Drone Laws in Botswana

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the Republic of Botswana

 Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB)

UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in the Republic of Botswana

The Botswana agency responsible for drone safety, CAAB, has provided several internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.

Are drones allowed in Botswana?

According to CAAB, drone use is allowed in Botswana, subject to CAAB regulations. Read on for more details.

Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Botswana:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) informs the public that it is an offense to operate a Drone (Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) ) in Botswana without first registering with the CAAB.

The following are the most critical rules when flying a drone in Botswana. 

  • The CAAB requires that all drones be registered. 
  • While flying, drone pilots must maintain a direct visual line of sight with their drones.
  • Drones can fly up to 400 feet above ground level and a maximum distance of 500 meters (1,640 feet) from the drone pilot. 
  • Drone pilots are not permitted to fly more than one drone at a time. 
  • Drone pilots must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Do not fly drones within a radius of three kilometers (two miles) of any airport or airfield. 
  • Drones must relinquish this right to crewed aircraft. 
  • Do not fly Drones at night.

Botswana’s Restricted Areas of Operation. According to the CAAB’s Bye-Law 07 of 2016, the following areas are prohibited from drone operations: 

  • Unless the appropriate ATC authority is granted express permission within controlled airspace, only if two-way communication with that authority is possible. 
  • Within a three-kilometer radius of an unmanned airfield unless the operator can monitor the unmanned airfield’s 125.5 MHz frequency. 
  • Over a hundred national game parks and wildlife refuges 
  • Regardless of the tourism facility 
  • Over any wildlife in such a way that the drone may cause disturbance to the wildlife 
  • Within a 200-meter lateral distance of any power line 
  • If the drone is registered in Botswana, it may be flown across an international border. 
  • Over any airspace specified in an AIP as prohibited or restricted 
  • Over major public thoroughfares 
  • Over vehicular traffic in motion 
  • Adjacent to or above a prison, police station, crime scene, or court of law, as well as government facilities such as military and security installations 
  • Unless the owner expressly permits it, over any private property 
  • Overdeveloped areas 
  • Throughout public gatherings

In some instances, the CAAB may grant permission to fly over the above-mentioned restricted areas of operation. To obtain permission, contact the CAAB or the appropriate authority and provide the following information in writing:

  • The drone’s certificate of registration number
  • Date and time of proposed flight
  • Reason for the proposed flight

Drone Flights Request

According to the regulations, you must apply for an importation permit seven days before the date of travel, along with the following documents:

  1. A photocopy of your driver’s license or passport. 
  2. Fingerprints with Botswana Police Services clearance stamp 
  3. Payment proof (Private-P250; Commercial-P500) is required for each application. 
  4. The completed vetting form (DIS Form) (To be completed at CAAB) 
  5. A copy of the RPA user manual is available at the CAAB offices. 
  6. Authorization letter from the property owner (For commercial operation).

Numbers 2 and 6 can be resolved only by the operator in Botswana. 

You will be required to travel to Gaborone or possibly Maun for a security interview with the Department of Intelligence Service (DIS). They will request that you bring your drone for inspection and complete the application process. 

These conditions applied without exception and were issued by Botswana’s Civil Aviation Authority. We encourage all operators to consider this before submitting an authorization request.

Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Botswana

See the general rules above.

Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Botswana

See the general rules above.

Useful published information on flying drones in Botswana

Here is a sample of what you might expect if you follow the drone laws and fly in Botswana…

NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model Aircraft, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.

Find out why we think you must use a Drone Preflight Checklist and a Drone Post-flight checklist

Free Drone Flight Checklist PDF

This Drone Flight Checklists is better than others.

It’s free!

It includes both the preflight checklist and post-flight checklist

It’s an easy to use printable pdf that covers all your bases.

Traveling with a Drone?

Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.


Help Us Keep Drone Laws Updated

Tell Us About Your Recent Experience

In The Comments Below


The content on this site (The latest Drone Laws/Drone Regulations) is collated by volunteers from public general information. It is based on user experience, our own research, understanding, and interpretation of the laws. We always go back to the regulatory source as a starting point and apply our expertise in simplifying where possible what the authorities publish. To that understanding, we add our own first hand experience, and users experience to build a more complete picture.

This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

When your experience is different, we want to know. We welcome any feedback, corrections, or updates that can be shared with our community.

Finally, we urge you to operate your drone safely and to follow the drone laws of the location in which you are flying!

The contents of this website are open-sourced and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC By-SA 3.0 US). Feel free to share, remix, or otherwise.

Leave a Comment