While the Zambezi Queen Collection of luxury houseboats are moored on the Namibian side of the Chobe River, chances are you’ll pass through Botswana before you arrive on board with us.
In this article, we share some interesting facts about our neighbouring country, one which has a diverse and interesting history and a prosperous future.
In Botswana, the currency is named the ‘pula,’ signifying the profound value placed on water. Translating to ‘rain’ or ‘blessing’ in Setswana, the national language, this reflects the significance of water as a precious resource in the country.
Botswana is one of the world’s most drought-prone countries, with multiple, multi-year droughts recorded since the 1950s. In 2016, Botswana experienced the worst drought in 34 years with temperatures soaring to over 41°C. The recent heavy rains have come as a welcome relief.
Botswana is famously known as being one of the four African countries which meet at the eastern end of the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. This is the only place in the world where four countries meet namely Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Make sure that you have several blank pages in your passport if you plan on combining your stay with Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls as each country values its sovereignty and you have to check in and out of the various borders.
Nearly 40% of Botswana is made up of national parks and wildlife reserves which provide plenty of large areas for animals to roam.
Botswana boasts the world’s largest concentration of African elephants, with Chobe National Park standing as the epicenter of this remarkable population. Consequently, here, the highest concentration of these gentle giants can be witnessed, making it a truly awe-inspiring haven for elephant enthusiasts and wildlife admirers alike.
The world’s second-largest gem-quality diamond was discovered in Botswana. Moreover, it is the biggest diamond to be found in the country and the largest discovery in more than a century. On June 12, 2021, the 1,174-carat gem was unearthed, securing its place as the third-largest diamond in the world.
This year marks the country’s 57th year of independence from Britain in 1966. Consequently, Botswana is Africa’s longest surviving democracy and has blossomed since independence with a stable and prosperous economy.
The current president, Ian Khama, is the son of Botswana’s first president after independence, Sir Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams, who is of British origin. Due to their highly controversial interracial marriage, his parents were exiled in the UK where he was born in 1953. Their extraordinary love story which endured despite all the obstacles and outrage has now been made into a film.
Botswana holds a number of world records including the world’s largest salt pans, the world’s largest inland delta, and the world’s shortest border.
Some of these facts you may already know, some may be new to you but we hope we’ve provided you with some insights into the country whose national park you’ll explore during your stay with us.