The Botswana Currency is called the "PULA". When translated to English Pula means rainfall.
The Botswana Pula was introduced in 1976. Before then, the South African Rand was used as the official currency in Botswana.
The symbol of the Pula is P AND its currency code is BWP.
One unit of currency(P1.00) is divided into 100 thebe(t).
The Pula is a very stable currency. It is also one of the strongest currencies in Africa.
All major currencies (Pound , US dollar, Euro and South African Rand ) can easily be exchanged to Pula at all the major banks and bureau de change in Botswana.
If you plan on exchanging your money at a bank , Keep in mind the operating times for banks below:
If you are unable or do not desire to change your foreign currency to botswana currency do not be worried as all major credit cards can be used for payment in Botswana.
Also, foreign currency as well as travelers checks are accepted in large Hotels and safari lodges.
However travelers checks tend to have high surcharges. If you are going to use travelers checks , it is advisable that you carry them in Us Dollars or Pound Sterling.
When you visit Botswana for your safari, its a good idea to have some Botswana money though.
There are some services and products that you can only pay for in Pula.
Some of these include:
1. Shopping for groceries
2. Petrol (Gas) or diesel at service stations (some stations accept South African Rands)
3. Taxi fare and bus fare if you choose to travel by bus
It’s also a good idea to have some US dollars, Euros or Pounds because they can also come handy when tipping; since safari tour guides prefer to be tipped in these currencies.
In addition to that Dollars, Euros and Pounds are also accepted in most hotels and safari lodges.
However just to be on the safe side, try to confirm with your travel agent whether or not the hotel or safari lodge you'll be staying at accepts these currencies.
If you are doing your own bookings you could ask the hotel, lodge or the tour operator directly.
There are many places where you can get the Botswana money.
Here are the most used and recommended places to change your currency to the Pula:
Safety Tip: Avoid changing your US dollars with illegal currency traders. There are plenty in Botswana, especially at bus stations.
Their rates can really be tempting, but remember that its illegal and if they cheat you, you really can’t do much because its illegal.
Since the Botswana Pula isn’t a major world currency, there is a high chance that you might not be able to get it from the banks in your country (unless you are visiting from South Africa or other African countries).
The best solution in this case is to change your currency to US Dollars and then change the Dollars to the Pula when you arrive in Botswana.
Euros and pounds can also be easily changed in Botswana.
To see how much you can expect from your local currency when you change it to the Botswana Pula, use the currency converter below.