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  • General Info
Indeed, Botswana is a country that you feel is keen to conserve what makes it beautiful and utilise its assets. Astonishingly, around 17% of the country is designated national park, and when Botswana’s huge private concessions are also toted up, the figure swells to a proud 40%. This explains why, in some parts, there are nearly as many tourists craning their necks out of jeeps as there is roving game. Furthermore, Botswana has ensured that its spectacular Delta region has been well-developed touristically, with its impressive lagoons crammed with hovering birdlife, and elephants, giraffes and other exotic animals that amble through its vast grass flats.

Practical Information

Area: 581 730 km² (224 607 miles²)

Capital: Gaborone. Population: 208 411

Population: 1.7 million

Currency: Pula (BWP symbol P) = 100 thebe

Government: Republic since 1966.

Tipping: A discretionary 5 to 10%. In many places, a service charge is automatically added. It is customary to tip the game guide and lodge staff while on safari.

Legal drinking age: 18

Time zone: GMT + 2

Languages: English

Additional descriptions

Botswana: Social customs

As most people in Botswana follow their traditional pattern of life, visitors should be sensitive to customs which will inevitably be unfamiliar to them. Outside urban areas, people may well not be usedRead more to visitors. Casual clothing is acceptable and, in urban centres, normal courtesies should be observed.Photography: Airports, official residences and defence establishments should not be photographed. Permission should be obtained to photograph local people.

Botswana: Food and local specialties

Restaurants and bars can be found in main towns, often within hotels. Millet and sorghum porridge constitutes much of the cuisine. Beef and goat are very popular meats. Most lodges and safari camps alsoRead more have restaurants and licensed bars, although food is generally basic outside major hotels and restaurants. The standard of food in lodges and camps is generally very good. There is local beer and no real restrictions on alcohol. The national specialties are: Morama (an underground tuber). The Kalahari truffle. The Mopane worm (boiled, cooked or deep-fried). Beans such as cow peas, ditloo and letlhodi, dried bean leaves, plus nuts like peanuts and groundnuts. Wild spinach, morogo is very tasty. Palm wine (which is extremely strong) and Kgadi (made from distilled sugar or fungus). Traditional beer such as khadi or bojalwa, which tastes a bit like apple cider. Homemade ginger beer is popular. Bush tea (or Rooibos) is a reddish caffeine-free tea that is soothing and delicious, although something of an acquired taste.

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