Depending on an expat's lifestyle, Botswana can be a very affordable place to live. In the capital, Gaborone, costs are generally more expensive, as this is where most of the good jobs and better housing options are found. Expats who choose to 'live like a local' will find that it is easy to live inexpensively in Botswana.

According to Mercer's 2018 Cost of Living report, Botswana was ranked 189th out of 209 countries. 

Cost of accommodation in Botswana

Accommodation in Botswana varies, especially if living in the capital. For expats who choose to settle in Gaborone, close proximity to local transport and schools pushes up the price of housing. Expats can expect monthly rental to be their biggest expense in Botswana.

Cost of education in Botswana

Expats who intend to send their children to an international school in Botswana will pay more than they would to use the public schooling system. However, the cost of international schools in the country is likely to be significantly lower than that of similar schools in other expat destinations. 

Cost of living in Botswana chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Gaborone in May 2019.

Accommodation (monthly rent in a good area)

Furnished two-bedroom apartment 

BWP 12,500

Unfurnished two-bedroom apartment 

BWP 10,000


Eggs (dozen)

BWP 24

Milk (1 litre)

BWP 10

Rice (1kg)

BWP 20

Loaf of white bread


Chicken breasts (1kg)

BWP 49

Pack of cigarettes 

BWP 20

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

BWP 50

Coca-Cola (330ml)



BWP 10

Bottle of local beer

BWP 11

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

BWP 150


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)


Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

BWP 250

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

BWP 350


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

BWP 20

Bus/train fare in the city centre


Petrol/gasoline (per litre)


Expat Health Insurance


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