1. Botswana is famously known as being one of the four African countries which meet at the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. This is the only place in the world where four countries meet namely Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This might be the only place in the world where you can pick up cellular signal from 4 countries in one place.
2. Nearly 40% of Botswana is made up of national parks and wildlife reserves which provide plenty of large areas for animals to roam. Botswana is home to the world’s biggest concentration of African elephants, of which the highest concentration is to be found in Chobe National Park. Especially during the dry season large herds of Elephants make their way to the river banks of the Chobe River. Did you know that the African elephant can live up to 80 years?
3. The former President of Botswana, Ian Khama, is the son of Botswana’s first president after independence, Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, who is of British origin. Due to their highly controversial interracial marriage, his parents were exiled in the UK where he was born in 1953. Their extraordinary love story which survived despite all the obstacles and outrage has now been made into a film called “A United Kingdom”.
4. In 2015, the world’s second-largest gem quality diamond was discovered in Botswana. The 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona is the biggest diamond to be discovered in Botswana and the largest find in more than a century.
5. The Border between Botswana and Zambia is only 150 meters which makes it the shortest international border in the world.
6. Botswana is the world’s biggest diamond producing country in terms of value and the second biggest in terms of production. They produce about 17.7% of the total world production of diamonds. Diamonds count for nearly half of the government’s value. Furthermore, diamond revenues enables every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13.
7. We ask you to guess what a person from Botswana is called? A Botswanian? No! Contrary to popular belief, a person from Botswana is a Motswana, the plural is Batswana and their language is Setswana.
8. The currency of Botswana is Pula. The word pula literally “rain” in the local language. Since much of Botswana is desert, rainfall is a rare event in the country, and is therefore highly valuable and considered to be a blessing.
9. Botswana suffers from one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, after Swaziland and Lesotho. According to the World Health Organisation, the country has an adult HIV prevalence rate of 24.8%. The high socio-economic costs of managing HIV/AIDS at a national level are challenging to the nation’s economy.
10. Botswana has opened its borders to 103 countries whose citizens can visit Botswana without a visa, making it the 42nd most welcoming country in the world. The Botswana passport is also among the most affordable to obtain in the world.