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Botswana Country Guide

Explore Botswana in Africa

Botswana with the capital city Gaborone is located in Africa (Southern Africa, north of South Africa). It covers some 600,370 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Texas) with 1,842,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Botswana

The landscape offers predominantly flat to gently rolling tableland with Kalahari Desert in southwest. The average density of population is approximately 3 per km². The notable climate conditions in Botswana can be described as semiarid with warm winters and hot summers. Potential threats by nature are periodic droughts or seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility.

To reach someone in Botswana dial +267 prior to a number. There are 144,200 installed telephones. And there are 1,874,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".bw". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Botswana

Botswana Flag Icon

Light blue with a horizontal white-edged black stripe in the center; the blue symbolizes water in the form of rain, while the black and white bands represent racial harmony.

Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name upon independence in 1966. More than four decades of uninterrupted civilian leadership, progressive social policies, and significant capital investment have created one of the most stable economies in Africa. Mineral extraction, principally diamond mining, dominates economic activity, though tourism is a growing sector due to the country's conservation practices and extensive nature preserves. Botswana has one of the world''s highest known rates of HIV/AIDS infection, but also one of Africa''s most progressive and comprehensive programs for dealing with the disease.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Africa
Neighbours: Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia
Capital: Gaborone
Size600,370 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 231,804 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Texas
CurrencyName Pula, Currency Code:BWP
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).bw
Telephone Country Prefix+267
Mobile Phone Connections1,874,000
Landline Phone Connections144,200

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area581,730 (sq km)48

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population2,127,825 144
Population growth rate1.35 (%)89
Birth rate21.69 (births/1,000 population)77
Death rate12.91 (deaths/1,000 population)22
Net migration rate4.68 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)22
Maternal mortality rate160.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)61
Infant mortality rate9.90 (deaths/1,000 live births)145
Life expectancy at birth54.47 (years)205
Total fertility rate2.41 (children born/woman)85
Health expenditures8.30 (% of GDP)55
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate24.80 (%)2
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS320,000 18
HIV/AIDS - deaths5,800 34
Obesity - adult prevalence rate11.20 (%)128
Children under the age of 5 years underweight11.20 (%)65
Education expenditures7.80 (% of GDP)15
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2413.60 (%)94


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)32,060,000,000 112
GDP - real growth rate3.80 (%)91
GDP - per capita (PPP)17,100 79
Labor force1,288,000 136
Unemployment rate17.80 (%)154
Distribution of family income - Gini index63.00 3
Investment (gross fixed)27.60 (% of GDP)32
Taxes and other revenues31.20 (% of GDP)88
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.60 (% of GDP)32
Public debt23.00 (% of GDP)125
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.40 (%)180
Central bank discount rate10.00 (%)25
Commercial bank prime lending rate11.00 (%)77
Stock of narrow money1,280,000,000 141
Stock of broad money7,600,000,000 114
Stock of domestic credit415,900,000 175
Market value of publicly traded shares4,107,000,000 88
Industrial production growth rate10.80 (%)8
Current account balance231,300,000 52
Exports4,545,000,000 119
Imports6,198,000,000 119
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold8,648,000,000 78
Debt - external1,968,000,000 143


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production417,000,000 (kWh)165
Electricity - consumption3,118,000,000 (kWh)132
Electricity - imports2,890,000,000 (kWh)44
Electricity - installed generating capacity132,000 (kW)164
Electricity - from fossil fuels100.00 (% of total installed capacity)6
Refined petroleum products - consumption15,420 (bbl/day)143
Refined petroleum products - imports19,060 (bbl/day)106
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy3,841,000 (Mt)131


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use149,600 135
Telephones - mobile cellular2,900,000 130
Internet hosts1,806 163
Internet users120,000 154


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports76 72
Railways888 (km)93
Roadways17,916 (km)116


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures2.80 (% of GDP)44

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Okavango Delta
This delta in north-west Botswana comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. It is one of the very few major interior delta systems that do not flow into a sea or ocean, with a wetland system that is almost intact. One of the uniqu ...
With one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world, Tsodilo has been called the ''Louvre of the Desert''. Over 4,500 paintings are preserved in an area of only 10 km2 of the Kalahari Desert. The archaeological record of the area gives a ...