
- Built-in cupboards in the bedrooms
- Carpeting or tile throughout the apartment
Electricity supply is 231V AC 50Hz and three-prong round or two-pin round plugs are used. Adaptors can be purchased if required. U.S.-made appliances may need a transformer.
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
An option available to those individuals renting unfurnished accommodation is to hire the contents on a monthly rental basis. Crown Relocations are able to advise you on this option. If you decide to bring your own household contents with you, Crown Relocations will gladly advise you on all shipping and relocation issues. Botswana retailers stock a range of high-quality local and imported fabric and soft furnishings (curtains/drapes) if you decide to furnish locally.
Botswana works on a 231 volt, 50 hertz cycle electrical system.
If you are traveling from North America or certain European countries that operate on a 110 – 120 volt, 60 hertz cycle system, it would not be advisable to bring these appliances with you unless they incorporate a built-in voltage adjustment system. Similarly, TVs and VCRs from these countries utilize the "SECAM” or “NTSC" systems while Botswana uses the "SECAM" and "PAL" system. TVs, DVD players and VHS players can be rented for a monthly consideration.
Domestic electrical plugs have three rectangular blade prongs, the same as used in the UK. It would be advisable to buy these on your arrival and replace the existing plugs on your appliances if they differ from these.
Any lights brought into Botswana must have light bulbs with the correct voltage fitted. The majority of radio stations broadcast on FM stereo and most portable radio receivers will operate in Botswana.
Botswana employs the GSM digital cellular system and the majority of instruments are compatible with this system. Local cellular service providers will be able to assist you in configuring your mobile phone to local conditions.
Digital Satellite TV viewing is available through Multichoice Africa. A decoder unit will have to be purchased.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.