Picturesque national parks, mysterious caves with ancient rock drawings, indigenous aboriginal tribes with their unique culture and traditions – Botswana definitely has something to amaze even experienced travelers. This is not a country that greets the hordes of tourists every year. Nature enthusiasts and tourists interested in African culture and willing to learn it better make up the majority of visitors to Botswana. This African country also offers amazing prospects for educational tourism and shopping.
Khoisan tribes were the first settlers in the territory of modern Botswana. They survived mostly thanks to hunting and picking. These tribes inhabited this region already in the 18th century BC. Traditions of cattle breeding slowly spread among aboriginal tribes. Closer to the start of our age, Bantu tribes inhabited the territory and made their first attempts to grow crops. The second part of the 11th century is recognized as the birth of the Moritsane culture. These tribes were mostly involved in cattle breeding.
The end of the 12th century and the start of the 13th century mark the start of trading. At that time, the Limpopo River was the main trading path. The African country had to endure a series of battles and wars between enemy tribes from the 15th to 18th centuries. Because of this, four new countries appeared in the region by the mid-19th century, namely, Ngwaketse, Kwena, Ngwato, and Tawana. This is the time when first European missionaries appeared in African countries. Large deposits of gold and other precious metals attracted them. Great Britain set up its protectorate over the territory of modern Botswana in 1885. The country became independent in 1966.
The capital of Botswana, Gaborone, is an amazing destination for excursions and sightseeing. This city is distinguished by not only original architecture and numerous entertainment venues but also by multiple interesting museums and art galleries. In the capital, tourists can visit the National Museum where they can see unique exhibits and even buy many of them. