Photo Credit: Secret Travel Guide
Botswana: What You May Not Know About The Southern African Country
Botswana is a natural beauty in the Southern African region. And we mean that in the most literal sense.
Forty-one percent of its 224,607 square miles is pure nature. This means that there is ample space for animals and wildlife to roam freely. So it’s no surprise that the country with a population of over two million is also home to zebras, wildebeests, leopards, wild dogs, hundreds of bird species, and of course elephants.
The diverse ecosystem, stunning scenery, and vibrant culture makes Botswana a must on your travel list. Did we mention the impossibly golden sunsets? Read on to learn more about this jewel.
1. It's part of a quadripoint
Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet at the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip aka the four corners of Africa. It’s the only intersection of four countries in the world.
2. Home to the densest elephant population
The country is home to the densest population of elephants. Head to Chobe National Park to catch a glimpse of them.
3. The most popular language is Setswana
English is the official language but Setswana is the national language and most commonly spoken, especially in rural areas. There are over 20 other languages spoken in Botswana outside of Setswana.
4. Pula is a very important word
Pula means rain or blessings. It is also the name of the local currency and their motto. Chants of pula can be heard at football matches in support of the Zebras (the national team) and as a show of support at political rallies.
5. You can access Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is a stunning waterfall on the Zambezi River, sitting between the Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe and Livingstone in Zambia. You can access it via Botswana as well but be sure to bring your passport as crossing the border comes with a different set of laws.
6. Botswana was known as Bechuanaland
Botswana is a former British protectorate that gained its independence in 1966. It is formerly known as Bechuanaland.
7. Diamonds are a big business
Botswana is the world’s top diamond-producing country value-wise. Up to 65% of fine diamond jeweler De Beers’ supply comes from the country’s mines. The capital Gaborone is the second-largest producer globally.
8. Holds multiple records
Botswana holds at least three world records as a country. The world’s largest salt pans are the Makgadikadi Pans with an area of about 12,000 sq. km. The world’s largest inland delta is the Okavango delta covering an estimated 15,000 sq. km. And the world’s shortest border between Botswana and Zambia is 700 meters. It’s the shortest border between two independent countries.