Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa.
Botswana’s national dish is the boiled meat, corn meal, and greens, which are combined to create Seswaa.
The official name of the country is the Republic of Botswana.
The largest concentration of African elephants exists in Botswana, in Chobe National Park.
It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, Zimbabwe to the northeast, and Zambia to the north.
Roughly 38% of Botswana’s land is designated as reserves, national parks, and wildlife management regions.
English is the official language of Botswana and widely spoken, although Setswana (also called ‘Tswana’) is spoken by almost everybody.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana became UNESCO’s 1000th inscribed site of the World Heritage List in 2014.
As of 1 January 2017, the population of Botswana was estimated to be 2,331,390 people.
Botswana’s official language is English. The national language is Setswana and most commonly spoken language in Botswana, but most can speak English.
It is the 47th largest country in the world in terms of land area with 581,730 square kilometers (224,610 square miles).
Botswana’s currency is Pula, which is then divided into Thebe.
Gaborone is the capital and largest city of Botswana. It is located in the south of the country, near the border to South Africa. The city is named after Chief Gaborone of the Tlokwa tribe, who once controlled land nearby.
Botswana’s border with Zambia is the shortest border in the world at only 150 meters.
Botswana is home to several species of endangered birds and mammals. These include the cheetah, the Kori bustard, the brown hyena, and the Pel’s fishing owl.
Where Botswana’s north western region borders three other countries it may be the only place in the world where cell signals from four countries can be picked up.
Botswana is mostly flat with a few hills, most of its highest points located along the south-east section of the country.
Botswana is responsible for more than 17% of the diamond production in the world. Diamonds account for half of Botswana’s value and provide free education for all children until they are 13 years old.
Monalanong Hill is the highest point of Botswana, with an altitude of 1,494 meters (4,900 feet).
Botswana’s rainy season begins in November and ends in March, while wildlife viewing for tourists is best from May to October, when it is not rainy season.
Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert, which covers up to 70% of its land surface.
Major agricultural products in Botswana include corn, beans, sunflowers, sorghum, and ground nuts.
Botswana is home to natural resources including diamonds, which make it a wealthy African country.
Major exports from Botswana include diamonds, textiles, meat, nickel, and copper.
The Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest inland deltas, is in the northwest. The scale and magnificence of the Okavango Delta helped it secure a position as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, which were officially declared on February 11, 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. On 22 June 2014, the Okavango Delta became the 1000th site to be officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Botswana’s capital city is Gaborone, where more than 10% of the country’s population lives.
The national symbol of Botswana is the zebra.
The Makgadikgadi Pan a salt pan situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana, is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi, which once covered an area larger than Switzerland, but dried up several thousand years ago.
Botswana celebrates its Independence Day on September 30th each year.
Africa’s oldest democratic country is Botswana.
About 38% of the Botswana’s land area has been devoted to protected areas, with 17% being national parks and game reserves.
Chobe National Park, in northern Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park in the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most biologically diverse. It is also Botswana’s first national park. Elephants at Chobe are the largest in body size of all living elephants; they number more than 50,000 perhaps the highest elephant concentration of Africa.
85% of the people in Botswana have indigenous religious beliefs while 15% are Christian.
Ethnic groups in Botswana include the Tswana, Kalanga, Basarwa, Kgalagadi, whites, and others.
Moremi Game Reserve is located on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta. It is the first reserve in Africa that was established by local residents. Concerned about the rapid depletion of wildlife in their ancestral lands – due to uncontrolled hunting and cattle encroachment – the Batawana people of Ngamiland, under the leadership of the deceased Chief Moremi III’s wife, Mrs. Moremi, took the bold initiative to proclaim Moremi a game reserve in 1963.
Botswana is one of the countries in the world worst hit by HIV and AIDS. Approximately 25% of the population is believed to have been infected with the disease. Botswana has a very progressive program for helping to deal with the disease.
With one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world, Tsodilo has been called the “Louvre of the Desert”. Over 4,500 paintings are preserved in an area of only 10 square kilometers (3.8 square miles) of the Kalahari Desert. The archaeological record of the area gives a chronological account of human activities and environmental changes over at least 100,000 years. Local communities in this hostile environment respect Tsodilo as a place of worship frequented by ancestral spirits. It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.
Approximately 70% of Botswana is made up of the Kalahari Desert.
The history of Botswana starts more than 100,000 years ago, when the first humans inhabited the region. The original inhabitants of southern Africa were the Bushmen (San) and Khoi peoples. They lived as hunter-gatherers and spoke Khoisan languages, noted for their click consonants.
About a thousand years ago, large chiefdoms emerged that were later eclipsed by the Great Zimbabwe empire, which spread into eastern Botswana.
For centuries foreigners had control of much of Africa. The British and the Dutch (known as Afrikaners) fought to dominate the countries of southern Africa. In 1910, the countries to the south of today’s Botswana formed a Union of South Africa that was home to many white Afrikaners, British settlers, and the black majority. The white settlers controlled the laws and lives of the black South Africans.
Independence was secured peacefully by Botswana in June 1964. They established a constitution in 1965 and held general elections to finalize independence in 1966. The first president was Seretse Khama, who was the grandson of king Khama III of the Bamangwato people and a prominent figure in the movement for independence.
Britain gained control of Botswana’s area in 1885 to help ensure peace in the area between the Zulu and Boers.
In 1967, a huge area of diamonds was discovered at Orapa, at the edge of the Kalahari Desert. The Botswana economy grew very quickly with wealth from the diamond mines. Botswana earns about one billion dollars a year from diamond mining and is one of the world’s largest diamond producers.
Since independence, Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates in per capita income in the world.
Botswana is Africa’s longest continuous democracy.
Tourists from all over the globe visit Botswana for safaris and a chance to see amazing elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, jackals, hyenas, lions, cheetahs, and other animal species.
Botswana has more elephants than anywhere else in the world.
Meerkats are also common in the country.
The most common tree is the baobab tree and some baobabs are 2,000 years old.
Football is the most popular sport in Botswana.
An estimated 70% of the country’s citizens identify as Christians.
The border between Botswana and Zambia is only 150 meters (492 feet) which makes it the shortest border in the world.