Botswana, whose official name is the Republic of
Botswana (in English: Republic of Botswana, in Setsuana: Lefatshe
the Botswana), is a sovereign landlocked country in southern Africa
whose form of government is the parliamentary republic. Its
territory is divided into nine districts. The capital of the country
is the city of Gaborone. Geographically the country extends
over flat land, with 70% of its surface covered by the Kalahari
desert. It borders South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia
to the west and north, Zimbabwe to the northeast and Zambia to the
north at a single point. It is ranked 48 in countries by surface.
Botswana was one of the poorest countries in Africa at the time
it became independent from the United Kingdom in 1966, when it
exhibited a GDP per capita of around 70 dollars. However, Botswana
is a nation that has achieved a significant increase in the level of
income, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
According to IMF estimates in 2016, Botswana had an average annual
growth rate of 9 percent, and has a per capita GDP (PPP) of around $
16,947, one of the highest in Africa. Although Botswana's
record highlights good governance and economic growth supported by
prudent macroeconomic management and fiscal balance, this contrasts
with high levels of poverty in the country, inequality and
persistently high unemployment, with figures close to 20%.
The high investment in education, 10% of GDP, has achieved important
achievements such as the provision of education almost universal and
free, as well as notable improvements in the health sector to reduce
mortality from diseases. This has allowed Botswana to have moderate
human development, but it is considered one of the highest in
Travel Destinations in Botswana
Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park is a massive nature reserve
situated in northwest Botswana in Africa.
Gaborone Game Reserve is located West of Gaborone
in Botswana. This natural preserve covers an area of 600 ha.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park is located
in Kgalagadi District of Botswana.
Khutse Game Reserve
Khutse Game Reserve is a protected area in central Botswana
just outside of the nation's capital. Its name
is comes from Sekwena language (local dialect of Tswana) word "Khutse".
Linyanti Swamp is a wetland biosphere formed
around the Linyanti River that is also known as a Chobe river.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park covers one of the
largest salt flats in the World. It is situated in the North-
Mashatu Game Reserve
Mashtu Game Reserve is a nature reserve located
in the desolate eastern region of Botswana.
Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Mokolodi Nature Reserve covers huge area of
savanna with a very diverse wild life that was originally found
here brought here from elsewhere.
Moremi Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in
Botswana. It was named after Chief Moremi of the BaTawana tribe.
Nxai Pan National Park protects unique biosphere
of the Nxai Pan that is part of Makgadikgadi Pan salt flats.
Okavango Delta is a huge wetland that covers an
area of 15,000 km². Parts of the Okavango Delta is protected by
the Moremi Wildlife Reserve.
Tsodilo Hills are located in Kalahari Desert in
Botswana. It is famous for its historic rock art that dates back
to 22000 BC.
History of Botswana
The first territory of present Botswana was
settled by hunters and gatherers who spoke Khoisan languages. The
sites of ancient people discovered in the hills of Tsodilo date back
to the 18th century BC. e. In the last few centuries BC. e. some
tribes in the north began to move to livestock, using the relatively
fertile lands around the Okavango Delta and Lake McGadikgadi for
At the beginning of our era, Bantu farmers came to
South Africa from the equator, with the advent of which the Iron Age
begins. The first monuments of the Iron Age in Botswana date back to
about 190 BC. e. and probably associated with the Bantu peoples of
the Limpopo Valley. By 420 A.D. e. include the remains of small
houses similar to beehives in a settlement near Molepolole, similar
finds of the 6th century are on the hills of Tsodilo.
1095, the spread of the Moritsana culture, associated with the
southeast of Botswana, began: its carriers were tribes of the
Soto-Tswana group, which, although they belonged to the Bantu
peoples, were engaged in animal breeding rather than farming. From a
material point of view, this culture also combined the features of
old cultures of the Upper Neolithic (such as Bambat) and the Bantus
culture of the eastern Transvaal (Leidenberg culture). The spread of
Moritsane culture is associated with the growing influence of the
In the east and in the center of the
country, leaders of the Tutsve people, who conducted active trade
with the east coast of the Limpopo River, had great influence in the
7th-13th centuries. In the XIII century, this formation came under
the control of the state of Mapungubwe, and later - Greater
From about the 9th century, other Bantu tribes, the
ancestors of the present Bayei and Mbukushu, began to penetrate the
north-west of the country.
In the 13th century, the leaders
of the Soto and Tswana began to gain strength in the western part of
Transvaal. The leaders of the Barolong tribe began to exert serious
pressure on the Kagalagadi tribes, forcing them to either obey or go
further into the desert. By the middle of the XVII century, the
power of the leaders of the Barolong-Kgalagadi spread to the lands
up to the present Namibia, and news of their conflicts with the
Hottentots (koy-koy) over copper mines reached even the Dutch
settlers in the Cape colony.
