Drone Laws in Botswana
Last update on 18.11.2019 | 9 Kommentare
In this post, we explain the legal situation for drone pilots in Botswana.
In Botswana, some permits are needed to fly a drone. Each copter must be registered. You will receive a certificate (with name, contact details and address of the operator). The good news: If you bring your drone into the country but do not want to use it, you do not need to register it. The bad: Non-citizens who want to fly in the country with their drone should contact the civil aviation authority in Botswana (CAAB) at least 7 days before in writing. As one of our readers has learned, the registration process seems to be quite elaborate and not very practical for normal travelers, as some documents can only be obtained in the country.
First, you have to get a clearance report at a police station in Botswana. Your fingerprints will be taken.
After you have obtained this report, you can proceed with the actual application. It is advisable to submit it personally in a CAAB office, because you will have to go there with your drone anyway. You need:
- a certified passport copy
- proof of payment of the application fee of 250 BWP (private drone pilots) / 500 BWP (commercial pilots) – to be paid at CAAB office
- security vetting form SV1 (looks like this)
- copy of the drone’s user manual
- the drone itself for inspection
- (for commercial pilots) letter of authorization from property owner
After that, it may take up to 30 days for the security clearance to be completed. Once you have registered successfully, the following rules should be considered.
Overview: Drone rules in B
Drone labels can be ordered here
Further rules in Botswana
Drone flights are allowed in Botswana only in daylight and within direct line of sight, but the drone cannot be more than 500 meters away from the pilot. If FPV equipment is used, you must have a Visual Observer (VO) at your side.
The maximum allowed takeoff weight of drones is 20 kilograms. The operator of a drone must be at least 18 years old. Crossing the border is not permitted.
The transfer (lending, sale or leasing) of a registered copter is only permitted with the consent of the authorities.
Safety distances and flight bans
Drones can not be used within a radius of three kilometers around an airport.
In addition, a distance of 200 meters to power lines must be observed.
You are not allowed to fly in many areas (such as wild animals, tourism facilities such as hotels, national parks, built-up areas) 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.
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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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.
Unfortunately, I have no idea how you could speed up the process of getting the license 🙁 Good Luck!
Best wishes, Francis
Is this registration & permit also necessary for recreational use and were can we buy this drone registration & permit ? Doesn’t tell your story.
How can one submit for this import license? I would hate to see my drone confiscated.
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?
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]
When are you coming to BOTSWANA again?
According to http://www.caab.co.bw/remotely-piloted-aircraft/ you have to register your drone, amongst other requirements. I tried 2 times to contact them at [email protected]; both times the mails were read but never got any response. As it is legal to bring a drone in to Botswana I just took my chance. Never had a problem .. well apart from a mall-functioning drone :(.
If someone wants to pursue the issue further I suggest searching the CAAB website. I just take my luck. Botswanan government agencies aren’t very responsive especially to emails. I guess going there (they are located in Gabarone as far as I know), will probably reveal a very friendly and helpfull assistence .. but I won’t gamble for the outcome; it will be very time-consuming.
Thank you for sharing your experience! The procedure to register as a non-citizen seems to be complicated indeed.