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Geographical Information

 

Botswana is a land-locked country dominated in geographical terms by the Kalahari Desert - a sand-filled basin averaging 1,100 metres above sea level. The country lies between longitudes 20 and 30 degrees east of Greenwich and between the latitudes 18 and 27 degrees approximately south of the Equator.

Botswana is bordered by Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south and southeast. At Kazungula, four countries - Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia - meet at a single point mid-stream in the Zambezi River.

Although Botswana has no mountain ranges to speak of, the almost uniformly flat landscape is punctuated occasionally by low hills, especially along the southeastern boundary and in the far northwest. Botswana's highest point is 1,491m Otse Mountain near Lobatse, but the three major peaks of the Tsodilo Hills, in the country's northwestern corner, are more dramatic.

The country is situated in the southern African region and about two-thirds of Botswana lies within the Tropics; it is bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn (the imaginary line of latitude which is 23 30' south of Equator) just south of the town of Mahalapye (see maps). This is the most southern latitude where the sun is directly overhead at noon. This happens on December 22st, the longest day of the year in this hemisphere.

The distance between the extreme north and the extreme south of Botswana is about 1,110 kilometres. It is 960 kilometres across at its widest. The area of Botswana is approximately 581,730 square kilometres and is about the size of France or Kenya. It is approximately 500 km from the nearest coastline, to the southwest.

Botswana at a glance

Land Area
582,000 sq. km

Population
1.6 million (1999)

Urbanisation
46%

Capital city
Gaborone 192,845('98)

Climate
Subtropical
Summer: 19-33C, Winter: 5-23C

Languages
Official language: English
Setswana is the national language.

Measures
Metric System

Electric Current
220 volts

Time
GMT + 2 Hours

Business Hours

Private sector
Monday - Friday
: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Government offices: Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Saturday: Government offices are closed but the commercial sector opens in the morning until 1:00pm.