Top tip: Waterproof bag for Calahari Desert
Botswana is bordered by South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and touches Zambia just west of the Victoria Falls.
National Parks cover 17% of the country. To the north-west is the Okavango Basin, where the Moremi Wildlife Reserve and the Chobe National Park support abundant wildlife. To the Southwest is the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.
The majority of the population lives in the south-east around Gaborone, Serowe and Kanye along the South African border. The vast arid sandscape of the Kalahari occupies much of north, central and western Botswana. The seasonal rains bring a considerable difference to the vegetation, especially in the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Okavango Basin in the north. The latter, after the winter floods, provides one of the wildest and most beautiful nature reserves in Africa.
Although Botswana is in the tropics, the climate is temperate because of the altitude and the fact the counrty is inland. The hot and dry season is from September to October, and the rainy season from November to March.
The best time to visit is April to May and August to September. Night-time temperatures can fall below freezing.
Facts and Figures
|Area||581,730 sq km (224,607 sq miles).|
|Population||1,990,876 (2009 estimate)|
|Capital||Gaborone (pop – 191,776 – 2006 estimate).|
|Language||English is the official language. Setswana is the national language, with minorities speaking Kalanga and Sekgalagadi.|
|Religion||A significant proportion of the population holds animistic beliefs, although the 2001 census showed that 71 per cent claimed to be Christians. There are small Muslim communities and the Bahá’í Faith is also represented.|
|Time||GMT + 2|
Interested in Botswana? Call +44 (0)20 7604 4408 for expert holiday advice