Botswana

1-Ryan Elms

Geography

Twice the size of Arizona, Botswana is in south-central Africa, bordered by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. It occupies an area of 600,370 square kilometers, of which 585,000 is land. Most of the country is near-desert, with the Kalahari occupying the western part of the country. The eastern part is hilly, with salt lakes in the north. Most of the population of Botswana is concentrated in the eastern part of the country as well. Botswana is located in the southern part of Africa. The capital of Botswana is Gaborone.

History

1965-Drawing the Botswana Constitution.


September 30, 1966-Full independence and and name change (Bechuanaland to Botswana).


February-March 2000-Devastating floods left more than 60,000 people homeless.


November 2009-Botswana stages a substantial economic recovery after stepping up diamond production again.


November 2012-Government says it will ban the commercial hunting of wildlife from 2014, citing a sharp decline in animal population.

Culture

The citizens of Botswana are called Batswana with Ba meaning "the people of". A Botswana citizen is called a Motswana. The term Batswana also refers to the largest ethnic group in the country - the Tswana who make up two-thirds of the population and speak Setswana. Along side the official language of English, Setswana is the main language of the country. But at least 26 others are spoken by different ethnic communities. These fall into two different language groups which are the Bantu and Khoisan. The Khoisan tongues are sometimes called the "click" languages.

Botswana National Anthem

Hymne national du Botswana

Translated National Anthem of Botswana

Blessed be this noble land,
Gift to us from God's strong hand,
Heritage our fathers left to us,
May it always be at peace.
Awake, awake, O men, awake!
And women close beside them stand,
Together we'll work and serve
This land, this happy land!
Word of beauty and of fame,
The name Botswana to us came.
Through our unity and harmony,
We'll remain at peace as one.

Government

Since independence, Botswana has maintained a remarkably stable constitutional parliamentary democracy system. The constitution separates the government into three branches: the executive, legislative, and the judicature. Since its a true parliamentary system, the president is the leader of the National Assembly and can be removed with a vote of no confidence, forcing new elections. The president may dissolve Parliament at any time and call for new elections. Since 1999, the office of the president has been subjected to a maximum of ten years.

Economics

Cattle raising, the export of beef, other cattle products, and subsistence farming are chief agricultural activities. The country's water shortage and lack of sufficient irrigation facilities have hampered the growth of crops. Sorghum, corn, millet, and beans are the principal subsistence crops, and peanuts, sunflowers, and cotton are the main cash crops. But mining has become the countries economic mainstay since independence. The country mines gold, asbestos, diamond, coal, nickel, manganese, antimony, platinum, sulfur, plutonium, copper, salt, soda ash, and potash. Botswana's diamond mines collectively make up the largest diamond reserves in the world. Botswana is also now a diamond processing center. Although Botswana's mineral wealth has made it one of the wealthiest nations in south Africa, high unemployment remains a problem. Besides minerals, Botswana exports meat and textiles. Imports include foodstuff, machinery, electrical, goods, transportation equipment, fuel, petroleum products, wood, paper, and metal.

Top 5 Places to Visit

1. Chobe National Park

This national park lies in Botswana's Okavango Delta and covers four distinct ecosystems.


2. Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta cuts through the center of the Kalahari Desert, creating a unique inland water system that gives life to a huge variety of birds and mammals.


3. Tsodilo Hills

Tsodilo Hills is a spiritual outdoor art gallery, showcasing more than 4,000 ancient San Bushmen rock paintings.


4. Nxan Pan National Park

The Nxan Pan National Park is just a beautiful destination for a safari.


5. Tuli Block

The Tuli Block is a wildlife rich area in eastern Botswana that borders South Africa and Zimbabwe at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers.