Tourism Licence Categories
Tourism operations are divided into ten different categories, each of which require a separate licence:
A Licence: Accommodations on a fixed site; such as hotels, motels, guesthouses (including corporate guesthouses), bed and breakfast, self-catering apartments, backpacker tourist accommodation, campsites, outside protected areas; and cultural villages, including timeshare facilities.
B Licence: Accommodation on a fixed site; such as photographic/hunting camps and lodges, and public camping sites or caravan sites that offer game drives and other outdoor activities; within wildlife management areas and protected areas, including timeshare facilities.
C Licence: Off-site facilities, such as mobile safari operators that receive and transport travellers and guests within protected areas.
D Licence: Logistics and travel arrangements for clients without accommodation (whether fixed or not) or other tourist services.
E Licence: Transport to tourist attractions, including road transfer activities outside protected areas.
F Licence: Motor-boating activities outside of protected areas, private reserves or wildlife management areas.
G Licence: Other enterprises (excluding air charter companies and car rentals) that conduct tourism-related activities (e.g., hot-air ballooning, cycling, bungee jumping, etc.)
H Licence: Operations that offer mekoro (dugout canoe) activities.
I Licence: Foreign-based companies offering tourism-related activities in Botswana. Licence holders may conduct operations in game reserves or national parks, but may hand over to a Botswana licensed operator if entering protected areas.
J Licence: Houseboat operations: mobile self-contained accommodation on bodies of water.
Tourism licences are issued by the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. Application forms can be obtained from their offices or downloaded from their website at www.mewt.gov.bw. The following tourist enterprises are reserved for citizens of Botswana or companies which are wholly owned by citizens of Botswana:
- Guest houses (except corporate guest houses)
- Mobile safaris
- Tourist transfers
- Camp and caravan sites
- Mekoro (dugout canoe) operations
Documents Required for Tourism Licence Applications
Applications should be submitted at least three weeks before scheduled committee meetings. The following documents are required:
- Application forms completed in detail, including a detailed business plan (guidelines provided).
- Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and/or a copy of the Certificate of Registration of the business trading name, together with certified copies of share certificates.
- Completed Companies Proclamation Form 2. If the land was acquired for a purpose other than for the tourism project an application for change of use or planning permission from local authorities or land board is required
- Title deed or lease agreement/rental agreement.
- Certified copies of Omang or passports of the shareholders, and for expatriate employees, copies of resident/work permits.
- Submission of Environmental Management Plan/Environmental Impact Analysis approved by Department of Environmental Affairs.
- Occupation permits.
- Consent from land board authorities for sub-leases and/or rental agreements or transfer of leases/title deeds.
- Satisfactory inspection reports for the premises.
- Proof of zoning for offices and approved technical/architectural plans, in the case of a building project such as a hotel, guesthouse, lodge, or camp.
- Valid tax clearance certificates, inspection reports, and public and passenger liability insurance and renewal fees are required annually.