Official Name: Republic of Botswana
Established: 30 September 1966
Population: 2,254,068 (2018 estimate)
Religion: 73% Christianity, 20% No religion, 6% Traditional faiths
Language(s): English, Setswana
Order of Visit: Sixty Sixth
First Visit: 28 December 2017
Last Visit: 07 January 2018
Duration: 9 Days
Visit Highlights: Chobe National Park; Water Safari, Dusk Game Drives, Bush Camping under the stars, Morning Game Drives, surviving elephant charge and a lion chasing my vehicle, observing massive pride of lions. Okavango Delta; Mokoro Canoe Ride, Walking Safari, Bush Camp, flight over the Delta, Bushman experience.
Places Visited: Chobe National Park, Ghanzi, Maun, Okavango Delta
Botswana Journal Entry
History and Geography
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa covering 581,730 square kilometres and is bordered South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north.
Archaeological digs have shown that hominids have lived in Botswana for around two million years. Stone tools and fauna remains have shown that all areas of the country were inhabited at least 400,000 years ago. Bantu-speaking peoples first moved into the country from the north around AD 600.
Toutswemogala Hill Iron Age Settlement’s radio-carbon dates for this settlement range from 7th to late 19th century AD indicating occupation of more than one thousand years.
The first written records relating to modern-day Botswana appear in 1824. The Bakwena, Bangwaketse, Bangwato and Batawana cooperated to control the lucrative ivory trade and then used the proceeds to import horses and guns, which in turn enabled them to establish control over what is now Botswana. This process was largely complete by 1880, and thus the Bushmen, the Kalanga, the Bakgalagadi, and other current minorities were subjugated by the Batswana.
Following the Great Trek, Afrikaners from the Cape Colony established themselves on the borders of Botswana in the Transvaal. In 1852 a coalition of Tswana chiefdoms led by Sechele I resisted Afrikaner incursions during Battle of Dimawe, and after about eight years of intermittent tensions and hostilities, eventually came to a peace agreement in Potchefstroom in 1860. From that point on, the modern-day border between South Africa and Botswana was agreed on, and the Afrikaners and Batswana traded and worked together comparatively peacefully.
During the Scramble for Africa the territory of Botswana was coveted by both Germany and Great Britain. During the early 1890s, the British government decided to hand over the Bechuanaland Protectorate to the British South Africa Company. An expansion of British central authority and the evolution of tribal government resulted in the 1920 establishment of two advisory councils to represent both Africans and Europeans.
In June 1964, the United Kingdom accepted proposals for a democratic self-government in Botswana. Based on the 1965 constitution, the country held its first general elections under universal suffrage and gained independence on 30 September 1966.
Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.
What I experienced
Botswana was a wildlife paradise with camping under the stars in both Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. The night I camped in the Chobe National Park I had heightened senses after an elephant did mini charges and a lion chased my safari vehicle only 8 minutes drive from our campsite but sitting around an open fire still felt like a real life experience. Seeing 15 lions in a massive pride and a young male been driven off by the pride lead. As I finished one tour and started another tour I got to explore Chobe National Park twice a few days apart. On the second safari I got to see some young cubs playing around their mother and giraffes fighting. The last morning in Chobe National Park we got to see crocodiles, elephants, warthogs, buffalo and antelopes.
The Okavango Delta was another stunning highlight of Africa. A relaxing Mokoro canoe ride was very relaxing occasionally getting close to some zebras. The Delta was the one place where I did an extend walking tours seeing buffalo, lions, baboons, wildebeest, and elephants up close. I was always conscious that by walking and having no vehicles nearby this safari was a little more dangerous. It would not have been a good place to get injured being a 2 hour canoe ride back to civilisation, this was the real wild. A big highlight was undertaking a 45 minute light plane flight over the Delta which gave a different prospective after being walking there across a few days.
While in the north of the country to was lush and green but when our tour moved more south we started getting into desert with heat radiating from the ground. During the Ghanzi stop I got to go on a hike with the San bushman with an interpreter explaining what these bushman where showing us. That night some local Han tribesmen’s sharing some of their local dances.
Botswana has some major health issues to resolve with their people but the landscape with both diverse and stunning, the wildlife second to none. A real highlight and worth visiting.