🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone rule links & known regulations about recreational & commercial drone use in Botswana (Gaborone). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs commercial drone use in Botswana
Botswana does not seem to differentiate recreational vs commercial drone use. However, both commercial and recreational drone uses are subject to restrictions, registration & a code of conduct.
✅ In Botswana, the control of drone use falls under the Civil Aviation Authority of the country (CAAB) & they can be contacted anytime via:
Phone: (+267) 368 8200 🕔 Any day 7.30 am to 4.30 pm
Can I travel with my drone to Botswana?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Botswana as long as you have registered your drone ahead with the Civil Aviation Authority prior landing in the country.
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
Where can I fly my drone in Botswana?
🚨 We did not find an official fly zone map for drones in Botswana "If you have more information about this, please let us on the Forum know anytime". Thankfully, app.airmap.io has listed all flight zones in a convenient way showing that flying over the main cities and national parks is subject to restrictions and permits might be required.
Botswana drone fly map
🦅 Botswanian National Parks might be on a case by case permission base & you would need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities before flying your drone:
Kalahari Reserve actually published its own commercial drone policy - learn more
Recreational & Commercial Drone use in Botswana
🚨 You will need to register your drone to fly your drone in Botswana from the Civil Aviation Authority of the country. Additionally and once obtained you should fly:
fly within sight at all times
following your drone manufacturer's recommendations of use.
fly away from airport, military and governmental facilities.
without lending or giving ownership of your drone to another person.
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How to register my drone to fly in Botswana?
🚨 To be eligible, you need to be at least 18 years young. You might also need to provide a criminal record based on your application to obtain a clearance certificate.
✅ The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana shared an update a few months ago explaining that any drone pilot coming to the country should get in touch with them via:
Mail/Onsite: CAAB Head Office: Directorate of Flight Safety, Plot 61920, Letsema Office Park, Fairgrounds, GABORONE - Google Maps
Phone: (+267) 368 8200
Fax: (+267) 310 5440
🕔 If you're applying from overseas and/or aren't a citizen/resident of Botswana, make sure to lodge your request at least 7 working days prior your arrival to give time to local authorities to process your registration.
💡 Good to know, you should carry your certificate at all times when flying in the country. The Civil Aviation Authority also reserves the right for inspection and testing of any documents/records you might send them.
💲 It will cost you about BWP 250.00 (22€) to obtain a drone permit in Botswana. If you have any further information about the process, please share in The Forum so we can update everyone in turn by updating this post.
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Botswana?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction &/or if you had any commercial purpose during your flight. Botswana authorities however specified this could involve one or several of the following:
a fine up to BWP 5,000 (420€)
a confiscation of your drone
🚔 And if your drone is used or involved for a crime:
a fine up to BWP 50,000 (4200€)
a confiscation of your drone
up to 2 years of jail
✅ The excellent news is that once you're there and got the authorisations, you can start flying above Botswana's awesome landscapes & help us replace this video.
✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in Botswana! Have fun & safe flight!
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.