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Botswana Biography

Botswana is a landlocked country situated in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Botswana has a land surface of 581,730 square km and is comparable to the size of France or Texas. Approximately two-thirds of the country lies within the Tropics.

The Kalahari Desert covers 84% of Botswana, comprising a vast and nearly level, sand filled basin characterised by scrub, tree and grass savanna, dotted with pans. “Kalahari” is derived from the Tswana word Kgala meaning “great thirst” – hence the desert has vast areas covered by red sand without any permanent water.

The Kalahari Desert is the largest sand basin in the world stretching 2,500kms from the northern regions of South Africa through to Namibia/Angola and ending in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) is the largest game reserve in the world (52,800sq kms) and for many years was closed to the public.

Other geographical regions include the Okavango Delta in the northwest, which is part of the Kalahari Basin; a vast network of rivers, lagoons, channels, swamps and islands. Here also lies the Tuli which is dominated by hills, kopjes and boulders with an average elevation of 1,000 metres.

Botswana has hot summers during the months of December through to March, and a cool, dry winter during the months of June, July and August. December and January are the hottest months, with average temperatures rising to 40˚C. Winter temperatures are moderate during the day, but cold at night, and can drop to below freezing. Rains are erratic, unpredictable and highly regional, which correspond with the summer months. Therefore, most of the country is without perennial surface water.

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Botswana Map

Botswana

History and Background

Formerly known as Bechuanaland, Botswana was a British colony until 1966. The population of Botswana is 1.85 million and growing at a rate of 2.4% per annum (2006 statistics). Approximately 75% of the population live in the eastern part of the country, and settlement is heavily populated towards the four main urban areas; Gaborone (the capital with a population of approximately 250,000), Francistown, Selebi-Phikwe and Lobatse.

Whilst Batswana are the largest ethnic group, the country has a diversity of peoples speaking their own languages and practicing their unique cultures. The oldest ethnic group is the San, who are the original inhabitants of Botswana, followed by the Khoi-Khoi (Hottentots) and the Bantu groups.

The time of independence in 1966 also heralded the discovery of diamonds and the commencement of diamond mining in 1971. The country is dominated by cattle farming and mining, with diamonds remaining as the mainstay of the economy, and is the major source of government revenue.

Since its independence in 1966, the country’s Constitution has literally remained intact since it was written and adopted at that time. The constitution also provides for the establishment of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi (House of Chiefs). This comprises chiefs and traditional leaders who advise the National Assembly on issues of land tenure, customary law and chieftainship.
Botswana is heralded as shining example of good governance promoting a multi-party democracy where freedom of speech, association, religion and press are all strongly upheld. It is one of the most stable and peaceful countries on the African continent.

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Adventures in Botswana

Pick from a wide range of adventures to suit all

Stanley’s Camp

Set in an amphitheatre of ebony and sausage trees on the southern tip of Chief’s Island, Stanley’s Camp sits amidst 260,000 acres of untamed African bush. Bordering the southern section…
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Kwara Camp

Kwara camp is situated on the edge of the permanent waters of the world renowned Okavango Delta in Botswana, and shares a common boundary with Moremi Game Reserve. Kwando Safaris…
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Chobe Chilwero

Chobe Chilwero borders the Chobe National Park, which is the second largest national park in Botswana. The lodge is situated above the Chobe River and offers unparalleled panoramic views across…
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Sanctuary Baines’ Camp

Sanctuary Baines’ Camp is located on the Boro River, set amongst the shady trees and water of the Okavango Delta, on a private concession neighbouring the Moremi Game Reserve. The…
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5 Rivers Safari

The 5 Rivers Safari offers an affordable range of safari camps, covering all major wildlife locations that occur around the five major rivers in the region. The big idea is…
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Sanctuary Chief’s Camp

Chief’s Camp is a luxury camp situated on Chief’s Island in the exclusive Mombo Concession of the Moremi Game Reserve. This region is known as the “predator capital” of Africa…
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Lebala Camp

Hidden in the Southern portion of the extensive Kwando wilderness of 232 000 ha. (550 000 acres) is Lebala Camp. Lebala is the Tswana word for wide-open plains, and each…
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Tau Pan

Situated on an established sand ridge overlooking Tau Pan, this camp commands stunning views of the permanent Tau Pan water hole and the endless Kalahari horizon. Tau Pan Camp is…
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'We recommend their bespoke safaris and services'

We decided to go on Safari with Africabound Adventures, the service provided was excellent! Sylvia took care of all our holiday planning by listening to our queries and put all our anxieties at ease - addressing and meeting all our expectations. Her passion, close links and expertise of Zambia and the region prompted us to book with Africabound Adventures. This one-to-one personalised service was second to none! We had a superb holiday, visiting the 4 recommended National Parks! The lodges were great - of a consistently high standard and comfortable, particularly Lion Camp in the South Luangwa. The game viewing lived up to expectations! The food was great and the people warm and friendly. Thank you Sylvia, for all your efforts towards arranging and delivering a memorable and enjoyable safari with passion, energy and expertise.

Anne and Steve

Zambia

'It was absolutely wonderful!'

We travelled to three separate locations, staying in four beautiful venues; initially in Zambia at Sindabezi and Tongabezi, then moving onto Mfuwe for a stay at Nkwali Lodge - the safari part of our holiday and finally flying to Malawi and the paradise which is Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island. We can neither praise nor thank Sylvia enough for all the care and attention she gave us. As an example, whilst in Zambia we discovered on New Year’s Eve that we’d left one of our internal flight e-tickets at home. We phoned Sylvia in a panic and by the time we’d reached our next destination, our onward bound ticket was waiting for us at the reception. Not a service which would have been available from a high street tour operator I suspect! Tim had wanted to give me a trip of a lifetime and thanks to Sylvia he was able to do so. We will never forget our time in Africa and can’t wait to return. Thank you again Sylvia – it was absolutely wonderful!

Tim & Jo

Zambia & Malawi

'We can’t wait to go again!'

This was our first trip to Southern Africa and our first safari and we can't wait to go again. From the outset Sylvia was incredibly helpful understanding exactly what we wanted from the trip and using her vast local knowledge and experience to tailor the holiday perfectly. The choice is overwhelming and having the benefit of someone to guide you through the options and suggest places to stay and visit was such a help. Sylvia also worked closely with a travel agent to match the internal and international flights to the places we wanted to stay and maximise the time available on our trip. Having all the transfers arranged by Sylvia also took a lot of hassle out of moving between locations. The trip was amazing from the hospitality and drives around the reserve at Tanda Tula, getting up close to wonderful wildlife to the incredible welcome at the stunning River Club in Zambia and a walking safari with rhinos. I would totally recommend using Sylvia and Africabound Adventures to organise your holiday.

David Owen

South Africa & Zambia

'The lodge was great!'

We had a great time in Livingstone. The lodge was great - you need to have a love for nature to stay here. The rooms were quite open, overlooking the river therefore you were likely to get a few wasps, bugs etc. fly into your room. However the mosquito netting over the beds avoided one being bitten at night. The manager at the lodge was helpful – however I would recommend that anyone who travels to the Victoria Falls should book their activities directly from the individual activity centres. Other than that had we had great time!

Shreya and Family

Zambia

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