BOTSWANA

Date of establishment: September 30, 1966

Brief history:

  • Pre-colonial period: Botswana was home to several ethnic groups, including the Tswana. The Batswana Kingdom played a significant role in the region.
  • Colonial period: During the 19th century, Europeans, including the British, began to penetrate the area that was known as Batswana.
  • 1940-1950: The national independence movement and activism began to take hold, particularly under the leadership of Seretse Khama.
  • 1966: Botswana gained independence from the United Kingdom on 30 September 1966. Seretse Khama became the country’s first president. Botswana’s first constitution was adopted and the country became a constitutional monarchy with the British Queen as head of state.
  • 1970-1980: The country experienced political stability and economic growth, thanks in part to diamond mining.
  • Today: Botswana is a democratic country with political stability and a thriving economy.

 

International abbreviation: RB

 

Currency: Botswanan pula (BWP)

The currency of Botswana is the Botswana pula (BWP). One pula is divided into 100 thebe. The Pula was introduced in 1976 and since then has held a stable exchange rate against other currencies.

 

Internet domain: .bw

 

Dialing code: +267

 

Time zone: +2 GMT

 

Geography:

Botswana is located in southern Africa and is surrounded by Namibia to the west and northwest, Zambia to the north, Zimbabwe to the east, and South Africa to the south and southeast.

Most of Botswana’s territory is made up of dry savannah and the Kalahari desert. Botswana has a number of waterways, including the Okavango, Limpopo, and Zambezi rivers. There are many nature reserves around the rivers and the Okavango Delta, including the famous Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve.

 

Highest peak: Tsodilo Hills 1 489 m (4 885 feet) above sea level.

Tsodilo Hills is a rocky mountain range located in the Ngamiland District of Botswana. The mountain range also has more than 4 000 rock paintings and carvings that include motifs of animals, people, and various symbols.

Tsodilo is a small mountain range in the Kalahari desert in Botswana, which is part of the UNESCO cultural heritage due to the number of ancient sites of human settlement. With a height of 1 489 m (4 885 feet) above sea level, it is among the three highest mountains in Botswana, along with Otse and Monalanong hills.

 

Climate:

Botswana has a predominantly dry and hot climate. Overall, there are three types of climate: desert, subtropical, and humid subtropical. Most of the country is dry savannah or the Kalahari desert, where temperatures are very high during the day and very low during the night. In the south of the country there are smaller areas with a subtropical climate with milder temperatures.

The dry season in Botswana lasts from May to September, while the rainy season is from October to April. During the rainy season, temperatures drop slightly, and the land turns green. Some areas, especially around the Okavango Delta, can experience flooding during the rainy season.

In summer, temperatures are around 30-35°C (86-95°F) and at night around 15-20°C (59-68°F). In winter, temperatures are slightly lower, around 20-25°C (68-77°F) during the day and around 5-10°C (41-50°F) at night.

 

Fauna and flora:

Botswana is one of the best places in the world to see African elephants. Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta are known for their elephant populations. It is home to large populations of lions and is one of the few countries where the “Big Five” (elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo) can be seen.

Botswana has successful programs to protect rhinos, which are still threatened by poachers.

The country has a rich population of birds, including endemic species and migratory birds. Birds are particularly abundant in the Okavango Delta. Crocodiles are found in many of Botswana’s rivers and waterways. It is known for its majestic baobabs, which are the iconic trees of the region. Other types of tree are abundant, including acacias.

The Okavango Delta is known for its wetlands and aquatic plants that provide a refuge for birds and other animals.

The Kalahari has a desert ecosystem with unique plants and animals that have adapted to extreme conditions.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture plays an important role in Botswana’s economy and provides a livelihood for the majority of the rural population. However, due to the dry climate and lack of water, the possibilities for agriculture are limited. The main crops grown in Botswana are maize, wheat, sorghum, sunflower, cotton, and groundnuts. Fruit and vegetables are also grown here, especially in areas with higher rainfall, such as around the Okavango River.

In addition to agriculture, livestock farming, especially cattle, sheep, and goats, is also developing in Botswana.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Botswana is rich in minerals, the most important of which are diamonds. It is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by volume, and this is a major source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. The diamond industry accounts for the majority of Botswana’s exports and employs many people. In addition to diamonds, copper, nickel, gold, silver, coal, salt, and other minerals are also mined in Botswana.

Coal mining is located in the Morupule area, home to a large coal mine and power plant that provides most of the country’s electricity.

 

Industry:

The country is among the world’s largest diamond producers with large diamond mines such as Jwaneng and Orapa. It has several businesses focused on diamond processing. These are engaged in the grinding and processing of rough diamonds, which adds value to the diamond industry.

Industrial production in Botswana includes the food, wood processing, textiles and clothing industries, and the production of building materials. Salt mining is also very important.

The country has a number of dams and waterworks that are used to irrigate agricultural areas and generate electricity.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: services and tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta.

Botswana’s biggest tourist attraction is Chobe National Park, which is home to a large number of wild animals, including elephants, buffalo, lions, and leopards. In the Okavango Delta region, tourists can go on safari and observe wild animals.

Other tourist attractions include the Tsodilo Hills, a rocky mountain range with many archaeological sites, and the Makgadikgadi Pans – a vast salt flat with unique flora and fauna.

 

Waterparks in Botswana:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The president is the head of state and government. They are directly elected by citizens for a five-year term. Parliament consists of the National Assembly and there is also the advisory House of Chiefs. The National Assembly has 63 members elected directly by citizens for a five-year term. The House of Chiefs is an advisory body composed of representatives of traditional tribes.

The country is divided into 9 districts and 5 city councils, which have some level of self-government. Local government plays an important role in solving local issues and community development.

 

Capital city: Gaborone

It is located in the southeast of the country. Gaborone was established in 1964 as a replacement for the previous capital, which was located near the border with South Africa.

 

Area: 581 730 km2 (224 607 square miles)

 

Population: 2 300 000 (2022)

The population of Botswana consists of several ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Tswana, who make up about 80% of the population. Other smaller ethnic groups are Kalanga, Basarwa (San) and others.

The official language of Botswana is English, but many locals also speak Setswana, which is the country’s national language. In addition, many other languages are spoken in Botswana, including Kalanga, Herero, Ndebele, and Xhosa.

Christianity is the most common religion. Many residents also practice traditional African religions, which are associated with a belief in spirits, ancestors, and supernatural forces. These religious traditions are often associated with rituals and ceremonies and have deep roots in Botswana culture.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 2

 

  1. Okavango River Delta (2014) – A unique ecosystem of the regularly flooded area of the inland Okavango River Delta.
  2. Tsodilo (2001) – Rocky mountains with many archaeological finds. Thousands of rock paintings and engravings can be found there.

 

National parks: 9

 

  1. Chobe National Park
  2. Gemsbok National Park
  3. Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
  4. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
  5. Nxai Pan National Park
  6. Central Kalahari National Park
  7. Khutse National Park
  8. Moremi National Park
  9. Okavango Delta National Park