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Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana. With a population of just over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world - 10% of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. The stunning landscapes, pristine wilderness, and fantastic game viewing and birding year round – with no crowds, makes Botswana the perfect destination for nature and safari lovers.

Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 80% of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. Although most of the land mass of Botswana lies in the Kalahari it is nevertheless a country of great diversity, with unique landscapes playing host to a wide variety of species. Within this great sand deposit are swamps and rivers, giving the great desert a unique appeal. Within this great deposit of sand is the world's most unique delta, the Okavango ("The Jewel of the Kalahari"), a place of incredible beauty and diversity where the waters are swallowed by the Kalahari Sand after passing through the system. Another unusual aspect of Botswana is the presence of rivers that attract countless numbers of wildlife in what is predominantly a desert country. Some of these rivers meet other rivers whilst some simply sink away into the sands of the Kalahari Desert. Central Botswana was once part of a massive inland lake, the remnants of which are still visible in the many unique geological features such as the largest salt pans in the world, the Makgadikgadi, a place of fascinating wildlife and endless horizons.

Botswana is highly committed to conservation of environment, wildlife, and cultural heritage. The country is a true leader in ecotourism with a whopping 38% of land protected for wildlife and nature conservation. Chobe National Park is home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. A sundowner cruise on the Chobe riverfront to view, up close and personal, elephants at play amongst hippos and crocs and beautiful birds is a favourite for travellers to this beautiful country.

The genuinely warm, welcoming, and respectful people make you feel like treasured family… not tourists. Batswana feel a great pride in their history and government and share a strong sense of national identity. Alongside the official language of English, Setswana is the main language of the country. But at least 26 others are spoken by different ethnic communities. These fall into two different language groups – Bantu and Khoisan. Botswana's national dish is no different. Of course there are a wide variety of cuisines available in Botswana from Italian to Chinese and many local people eat these dishes, but most of them will admit to cooking traditional dishes the most. The national dish of Botswana is called Seswaa. This consists of a meat stew served over thick polenta or pap. The stew is made by boiling meat with onion and pepper. Adding anything else is considered an infringement.

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