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Botswana


- Wild and unspoiled scenery -


With its vast savannahs teeming with life Botswana really is part of the real Africa. In northern Botswana the Okavango River flows in from Namibia, forming the Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta. In Moremi Wildlife Reserve and Chobe National Park, you can get some of the best animal and nature experiences in Africa.
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Capital: Gaborone
Government: Republic
Size: 600 370 km ²
Population: 2.0 million (2010)
Currency: Pula, one pula = 100 thebes
Official languages: English, Setswana
Time difference: UTC +2
Botswana...
...is located in southern Africa and is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Botswana also borders Zambia to the north, but this border is only a few hundred meters long.


Introduction
Botswana is a medium sized country with just above 2 million inhabitants and it is one of the world's most sparsely populated countries. When Botswana gained independence in 1966, it was one of the world's poorest countries, but it has completely transformed itself and is now economically one of the fastest growing countries in the world, thanks to large diamond finds. The country is now financially stable and offers good education and health care.

Botswana is a land of wild, untouched nature and large surfaces and as much of the country lacks good roads, it is a destination for the intrepid traveller who is not travelling on a limited budget. Most major roads are paved with good driving conditions; however a 4x4 is essential if you're travelling within the national parks and reserves and in remote areas.

Almost 85% of Botswana is covered by a desert and steppe area, known as the Kalahari Desert. In northern Botswana, the Okavango River flows in from Namibia, forming the Okavango Delta which is renowned as the world's largest inland delta. As both the Chobe River and Okavango River provide the area with water all year around, you can find almost all of southern Africa's mammal species in the Moremi Wildlife Reserve and Chobe National Park. With vast savannahs teeming with life, Botswana truly is part of the real Africa.


Weather
Botswana's climate is semi dry and subtropical. The summer months, from December to March, are hot with December and January being the hottest months, during which time it's not unusual to experience temperatures above 40 °C.

Winter runs from June to August and is cool and dry with moderate temperatures during the day and cold nights when the temperature often drops below 0 °C.

Summer is the rainy season, but the rain is erratic, unpredictable and highly regional. Longer periods of drought are not uncommon and by the end of winter, a westerly wind may bring sand and dust, thus decreasing visibility.

Winter is a great time to go on safari as the animals never venture far from the permanent water holes. This increases the chance to see a lot of Africa's wildlife compared to the wetter summer months. Winter does however coincide with the holidays in Europe and the USA, which is why some areas can get slightly crowded during these months.

During the summer months it is difficult to spot the animals and rain can make roads impassable. It is also the wettest and warmest period and therefore many experienced travellers prefer to visit Botswana during winter.


Additional Information
You might need a visa to travel to Botswana on holiday, so please check with the Botswana Consulate or Embassy in your country.

Malaria is common in the northern parts of Botswana, in the areas around the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, especially during and after the rainy season from November to April.

It is safe to drink the tap water in almost the entire country.

There are ATMs in most major cities and both Visa Card and MasterCard are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and shops. Shops and fuel stations in smaller communities, however usually only accept cash.
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