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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