With a surface area of 581 730km2, Botswana is roughly the size of France or Texas and is entirely landlocked. Botswana is a semi arid country with 84% of it covered by the sands of the Kalahari (Kgalagadi). The total population in 2013 is estimated at 2 million people, most of who are settled in the East and Southeast, with over 50% of the population settled in urban areas. The age structure is weighted towards the younger age group with about 43% being younger than 15 years old. Batswana (the citizens of Botswana) are the most numerous people in the country, with two related tribes (Batawana & Bamangwato) forming about 50% of the population. Six other smaller tribes make up 45%, and the balance is a mix of other ethnic groups. The oldest ethnic group is the Basarwa (or San bushmen). The official language is English, which is used in government and business affairs, whilst Setswana is the National language and widely spoken. The currency of Botswana, the Pula (= 100 thebe), means “rain” and is also a local greeting.

WEATHER

November to April – warm to hot with highs of 30-35°C and lows averaging 20°C. Rain can be expected, particularly between December and March.

May to August – cool to warm with highs 20-25°C and lows averaging 10°C.  July can be cold with temperatures reaching 5°C in the early mornings. Days are dry with clear, sunny skies.

September to November – hot to very hot with highs of 35-40°C and lows averaging 26°C. Days are dry and sunny with occasional strong winds.