BOTSWANA-ZIMBABWE: Botswana to close its Harare embassy

GABORONE Friday, December 05, 2008 (IRIN) - Botswana will close its embassy in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, within the next few weeks a senior...

Botswana suggests neighbors close borders with Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's neighbors should close their borders in an attempt to bring down President Robert Mugabe, Botswana's foreign minister said Wednesday in...
Republic of Botswana - New Vic...

Republic of Botswana - New Vice President, Cabinet and Appointments in the Civil Service

As has already been widely reported, yesterday a number of new appointments were made in both the formation of a new Cabinet and within the senior...
BOTSWANA: Safari operators all...

BOTSWANA: Safari operators alleviating AIDS crisis

Small charter planes fly tourists from all over the world to safari camps in Botswana's Okavango Delta, where they view wildlife by day and pay up to...
SOUTHERN AFRICA: A winning rec...

SOUTHERN AFRICA: A winning recipe for PMTCT but few follow it

A success story, at last: Botswana has lowered the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to less than four percent, coming close to developed...
SOUTHERN AFRICA: The effect of...

SOUTHERN AFRICA: The effect of migration on HIV rates

Trying to measure the impact of the Zimbabwean exodus on HIV/AIDS rates in the region is so fraught with ifs, buts and maybes that the only...

Official Name: Republic of Botswana

Capital: Gaborone
Major Towns: Kanye, Maun, Francistown, Tshabong
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): 24°40'S, 25°55'E
Time Zone: CAT (UTC+2)
Size: 600,370 sq km
Borders with: Namibia 1,360 km, South Africa 1,840 km, Zimbabwe 813 km
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers 513 m; Highest point: Tsodilo Hills 1,489 m
Head of State: President Festus Mogae
Form of Government: Parliamentary Republic
Independancy (from UK): 30 September 1966 
Currency: Pula (BWP)

Main industries Industries: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash; livestock processing; textiles. Natural resources: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver.
Agriculture: livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers, groundnuts

Population and People  
Population: 1,639,131 (2007 est.)
Density per sq mi: 7
Growth rate: 0.0%
Birth rate: 22.9 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.73 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 53.0/1000
Religion: Christian 71.6%, Badimo 6%, other 1.4%, unspecified 0.4%, none 20.6% (2001 census)
Languages: Setswana 78.2%, Kalanga 7.9%, Sekgalagadi 2.8%, English 2.1% (official), other 8.6%, unspecified 0.4% (2001 census)
Ethnic groups / Tribes: Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other, including Kgalagadi and white 7%
Average age: 0-14 years: 35.8% (male 330,377/female 319,376); 15-64 years: 60.3% (male 549,879/female 545,148); 65 years and over: 3.9% (male 28,725/female 42,003) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 33.7
Literacy (definition: age 15 and over can read and write): Total population: 81.2%; Male: 80.4%; Ffemale: 81.8% (2003 est.)

  • Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the world
  • Amazing wildlife, including antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, leopards, lions and many more
  • San People/Bushmen
  • Kalahari Desert covers up to 70% of the land surface
  • 15,000 km² of water
  • Natural resources: diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver
  • National parks and game reserves
  • Botswana was the location for the 1980 movie The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Handicrafts, including pottery, woven baskets and woodwork
  • 17% of the country is designated national park (40% if private parks are included)
  • Great fishing in the delta and other rivers
  • Historical village of Serowe
  • Brilliant bird-watching
  • Tsodilo Hills with ancient rock paintings from more than 100,000 years ago