DW Travel – On safari through Botswana’s wilderness in a dugout canoe: Rather than rumbling through nature in a noisy jeep, glide silently through the water in a traditional mokoro boat – getting closer than ever to elephants, hippos, and other animals, without disturbing them with noise, and exhaust fumes.
Botswana, country in the centre of Southern Africa. The territory is roughly triangular—approximately 600 miles (965 km) from north to south and 600 miles from east to west—with its eastern side protruding into a sharp point. Its eastern and southern borders are marked by river courses and an old wagon road; its western borders are lines of longitude and latitude through the Kalahari, and its northern borders combine straight lines with a river course. Within the confines of Botswana’s borders is a rich variety of wildlife, including many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Before its independence in 1966, Botswana was a British protectorate known as Bechuanaland. It was also one of the poorest and least-developed states in the world. The country is named after its dominant ethnic group, the Tswana (“Bechuana” in older variant orthography). Since its independence the Republic of Botswana has gained international stature as a peaceful and increasingly prosperous democratic state. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the African Union (AU), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The secretariat of SADC is housed in the capital of Botswana, Gaborone (until 1969 spelled Gaberones—i.e., Gaborone’s town, after the tribal chief who had his capital at the site during the colonial period).