Embassy of the Repúblic of Botswana

Facts about Botswana


  • Introduction

    Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. Four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most dynamic economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country´s conservation practices and extensive nature reserves.


    Location and  climate

    Botswana is a land-locked country situated in southern Africa. The climate is semi-arid and the terrain is predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland. There are four seasons, notably summer, autumn, winter and spring. The average daily maximum temperature is about 36ºC-40ºC in summer, from September to April, and 22ºC-30ºC in winter that is from May to August. The avarage minimum temperature is about 19ºC in summer and 5ºC in winter.


    Country size

    Botswana covers an area of 581.730 km² (566,730 km² of land and 15,000 km² of water) - about the size of Kenya of France.


    Topography

    Most of the country is flat, with some small hills in the eastern area. Kalahari sands cover 84% of the surface area. With the exception of the northen areas, most of Botswana is without perennial surface water.


    Capital

    Gaborone is the capital of Botswana.


    Currency

    Pula is the currency of Botswana and of the strongest in Africa. It is subdivided into 100 thebe and it literally means "rain" in Setswana.


    Urban centres

    Francistown, Lobatse. Selebi-Phikwe, Maun, Kasane, Mahalapye, Phalapye, Sowa Town.

    Independence Day
    30 September 1966


    Head of state
    His Excellency Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama

    Population
    2,098,018 (July 2012 est.)

    Language
    The national language of Botswana is Setswana and the official language is English.


    Telephones

    149.600 active fixed lines and 2.9 million active cellular lines (2011 est).


    Internet
    The internet country code in Botswana is ".bw". The number of hosts are over 2,700, according to the estimates from 2010.


    Transportation
    There are 6 airports operating in Botswana (2012 est.) besides 888km of railways and 25,798km of roadways.


    Natural Exports

    Besides diamonds, numerous minerals are known to occur in significant quantities in Botswana, such as copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore and silver. Botswana has the largest known coal reserves in Africa. Botswana is also very famous for its beef, leather and tourism.


    Major crops

    maize, sorghum, millie and beans.