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Botswana Travel Guide

Botswana, Africa

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Botswana, Africa
Welcome to Botswana - General Information >
Botswana, a land of diverse beauties, is ideally located in the heart of southern Africa. Botswana has enjoyed remarkable economic growth since independence. From being one of the poorest countries, Botswana has emerged as one the fastest growing economies in the world. Its natural beauty lies in its wilderness, wildlife and cultural diversity.

Hunting and gathering is practised by all tribesmen but is guided by very strict traditional conservation strategies. This cultural heritage has enabled Botswana to preserve vast and diverse species of wildlife and natural resources. At least 17% of Botswana is reserved as parks, which facilitates the protection of the fragile natural environment. Tourism accounts for about 40% of the employment opportunities in Botswana. Among the major tourist attractions are the Okavango Delta, said to be the largest inland delta in the world; Chobe National Park, home of the largest elephant population in the world; the golden sands of the vast Kalahari Desert; the Tuli Block with its rugged terrain and the Moremi Game Reserve.

The seasons in Botswana are somewhat irregular. Rains generally start in October or November, and can persist until March or April. There may be long dry spells within that time. Rain tends to fall in short, often violent thundershowers, and generally the greatest amount falls in December, January and February. The best time to visit Botswana is April to October when the days are sunny and not too hot. Evening temperatures drop sharply. During the summer months temperatures can rise to over 40ºC and usually drop to around 25ºC at the night.

Botswana is a land of contrasts, where one can experience contrasting life styles. Travel from the busy urban centres, to rural villages, and even to the most remote life of the San people. Safaris, canoeing, boat cruises, hunting and fishing adventures make it the ideal destination for most adventurers

The capital of Botswana, Gaborone, is named after Chief Gaborone, who led his tribe to this area from the Magaliesberg in 1880. Ten years later Cecil John Rhodes chose this little settlement as the site of a colonial fort. When Botswana began to move towards independence in the early sixties, Gaborone was chosen as the site for the new capital due to its strategic location, the availability of a reliable water supply and it's proximity to the cross continental railway line.

In 1966 the Republic of Botswana achieved full independence under Sir Seretse Khama. At the time of independence, Botswana was counted among the ten poorest nations on earth. The discovery of the country's diamond wealth came within five years, and turned Botswana into one of the richest countries in Africa and the third largest producer of diamonds in the world.

Gaborone has all the facilities of any modern capital city. There is a range of hotels, and a choice of cinemas and casinos. Restaurants are numerous and varied and night clubs abound. The National Museum is situated near the centre of town and houses important collections of traditional crafts and southern African fine art. There is an international airport on the outskirts of the city.

The city's main water source, Gaborone Dam, is a popular local resort. It is available for non-motorised water sports, but a permit is required. The Gaborone Game Reserve is Botswana's third busiest game reserve. Well maintained roads give easy access to viewing of wildebeest, eland, zebra, gemsbok, rhino and kudu amongst many other wildlife species. 

Botswana is where the white-hot Kalahari Desert meets the wild Okavango River delta in an explosion of green that shelters and feeds some of the continent's most prolific wildlife. Hidden in the searing sand is one of the world's richest sources of diamonds.

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