Botswana’s plan to issue visas to tourists on arrival has been halted.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi had announced on Thursday, November 15, at a high level Consultative Council meeting in Gaborone, that the country would offer visas at all points of entry, airports and land border posts, effective November 24. Masisi did not share all the details as the matter was a subject of discussion with immigration officials.
Speculation has been rife in local and international media that African countries would be eligible for the visa. However, a government official at the Department of Immigration confirmed on November 27 that the plans were now on hold.
Tourism Update asked a source in immigration, who wished to remain anonymous, when the process would come into effect, and which countries would be eligible. The source said senior immigration officials were still discussing the plan, with the date to be announced in due course along with more details on which countries would be eligible for the visa.
Commenting on the development, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, applauded the government for its decision. “This is very exciting; this is something we have always been looking for.”
Khama further called on the government to develop infrastructure to receive the growing number of tourists coming into the country should the move materialise. He mentioned Maun airport, which had earlier announced plans to ease congestion at the airport with a new temporary terminal until a permanent terminal was built.