Botswana Safari > Botswana Facts

Botswana Facts

This page is jammed packed with interesting Botswana facts you're going to love...

botswana factsFact: Botswana has the largest African Elephant population in the World

 Where is Botswana?

A lot people have no idea about the location of Botswana. Some think it actually part of South Africa!

Since most people have heard of South Africa, when people ask me where Botswana is...i usually tell them, its the country that lies  north of South Africa.

I really do not blame them.

Since Botswana is neatly tucked between South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia, it may at times be hard to spot.

Also, since the country is relatively small (about the size of France or Texas) it may not catch your eye at first glance.

The best way to explain the location of Botswana is through a map of Africa.

So if you still have no idea where Africa's best kept secret is, check out the map below for a graphical explanation :) .

View Larger Map

So What is Botswana Famous For?.....the country is mostly famous for...

  • Being one of the worlds top African travel destinations
  • Political Stability
  • The Okavango delta...which the worlds largest inland delta
  • Having the largest salt pans in the world (the Makgadikgadi Pans)
  • Having the largest Elephant population in Africa
  • Being the largest producer of diamonds in the world ( value)
  • The Kalahari Desert covers about 84% of the Country
  • Botswana and Zambia share the shortest border in the world (the border is only a few hundred meters long)
  • Last but not least the loving and friendly people of Botswana,...Batswana :)

But that's not all, here are more interesting facts about Botswana you 're going to find useful when planning your safari:

Botswana Climate

The climate in Botswana is predominantly semi arid with two main seasons, winter and summer.

The summer season extends from October to April. Summers are rainy with hot days and warm nights. Most of the rainfall occurs between January and March...

Winter starts in May and ends in August/September. Winters are dry, sunny and cool.

Temperature Chart : Average temperature in Celsius

Month Max ºC Min ºC
January 33 20
February 32 19
March 31 18
April 31 15
May 28 10
June 25 6
July 25 6
August 28 9
September 33 13
October 36 19
November 35 20
December 32 19

The Botswana Flag

botswana flagFlag of Botswana

The flag of Botswana is made up of three colors. Sky Blue, white and black.

Do yo want to know what these colors symbolize?...Click here to find out...  :)

Rainfall in Botswana

Rainfall in Botswana occurs mostly in the summer season.

The summer season starts in November and ends in April.

Most of the rainfall however takes place between November and February.

January and February being peak months.

If you are going to visit around this time then it is advisable that you bring either an umbrella or light summer raincoat!....

...the umbrella will also come in handy in the intense summer sunshine ;-)...

Chart : Average Rainfall in Millimetres(mm) and Inches (in)

Month Rainfall (mm) Rainfall (in)
January 113 4.4
February 102 4.0
March 66 2.6
April 26 1.0
May 4 0.2
June 1 0.0
July 0 0.0
August 1 0.0
September 3 0.1
October 17 0.6
November 44 1.7
December 78 3.1

Botswana Holidays

Knowing Botswana holidays can be helpful when planning to visit. This is because all banks and most shops close during public holidays in Botswana.

To help you plan your safari vacation better, i have compiled a list of all the public holidays.

See the table below for holiday dates and their respective names:

Date Holiday Name
January 1 New Years Day
January 2 Public Holiday
March - varies(The friday before Easter) Good Friday
March - varies(The Monday after Easter) Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 25 Ascension Day
July 1 Sir Seretse Khama Day
July 21 President's Day
July 22 Public Holiday
September 30 Botswana Day
October 1 Public Holiday
December 25 Christmas Day
December 26 Boxing Day

Botswana Time

The Botswana Time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

So it uses Central African Time (CAT).

Sunrise and sunset times:

  • In the summer the sun rises around 5:30am and sets around 7:00 pm.
  • In the winter it will rise around 06:30am and set at 06:00pm.

So the Botswana summers have plenty of sunshine . The winters do too but the summers tend to have more than 12 hours of sunshine.

So if you enjoy being in the sunshine you going to love Botswana. :-)

However bring along an umbrella and sun block cream to avoid extreme exposure to sunlight...

Botswana Population

Facts About the Population Of Botswana

  • The population is estimated at being just above 2 million.
  • Batswana (Natives) make up 78% of the population.
  • Eighty percent (80%) of the population is concentrated on the Eastern part of the country where rainfall in greater.
  • And about 45% of the population lives in rural areas.
  • An estimated 40% of the population of Botswana is below the age of 15.

The Botswana National Anthem

The Botswana National Anthem took effect when the country gained its independence in the year 1966.

Here i share with you the original version in Setswana and its English translated version.

Keep in mind that the anthem is sung in Setswana, the official language.

The English version is just to further your understanding of the anthem and its message.

Enjoy... :-)

The Official National Anthem:

Fatshe leno la rona,
Ke mpho ya Modimo,
Ke boswa jwa borraetsho;
A le nne ka kagiso.


Tsogang, tsogang! banna, tsogang!
Emang, basadi, emang, tlhagafalang!
Re kopaneleng go direla
Lefatshe la rona.

