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Overview

This vast and sparsely populated country is also one of Africa's few conspicuous economic success stories, thanks largely to the mineral wealth that lies beneath its sandy soils. It is also a very popular safari destination, and a pioneer of the low-volume, high-cost brand of low impact eco-tourism. The main focal point is the Okavango Swamp, a vast and lushly vegetated inland delta formed by the Okavango River as it dissipates into the desert sands. Okavango supports a rich birdlife and immense densities of big game, though its main attraction is arguably the isolated, untrammeled atmosphere of its swampy heart, which is most easily ...

This vast and sparsely populated country is also one of Africa's few conspicuous economic success stories, thanks largely to the mineral wealth that lies beneath its sandy soils. It is also a very popular safari destination, and a pioneer of the low-volume, high-cost brand of low impact eco-tourism. The main focal point is the Okavango Swamp, a vast and lushly vegetated inland delta formed by the Okavango River as it dissipates into the desert sands. Okavango supports a rich birdlife and immense densities of big game, though its main attraction is arguably the isolated, untrammeled atmosphere of its swampy heart, which is most easily explored by boat (in a local dugout canoe) and on foot. The other key safari destination is the elephant-rich Chobe National Park on the northern border. For true lovers of empty landscapes and solitude, the magnificent Makgadigadi Pans beckon, as does the immense Central Kalahari National Park. Botswana is one of the last strongholds of the Khoisan hunter-gatherers who once populated the entire subcontinent and the country is dotted with ancient rock art sites associated with them.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: In southern part of Africa. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west, Zambia to the north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast.
  • Language: English, Tswana
  • Currency: Pula
  • Research: Botswana | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall