Botswana Travel Overview
At a glance
Official language: English
Continent: South Africa
Vacation in Botswana
Safari or luxury vacation – ecological sustainability is definitely taken into account…
The Okawango Basin is considered to be the largest inland delta in the world. The huge wetland (swamps, moors, floodplains) is home to an unimaginably diverse flora and fauna. From lions and leopards to rhinos and flamingos you will find everything a safari adventurer’s heart desires here. The area is home to 64 different reptile species alone. The delta is a popular destination for tourists, but also hunters. The best time to visit is at the end of the dry season, which falls in the beginning of autumn.
According to Countryaah, another piece of unadulterated Africa can be found in the Kalahari – contrary to common usage, a savannah and not a desert. You can also observe game here. The salt pans attract the wild animals. Here you can replenish your mineral balance. The Kalahari is also where the nation’s most important export good – rough diamonds – are mined. A large part of the gross domestic product is generated through the marketing of diamonds. Botswana is the third largest diamond producer in the world.
Camping vs. resort vacation
The tourism is concentrated in Botswana mainly to the camping, although occasionally even luxury hotels arise. When building, one always takes care not to overwhelm nature. You can also rent a car and tour yourself, but on the one hand you have to be prepared for left-hand traffic and on the other hand be careful that wild animals are besieging the streets.
A visit to the capital Gaborone pays off not least because of the museums, which provide an insight into the culture and history of this country. The National Museum, founded in 1967, not only exhibits modern artists, but also values traditional craftsmanship. The works of art come partly from antiquity or the colonial era.
The Gaborone Game Reserve is located directly on the outskirts and is ideal for a short wildlife watch.
Rural way of life
Besides Gaborone, there are hardly any large cities in Botswana. A very rural way of life prevails, the villages are scattered and most of the people still make a living from raising cattle. Traditional rural large estates characterize the picture. The largest such settlements are Molepolole and Maun.
The Manyana Rock Paintings are also well worth a visit. Manyana lies at the foot of the legendary Kolobeng hill. The rock paintings, which are worth seeing, mainly depict animal motifs.
The Maitisong Festival takes place in April each year and lasts nine days. At this time there is a carnival atmosphere in Gaborone. Dance acts and musical performances by groups traveling from all over southern Africa take place both outdoors and in the city’s theaters and the Anglican Church.
Alternative name: Botswana
Official language: English
Pula (100 Thebe)
ISO 4217 code
BWP / 072
Geo coordinates: S -22 ° -19 ‘-42.5 “E 24 ° 41’ 5.5”
Highest mountain: Tsodilo Hills (1,489 m)
Total area: 600,370 km²
Mainland: 585,370 km²
National border: 4,013 km
Dependency: Great Britain until 1966
UN member since: 1966
Other political affiliation: African Union
Form of government: Presidential Republic
BSP: $ 10,927,000,000
GDP: $ 12,177,100,000
GDP purchasing power parity: $ 19,015,000,000
Economic growth: 4.6%
Inflation rate: 8.2%
State budget revenue: $ 3946000000
State budget expenditure: $ 3969000000
National debt: 6.8%
Export: $ 4,190,000,000
Import: $ 3,840,000,000
Foreign debt: $ 626,000,000
Gold and currency reserves: $ 6,723,000,000
Electricity consumption: 2,794 million KWh
Oil consumption: 12,600 million m³
Cultivation area: 0.66%
Bovine: 1,580,000 pieces
Sheep: 440,000 pieces
Residents in cities: 812.200
Average age: 19.4 years
0-14 years: 38.3%
15-64 years: 57.9%
> 65 years: 3.8%
Population growth: -0.04%
Birth rate: 23.33 / 1,000 residents
Death rate: 29.5 / 1,000 residents
Migration: 6.07 / 1,000 residents
Ratio men / women: 0.96
Fertility: 2.79 children / woman
Infant mortality: 53.7 ‰
Life expectancy men: 33.9 years
Life expectancy women: 33.56 years
Country codes and abbreviations
ISO 3166 Alpha 2: BW
ISO 3166 Alpha 3: BWA
ISO 3166 numeric: 72
Top Level Domain: bw
IOC country code: BOT
UN / LOCODE: BW
Telephone connections: 206,000
Cell Phones: 640,000
Internet users: 152,000
Railway lines: 888 km
Paved roads: 10,617 km
Number of doctors: 540
Daily food intake: 2,310 kcal / resident
HIV- infected people: 380,000
Last sovereign since: 1966
Main religious group: Natural religions
Prison inmates: 6,300
Armed forces (troop strength): 9,000
Defense Spending: $ 334.8 million
Arriving by plane
The national airline Air Botswana (BP) (Internet: www.airbotswana.com) only operates within Africa. Air connections from Europe go via Johannesburg, Windhoek, Harare and Victoria Falls. South African Airways (SA) (Internet: www.flysaa.com) and Air Botswana (BP) offer flights from Johannesburg and Harare to Botswana.
Frankfurt – Gaborone: 13 hours 15 minutes (including stopovers).
Arrival by car
The roads roughly follow the railway lines and connect Botswana with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. As a result of the exceptionally heavy rainfall, disabilities due to destroyed infrastructure must be expected when traveling overland. Information on border crossings is available on the Botswana Tourism Board website under Travel Information (www.botswanatourism.co.bw).
Bus: There are regular bus connections between Gabarone and Johannesburg (South Africa). Buses also go to Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Tolls: Tolls are required at the border crossing.
Arriving by train
There are good rail connections to South Africa (Johannesburg – Mafikeng – Ramathlabama – Gaborone) and Zimbabwe (Francistown – Bulawayo, travel time: 6 hours). During the day, trains run between Lobatse and Francistown, and at night there is a connection to Bulawayo (travel time Gaborone – Bulawayo: 20 hours).
The South African Blue Train (mobile luxury hotel) (Internet: www.bluetrain.co.za) travels via Botswana to Zimbabwe. The border crossing into Zimbabwe is delayed in some cases by lengthy formalities; this also applies to trips to / from South Africa.
Botswana is involved in the construction of the Limpopo railway line from Zimbabwe to Mozambique, so that further connections will be available in the future. The expansion of the route network to Namibia is also planned.
Arrival by ship
A car ferry operates on the Zambezi River between Botswana and Zambia.