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Botswana

A landlocked country in the center of Southern Africa, Botswana is bordered by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Although most of the country is covered by deep Kalahari sand, there are rocky hills to the south-east and enjoy a good amount of rain unlike other desert-like countries. Botswana has an area size of 224,607 square miles (581,730 square kilometers)with a population of 2,249,104 million people. The country is famous for its wildlife, areas like the Chobe National Park, Moremi National Park in the Okavango Delta and the Central Kalahari Game Reserve have a very high concentration of game.

Most of the country is covered by grassland called savanna. The most common tree is the baobab tree.  About 17 percent of Botswana has been set aside for game preserves and national parks. Tourists from all over the globe visit Botswana for safaris and a chance to see the  amazing wildebeests, giraffes, jackals, hyenas, lions, cheetahs, and other animal species.

Most of the people in Botswana are Tswana and are said to be descended from King Mogale who lived during the 14th century. The next two largest ethnic groups are the Bushmen and the Kalanga. The education system in this country is quite different from others as children go to primary school for seven years and then on to secondary school for five years. They learn English in the fifth year of primary school onward, but not many people become fluent.

The traditional dress of the people of Botswana includes gorgeously patterned cotton garments, they also practice vocal and sometimes drum-accompanied music. Folklore about celestial bodies are also very much celebrated. The national dish is Seswaa, a stew of boiled meat, maize meal and greens.

Fun Facts:

  • Botswana has the oldest baobab trees, with some over 2,000 years old.
  • Water is so valued in Botswana that their currency is called the ‘pula’, which means ‘rain’ or ‘blessing’ in Setswana, the national language.
  • The Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Highest point in Botswana is Tsodilo Hills with 1,489m above sea level.
  • Botswana offers a varied safari experience: boat cruises, mokoro trips, game walks, canoeing and game drives during day and night.
  • The San of Botswana are considered to be the oldest inhabitants of the world. Archaeological evidence suggests that they have lived in southern Africa (and probably other areas of Africa) at least 22,000 year.

Resources:

http://www.botswanaembassy.org/page/history-of-botswana

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/countries/botswana/

https://www.thoughtco.com/brief-history-of-botswana-43607

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