Botswana is often described as an African
success story. At independence from Britain in 1966, the
country was one of the poorest in the world. Thanks to
rich diamond deposits and functioning democracy,
Botswana has developed into a middle-income country.
However, many residents still live outside the formal
economy, often from livestock management.
Brief profiles of Botswana, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Botswana, which on the surface is one third
larger than Sweden, lies on the high plateau in southern
Africa. The country has an average altitude of about
1,000 meters above sea level and lacks coast. The vast
area of Kalahari, which mainly consists of the
peninsula, covers at least two-thirds of Botswana.
The landscape of Botswana is quite flat, with cliffs
here and there. In the eastern third of the country
there are low cliffs and savannah landscapes. Here the
earth is more fertile and here live four out of five
residents. In Kalahari in the southwest, grass and shrub
vegetation grows. A thick layer of sand, at a distance
of more than 100 meters, covers a large part of the
In the northwest lies the world's largest inland
delta, formed where the Okavango River flows. The river
flows from the highlands of Angola and through a narrow
country corridor that belongs to Namibia, the Zambezi
Strip (formerly the Caprivi Strip). Okavango and the
Chobe/Linyanti border rivers (towards Namibia in the
north) and Limpopo (towards South Africa in the
southeast) are the only major watercourses in the
country that never dry out.
National parks and animal sanctuaries make up one
fifth of Botswana's surface.
The climate is predominantly semi-arid subtropical,
with warm winters and hot summers. The rainy season
starts in October and is over in April.
It rains more in the north than in the south. It is
the driest in the southwest while the north-east
receives the most rain. The whole country is sometimes
affected by severe drought.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY
581 730 km2 (2018)
Swedish +1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa
Capital with number of residents
Gaborone 227,000 (Census 2011)
Other major cities
Francistown 102,000, Molepolole 69,000, Mogoditshane
61,000, Maun 56,000 (Census 2011)
Tsodilo (1,489 m asl)
Chobe/Linyanti, Okavango, Limpopo
Success for gays
An appeals court ruled that the government was wrong
when it refused to register an organization for sexual
minorities. In Botswana, homosexuality is seen as a
prohibited act and can be punished with imprisonment for
up to seven years, but the court finds that freedom of
organization weighs most heavily in this context.