Brief Facts About Botswana

Botswana is a wealthy country by African standards. It contains extensive mineral resources such as the Jwaneng Diamond Mine, the richest in the world, which was found when termites pushed specks of diamond to the surface.
The Okavango Delta is known as the jewel in the Kalahari, a semi-arid sandy expanse which covers 85% of the country. Fed by annual floodwater from Okavango river delta, the largest inland delta in the world. The vast delta supports a wide array of African wildlife from hippos to elephants. Huge herds of zebra and wildebeest make an annual migration to find food and water. None of the water in the Okavango Delta reaches the sea – the large majority of it is either evaporated or transpired, with a remaining 2% estimated to discharge into Lake Ngami.
Tsodilo Hills consist of a quartzite outcrop just 40 kilometers west of the main road, standing like a beacon in the otherwise flat surrounding Kalahari sandveld. Besides its cultural heritage, Tsodilo also has immense natural beauty, with the trees, birds and incredible vistas all creating a very special atmosphere. Tsodilo is now a national monument and Botswana’s first World Heritage Site.
Botswana is dominated by The Kalahari Desert, a large arid and semi-arid area that stretches across seven countries and is a sand-filled basin. The name means “thirstland”. The Kalahari Desert covers two-thirds of Botswana.
There is only one place on earth where four countries meet. Botswana is one of the “Four Corners of Africa” together with Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. All these meet midstream in the Zambezi River at Kazungula, which means “little sausage tree”. A large brown pole at the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers indicates the point where the Four Corners of Africa touch.
Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, is home to Mma Precious Ramotswe, a famous fictional character. She is the first female private detective in Botswana and the heroine of the series of novels written by Alexander McCall Smith.
World’s largest salt pans is the Makgadikadi Pans of Botswana are the largest salt pans in the world with an area of about 12 000 sq km.
The border between Botswana and Zambia is, at 700 meters, known as the shortest border between two fully independent countries. It is a riverine border sandwiched between the Zambia-Namibia and Zambia-Zimbabwe borders, all of which run through the middle of the Zambezi River.
The Limpopo River was made famous as the ‘great, gray greasy’ river of Kipling’s story and journals of early explorers and adventurers recount tales of the river that accesses three countries, forming the border between Botswana and South Africa and then South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Kubu Island was once submerged under the waters of a lake. Today, this rock island rises out from a white sea of salt. Whilst there are other rock islands in the Makgadikgadi region, this is by far the best known. Visitors can look out for ancient stone cairns, fossilized bird droppings and Stone Age artifacts. Three traditional taboos surround the islands: no hunting of wild animals, no collection of wild fruits and no removal of the island’s rocks.
This group of trees is also known as the ‘Seven Sisters’. A popular stop-off on many visitors’ itineraries, the trees were made famous by Thomas Baines, who painted them in 1862. The seven gigantic trees dominate an island on the edge of Kudiakam Pan, on the southern side of the Nxai Pan National Park, and are particularly unusual in their appearance, since it is extremely rare that African baobab trees (Adansonia digitata) grow so closely together in natural clusters.
Kgale Hill is an unmissable landmark situated on the western side of Gaborone. Visitors who take the time to hike to the top will be well rewarded with magnificent views of the city and the Gaborone Dam. Hikers may also get to spot one of the black eagles which is said to nest in the Hill’s cliffs.

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