Ina lentle la tumo,
La chaba ya Botswana,
Ka kutlwano le kagisano,
E bopagantswe mmogo.


Tsogang, tsogang! banna, tsogang!
Emang, basadi, emang, tlhagafalang!
Re kopaneleng go direla
Lefatshe la rona.

The English Translated Version:

Blessed be this noble land,
Gift to us from God's strong hand,
Heritage our fathers left to us,
May it always be at peace.


Awake, awake, O men, awake!
And women close beside them stand,
Together we'll work and serve
This land, this happy land!

Word of beauty and of fame,
The name Botswana to us came.
Through our unity and harmony,
We'll remain at peace as one.


Awake, awake, O men, awake!
And women close beside them stand,
Together we'll work and serve
This land, this happy land!

The words and music of the national anthem were by Kgalemang Tumediso Motsete.

Botswana Geography

Check out the table below for  few quick facts about the  Geography of Botswana.

Botswana Location : At centre the Southern Africa
Geographical Coordinates 22 00 S, 24 00 E (Most of Botswana lies within the tropics)
Area: 581,730 sq km
Coastline: Landlocked
Lowest Point: Junction of the limpopo and Shashe River 513m (Most of Botswana is flat)
Highest Point: Tsodilo Hills 1489m
Climate: semiarid: hot summers and warm winters

Botswana Coat of Arms

The Botswana Coat of Arms was adopted on January 25, 1966.

It has a center shield that is supported by two zebras. The zebra indicate the importance of wildlife in Botswana.

The top portion of the shield has three cogwheels which represent the mining industry of Botswana. At the center of the shield are 3 blue waves which represent water and its importance in the country.

At the bottom of the shield is a head of a cow which symbolize the importance of cattle herding in Botswana.

The Zebra on the right holds sorghum showing the important role farming plays in the lives of Batswana. The Zebra on the left holds an ivory task . This is a symbol of the ivory trade of the past.

Botswana Cities

There are only two Botswana Cities. Only Gaborone (the capital city) and Francistown have been classified as cities.

Now i am not too certain how the classifications go, but there are other settlements that are large in Botswana. Such as...

  • Molepolole
  • Selibe Phikwe
  • Mahalapye
  • Maun
  • Palapye
  • Serowe
  • Kanye
  • Lobatse

All the above are far from being cities but they all have most of the services that are provided in cities. Like malls, banks, grocery stores, ATM machines, clothing stores...just to name a few.

Botswana Newspapers

There are Several Botswana Newspapers, all of which will keep you up to date on whats happening in Botswana when you visit.

These include...

  1. The Daily News (Owned by The Botswana Government)
  • Published on a daily basis (except on weekends and public holidays)
  • News are in Both English and Setswana
  • website :

         2. Mmegi

  • Published Weekly on Wednesdays
  • News are in English Only
  • website :

        3. Sunday Standard

  • News are in English Only
  • Published Weekly on Sundays 
  • website:

       4. The Voice

  • Published Weekly on Fridays
  • News are in English Only
  • website :

        5. The Botswana Gazette

  • Published Weekly
  • News are in English Only
  • website :

        6. The Botswana Guardian

  • Published Weekly
  • News are in English Only
  • website :

         7. The Midweek Sun

  • Published Weekly
  • News are in English Only
  • website :

        8. The Ngami Times (Based in Maun, however they do cover general Botswana news. Make sure to get yourself  a copy when in Maun)

  • Published Weekly
  • News are in English Only
  • website :

All newspapers can be purchased from service / gas stations, grocery stores , street vendors and book stores.

What Language is Spoken in Botswana?

There are many languages, in fact there are well over 30 languages used in Botswana.

The national language is Setswana. It is the most widely used language in Botswana.

English is the second most used , considering that it is used a lot in schools, newspapers, urban settlements and within the business community.

Other Languages You Might Like...

  • Kalanga
  • Sekgalagadi
  • Setswapong
  • Afrikaans
  • Mbukushu
  • Ndebele
  • Herero

...and many others

Language Tips For You

If you are coming for a safari in Botswana, don't panic as English alone is sufficient for communication.

However, we tend to love it when a foreigner puts in a bit of effort in learning the basics of Setswana... ; -)

Here's how you can score brownie points with the locals...

Before you begin a conversation you should first greet.......and here's how you greet in Setswana...

  • Hello is " Dumelang "
  • Hello Sir is " Dumelang Rra "
  • Hello Gentlemen is " Dumelang Borra "
  • Hello Madam is " Dumelang Mma "
  • Hello Ladies is " Dumelang Bomma "

You can think of the above as "ice breakers" in any conversation whether you intend to converse in either English or Setswana...


If you want to learn more about the other languages spoken in Botswana checkout the reference websites below:

Botswana Mining

Botswana is famous for being the largest diamond producer by value; however what most people don’t know is that there are many other minerals mined in the country.

These include:

  • Coal
  • Gold
  • Soda Ash
  • Salt
  • Copper and nickel

Even though the above minerals might not bring in as much foreign revenue as diamonds, they still play a significant role in the contribution to the country's GDP.