In light of recent crimes committed against U.S. citizens over the weekend, the Embassy would like to remind you to be cautious when visiting the grounds of the Grand Palm Hotel and the Riverwalk Mall in Gaborone.
The Embassy has no reason to believe that the Grand Palm Hotel itself is unsafe. However, its grounds are close to an informal settlement and the electric fence surrounding the back of the property is not secure. We recommend exercising caution while using the recreational areas at the Grand Palm Hotel even in daylight hours, especially the nature trail. Other recreational areas in Gaborone, such as Kgale Hill and the Gaborone Dam, have been the sites of similar attacks in the past. We recommend U.S. citizens travel in groups while taking advantage of nature/recreation activities and avoid isolated areas at dusk or after dark.
Please remember to park your vehicles in well-lit areas in close proximity to open businesses/restaurants, or areas that are frequently traveled. We recommend avoiding parking in areas where people are loitering, and being extra cautious when parking in the rear of parking lots, along dirt roads, and in generally isolated and/or dimly lit areas. Remember to remove all valuables (wallets, cell phones, iPods, loose change, CDs, GPS, etc.) from sight, including bags that might appear to contain valuables. Trust your instincts. If you feel someone is watching you as you park and prepare to exit your vehicle, don’t hesitate to move your vehicle to an area you believe to be more secure.
If you are the victim of a robbery attempt, you should willingly surrender your valuables. Your safety is much more important than the valuables you may have on your person.
Additional tips and guidance on security are available in our regular consular section newsletters. (For copies, please contact the consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone by email [ConsularGaborone@state.gov].) For emergency services outside regular business hours, please call the after-hours emergency number: (+267) 395-7111.
You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the website of the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well, or you can download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips. If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
All U.S. citizens in Botswana are urged to register online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Botswana and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency. Please note the following contact information:
U.S. Embassy to the Republic of Botswana
Tel: 395-3982 (+267-395-3982)
Fax: 318-0232 (+267-318-0232)
After-hours emergencies: 267-395-7111
Local Botswana Emergency Contact Numbers: