Whilst travelling in Botswana you will experience the lushness of the Okavango Delta and home of the famous Chobe National Park. Enjoy a cruise on the Chobe River within close proximity to the wildlife – an experience that shall never be forgotten!More information
Official Name: Republic of Botswana
Population: 1.4 million
Land Area: 600,370 square km
Currency: Botswana pula AUD 1 = BWP 7.4 (Botswana Pula; calculated 18 June 2019).
US dollars are often accepted at hotels or as tips.
Time: 2 hours ahead of GMT
Language: English is the official language with Setswana the national language
Schooling: As of 2001, 86% of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5. In Botswana education system, girls and boys have equal access to education. Girls, however, are likely to drop out of secondary school due to pregnancy. Secondary education is neither free nor compulsory.
Agriculture: With its hot climate, many regions of Botswana have little rain and agriculture can be affected by severe droughts. Crops grown for domestic consumption here include sorghum and maize and roots or tubers such as sweet potatoes. On a larger scale, Livestock farming, primarily beef, is also farmed.
Key Industries: Tourism, livestock farming, Diamond mining (Botswana is the home of the world’s largest and richest diamond mine)
Health Tips: Botswana is not listed as infected with cholera at present. Malaria risk exists from November to May / June in northern parts of the country including Chobe and Okavango. Yellow fever does not occur in Botswana however a yellow fever certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from or having passed through areas with risk of yellow fever transmission. For up to date travel advice refer to http://www.smartraveller.gov.au
Geography & Climate: During the coolest winter months of June and July, temperatures average around 25°C in the daytime. But they can dip well below freezing at night where there is no cloud cover. In the wet summer months of January and February, daytime temperatures are moderated by cloud to between 20°C-30°C, but clear skies can see temperatures soar to 40°C
Botswana is landlocked by South Africa in the South, Namibia to the west and north, Zimbabwe to the northeast and Zambia to the north.
The country is predominantly flat, tending towards gently rolling tableland. Botswana is dominated by the Kalahari Desert which covers up to 70% of its land surface. The Okavango Delta in the northwest, is a complete contrast to the desert; an oasis in an arid country. It is one of the worlds largest inland deltas and an absolutely amazing natural wonder of Africa. Approximately 11 cubic kilometres of water floods over the area, this water does not flow into any sea or ocean but evaporates and transpires over the year. It is a huge draw card for wildlife to congregate attracting animals from kilometres around creating both a permanent and seasonal home for a wide variety of wildlife. A large salt pan, the Makgadikgadi Pan is found in the north. Chobe River provides a boundary between Botswana and Namibia Zambezi Region. The Chobe River meets the Zambezi River at a place called Kazungula (meaning small sausage tree).
Botswana has diverse areas of wildlife habitat. In addition to the delta and desert areas, there are grasslands and savannahs where Blue Wildebeest, antelopes, African Buffalo, Giraffe, Lion, Kudu, Blank and White Rhinoceros and many more varieties are found. If elephants make your heart flutter, the largest concentration of African Elephants in the world can be found at Chobe National Park. Four of the Big Five can also be found at the 11,000 square National Park, minus the Rhino (very rarely spotted here).
BOTSWANA PLASTIC BAG BAN
The Botswana Government have announced their intention to ban the use of plastic carrier bags effective from the 1st of November 2018. Guests travelling to Botswana should be aware of this and are advised to not carry plastic bags into the country. The proposed fine for carrying plastic bags will be US$500.