Botswana Travel Facts

Botswana Travel Facts


Travel Facts

Botswana, one of Africa's most upscale safari destinations, is a true wildlife haven. It has it all, from the beautiful landscapes and incredibly vor acious wildlife to the warm welcoming people and their vibrant culture. There is just so much to appreciate about the country.

Most people know that the country boasts of wetlands of the Okavango Delta and the dry arid Kalahari Desert but did you know that Botswana is also one of Africa's most stable countries, with relatively high standard of living. And that’s not all, there are more interesting Botswana Travel Facts that you probably didn’t know about the country.

Falcon Safaris have listed them below in this Botswana Travel Guide to help you see why the country should be next on your Botswana Safari list.

About Botswana

Botswana is a Southern African country in the Sub-Saharan region. Botswana was previously known as the British protectorate of Bechuanaland. Its people are called Batswana. It gained independence on September 30, 1996, and has held free and fair elections since then.

The geography of the country is flat. The Kalahari Desert encompasses roughly 70% of Botswana. It is bounded to the south and southeast by South Africa, to the north and west by Namibia, and to the northeast by Zimbabwe. Botswana is a small inland country with a population of 2,360,770 according to the most recent United Nations estimates in March 2019. Botswana Population is equal to 0.03% of the global population.

Quick Facts Botswana



Government Type

Parliamentary Republic



Total Area

224,606 Square Miles,581,730 Square Kilometers


Southern Africa, North Of South Africa

Geographic Coordinates

22.3285° S, 24.6849° E

Map References


Land Boundaries

4,347.15 km

Border Countries

Namibia 1,544 km, South Africa 1,969 km, Zimbabwe 834 km and Zambia, 0.15 km



Lowest Point

Junction of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers - 513 m

Highest Point

Tsodilo Hills - 1,489 m

Natural Resources

diamonds, nickel, gold, silver, iron ore, copper, soda ash

Geography Notes



English, Setswana

GDP- Real Growth Rate


GDP- Per Capita


Botswana Environment & Geography

Botswana is the 47th largest country in the world, covering 600,370 square kilometres of land. About 40% of the country is entirely nature and pristine wilderness. This percentage of the country is under strict government control and protection as reserves, wildlife management areas, and national parks. The country is slightly smaller than the state of Texas in the United States.

Botswana is mostly flat, with gently rolling tableland. 70% of Botswana is covered by the Kalahari Desert. The Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta, is located in the northwest. The Makgadikgadi Pan, located in the north, is a large salt deposit in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Limpopo River Basin is located in the southeast of Botswana. The Chobe River separates Botswana and Namibia in the north and at Kazungula, it joins the Zambezi River. Botswana Wildlife is diverse, with species found in deltas, deserts, grasslands, and savannahs.

The Economy Of Botswana

Botswana has had one of the fastest growth rates in the world since independence, with an average of 9% growth from 1966 to 1999. It is now a middle-income country, with a standard of living comparable to Mexico and Turkey. Despite consecutive budget deficits, the country's foreign debt is negligible. It has the highest credit rating in Africa. Botswana has one of the most competitive and advanced banking systems in Africa. Credit is readily available to entrepreneurs. A single financial regulatory agency was recently established. The stock exchange in the country is expanding. Foreign investment is generally encouraged, but some sectors are only open to citizens. Regulations can be slow, but they are clear.

Botswana Language

The official spoken Botswana Language is English and the national language is Setswana which is widely spoken in the country. In Setswana, the prefixes are very important compared to any other languages. The prefix “Bo” is used when referring to the nation and “Ba” is used when referring to the people. The people are known as the Batswana and one person is known as “Motswana.” Lesotho is considered as a sister country to Botswana and it was inhabited by the Sotho, a related tribe and the Setswana speakers can understand their language.

Botswana Culture

Botswana Travel Facts

Botswana Culture is something either hold out both hands or use their right hand when giving a gift or handing out something. If only one hand is used, place the left hand under the right elbow to support the right hand. Walking in the middle of two people who are conversing is considered impolite in Batswana. It is far preferable to walk around either person. If you can't avoid it, walk between the people with your head bowed and say, "Excuse me." During a thunderstorm people prefer not to wear red because they believe that the colour red attracts lightning.

Diamonds In Botswana

Botswana is the world's second largest diamond producer. The country produced 40 million carats of this precious stone in 2016. To put that figure into perspective, a 910-carat diamond once sold for $40 million in 2018. When it comes to diamonds, Botswana has produced some of the largest gems ever discovered. The 1,098-carat rough stone discovered in June 2021 was one such gem. The rock was about the size of a chicken egg.

Only a few weeks after the 1,098-carat stone was discovered, another (larger) one was discovered. The rough stone was 1,174 carats in weight. It was valued at around $70 million in the year 2016. The country is famous for having the largest gems on the planet. It currently has six stones in the top 10 list of the biggest gems in the world.

Botswana Weather

Botswana is characterised by a semi-arid climate and hot and dry weather is one of the sunniest countries in the world. Winter is from May to August and during this time rainfall is very rare. The temperatures usually drop to below zero degrees at night and during the day, temperatures can be over 20 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is usually in summer and this is known as the green season.

Botswana Wildlife

Botswana Wildlife is varied from the famous big five, the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo to the antelopes and rarest desert animals like the meerkats and the aardvarks. There are between 160 to 500 mammal species, 593 bird species, 150 reptiles, more than 8,000 insect and spider species, and more than 3,100 different types of plants and trees. Botswana has the world’s largest population of elephants and black maned lions, numbering over 130,000 which is quite a significant amount compared to its neighbouring countries.

