So you want to know about Botswana, Africa! What a great little country it is. It may not be the most temperate of locals but it has so much to offer.
Anyone who has read the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" by Alexander McCall Smith must be curious about Botsana and her history. Botswana's history is very interesting and goes back thousands of years, as does all of Africa but what makes Botswana so different from many of her neighbors is the peace and prosperity enjoyed there today.
Back in 1835 the British put Botswana which they called Bechuanaland, under its protection. Later on in 1910, the Union of South Africa was created. It was formed from the key British colonies in the area. However, Bechuanaland wasn't included in that; for some reason Britain never incorporated Bechuanaland into the Union of South Africa.
By 1920, the tribal governments of Bechuanaland developed, along with the extension of British authority which led to a peaceful and democratic government. In 1934 Proclamations were established that firmed up tribal rule and powers. This and other political steps lead to establishment of a constitution in 1965 which included the first general elections and independence from Britain in 1966.
The name became Botswana and the first elected leader was Seretse Khama. He was re-elected as president twice and was much loved by the people.
When Botswana gained its independence it was one of the world's poorest countries. President Khama worked long and diligently on plans to transform Botswana's economy. Botswana became a major exporter of beef, copper and diamonds. Botswana's economy became the fastest growing economy in the world. Due to President Khama's diligence and firm will Botswana didn't fall prey to corruption as was the case in so many other new African nations. He also promoted free market, liberalized trade and improved the personal freedoms of the people.
While all around Botswana there was and is civil war, racial hostilities, violence and corruption Botswana has been able to uphold liberal democracy and non-racialism within its borders. The people of Botswana are called Motswana (singular) and Batswana (plural) and they maintain a very real national pride for what has been accomplished in their country.
Today, Botswana has a high standard of economic stability, education and health care, which, except for South Africa, is unequalled any where else in the African nations below the Sahara.
Besides having modern cities, it is also home to numerous wildlife reserves. It is a landlocked country and the countries that border it are South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Over most of Botswana is the Kalahari Desert which leads to very little arable land. Botswana enjoys its wet season from November to March and the dry season lasts from May to August.
The population of Botswana is 2,029,307 which makes it the 144th most populated country in the world out of 237 recognized countries. China is number one, followed by India and then the U.S. . Sadly however, while Botswana's population is high and growing there is a high mortality rate due to AIDS. According to the CIA World Fact Book, in 2007 there were an estimated 300,000 people living with HIV and there were an estimated 11,000 deaths in 2007 due to AIDS.
Also according to The World Fact Book, travelers face a high degree of risk from food or waterborne diseases, such as bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and Typhoid fever. There is also a risk of Malaria.
For people wanting to travel to Botswana there is good news too. Many of the large towns in Botswana, such as Gaborone, have all the modern conveniences such as ATMs, car rentals and hotels. The languages of Botswana are English and Setswana. The money of Botswana is called Pula (P) and 6.4 Pula = 1 US dollar.
While traveling in Botswana is much safer and more possible than in other African nations, it still has its drawbacks. It is important to check with http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1071.html before making any travel plans. Travel.state.gov is a website provided by the US Department of State and has a plethora of information to aid you in your international travel plans.