Travelling to Botswana is every wildlife enthusiasts dream and a Botswana holiday package is a kaleidoscope of stunning scenery, spectacular wildlife and warm-hearted people. Here are a few facts about the country that will interest you if you are planning to travel to Botswana.
- Botswana has set aside 17% of its land as nature reserves. This is more than the recommended 10% that other African countries allocate.
- One citizen living in Botswana is a Motswana. Many citizens are referred to as Batswanas. It has a population of just over 1.8 million people and is the size of France or Texas. The majority of people live on the eastern side of the country.
- Botswana has thrived over the years as a diamond-mining country. The majority of the diamond mines are owned by Debswana in which De Beers owns 50% and the government of Botswana owns the balance. Jwaneng Diamond Mine in the south of the country is the richest diamond mine in the world.
- Botswana gained its independence in 1966. At the time it was one of the poorest and least developed countries in Africa. A year after gaining independence, a massive diamond find was discovered in Orapa. This catapulted the status of the country and today it is one of the most prosperous countries in Africa.
- Botswana has never really known political conflict and strife. It was a protectorate of Britain only after three chiefs from Botswana travelled to England to request such an arrangement. It was never colonised and has always enjoyed a refreshingly democratic style of governance.
- The ‘kgotla’ system is an entrenched Setswana culture. It is based on a culture of democracy and free speech where every person has the right to speak their mind.
- The capital city is Gaborone. This is pronounced Ha-bo-ro-nee.
- The current president is President Ian Khama. His is the son of the first president of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama. His mother was a white British woman. He is also paramount chief of the largest tribe in the country, the Bamangwato.
- Most African countries use power colours such as red and black in their national flags to depict Liberation Wars and struggles. Refreshingly, Botswana’s flag is predominantly blue to depict peace and harmony in the country. The blue represents water and rain that is the lifeblood of the country. The black and white colour reflects the people of Botswana and depicts racial harmony and peace.
- Botswana boasts the world’s largest concentration of African elephants; estimated to be in the region of 154 000 elephants. The highest concentration is found in Chobe National Park; estimated to be a population of up to 50 000 elephants. In the dry season, large herds comprising hundreds of elephants make their way to the banks of the Chobe River.
- The Okavango Delta is probably the most famous tourist destination in Botswana. It’s the largest inland delta in the world and became the 1 000th site to be listed as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO in 2014. The waters start flowing from the highlands of Angola, all the way to the sands of the Kalahari Desert. None of the water in the delta reaches the sea. The majority of it either evaporates or makes its way into Lake Ngami.
- The Makgadigadi Pans are a popular tourist destination in Botswana. These are the largest salt pans in the world and stretch over an area of 12 000 square kilometres. When the pans fill up during the rainy season, the area attracts the most incredible variety of wildlife. The large colony of flamingos that descend on the pans is a breath-taking sight for tourists visiting Botswana.
Experience the sights and sounds of Botswana. Lekker Adventures specialises in providing you with the complete travelling experience to Botswana. Click here to find out more about travelling to Botswana with the assistance of Lekker Adventures.