Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

“For a while our bus was even able to drive on an asphalt road, and what particularly interested us was that the speed bumps here are negative – that is, they dig them across the road, so you can’t see them until you’re almost on top of them.

Later we boarded an off-road SUV, because a normal truck would soon have been bogged down in the sinking sands around the delta. Soon, so was the SUV. Our driver, though clearly no beginner, seemed not to have heard the maxim that an off-roader’s best friend is momentum. He must have been trying to protect our kidneys by going slow, but it wasn’t a good idea on these deep sands, and we got stuck. To lock the differential, however, we all had to get out, and he spent ages fiddling about under the car with a crowbar. Whatever he did, though, it worked, and after a little pushing we were moving again.

I don’t suppose there are any predators in the area, because cattle were gazing freely. We saw some termite mounds that were four or five meters high. (2017)”


Southern Africa - Botswana - coexistence - Elter photo

Botswana - cohesion - Elter photo

Southern Africa - Botswana - Okavango Delta - traditional boats called mokoro - Elter photo

Practicals

Transport

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Botswana - safari - Elter photo

Shopping

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Botswana - convenience store - v.g. photo

Public safety

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Botswana - man with an ax - s.v. photo

Health

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Botswana - Okavango Delta - loo - Elter photo

Others

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Southern Africa - Botswana - face-to-face - Elter photo

Background

Botswana - national flag

Destination in brief

Botswana in brief
 
Botswana is a landlocked country located in the southwestern part of Africa. Neighbors: Namibia (west), South Africa (south), Zimbabwe (east), Angola, and Zambia (north). (The border between Botswana and Zambia is only 150 meters long (!), which makes it the shortest border in the world.)

Botswana was a British protectorate (not a colony) between 1885 and 1966, and was called Bechuanaland during that time.   

Size: 600,370 km² (231,804 mi²) - 45% of Botswana’s territory is made up of protected national parks and wildlife reserves. A paradise for eco-tourists!
The semi-arid sandy savanna of the Kalahari Desert occupies over 70% of Botswana's total area.

Capital city: Gaborone

Population (in 2020): 2.3 million– Botswana is among the least densely populated countries in the world. - The Tswana are Botswana’s largest ethnic group.

Language: English is the official language, but Setswana, a local language, is the most widely spoken in everyday life throughout the country.

Religion: 77% Christian

Political system: multi-party democracy, republic
Since becoming independent in 1966, Botswana has maintained an uninterrupted tradition of democratic elections, making it Africa’s oldest surviving democracy.

Currency: Botswana Pula (BWP) – Pula also means rain. They also say it when toasting with their drinks, as rain is highly valuable in this dry country.

Botswana is the world’s second-largest producer of diamonds (after Russia), but number one in terms of value. Botswana is certainly one of the most prosperous countries in Africa.

Average net monthly salary (in 2020): 770 USD

Most common surname: Molefe

Safety: Botswana is the safest country in southern Africa. Car break-ins, however, are somewhat common.

Best timing for a tourist visit: Botswana is a big country, so the optimal timing depends very much on where we plan to go, and what type of excursions we want to make. Practically any time of the year is convenient for a visit.

Top tourist attractions:
Okavango Delta (with more than 150,000 islands), Chobe National Park,
There are around 150,000 elephants in Botswana, 50,000 of them living in Chobe National Park. Botswana has Africa’s highest concentration of elephants.
 
There are few African countries where nature and biodiversity are as highly protected as in Botswana. The country’s tourist infrastructure is surprisingly well developed.  


History

The national heroes are the three chiefs: Bathoen I, Khama III, and Sebele I. These great chiefs fought for the independence of Botswana.

Nowadays

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Southern Africa - Botswanna - Okavango Delta -village with huge termite mound - Elter photo

Southern Africa - Botswana - aerial view on a well-to-do settlement - Elter photo

Botswana - kids walk long distances to and from school - n.l. photo

People

1. The Batswana are generally reserved and timid people. Expressions of affection in public are not considered acceptable in rural areas but are seen more often in urban areas. It is deemed to be unacceptable for people to express their anger publicly, but sometimes people do.

2. Society is patriarchal, and men are judged (and consider themselves) superior to women. Women do most of the work. Sex is a topic that local women like to discuss with each other.

Botswana - school kids in uniform - v.g. photo

Botswana - kids - s.v. photo

Botswana - modern lady

Botswana - happy

Botswana - drunken rider - s.v. photo

Tourist etiquette

1. Humor could go wrong, so be careful before using it and not expect people to understand you.

Attractions

Southern Africa - Botswana - Okavango Delta excursion - Elter photo

Botswana - safari - n.l. photo

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