Flying in Botswana

Botswana Civil Aviation Authority

Physical Address:Plot 61920 Letsema Office Park, Botswana.
Postal Address:P.O. Box 250 Gabarone, Botswana.
Telephone number:+267 368 8200
Email:caab@caab.co.bw

LINK TO NON-SCHEDULED AIR TRANSPORT PERMIT AND OVERFLIGHT FORM:

https://www.caab.co.bw/wp-content/uploads/Application-for-International-Non-Scheduled-Air-Transport-Permit-landingoverflight-1.pdf?v=81043f8c6815

VISA: As a South African Citizen, you do not require a visa beforehand to enter Botswana. You will need a valid passport with a minimum of 2 blank pages facing each other, valid for 6 months after the date of return.

VACCINATIONS: WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Botswana: Hepatitis A and B; typhoid; yellow fever; meningitis; polio; measles; mumps; and rubella (MMR); Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis); chickenpox; and C19.

PERMITS: ZS-registered aircraft on private flights do not need a landing permit. A flight plan is required though. It needs to be filed 12 hours prior to departure. If you are doing an overflight to another country, you will require an overflight permit.

ZU-registered aircraft needs to obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness from the Botswana CAA prior to entering the country. Follow the link to the CAAB website for the Certificate of Airworthiness form: https://www.caab.co.bw/air-worthiness/?v=81043f8c6815

PORTS OF ENTRY: Botswana has 6 international airports: Sir Seretse Khama (Gaborone); Kasane; Maun; Limpopo Valley; Selebi Phikwe; Kasane and Francistown.

Flying in Botswana has its own, unique idiosyncrasies.

The Okavango Delta, a World Heritage Area in Botswana is an experience of a lifetime. It is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries, home to most of the endangered species of large mammals like cheetah and rhino. The dense forest, sublime lagoons and expansive savannahs does pose a flight experience like no other.

Maun is the international hub of the Delta area where roughly 70 general aviation aircraft are based. Due to the very high traffic volumes, it is worth doing a bit of homework before flying into the area.

BRIEFINGS: The companies based in Maun are more than willing to provide an area briefing to visiting pilots. Local knowledge is priceless. Phone or send an email and make an appointment with one of the companies for the briefing. Some of the companies based in Maun are: Mack Air, Delta Air, Wilderness and Major Blue.

CHARTS: Ensure that you have a proper chart of the area. Ngami Data Services and Printing provide charts showing the location of all the airstrips. You can ask where the camps are in relation to the airstrips during your area briefing. It is possible to order the charts through the Ngami website ahead of time.

Chobe National Park lies within the Okavango Delta and is home to 120 000 elephants. Enormous herds congregate on the banks of the Chobe River between May and September.

FUEL: Jet A 1 and AVGAS is available at most of Botswana’ s bigger airfields. Fuel can be paid in Rand and US Dollars. If you are paying by Credit card, check with supplying company if it is accepted. The table below shows the supplier and contact details at each of the major airports, curtesy of Aviation Direct.

GaboroneAVGAS/JETA1 – Puma Energy ctc Bernice Tamocha
Tel +267 3610 303/39131883 Cell: +26772 688662
Email: bernice.tamocha@puma-energy.com
Hours: Mon – Sun 05:20-20:30
  
MaunMOGAS/AVGAS/JETA1 – Puma Energy ctc Mervin Palmer
Tel: +2766860206 Cell: +267 71651131.
Email: palmermw@dynabyte.bw
Hours: Mon-Sun: 06:30 -18:30
Mogas from town
  
KasaneAVGAS/JETA1 – Puma Energy ctc Edith Mwampole
Tel: +267 625 1144 Cell: +267 71673167
Hours: Mon – Sun: 07:00-18:00
  
FrancistownAVGAS/JETA1 – Puma Energy ctc Scara Semasiko
Tel: +264 241 2370, Cell +267 71 666277.
Email: ftownav@botsnet.bw
Hours: Mon – Sun: 07:30 – 17:00

Always phone before to ascertain if there is fuel available. Plan your flight according to fuel availability.

OIL: Check with the airport supplier for availability or else carry your preferred oil with you for the flight.

The fuel bays are very busy areas, especially in Maun. It is advised to refuel and move the aircraft away to a parking area before paying for the fuel.

RADIO CALLS: Due to the high traffic density in the Maun area, abbreviated radio calls are made with only the most essential information.

Sometimes groups of aircraft fly in and it is nice to chat to each other during the flight. You can chat on 123.45 MHz.

Be very careful with chatting by mistake on a Tower or Approach frequency. The CAAB will issue a fine starting at R50 000

The general frequency for air-to-air communication frequency in Africa is 126.9 MHz

Makgadikgadi salt pans are definitely worth a visit. It is one of the largest salt pans in the world. It has a vast diversity of wildlife, and the shallow waters draw thousands of flamingos.

AIRSTRIP OPS: When flying to the strips in the Okavango Delta area, you must obtain prior written permission from the camp before using the strip. Speak to the camp you will be staying with to obtain the correct permission form.

Be aware of where the camps are located and avoid overflying them or circling over them. You don’t want to be relaxing by the pool, enjoying the African sun with the constant noise of aircraft flying overhead.

Airstrip joining procedures: Make a 5-mile call, and either an overhead or downwind call and then a Final approach call.

COURTESY NOTES:

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS: Always maintain proper situational awareness of other aircraft, air spaces and terrain.

PREPARATION: A little bit of time spent before the flight, doing good research of frequencies and procedures will save you a lot of time and embarrassment.

As the holder of a SACAA pilots’ licence and associated privileges you are still bound by the SA CATS and CARs over and above the rules and regulations of the country you are operating your South African registered aircraft in.  Whichever regulation is the most restrictive applies.

FLIGHT PLANS: The permit number must be indicated in field 18 of your flight plan

AIRMANSHIP: Always be courteous. We share the same skies.

If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa

                                                                        John Hemmingway