Botswana has long held a top spot amongst safari enthusiasts, it’s a fascinating country with an interesting history to boot. Read on for some fun facts on Botswana, some of which may come as a surprise.
In 1966 Botswana gained independence from Britain, just one year later a huge diamond mine was discovered in Orapa. This transformed Botswana from one of the poorest African countries to one of the most prosperous and stable.
About 38% of the country is set aside for national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas. Conservation is taken very seriously here with tourism providing major revenue.
Trophy hunting is illegal in Botswana and has been since January 2014
Botswana is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa, during the dry season these mighty animals head for the Chobe River where water is in plentiful supply. Chobe is a must for elephant lovers.
The Okavango Delta, the world’s 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest inland delta in the world.
- The currency in Botswana is the Pula, which in Setswana means rain.
- Botswana is the world’s biggest diamond producing country in terms of value (the second biggest in terms of production).
- The first president after independence, Sir Seretse Khama, married Ruth Williams, a British office clerk. The current president, Ian Khama is their oldest son. The story of Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth is portrayed in the 2016 film ‘A United Kingdom’ starring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo.
- In the north west of Botswana, the country borders Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia.
- English is the official language of Botswana and is widely spoken, even in rural areas. Setswana is the national language and is the most spoken throughout the country.