Interesting Facts About Botswana

  • The flag of Botswana is one of the few African flags that do not use the Pan-Africanism movement colours of red, black and green; its colours are blue, white and black.
  • There are more than 4,500 rock paintings that are preserved in an area known as the “Louvre of the Desert”. The ancient paintings are said to be more than 100,000 years old.
  • The Zebra, specifically the Burch ell is the national animal of Botswana and 2 of them appear on the country’s Coat of Arms. The Burchell's Zebra was selected for its black and white stripes as the same colours are found on the country’s flag.
  • The national dish of the country is the Seswaa, which is a type of meat stew, usually goat or beef stew. It is boiled until it becomes soft enough to be pounded until it becomes tender. It is served with pap or cornmeal. The dish is so well-loved that it is served on special occasions, such as weddings and funerals.
  • The pula is the currency of the country. The word literally means "rain" in Tswana. As much of the country is desert, rainfall is very rare and is therefore highly valuable and considered to be a blessing in the country.

Botswana is a beautiful country and there is so much you can learn, know and appreciate.

Botswana Population

A country with a population of slightly more than 2.3 million people, Botswana is one of the world's most sparsely populated countries. Gaborone, the capital and largest city, is home to approximately 11.6 percent of the population. Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of around US$70 per year in the late 1960s, it has since transformed itself into an upper-middle-income country with one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Botswana Airport & Flights

Botswana has four airports with scheduled flights. Gaborone (GBE) / Sir Seretse Khama International Airport is busiest Botswana Airport, with flights to 9 destinations in 4 countries. Maun International Airport, Kasane International Airport, and Francistown International Airport are the other 3.

Selebi Phikwe and Ghanzi airports have little commercial activity. Air Botswana, Air Namibia, Ethiopian Airlines, SA Air link, and South African Express are the five carriers that offer scheduled international flights. These airlines provide direct flights from Botswana to Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, and Windhoek.

Getting To Botswana

Most visitors to Botswana will make a stopover in South Africa to catch a direct flight from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town.

Travellers are more likely to fly into Maun Airport (MUB) or Kasane Airport. It is common to fly into Maun and depart from Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe or Livingstone Airport in Zambia when combining a Safari In Botswana with a visit to Victoria Falls.

Botswana Visa & Passport

Because entry requirements can change, please check with your local Botswana Embassy to ensure the information below is up to date. All foreign visitors must have a passport that is valid for at least six months. Most nationalities do not require a Botswana Visa and will be issued a 30-day entry permit upon arrival. All foreign visitors must have a return ticket.

To enter Botswana, children (under the age of 18) must have a certified copy of their full, unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport. If a child is travelling with only one parent or no parents, an affidavit from the missing parent(s) granting permission for the child to travel is required.

Botswana Map

Botswana Travel Facts

Botswana Map in physical way depicts the country's physical characteristics. The country is located on a flat plateau in southern Africa. The Kalahari Desert covers the country in the centre and southwest, while the Okavango Delta in the north is a thriving oasis with numerous salt lakes. The Makgadikgadi Pan is situated in the middle of a dry Savanna, with Savanna grasslands in the east and a dry scrub along the western border with Namibia.

The Limpopo, Okavango, and Shashe rivers are all significant, with the Molopo River forming a geographical border between South Africa and Botswana. Tsodilo Hills, at 1,489 metres, is Botswana's highest point; at 513 metres the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers meet.

Botswana Health Care

Botswana's healthcare system is dominated by the public sector, which operates the majority of the care facilities. However, there is a significant difference between public and private medical provisions, and tourists are advised to purchase private health insurance for the duration of their trip to Botswana.

Botswana's healthcare system is improving. Botswana rose to the fourth decile in the Healthcare Access and Quality Index (HAQ) between 1990 and 2000. These statistics indicate that the country should increase healthcare spending and improve education about communicable diseases. Meeting these objectives should improve the general health of the population.

Botswana is a very interesting country, so unique and so rare and so worth a visit at least once in a lifetime. Botswana Travel Facts, there is so much to discover and find out about the country and so much to appreciate once you are there.

Frequently Asked Questions

We Think You’ll Love

The three interesting Facts about Botswana are –

  • Botswana has the largest salt pan in the world, The Makgadikgadi Salt pan. It has stretched with an area of over 12000 sq. km.
  • With an area equivalent to France, Botswana has only 2 million people compared to France which has 66.9 million.
  • It has the largest inland delta in the world, The Okavango Delta, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
  • People travel to Botswana to experience its surreal wildlife and stunning landscape. Starting from the beautiful dunes to the breathtaking view of the Okavango Delta, it has everything for everyone. The incredible wildlife and exciting adventure activities draw the attention of visitors around the world.

    Being a southern African country, Botswana has diverse wildlife and landscape. What makes it more unique is the largest inland delta in the world, Okavango Delta, where you get a chance to go on a mokoro ride.

    Okavango Delta, the most visited place in Botswana is Okavango Delta. Widely known as the river that never finds the sea, Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the world.

    Yes, being home to some of Africa’s best safari destinations and richly diverse wildlife, Botswana is a good place to go. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Okavango Delta, and Botswana’s first national park, Chobe National Park makes Botswana Africa’s best safari destination.

    The best thing about Botswana is it offers Africa’s best game viewing experience. For wildlife photographers and birdwatchers there can be no better option than a safari in Botswana.

    Overall yes, Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa. Whether you are coming for the first time or a repeated one, there is nothing to worry about. The people in Botswana are always warm and welcoming.

    Because it has some of the best safari destinations in Africa. Enriched with large biodiversity and surreal wildlife and nature, Botswana is tourists’ most loved safari destination.

    A premier safari destination in South Africa. Especially the game viewing experience in Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta makes Botswana the best safari destination for travelers around the world.

    Setswana is the most spoken language in Botswana, while the official language is English. English is being used for travel, education, and administration.

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