BOTSWANA TRAVEL: GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY INFORMATION

Facts on Botswana, including government, industry & mining, visa requirements, malaria, packing lists etc.
Botswana

« BOTSWANA - GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY FACTS »

Government, Symbols & Currency | National Anthem | Water

Diamonds & Mining | Agriculture | Population | Culture & Traditions | Bushman Rockart
Wildlife & Conservation | Access & Travel | Visa Requirements | Border Posts
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GOVERNMENT, SYMBOLS & CURRENCY
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Botswana is a landlocked country within Southern Africa. Botswana's neighbouring countries are South Africa to the south, Zimbabwe to the east and Namibia to the north and west.

The Republic of Botswana originally a British protectorate called Bechuanaland Protectorate gained its independence after 80 years on the 30thSeptember 1966.

Botswana's government is a Parliamentary Republic based on multiparty democracy; the country is lead from the capital Gaborone and by the current president "His Excellency Festus Mogae."

1885 saw the declaration of the protectorate stretching fromthe northern boundary of the Cape colony to the 22* latitude south. In 1895 the area south of the Molopo River was annexed to the
Cape colony.
The current vice-president Ian Khama is seemingly following in his late fathers (Sir Seretse Khama's) political footsteps. Sir Seretse Khama was the first president of Botswana and whose ideals of fairness and democracy still persist today.

In addition to the Parliament there is the House of Chiefs. The House acts in an advisory capacity on issues of chieftainship, land tenure and customary law.

 

The national Flag is light blue with a white edged horizontal black stripe in the centre. The blue represents sky and water, while the black and white symbolise equality and unity between
races. The light blue colour resembles that of the Lilac Breasted Roller and it is thus no wonder that this bird is called by many of the locals, the national bird.

The meaning of the coat of arms is as follows: Three cogwheels stand for industry, whilst the bullhead symbolises the cattle industry. The three wavy blue lines represent the importance of water. Black and white strips stand for racial co-operation. The two zebras and elephant tusk represent Botswana natural fauna, the head of sorghum stands for agriculture and the motto "Pula" means let there be rain.

NATIONAL ANTHEM
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Blessed be this noble land
Gift to us from god strong hand,
Heritage our fathers left to us,
May it always be at peace.

Awake, awake! O men, awake!
And woman close behind 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.

The Zebra is the unofficial animal of the nation. To the local people, the zebra is phrased "Makgabisa Naga" which means to make the bush beautiful.

One of the most important words in Botswana is "Pula". Not only is this the national unit of currency it also means rain and rain is life. With the majority of the country being semi-arid, rain is very important. The word pula can also be used as a toast.

100 shields, "dithebe", make one Pula. The Pula currency was introduced in 1976.

A rhyme to remember, in Botswana many people are referred to as Batswana, one person is a Motswana and the language spoken is Setswana.

WATER
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Most of the water used in Botswana comes from boreholes. Some of the water being tapped is considered fossil and has been dated at 33 000 years.

This ground water is of great importance since it is estimated that 75% of the human and stock population depend on it.

The average annual rainfall across Botswana is between 250mm and 650mm and the rainy season would be considered late October to early April.

The climate of Botswana is best described as dry, generally warm to hot. Winter (May to September) nights can fall below freezing.

Health services are organised according to the size of the population to be served. The mobile clinic being at the bottom of the health facilities and serving populations of less than 500 people. Most people are within 15km of a health care facility.

Government, Symbols & Currency | National Anthem | Water

Diamonds & Mining | Agriculture | Population | Culture & Traditions | Bushman Rockart
Wildlife & Conservation | Access & Travel | Visa Requirements | Border Posts
Distances & Travelling times via Road
| Air Charters | Malaria | Safari Packing List
Photography | Photographic Packing List | Night Skies