Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
With an area of 582,000 sq km the country is slightly larger than France, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Texas.
Approximately two-thirds of the country lies within the Tropics. Botswana is well known for having some of the best wilderness and wildlife areas on the African continent. 38% of its total land area are devoted to national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas.
The country is sparsely populated because up to 70% of the country is covered by the Kalahari Desert, the vast arid to semi-arid landscape in Southern Africa covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa. Botswana's population of 2.2 million people (in 2016) is concentrated in the eastern part of the country.
Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. The economy, one of the most robust on the continent, is dominated by diamond mining.
Botswana has a flourishing multiparty constitutional democracy. Each of the elections since independence has been freely and fairly contested and has been held on schedule. The country's small white minority and other minorities participate freely in the political process.
Tourism is an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12% of GDP. One of the world's unique ecosystems, the Okavango Delta, is located in Botswana. The country offers excellent game viewing and birding both in the Delta and in the Chobe Game Reserve--home to one of the largest herds of free-ranging elephants in the world. Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve also offers good game viewing and some of the most remote and unspoiled wilderness in southern Africa.
(Source: various sources)
Botswana has an average altitude of around 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), the climate is sub-tropical, arid or semi-arid depending on area. The winter, from May to August, is dry and sunny, mild during the day but cold at night, especially in the centre and south. The summer, from November to March, is hot and moderately rainy because of thunderstorms that break out in the afternoon or evening; therefore, there's plenty of sunshine even in this season, especially in the morning. In spring, in September and October, the heat is often intense especially in the north, however, hot days are possible throughout the country from September to April.
In Botswana, there are several parks and nature reserves that are home to plant and animal species of the savannah, which are still little known but of great interest. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, the country has reversed seasons in comparison with the Northern Hemisphere.
The people groups of the continent of Africa are as honourable and beautiful as they are diverse and ancient! Botswana is a country with both a wide variety of these groups, as well as one that retains some of the most iconic and compelling environments found in this region of Southern Africa. Cultural heritage is both a complex and invaluable part of Botswana.
Botswana is divided into several regions as a country: the Makgadikgadi Pans in the northern central area, the famous Okavango Delta is in the northwest, and the Kalahari Desert in the central and southwest. Each of these features an array of landscapes, wildlife habitats and human traditions. While Botswana cultures are quite diverse in its major cities such as the capital Gaborone or the bustling Francistown, just like most major cities on the continent, its rural area cultures remain quite traditional.
With official languages that include English and Setswana, Botswana has historically been the home of a number of people. Numerous tribal groups of original nations have resided here and continue to, and the descendants of colonist populations of settlers from Germany and Great Britain have taken up residence here as well. Establishing its democratic independence, Botswana broke away from the United Kingdom in 1964.
Botswana’s traditional dress includes gorgeously patterned cotton garments, and they practice a vocal and sometimes drum-accompanied music. Having a profound interest in astronomy, with much celebrated folklore about celestial bodies. The Milky Way holds special significance as a resting place for lightning, a supporter of the entire heavens and determinant of the path of the sun, and a spiritual footpath along which travels the spirits of deceased ancestors.
Another Botswana culture, the Kalanga people, live in the northeast of Botswana and north of South Africa, also having a large population in Zimbabwe. They continue as farmers and in other nature-based livelihoods, and are known collectively as Bakalanga. Historically, in addition to farming, they have practiced trade among their ancestral territory extending across numerous countries in southern Africa that included animal products of many kinds.
Perhaps the Bostwana people group best known to the rest of the world, the Baswara/San “Bushman” population has been made known through movies and media. Noted for their form of speech which includes fascinating clicking sounds and a rhythmic cadence of speech, the languages of the San are, among many others, a distinguishing feature of their tribe. Among others are unique appearance (small stature and light skin tone), traditional dress and endlessly vast traditional ecological knowledge of thousands of plants and animals!
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.
Economic growth rebounded to an estimated 12.1 percent in 2021 and, as the base effects from the pandemic shock fade, the World Bank projects growth to moderate in 2022 to about 4.1 percent, driven by improvements in the global demand for diamonds, the easing of restrictions on mobility, and the expansionary fiscal stance supported by the extensive rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. The Authorities have maintained an accommodative monetary policy and continue to monitor second-round effects of supply shocks and administered price increases amidst rising inflation.
Persistent deficits have elevated public debt, estimated at about 25.5 percent in 2022, whilst pandemic induced spending continues to put pressure on the fiscal budget with overall fiscal deficits set to wane into the medium term. To create fiscal space and lower the deficit, Government introduced structural measures anchored on revenue mobilization, managing fiscal expenditure and building back buffers.
For further information go to; botswanatourism.co.bw
For health information in Botswana, please visit the following NHS website link: fitfortravel.nhs.uk