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Botswana Facts for Kids

Botswana Facts for Kids

  • Botswana is a landlocked country in southern Africa.
  • Botswana’s official name is the Republic of Botswana.
  • Botswana is the Parliamentary Republic.
  • The capital of Botswana is Gaborone.
  • Botswana’s total population is over 2.1 million.
  • The official language in Botswana is English.
  • Setswana or Tswana is the most common language.
  • The President of Botswana is Ian Khama.
  • The Vice President of Botswana is Mompati Merafhe.
  • Botswana gained independence from the United Kingdom on September 30, 1966.
  • The original inhabitants of Botswana were the Bushmen (San) and Khoi peoples. They were hunter-gatherers.
  • The first elected President of Botswana was Seretse Khama.
  • Botswana’s currency is the Pula.
  • Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • Now it is a middle-income country. Botswana is resource abundant.
  • Botswana imports petroleum products and electricity from South Africa.
  • Botswana’s mineral industry provides 40% of all government revenues. People in Botswana mine for diamonds, gold, uranium, copper, and oil.
  • Botswana has a total area of 581,730 square kilometers (224,607 miles).
  • It is the world’s 48th largest country.
  • South Africa borders Botswana to the south and east.
  • Namibia borders Botswana to the west and Zimbabwe borders it to the east.
  • Botswana is smaller than the state of Texas.
  • The Kalahari Desert covers more than 70% of Botswana.
  • It spans about 900,000 square kilometers (360,000 square miles). The Kalahari Desert touches 9 African countries.
  • The Kalahari gets more rainfall each year than most deserts.
  • Most of Botswana is flat.
  • Part of the Limpopo River Basin lies in Botswana. It is the major landform in southern Africa.
  • The Chobe River creates a boundary between Botswana and Namibia’s Zambezi region.
  • Drought is a problem in Botswana. Rainfall is precious. Rain in Botswana often causes flooding. Most of Botswana is grassland called savanna.
  • The most common tree in Botswana is the baobab. Some baobabs are 2,000 years old. About 17% of Botswana is set aside for national parks and game reserves. The Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park are rich in animal life.
  • The elephants in Chobe are the largest in the body size of all living elephants. There are more than 50,000 elephants in Chobe. The park covers about 11,000 square kilometers (4,247 square miles). It supports about 350 species of birds. Meerkats are common in Botswana.
  • Many different bird species stop in Botswana during migration. Flamingos live in Botswana. Northern Botswana has one of the remaining populations of the African wild dog.
  • Botswana has the longest-running multi-party democracy in Africa. The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is in power since 1966.
  • The Setswana or Tswana people are the largest ethnic group in Botswana. They make up 79% of the population. They belong to the Bantu speaking family. They have eight major tribes. Each tribe has its own chief. The chiefs serve as an advisory body to the Botswana Parliament.
  • The Botswana currency Pula means ‘rain.’ It became the currency in 1976.
  • Trophy hunting is illegal in Botswana. It was made illegal in January of 2014.
  • Almost 38% of Botswana is for national parks, reserves, and wildlife management areas. There are five conservation and national parks in Botswana.
  • Locals in Botswana call foreigners ‘lekgoa.’ It means spat out by the sea. It for white people.
  • The Kalahari Desert is not a true desert. It is a fossil desert. This is because it gets more rainfall than any other desert in the world. It gets 5 to 10 inches of rainfall each year. It is the world’s 6th largest desert with sand. It supports over 400 species of plant life.
  • Gay rights groups achieved legal recognition in Botswana in 2014.
  • Botswana is one of the least populated countries in the world. It has vast untouched lands. There are many thriving African animal species.
  • Diamond revenue pays for the primary education of Botswana’s children until the age of 13.  It is the third-largest diamond producer in the world behind Russia and Canada.
  • There is no daylight savings time in Botswana. This means the time stays the same in winter and summer months.
  • Botswana is one of the ‘Four Corners of Africa.’ This is the only place in the world where four countries meet.
  • The Makgadikadi Pans in Botswana is the world’s largest salt pans.
  • The people of Botswana are Batswana.
  • Botswana is a country rich in natural minerals and beauty. It is a popular tourist destination.