Drone Laws in Botswana

Flying drones in BotswanaIn this post, we explain the legal situation for drone pilots in Botswana.

In Botswana, some permits are needed to fly with a drone. So every copter has to be registered and then receives a certificate (with name, contact details, and address of the taxman). Foreigners need an import permit before entry with a copter to Botswana, which must be requested at least seven days before arrival. In the registration process, your person is checked with a background check, for which a certificate of good conduct must be submitted. The registration fee is 250 BWP (about 23 euros).

Maximum Altitude: Drones must not rise higher than 120 meters (400 feet) in Botswana.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drone flights in Botswana are only allowed within the direct range of sight, but not more than 500 meters away. If you use FPV equipment, you must have a visual observer (VO) at your side.

Compulsory insurance: We recommend the use of drone liability insurance for flights in Botswana.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): The maximum take-off weight of drones is 20 kilograms.

Distance to airports: 3 kilometers.

Other safety distances: 200 meters to power lines.

Flight Bans: You are not allowed to fly in many areas (above wild animals, tourism facilities such as hotels, national parks, built-up areas, etc.) unless you have obtained specific permission. It is forbidden to fly over major roads, prisons, police stations, courts, accident sites, security facilities, government buildings, traffic, and military installations.

Operating hours: Drones may only be flown in daylight.

Special legislation: The operator of a drone must be at least 18 years old. Crossing the border is not permitted.

Regulations for commercial pilots: Currently unknown.

Good to know: The transfer (lending, sale or leasing) of a registered copter is only permitted with the consent of the authorities.

Helpful Links: Drone Rules in Botswana

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Botswana to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Botswana!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Patricia Pedroso | 11.04.2017

    I am the executive producer of the TV series 50 BY 1 (50 POR 1) presented by Mr. Alvaro Garnero, the travel show is on air for its seventh season and it’s ​part of​ Spectacular Sunday (Domingo Espetacular), the most prestigious weekly electronic magazine on TV RECORD, the second largest network in Brazil.

    The show is also broadcasted around the world to over 150 countries through TV Record News, Record International and Europa News.

    ​Our goal is to capture a bit of culture, history, gastronomy, curiosities and the best each destination has to offer. It’s not exactly a show about tourism but about experiences where the presenter is the leading figure. Each program takes 12- 15 minutes and is shown in prime time – on Sunday around 8pm – reaching about 30 million viewers across the country each end week. The second largest audience rate in the country at its date and time.Therefore, we believe a lot in the return and result not only for the series but for our partners and destinations.
    We are goingo to Botswana on April 17, and I just figured out that I couldn’t use the drone. The use of the drone would be a huge gain, as we would be available to reveal the beauties of this place under a completely different and unusual perspective.

    In the beginning it was forbidden, also under Abu Dhabi law, but we were allowed to shoot inside the hotel area. They liked the result so much that today.video now playing at the lobby of Qsar al Sarab Anantara: https://vimeo.com/203303418

    This is another video we did recently for Turkish Airlines, that helped us this permits: https://vimeo.com/211770136

    Do you know any fast track we can use to get this drone license?

    I thank you in advance.

    Best regards

    • Francis Markert | 12.04.2017

      Hello Patricia!
      Unfortunately, I have no idea how you could speed up the process of getting the license 🙁 Good Luck!
      Best wishes, Francis

  • EdM | 05.05.2018

    Hi Francis,

    Is this registration & permit also necessary for recreational use and were can we buy this drone registration & permit ? Doesn’t tell your story.

    Kind regards,


  • James | 16.08.2018

    How can one submit for this import license? I would hate to see my drone confiscated.

  • Mirko | 17.09.2018

    You talk about a registration process, I have tried to sent an email but nobody reply.
    San I have the link you used or the email, please?

  • Mr. Dipogiso Gaokwalelwe | 25.09.2018

    I am here to help anyone here to process the application for drone flights in Botswana as I am using one to shoot videos at weddings and events (+26772409054) [email protected]

  • dichaba seleka | 08.06.2019

    When are you coming to BOTSWANA again?

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