Botswana

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Botswana is a land-locked country located in Southern Africa and bordering on Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Its economy, one of the most robust on the continent, is dominated by diamond mining and tourism. Botswana is famous for its wildlife, and areas like Chobe National Park, Moremi National Park in the Okavango Delta, and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve have a very high concentration of game. The bulk of the Kalahari desert falls within Botswana's borders and Botswana is home to most of the world's San (Bushman) population. (less...) (more...)

Population: 2,127,825 people
Area: 581,730 km2
Highest point: 1,489 m
Coastline: 0 km
Life expectancy: 54.47 years
GDP per capita: $17,100
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Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Botswana

History

Botswana was never colonized by Europeans. Instead, the Three Chiefs went to the Queen of England to ask for protection from Boers to the south and Ndebele tribes from the north-east. The Boers were (to them) the white people that had invaded and were taking over South Africa. The Queen obliged. In 1964 the Three Chiefs went back to England and told the Queen that they did not need the protection any more. The Queen did away with the protection, and the Chiefs went back to Botswana. Botswana discovered diamonds in 1965. They produce 65% of the world diamonds today. In 1969 DeBeers created a partnership with the Botswana government to create the company Debswana.

Food

The cuisine of Botswana is unique but also shares some characteristics with other cuisine of Southern Africa. Examples of Botswana food include Pap, Samp, Vetkoek and Mopane worms.

A food unique to Botswana includes Seswaa, a meat dish made of beef, goat or lamb meat. The fatty meat is generally boiled until tender in any pot, with "just enough salt", and shredded or pounded. It is often served with pap (maize meal) or sorghum meal porridge.

Drinks

Many soft drinks and alcohol drinks are produced in factories in Botswana, including Fanta and Coca-Cola. Local brands are Castle and Lion beers. Milk is fermented to make madila (sour milk) which is eaten on its own or added to porridge. A favourite non alcoholic home made drink is ginger beer.

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Botswana's currency is the pula (ISO 4217 code: BWP) subdivided into 100 thebe. Pula literally means "rain" in Setswana (rain is very scarce in Botswana - home to much of the Kalahari Desert - and therefore valuable and a "blessing"). Thebe means "shield".

Banknotes of BWP10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 denomination circulate and the pula is one of the strongest, most stable currencies in Africa.

In August 2013, rough conversions were

  • USD1 = BWP8.63
  • €1 = BWP11.46
  • GBP1 = BWP13.39
  • ZAR1 = BWP0.84

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Botswana on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Botswana

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Gaborone is the capital of Botswana and located in the south of the country, near the border to South Africa.

Interesting places:

  • Gaborone Government Enclave
  • Game City Mall
  • University of Botswana
  • Botswana National Stadium
  • Gemsbok National Park
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Maun is an important village (with town status pending) in Botswana, and major gateway to the Okavango Delta.

Interesting places:

  • Maun Wildlife Educational Park
  • Okavango Swamps Crocodile Farm
  • Nhabe Museum
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Kasane is a city in the Okavango-Chobe region, the northeast corner of Botswana. Set on the south bank of the Chobe River, it faces Namibia's Caprivi Strip to the north. Zimbabwe and Zambia lie nearby. Kasane is a tourist hub, a jumping-off point for the Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls.

Interesting places:

  • Mowana Golf Course
  • Kazungula Crocodile Farm
  • Chobe National Park - Sedudu Gate
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Francistown is a city in the Northeast region of Botswana, near the border with Zimbabwe.

Interesting places:

  • St Patrick\'s Church
  • Supa Ngwao Museum
  • University of Botswana
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panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Botswana

Wildlife is Botswana's main draw. Wildlife parks compose nearly one-fifth of the country. In these parks you will find lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, antelope, wild dogs, and hundreds of species of birds. Visitors can take safaris and stay in lodges running the gamut from inexpensive dorms for backpackers with tour buses to $1,000+/night private lodges with your own maid & driver.

Among southern Africa's most impressive—and popular—wildlife destinations is the Okavango Delta where the Okavango River widens into the world's largest inland delta. Lying in the middle of the arid Kalahari, the swamps & water channels attract animals from thousands of kilometres around and triples in size (to 100 000 km2.!) during floods in July and August. Nearby Chobe National Park has a large population of elephants and it's also easy to spot many of Africa's well-known species, especially zebras and lions. The bleak salt pans of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park attract a large number and variety of birds year-round. Other great game parks include Nxai Pan National Park, Mokolodi Nature Reserve, & Gemsbok National Park.

Unfortunately, most of the native tribes in Botswana only dress in traditional outfits and perform rituals for tourists. Nevertheless, for the culture-vultures, the villages of D'Kar and Xai-Xai have many offerings, including arts, crafts, and the opportunity to participate in various rituals. Tsodilo Hills contain one of the largest collections of rock art on the continent.

Gaborone Government Enclave - Gaborone

Moremi National Park - Selinda Reserve

Mowana Golf Course - Kasane

Tsodilo Hills - Shakawe

Central Kalahari Game Reserve - Ghanzi

Game City Mall - Gaborone

Kazungula Crocodile Farm - Kasane

University of Botswana - Gaborone

Chobe National Park - Sedudu Gate - Kasane

Botswana National Stadium - Gaborone

Gemsbok National Park - Gaborone

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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