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BOTSWANA

The name Botswana was adopted by the Setswana speaking majority when the country (erstwhile Bechuanaland) became a Republic in 1966.

Fact File


Area: 581,730 sq km

Capital: Gaberone (pronounced Ha-ba-ro-ne)

Currency: Botswana Pula (BWP)

Population: 2.16 million (2014 est)

Languages: Setswana, English


Brief History:

Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence on 30 September 1966. More than four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most stable economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world's highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease. -Source CIA Factbook.



Politics:

Botswana is a multi party democracy. The Chief of State and head of the Government is President Seretse Khama Ian Khama (since 2008). Vice President is Ponatshego Kedikilwe (since 2012).


Geography:

Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.


People:

79% Setswana, 11% Kalanga, 3% Basarwa, 3% Kgalagadi, 3% White, 1% others.


Gaberone:

Capital of Botswana. It is located on the country's major railroad line and has a small international airport. The city is the country's administrative center. The city was founded in 1890 by Gaborone Matlapin, an African chief, and was known as Gaberones. In 1965 it replaced what is now South Africa, as capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate; it remained the capital when Bechuanaland became independent as Botswana in 1966, and received its present name in 1969. Gaborone is the seat of the Univ. of Botswana (1971).


When to visit:
There are two distinct seasons for wildlife safaris, the wet and the dry. The summer rains normally begin in November/December and go on until March/April. During the wet season, the Okavango river creates one of the largest inland deltas (16,000 sq km) in the world, and wildlife viewing is a different experience and thrill. The dry season, which is also the winter season, is from May until October. This is the peak safari season when game is plentiful at waterholes.


Botswana Flag: kenya flag


Light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center; the blue symbolizes water in the form of rain, while the black and white bands represent racial harmony.


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