International Cost of Living Calculators

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Botswana, All Areas

Botswana, All Areas

Cost of living in Botswana, prices and what it is like to live for an Expat, quality of life / hardship, and compare cost of living for Expatriates as at October 2023.

What is it like to live in Botswana?

Climate: The climate is semi arid with warm winters and hot summers.

Language: The official languages are English and Setswana. Ikalanga is spoken around Francistown in the north-east, where most of Botswana's ethnic-Kalanga population lives. Most people in urban areas speak English.

Religion: Christianity and indigenous beliefs.

Economy: The economy of Botswana is that of a rapidly developing market economy. Being closely tied with the economy of South Africa, the country's economy is one of the most successful in Africa and is dominated by the fast-growing service sector, world-renowned diamond industry, tourism, and manufacturing.

Inflation: 1.2% for Botswana as at August 2023.

Money: The currency of Botswana is the Botswana Pula (BWP). While ATMs are available in major towns not all international cards are accepted. Major credit cards are accepted at most shops and restaurants in towns. Cashing travellers’ cheques is possible at some banks.

Tax: In Botswana is based on the current personal income tax rates which are progressive up to 25%.

Population: 2.3 Million (2022 est.)

Expat Life: In Botswana, clan structures and traditions are prevalent and expatriates should be sensitive to local customs. It is considered a mark of respect to support the right arm with the left when shaking hands. Expatriate dress code is typically conservative in the form of a lightweight suit or equivalent. The safety risk for expatriates in Botswana is low. Risks include low levels of petty crime and corruption.

Health Care: Health care facilities are generally good in major towns, but limited in rural areas. For serious health care treatment, health care evacuation to South Africa may be necessary. Private hospitals will generally not treat patients unless you have full insurance cover or can pay immediately, and the cost of health care is high. Outpatients must pay cash for treatment.

Botswana covers all areas within the country other than Gaborone.

Cost Of Living

What is the cost of living in Botswana?

The cost of living for expatriates in Botswana as at October 2023 is very low in comparison to other places in the world, with an overall Cost of Living Index (COLI), for all 13 basket groups, of 44.15 (New York =100). We have collected prices for the same items, world wide, based on Expat spending norms, in or closest to the location, and converted them to $USD so that we can compare the cost of 13 different baskets in 780 global locations. For each basket, compared to New York, the equivalent cost in Botswana is as follows:

1) Alcohol and/or Tobacco: Cost is very low for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$430. Average price in a store for a midrange bottle of wine is USD$7.80, domestic/local beer (500ml) USD$1.95, imported/international beer (330ml) USD$2.15 and a pack of 20 cigarettes is USD$4.88.

2) Clothing: Cost is very low for items such as business, casual and children's clothing and footwear. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$470. Average price for an international brand of mens jeans is USD$38, a quality international brand of running shoes USD$53, mens leather shoes suitable for office wear USD$65 while a medium size international summer dress from a global chain store is USD$21.

3) Communication: Cost is average for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile service provider tariff and data costs. A basket costing USD$200 in New York costs USD$146. Average price for a monthly standard plan internet subscription is USD$62, while the benchmark mobile tariff is USD$20.91 per minute.

4) Education: Cost is very low for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees. A basket costing USD$30,000 in New York costs USD$10200. Average annual private international school fee (excluding extras) USD$6,695 for Primary School, and USD$7,451 for High School.

5) Furniture & Appliances: Cost is very low for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas. A basket costing USD$2,500 in New York costs USD$1100. Average price for a 6kg front loader Washing Machine is USD$551, and USD$473 for a 46+'' LED UHD TV.

6) Groceries: Cost is very low for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$440. Average grocery prices in a major international retail store for 1 kg apples is USD$1.00, 1 kg oranges USD$1.09, 1 head lettuce USD$1.53, 1 kg potatos USD$0.78, 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breast USD$2.72, 1 kg cheddar cheese USD$3.12, 1 dozen large eggs USD$2.69, 500g loaf white bread USD$0.87, 1 L full cream milk USD$5.72, and 1.5 L water USD$1.18.

7) Healthcare: Cost is low for general heath care, doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$500. Average healthcare cost for a private practice Doctor visit for an uninsured patient is USD$40, and a private hospital stay per day including nursing care, medications, diagnostic tests, food, and related costs is USD$1,235.

8) Household Accommodation: Cost is average for items such as apartment rent, house rent, property purchase, mortgage rate, and utilities. A basket costing USD$5,000 in New York costs USD$2150. Average expatriate house / apartment rent for a secure upmarket unfurnished apartment (3 bedrooms) is USD$2,580 in a central location, and USD$1,488 in a suburban location, per month, excluding utilities.

9) Miscellaneous: Cost is low for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$230. Average price for dry cleaning (1 mens 2 pc suit) is USD$4.51, while an international newspaper is USD$1.39.

10) Personal Care: Cost is average for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$290. Average cost for a mens haircut and blow dry is USD$23, while a womens hair colour, cut and blow dry - medium length is USD$115.

11) Recreation & Culture: Cost is very low for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets. A basket costing USD$500 in New York costs USD$210. Average price for a latest release international cinema ticket (average of on and off peak where applicable) for one adult is USD$7.31, and an international fitness, recreation or sports club membership cost for one adult is USD$39 per month.

12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Cost is very low for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in a restaurant, and take away food and beverages. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$320. Average cappuccino price (regular, medium) is USD$2.72, coke/pepsi (330ml) USD$1.08, burger meal (international franchise or similar) USD$7.61, and a mid-range international restaurant meal for 2 USD$38.97.

13) Transport: Cost is very low for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), car hire, public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance. A basket costing USD$1,000 in New York costs USD$440. Average average price over the last year for highest available octane petrol / gasoline (1L) is USD$3.81, while the benchmark car sedan purchase price including taxes/duties for a compact / small / economy vehicle (1.4 L) is USD$18,737.

How does the cost of living in Botswana compare?

Botswana is -45.2% cheaper than USA for groceries, -27.7% cheaper for household costs than UK, and -12.9% cheaper for transport costs than India.

What is the quality of life / hardship in Botswana?

Botswana is ranked as a some hardship location.The hardship premium for Botswana for an expat from Australia, is for example 10%, i.e. host location (Botswana) premium of 20% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%.

Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Botswana? Register subscribe to your home location and Botswana and run your personalised reports.