Overview of Botswana
The Republic of Botswana is a landlocked country constituted by a vast plateau that provides a natural habitat for a huge variety of African wildlife. This scenic wonderland draws thousands of tourists from around the world throughout the year. Most visitors arrive under the auspices of expensive safari-package operators.
At the time that it gained Independence in 1966, Botswana was counted among the ten poorest nations on earth. A dramatic turnaround came just a few years later when a treasure-trove of diamonds was discovered. Now the country is the third largest producer of diamonds in the world and Botswana is enjoying a growth rate and economic buoyancy unparalleled in Africa.
The country is bordered by South Africa in the south and southeast; Zambia and Zimbabwe in the northeast; and Namibia in the north and west. It is the northwest corner of the country that is the most sought-after by wildlife enthusiasts because it is here that the Okavango River drains inland from Angola to form the Okavango Delta – the largest inland delta in the world – which provides sustenance to a rich profusion of wildlife. The delta is extremely beautiful, big sky country with spectacular scenery across grassy plains and limpid lagoons. The Moremi Wildlife Reserve, covering 700 square miles (1,812 sq km) in the northeast corner of the Okavango Delta, is the ultimate African safari destination.
- English is the official language but Setswana is the most spoken language.
All visitors require return or onward tickets and sufficient funds to cover their stay in Botswana. Visas are generally not required for stays of under 90 days. NOTE: It is highly recommended to have six months’ validity remaining on your passport, as border agents occasionally apply different guidelines to those stated.
The unit of currency is the Botswana Pula (BWP), which is divided into 100 Thebe. The word ‘Pula’ means rain and ‘Thebe’ means shield. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and foreign currency is accepted at most large hotels and lodges. There are banks and bureaux de change in all the main towns, as well as ATM machines.
- 230 volts, 50Hz. Round three-pin plugs are used.