Destination Information Botswana

Your stay abroad in Botswana

Country information

Botswana

Botswana is home to the vast Kalahari Desert and the unique Okavango Delta. These habitats are home to numerous plant and animal species. This is the perfect spot for a trip abroad. Come to Botswana to experience an untouched African natural environment!



Geographie Botswanas

Botswana is a landlocked country about the size of France. It is bordered by South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Kalahari Desert dominates the west and south of the country. The Kalahari is a dry savannah rather than a sand desert, and is home to various grass species, briar brushes and acacia trees. It stands in striking contrast to the Okavango Delta, which is a biodiverse wetland in the middle of the Kalahari. Despite being 1000 m above sea level, Botswana does not have any major mountain ranges. It does however have a striking hilly landscape. The only significant mountain ranges are the Otso Mountains and the Tsodilo Hills, which reach heights of over 1000 m.


Flora & fauna

Flora and Fauna in Botswana

The landscape of Botswana can be characterized by vast shrub savanna, steppe, desert and wetlands in the North. Due to its geographical diversity a variety of animals and plants can be found in Botswana such as Baobab trees, sausage trees and acacia as well as palms and strangler figs. The world-famous Okavango Delta is inhabited by numbers of rare and endangered animals like lions, rhinos, leopards, elephants and buffalos.


Climate

Climate

The climate conditions in Botswana are subtropical, dry and hot. Due to the fact Botswana is located in the southern hemisphere; wintertime is from May till late August. During this period it is not raining a lot and the temperatures are relatively low.


Social geography

Social Geography

Population

More than half of Botswana’s 2 Mio. citizens are considered to be Bantu, an ethnic group which distributes across central and South Africa. Another big ethnic group is called San, the indigenous people of southern Africa. Botswana is sparsely populated; the majority of people lives in small cities and villages along the main roads. The two largest cities are Gaborone and Francistown.

Language

English and Setswana are the two official languages. The different ethnic groups speak a variety of other languages and dialects.

Economy

The three main commercial sectors are mining, tourism and agriculture. The economy is steadily growing.

Political situation and security

Botswana is considered as Africa’s “ray of hope”. The political situation can be described as stable and safe. The president of Botswana Ian Khama puts much effort into nature conservation and animal protection. He is one of the main driving forces to develop environmental awareness in Botswana.

Religion

An estimated 70% of the country's citizens identify as Christians. Besides that many people follow natural religions which were common in Botswana before the proselytization in the 18. and 19. century.


Tipps

Travel Tips and Trivia

Time Zone

  • UTC +02:00
  • No daylight saving time

Currency

Botswana’s currency is Pula. One Pula is 100 Thebe. For the current exchange rate please visit www.oanda.com

Units

All units accord to the metric system.

Electricity

In Botswana the standard voltage is 230 Volt. Before your departure you should check if you need any adapter.

Transportation

The public transport in Botswana is not well developed. For longer trips a rental car (off-road vehicle) is highly recommended. For that purpose you need an international driving license. You should avoid driving by night because wild animals can cross the street then.

National holidays

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • January 2: Second New Year's Day
  • May 1: Labour Day
  • July 1: Sir Seretse Khama Day
  • July 16: President's Day
  • July 17: Legal Holiday
  • September 30: Foundation Day 1966
  • October 2: Legal Holiday
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day

Dos and Don’ts

Do

  • In order to protect yourself against insects such as mosquitos you should bring long-sleeved clothes.
  • Always carry a valid ID-card with you.
  • When renting a car, you better take four-wheel drives.

Don’t

  • It is strictly forbidden to buy, sell or kill wild animals.
  • Never take pictures of military- or governmental buildings.
  • Never consume or smuggle drugs!

Highlights Must-see places in Botswana

Our top recommendations for you

Chobe National Park

The park is named after the Chobe River which runs from Angola to Botswana. At the same time it is the northern border between Namibia and Botswana. During dry spells the water level of Chobe River is relatively high that is why many wild animals gather in the National Park at that time. The National Park is famous for its high numbers of elephants and giant buffalo herds. There are boat trips provided to observe the animals from close up.

Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inner delta and one of the most fascinating and beautiful landscapes in Africa. Compared to other rivers the Okavango does not flow into an ocean but into the Kalahari Desert where it drains/evaporates. Thousands of endangered animal and plant species inhabit the delta and make this place to one of the most unique nature treasures.

Kalahari

The Kalahari Desert spread over the major part of Botswana. Long time ago a large inner lake was located in this area. Nowadays there are only some salt pans left. During rain seasons hundreds of thousands of birds can be observed in this area: A perfect place to join a bird-watching safari.

Mashatu Game Reserve

Close to Chobe National Park, the Mashatu Game Reserve is located in vicinity to Simbabwe and South Africa. The place is also called “Land of Giants” due to its large number of Mashatu trees which can reach heights of up to 30 meters.

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