Location: Botswana, countrywide
Event: The U.S. Embassy in Gaborone reminds U.S. citizens of the importance of personal safety best practices when addressing security risks in Botswana.
Non-confrontational crime and crimes of opportunity, primarily the theft of money and personal property, are common. Home invasions, break-ins, “smash and grabs” from vehicles at intersections and from locked cars in shopping mall parking lots, cell phone thefts, and muggings – often at knife point, are routinely reported to police.
The U.S. Embassy in Gaborone recommends particular vigilance when hiking on Kgale Hill and the surrounding area.
Actions to Take:
- Be cautious and vigilant as you go about your daily routine. Avoid walking or jogging alone, even in the daytime. Travel with a companion or group if possible. Stay alert when entering or exiting your vehicle or residence.
- Do not drink and drive. Avoid travel at night if possible, especially near the end of the month.
- Avoid leaving valuables in your car. When possible use a physical key to lock your car as criminals have been known to jam remote fob signals.
- Keep car windows up and doors locked at all times and be aware of your surroundings, especially at intersections where “smash and grab” incidents are frequent.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good operational condition. Always leave space between your car and the car in front of you in case you need to maneuver out.
- Discarded packaging of expensive electronics lets criminals know what to look for in a house. Consider keeping these boxes out of sight before taking them to a recycling center.
- Carry only essential items with you, and avoid perceived displays of wealth (expensive watches, flashy jewelry, etc.).
- If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Remove yourself from the situation and do not confront or investigate further. Call the police as soon as it’s safe to do so.
- Keep your mobile phone charged and have emergency numbers pre-programmed.
- Utilize all residential security features including routine use of deadbolt locks, padlocks, motion detectors, door, window, and fence alarms, and activate central alarm monitoring systems. Dogs kept inside can be a good deterrent, or other loud noise emitting devices such as air horns. Make your home a hard target.
U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana
Embassy Drive, Government Enclave, Gaborone
7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and
7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday
After-hours emergency numbers: +267-373-2222 or +267 71 75 45 85
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Botswana Country Information [click here]