The sixteenth century included
the separation of Tswana proper under the rule of the dynasties of
Hurutsche, Quen and Kgatla, who founded the kingdom of Ngwaketse at
the end of the 17th century, subjugating the Kgalagadi and Barolong
tribes. Soon they had to face an external threat: at first they were
attacked by tribes who had evaded European influence in the
southwest, and later Tswana had to deal with the consequences of
Mfekana related to the spread of the influence of the Zulus. In
1826, there were clashes between Tswana and Kololo, who killed the
leader Makabu II. Tswana succeeded in driving the pier further
north, where they briefly settled. Kololo reached in the west to
present-day Namibia (where they defeated the Herero), and in the
north - to the lands of the vines in the upper Zambezi.
In the 1840s, after the wars ended, the Tswana
states - Ngwaketse, Quena, Ngvato and Tawana - began to strengthen
their influence in the region, as well as trade ivory and ostrich
feathers with the Cape colony in the south. At the same time,
European missionaries began to operate in Botswana. The most
influential leaders of Tswana at that time were Széchele (reigned in
1829–1892), who was an ally of the British and converted to
Christianity under the influence of David Livingston, as well as
Kham III (reigned in 1872–1873 and 1875–1923), who was also an ally
the British. The latter used its lands in order to bypass the
hostile Boer republics (Transvaal and the Orange Free State) and the
kingdoms of Sean and Ndebele.
In 1867-1869, gold mining began
in the country in Tati, near Francistown, but due to the discovery
of diamonds in South Africa, the gold rush was a short-lived
phenomenon. In the 1880s, German colonization of southwestern Africa
began to develop, tension in the region increased, and in 1885 the
leaders of the Tswana turned to the British crown for protection. On
March 31, 1885, a British protectorate over the lands of Tswana,
called Bechuanalen, was proclaimed. The northern part of
Bechuanaland remained under the control of the English crown, and
the southern part was included in the Cape colony.
The British initially assumed that the
Bechuanaland protectorate would be a temporary formation and
subsequently, like Basutoland (Lesotho) with Swaziland, would be
included in Rhodesia or the South African Union, and therefore
Mafeking, located in the Cape Colony, was even the administrative
center of the protectorate in 1895-1964 . There were no special
development programs for Bechuanaland. In addition, attempts to
reform and develop the extractive industry and agriculture aroused
sharp protest among the leaders of the Tswana, who did not want to
strengthen European influence on their lands.
territory was divided into eight self-governing tribal reserves and
five blocks of white population settlements that had the status of
crown lands. The inclusion of protectorates in South Africa was
constantly delayed, and, in the end, when apartheid began to be
introduced in South Africa, it was decided not to unite these
territories. In 1951, a joint advisory council was created, and in
1961, a constitution was adopted, which provided for the creation of
a legislative assembly that had the right of deliberative vote.
Great Britain did not want to change the
political structure of the country until the independent development
of its economy began. In 1964, the colonial administration accepted
the possibility of independence. In 1965, self-government was
introduced, and the capital was moved from Mafikeng to the quickly
rebuilt Gaborone; in 1966, the independent Republic of Botswana was
proclaimed. The first prime minister was Seretse Khama, one of the
leaders of the independence movement and the legitimate contender
for the throne of the leader of the Bamangwato tribe. He was
re-elected twice more and passed away in 1980 as president.
The economy of independent Botswana was based on the export of
products (in particular, diamond deposits were found in the
country). In order to get the most benefit from this export, in 1969
the government achieved a change in the terms of the customs
agreement with South Africa. Since 1969, Botswana began to play a
significant role in regional politics, relying on the principles of
anti-racism and liberal democracy and contrasting them with the
apartheid regime in South Africa. In 1974, Botswana, together with
Zambia and Tanzania (later joined by Angola and Mozambique) created
the Organization of Frontline States against the regimes in Southern
Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa. In 1980, it was transformed into
the South African Development Coordination Conference, which has
been known as the South African Development Community (SADC) since
After Khama, Vice President Quett Ketumile Masire, also
twice re-elected, became president. Masire faced both internal
problems (unemployment and a large economic gap in the standard of
living of the urban and rural population), and international
problems when South African troops began to raid the front-line
states. As a result of two raids on Gaborone in 1985 and 1986, 15
civilians were killed. Diplomatic relations with South Africa were
established only in 1994.
Masire resigned in 1998, after
which Festus Mogae became the leader of Botswana. In 1998, about
2,400 refugees from Namibia arrived in the country, which negatively
affected the relations between the two countries. In 2008, Festus
Mogae resigned early, losing his post to the vice president and son
of the country's first president, Jan Khame. In 2018, Mokvetsi
Masisi took over as president.