What is the local currency?
The currency in Botswana is the pula (P). It was introduced in 1976, replacing the South African rand, and is one of the strongest currencies in Africa.
What denominations does it come in?
Coins: 5, 10, 25 and 50 thebe coins; 1, 2 and 5 pula coins
Banknotes: P10, P20, P50, P100 and P200
What is the best way to exchange currency?
You will be able to exchange currencies at the banks, the hotels or even with safari operators. You will get very good rates for the pula at the local banks in Botswana or at the other currency-exchange agencies. You can also draw money from most local bank tellers where you see the MasterCard, Maestro and Visa card signs.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash and credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express, are most common.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Most retail outlets will accept credit cards, but some smaller shops and restaurants may only accept cash. Fuel outlets (petrol stations) only accept cash or fuel cards.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
All the usual payment methods are acceptable; Internet banking, telephone banking and some ATMs will allow payment for utilities. Some of the major supermarkets, such as Pick 'n Pay, have facilities for payment of utilities at their check-out counters.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
To open a bank account, you'll be required to show proof of identity, in the form of a salary pay slip, residence permit, tax number and proof of residence—such as a utility bill no older than three months—and/or a valid passport. A deposit may also be required, but requirement might vary with each institution so it is best to check the exact requirements of each.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
There are several different banks represented in Botswana (FNB, Barclays Bank, Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank) so there shouldn't be too much of a problem with communication. Most people in the country speak English.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
There are none known, but as with everything else, it's best to check with respective institutions and government agencies before making decisions.
What are typical banking hours?
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays - normal hours are 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Wednesdays - 8:15 a.m. until noon.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
ATMs are available in most of the larger cities and towns and credit and debit cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa) are widely accepted.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Traveler's checks are accepted in large cities but there is a high surcharge. Consider buying travel insurance if you can afford it and if your stay will be for a short period.
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.