Sunday, August 7, 2022

History Of Botswana

AfricaBotswanaHistory Of Botswana

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Early history

Botswana’s history begins more than 100,000 years ago, when the first people arrived in the area. The Bushmen (San) and Khoi peoples were the indigenous inhabitants of southern Africa. Both spoke Khoisan and lived as hunter-gatherers. Large chiefdoms arose about a thousand years ago, which were subsequently overshadowed by the Great Zimbabwe empire, which extended into eastern Botswana. Around 1300 CE, peoples in present-day Transvaal started to form three major linguistic and political groups, including the Batswana.

The Batswana (plural of “Motswana”), a word used to refer to all Botswanans, are the country’s largest ethnic group today. Prior to European contact, the Batswana were tribally ruled herders and farmers. New tribes were formed when groups split off and migrated to new territory. Prior to the colonial era, some human development happened.

Contacts with Europeans

The slave and ivory markets were growing in the 1700s. Shaka, the Zulu Empire’s ruler, mobilized an army to oppose these demands. Conquered tribes advanced northwest into Botswana, killing everything in their route. Tribes started to barter ivory and skins for firearms with European merchants who had begun to enter the interior in their attempts to re-establish themselves towards the end of this era. Christian missionaries were also brought from Europe to the interior, sometimes at the request of tribal leaders who desired firearms and understood that the presence of missionaries encouraged merchants. By 1880, every large hamlet had a missionary on staff, and their impact was lasting. Botswana’s Christianization was completed under the reign of King Khama III (reigned 1875–1923). There were eight major tribes (or chiefdoms), the most powerful of which was the Bangwaketse.

Hostilities erupted in the late nineteenth century between Botswana’s Tswana people and Ndebele tribes making inroads into the region from the north-east. Tensions also rose with the arrival of Dutch Boer immigrants from the Transvaal to the east. On March 31, 1885, the British Government placed Bechuanaland under its protection after pleas from Batswana chiefs Khama III, Bathoen, and Sebele. The northern territory, known as the Bechuanaland Protectorate, is now modern-day Botswana, while the southern region, known as British Bechuanaland, became part of the Cape Colony and is today part of South Africa’s northwest province. Today, the bulk of Setswana-speaking people reside in South Africa.

The Bechuanaland Protectorate, Basutoland (now Lesotho), and Swaziland (the High Commission Territories) were not included when the Union of South Africa was established in 1910 out of the region’s major British possessions, although provision was made for their eventual inclusion. However, the UK started to consult their people, and although successive South African governments tried to have the territories transferred, the UK continued delaying; as a result, it never happened. The election of the Nationalist government in 1948, which established apartheid, and South Africa’s departure from the Commonwealth in 1961 effectively eliminated any possibility of the territories being included into South Africa.

The 1920 creation of two advisory bodies to represent both Africans and Europeans arose from the growth of British central power and the evolution of tribal governance. The African Council was made up of the leaders of the eight Tswana tribes as well as some elected members. In 1934, proclamations established tribal rule and authority. A European-African advising council was created in 1951, and a consultative legislative council was established in 1961 under the constitution.


The United Kingdom approved plans for democratic self-government in Botswana in June 1964. In 1965, the seat of government was relocated from Mafikeng, South Africa, to the newly formed Gaborone, which is close to Botswana’s border with South Africa. The 1965 constitution resulted in the first general elections and, on September 30, 1966, independence. Seretse Khama, a pioneer in the independence struggle and the rightful contender to the Ngwato chiefship, was chosen as the country’s first President and was re-elected twice.

Quett Masire, the current Vice-President, was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire stepped down as president in 1998, and was replaced by Festus Mogae, who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. The presidency was handed on to Ian Khama (son of the first President) in 2008, who had been serving as Mogae’s Vice-President since quitting as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force in 1998 to take up this civilian post.

The International Court of Justice decided in December 1999 that Kasikili Island belonged to Botswana, resolving a long-running dispute over the northern boundary with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip.

How To Travel To Botswana

By plane Sir Seretse Khama Airport in Gaborone is Botswana's major airport. International flights to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are available. Maun's airport is also accessible through Johannesburg, Cape Town, or Gaborone, as well as once a day (in summer 2009) from Windhoek, Namibia. The distance between...

How To Travel Around Botswana

There are very few locals who remember street names and addresses, and you will almost certainly need to obtain instructions in terms of landmarks. Botswana has a postal delivery system to addresses (only to centralized mail collection locations), thus even if streets are well-marked, people may be unfamiliar with...

Destinations in Botswana

Regions in Botswana KalahariThe Kalahari Desert and its surroundings are sparsely inhabited. Okavango-ChobeThe northern portion of the nation, which includes the Okavango Delta and excellent wildlife parks such as Chobe National Park and Moremi National Park. SoutheastGaborone's capital and the majority of the country's population are located here. Cities in Botswana Gaborone or Gabs is...

Things To See in Botswana

Botswana's primary attraction is its wildlife. Nearly one-fifth of the nation is made up of wildlife parks. Lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, antelope, wild dogs, and hundreds of bird species may be found in these parks. Visitors may go on safaris and stay in lodges ranging from low-cost dormitories...

Food & Drinks in Botswana

Food in Botswana Botswana's cuisine is distinct, although it has certain features with other Southern African cuisines. Botswana cuisine includes Pap, Samp, Vetkoek, and Mopane worms. Seswaa, a meat dish consisting of beef, goat, or lamb meat, is a Botswana specialty. In general, the fatty meat is cooked until soft in...

Money & Shopping in Botswana

The pula (ISO 4217 code: BWP) is Botswana's currency, which is split into 100 thebe. In Setswana, pula literally means "rain" (rain is very scarce in Botswana - home to much of the Kalahari Desert - and therefore valuable and a "blessing"). The word thebe means "shield." Banknotes in BWP10,...

Festivals & Holidays in Botswana

Public Holidays The public holidays in Botswana are: 1 January. New Year's Day Easter weekend. ("Good Friday", "Easter Saturday", "Easter Sunday" and "Easter Monday"): a four day long weekend in March or April set according to the Western Christian dates.1 May. Workers Day 1 July. Sir Seretse Khama Day Mid July. President's Day 31 September. Botswana Day 25 December. Christmas Day 26 December. Day of...

Language & Phrasebook in Botswana

Botswana's official languages are English and Tswana. The language of commerce in Botswana is English, and the majority of people in metropolitan areas speak it; but, in more rural regions, many individuals, especially the older generations, do not speak English. Tswana is the main indigenous language and the first language...

Culture Of Botswana

Setswana is an adjective used to characterize the rich cultural traditions of the Batswana, whether they are members of the Tswana ethnic groups or all residents of Botswana. It refers to the language of the main people groups in Botswana. Music Botswana music is mainly sung and performed, sometimes without percussion...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Botswana

Stay Safe in Botswana Botswana's people are extremely kind, and the crime rate is minimal. On this front, there isn't anything to be concerned about. Nonetheless, crime has been on the increase in recent years, so be cautious of your surroundings at all times. In rural regions, basic common sense...



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