Botswana

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General Information

Botswana is a country that is doing its best to use all the potential that it has. Ever since its independence, the country has grown in economic strength to become one of the ''powers'' of souther Africa. This dry country dominated by the harsh Kalahari desert is also a country to great beauty with large tracts of unspoiled wilderness just waiting to be discovered.

The people of of Botswana are called Batwsana and are mainly Tswana, Kalanga and San. Even though Botswana is a large country, covering about 600 370 km², it has a relatively small population of only about 1.84 million people. Only about 3% of the population are not of African descent with the majority of this group being white or Indian.

Setswana is the national language with minor differences depending on the region. English, however, is the official language and almost all business id conducted in this language. Signs and information is also provided in English, making Botswana tourist-friendly country.

Botswana is a fairly flat country of rolling tablelands about 1 000 metres above sea level. The Kalahari desert covers nearly 70% of Botswana''s surface in the south and west. To the north west, the largest inland delta, the Okavango, is the major geographical feature and tourist destination. Not too far from this lush, water drenched landscape are the Makgadikgadi Pans. These pans are dusty, dry wastelands in the dry season characterised by scrub and hardy brush but when the rainy seasons descend, these pans become magical land of water that shimmers under the African sky.

For the most part, Botswana is a hot country though the altitude creates a sub-tropical climate. Most of the country is semi-arid with hyper-arid conditions in the Kalahari desert. Most of Botswana''s small amount of rainfall occurs during the summer months of November to March. The winter from about May to October is dry with cool days and nights that can drop below freezing in some parts of the country. Temperatures are very high in the summer and mild to cold in the winter.

Botswana has a very strict and progressive approach to conservation. Nearly 17% of the country are national parks with another 22% given over to wilidlife management systems. Not all of these areas are accessible to the public. Botswana has strict legislation and regulations that allow government to control game reserves. This allows the country to limit the impact of tourism on their wild areas, while still allowing visitors a chance at an unforgettable African safari experience.

Botswana is a land of extremes from the bone dry deserts of the Kalahari to the lush oasis of the Okavango. The place has grown a lot in the past few decades and is set to keep growing. With so much to offer, a visitor may need to come back more than once to really experience everything that Botswana has to offer.

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