Botswana is located in Southern Africa; it shares its borders with Zambia in the north, Zimbabwe in the northeast, South Africa in the southeast and Namibia in the west. It covers an area of approximately 582 000 sq kilometres situated at a mean altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level. From the north to south the country is a distance of around 1110 kilometres. The country is about 960 km across its widest part.
Botswana has a predominantly subtropical climate therefore it is largely arid. The rainy season is in the summer months, beginning from November until the end of March/beginning of April. The rainfall occurs mostly as localised showers and thunderstorms, and is erratic. On average, annual rainfall varies from 650 mm per annum in the northeast to less than 250 mm per annum in the western areas of the country.
The country is well known for its large mineral deposits, especially diamonds, which are its main Foreign Exchange earner, besides beef. It is the largest producer of gem diamonds in the world. Tourism also plays a great deal in the country’s economy. Because of the vast land that Botswana has, there are hundreds of bird species and plenty of animal in the wild and in reserves. The most beautiful aspect is the Okavango Delta, which has been labelled as the jewel of the Kalahari. It is a rare inland river, which cuts from Angola through Namibia into Botswana. In the northern part of Botswana, it spreads out and creates the world renowned Okavango Delta, which attracts tourists from all over the world.
The Kalahari Desert, which covers most of western Botswana. It has its own animal and bird life, including some rare reptile species. This is where camels, sand dunes and hot winds are common.
The population of Botswana comprises a multi ethnic cohabitation, which is envied by many and considered as a shining example of democracy and the rule of law. Botswana has had independence for fifty-four years now, and has enjoyed peace, economic prosperity and good leadership. Batswana (which means citizens of Botswana) are peace loving, very welcoming and receptive to outsiders and always willing to share life and skills.
Daytime temperatures are around 32°C/90°F, and the humidity is between 50-80%. March & April – Rainfall decreases and it steadily cools. This trend continues through April, which has lovely, clear weather and few clouds. The nights tend to be cooler, but the days are very temperate at 30°C/87°F.
Delegates should therefore bring summer clothes for the day. For convenience, delegates are advised to bring some warm clothing, especially for the evenings, which will be cooler this time of the year.
The main currency used in Botswana is the Pula (BWP).
There are several Banks in the country that should facilitate transactions that involve foreign currency. Visa, MasterCard and other internationally recognised credit cards are acceptable in most hotels and shops.
Travellers’ cheques are also acceptable in some shops (depending on the currency used). The most acceptable currencies are the Pound, USD, Euro, Pula and the South African Rand (SAR).
You can exchange foreign currency at Banks and in “foreign exchange bureaus”
DO NOT be tempted to change money with people on the street however charming or persistent. It’s against the law. Rather go to a reputable bureau de change.