The current family of banknotes used in Botswana was launched on August 21, 2009. The banknotes family includes five notes in a denomination structure comprising P10, P20, P50, P100, and P200.
All banknotes, except the P200 banknote, which was introduced in 2009, retain the basic designs, color and layout as the earlier banknotes.
On February 22, 2021, the Bank issued into circulation the third emission of the P10 banknote. The P10 banknote features the portrait of His Excellency the President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, and the signatures of the then Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Thapelo Matsheka, and Governor, Moses Dinekere Pelaelo.
All banknotes show a rampant zebra watermark as a key security feature.
Click on any banknote for further information on security features.
Major developments since the introduction of the Pula: Evolution of Botswana Currency
|1976||August 23 – Introduction of the Pula and thebe, replacing the South African rand. Pula, with notes (P1, P2, P5, and P10) and coins (1t, 5t, 10t, 25t, and 50t) put in circulation on Pula Day.|
|1978||February 16 – P20 note introduced.|
|1980||November 6 – Pula ceased being pegged to the US dollar. Pula Basket, comprising SDR and South African rand, was introduced.|
|1981||October 9 – 2t coin introduced.|
|1990||May 29 – P50 banknote introduced.|
|1991||June 20 – P1 coin introduced, November 30 – Demonetisation of the scalloped P1 and 2t coins.|
|1993||August 23 – P100 note introduced.|
|1994||August 1 – P2 coin introduced.|
|1997||October 27 – P20 banknote bearing a portrait of national anthem composer, Dr. K T Motsete, was introduced.|
|1999||June 24 – P10 banknote, bearing the portrait of the then-sitting President, His Excellency Festus G Mogae, was introduced. Other banknotes bore portraits of figures and features of national significance.|
|2000||June 5 – P50 banknote was introduced bearing the portrait of the first President of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, and the P100 banknote bearing the portrait of the three chiefs, Bathoen I, Khama III, and Sebele I, who traveled to Britain in the 1890s to secure the country’s identity. November 1 – P5 coin introduced.|
|2009||August 23– New family of banknotes, including a new P200 denomination, was introduced.|
|2014||February 27 – A new family of coins was introduced.|
The old circulating coin was subsequently withdrawn and demonetized.
|2018||February 1 – A new polymer P10 banknote was issued into circulation. The polymer largely maintained the same design and color as the circulating cotton-based P10 banknote, except that it had more advanced security features.|
|2021||February 22 – A polymer P10 banknote bearing the portrait of the current sitting President, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi was introduced.|
What do Botswana coins look like?
The seven-sided 25-thebe coin measures 22 millimeters in diameter and shows a Brahman bull. The round 50-thebe coin measures 24 millimeters in diameter and shows a fish eagle. A zebra, trees and birds appear on the ringed-bimetallic 1-pula coin, which measures 26 millimeters in diameter.
What currency is Botswana?
The official currency of Botswana is the Botswana Pula (BWP). The Pula is divided into 100 thebe. The symbol for the Pula is P. The Pula is rated as one of the strongest currencies in Africa.
Does Botswana use the dollar?
The national currency of Botswana is the Pula – a regionally strong currency – but the US dollar is widely accepted at lodges and hotels throughout the country. Major hotels have foreign exchange desks and most shops, lodges, and travel agencies will accept traveler’s cheques.