Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa,comparable in size to Madagascar or France, straddling the tropic of Capricorn and covering about 586000km2, of which two-thirds is in the tropics.The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana.
The Scottish writer Alexander McCall Smith has written popular novels “No 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series about Botswana that entertain as well as inform the reader about the culture and customs of Botswana.
The official language of Botswana is English although Setswana is widely spoken across the country. In Setswana, prefixes are more important than they are in many other languages. These prefixes include Bo, which refers to the country, Ba, which refers to the people, Mo, which is one person, and Se which is the language. For example, the main tribe of Botswana is the Tswana people, hence the name Botswana for its country. The people as a whole are Batswana, one person is a Motswana, and the language they speak is Setswana.
The Kalahari dominates Botswana, covering 70% of it’s land surface with two major features the Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt pan lies in the north.and the Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest inland delta, is in the northwest.
The delta forms a network of canals, lagoons and lush islands, a huge reservoir where wildlife abounds, a crucial ecosystem to the survival of many animals, from mammals to birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects … an explosion of life in all its diversity.
This region has been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in June 2014. Pan Magkadikgadi is a saline basin remnant of a lake that covered much of northern Botswana where the Bushmen once extracted the salt.
Botswana’s pristine wilderness protects some of thee earth’s most spectacular wildlife; dense concentrations of big game animals, an amazing wealth of birdlife, and huge herds, roaming from the saltpans of the Kalahari to the lush Okavango Delta, devoid of the marks of modern man the landscape still bears the imprints of our ancestors. There are about twelve game reserves and private reserves where we find blue wildebeest, antelopes, the endangered african wild dog and more than 350 species of birds. The Chobe district has the worlds largest concentration of the African elephant. Also are specialised sanctuaries like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary for Rhinoceros and Makgadikgadi Sanctuary for Flamingos. They are both located in Central District.
Several international mining corporations have established regional headquarters in Botswana, and prospects for diamonds, gold, uranium, copper, and even oil, many coming back with positive results.
Botswana’s Orapa mine is the largest diamond mine in the world in terms of value and quantity of carats produced annually.
In the northern part of Botswana, women in the villages are noted for their skill at crafting baskets from Mokola Palm and use local dyes. The artistry of these baskets is being steadily enhanced through colour and improved designs as they are increasingly produced for commercial use.