Botswana has had something of a checkered history. Thanks to its unique location and relative lack of natural resources, it was passed over by the colonial powers of Germany and Britain. As a result, Botswana has developed on its own terms, keeping much of its original African history and institutions intact.
Back in the 1960s, the country was primarily made up of roving bands of farmers and agriculturalist. There was practically no industry to speak of, with the exception of a single meat processing plant in the north of the country. But from humble beginnings, Botswana has come to represent the potential for the whole region. The economy grew at around 10 percent per year from the 1970s onwards and all throughout the country, from the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta, you can see the effects. Botswana is the only Africa country in which practically every native person is able to afford a swimming pool.
If you want to see Africa at it’s best, then Botswana is the place to go. If you do make the trip, make sure that you check out incredible natural wonders on display in the region.
The Okavango Delta
Most people imagine Botswana to be a country dominated by desert. And thanks to the prevailing weather patterns, it is. However, wherever there is water, there is also life, which is why the Okavango Delta is such a tourist hotspot. The Delta is essentially a vast network of inland waterways near to the Moremi Game Reserve. The combination of the protection of animals alongside the Delta means that this is the place that you’re most likely to see Africa’s most famous megafauna in their natural habitat. Elephants, crocodiles, giraffes, leopards and rhinos all live in this stunning region of Africa.
The Tsodilo Hills were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. The hills themselves are essentially a formation of rock shelters, depressions, and caves. It’s quite a dangerous region, and so if you do make the trip, make sure that you’re covered by travel insurance. Thanks to the unique topography of the landscape, it’s very easy to fall.
The most interesting thing about the hills are the cave paintings. Some of the pictures of beasts are from more than 24,000 years ago, and so they represent some of humanity’s earliest artwork. Since ancient times, the hills have retained their spiritual significance among the San people from the Kalahari.
Even though Botswana is a landlocked country, surrounded by Tanzania to the north, South Africa to the South and Namibia to the West, it still has an island – Sedudu. Sedudu is an island in the middle of one of Botswana’s most famous rivers, the Chobe. The island itself is only 5 km squared, but it is also one of the most beautiful in all of Africa. Back in 1999, Botswana got into a dispute with Namibia about which country actually owned the island. Eventually, the Court of International Settlement said that Botswana had more of a claim and it because officially part of the territory of the country.