Population: 1.6 million
Time Zone: GMT +2
Driving side: Driving is on the right hand side.
Languages: Setswana, English
Religion: 50% indigenous beliefs
Emergency #: Police, Fire, Abulance and Emergency 997 or 911
Botswana Popular Destinations
Gaborone - the capital city of Botswana is a sprawling city where traditional African style meets modern western conviniences. The main focus of the city is the mall area where you will find restaurants, shops and colourful street vedors. Other note worthy sights include the National Museum and Art Gallery where you can find out more about Botswana's history and culture, the St Claires lion park which is located 13 km from the city as well as the other two interestng reserves in the area, Mokolodi Nature Reserve and Gaborone Game Reserve. The dam area is also being developed with a waterfront and yacht club and it is a great place for fishing, birdwatching and having a relaxing picnic.
Okavango Delta - probably the most well known attraction in Botswana, the Okavango delta is a 15 000 square killometer network of channels, islands and lagoons. Situated in north western Botswana it is the largest inland delta in the world and has a multitude of wildlife that call the Okavango home. At the centre of the delta is the Moremi Wildlife reserve which is the best place to see large numbers of game from elephant and zebra to hippo and giraffe. Birdwatching is also a huge attraction with thousands of species represented in the delta. The gateway town to the Okavango is Maun and from here you can make travel arrangements and find accommodation. Moremi and the rest of the delta also has camps and lodges. The best time to visit is July to September when the weather is dry.
Chobe National Park - the park has the greatest variety of wildlife in Botswana and is one of the most popular destinations in the country. The park is located in the northern tip of Botswana close to the borders of Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Chobe riverfront is the most popular spot to view game and boat cruises on the river are a popular activity for visitors. Amongst the many varieties of wildlife that can be seen are huge herds of elephants that the park is famous for.
Francistown - located on the north eastern side of the country near the Zimbabwean border Francistown was origionally a gold mining centre. The town has now become a modern city with shops, banks and restaurants predominantly situated along Blue Jacket Street. The major attraction of Francistown is the Supa-ngwao Cultural and Historical Museum where you can find out about the towns history and purchase the excellent book by Catrien Van Waarden, Exploring Tati.
Moving Around Botswana
Botswana has 6 major bus routes that connect all major cities but busses can be quite crowded and not terribly safe. Trains run through Francistown, Gaborone and Lobatse and are a better option as they are reasonably priced and reliable. Scheduled flights fly between the countries 4 major cities but can be expensive. Hitchhiking is also comon practice but you are expected to pay.
National festival and holidays
Independence Day - celebrated on the 30th of September. The celebrations are usually lively and widespread and tend to go on the following day.
Presidents Day - celebrated in July. Marked with dancing and feasting, this holiday is usually also celebrated over two days.
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