BOTSWANA (Lefatshe la Botswana)
This is a country of very much two halves. Not like in England or say, Italy, but in Botswana the north is jungle and grasslands, the south is desert. Much of the jungle is given over to national parks, where they can derive income from tourism. Moremi is one of the largest of the parks, and covers an area around the eastern side of the Okavango River delta. Unlike most rivers that run into a larger river, lake or the sea. The Okavango River runs into a desert where it evaporates. This creates lots of water filled areas, where the likes of Hippos joust and fight each other. When seeing them up close, it's hard to imagine they're Africa's second biggest killer of humans, after the malaria parasite.
Language: English is the official lingua franca. The main aboriginal language is Tswana
Visa: Most Western Countries get 30 days at the border/customs.
Plug: 2 pin European standard. 220v
GMT: GMT +2
GDP Ranking (IMF): # 58 £10,065 (comparable to Lebanon & Gabon)
Communications: Country code is 267
Health: No Vaccines required, Malaria prevention is a good idea in the Wet season. The author did not use anti-malarials on a trip in the dry season.
When to Visit: Late May through to August (rainy season is October to April)
Personal Safety: Mostly fine with usual big city awareness and wild animal outside cities/in parks - F&CO Current information here.
Getting Around: The author visited as part of a tour. Internal transport is infrequent and poor, hiring a car (unless going off road, a 4x4 isn't necessary) is the most common way of travelling independently. Roads are generally good, even non-sealed roads.
What to see/do: Botswana is all about wildlife, and little else. The main parks are Chobe and Moremi. Others include the Central Kalahari and Kgalagadi parks if you want to stay away from the tourist trails.
Food & Drink: Seswaa (aka Chotlho) is a traditional dish, it's made of mashed up goat or lamb, with lots of salt. Talking of salty, the Mopane Worm is also a treat here, as eaten by the author. Botswana doesn't really have any home grown beers, importing mainly from it's neighbours. Chibuku is a cheap local beer, unlikely available in places frequented by tourists.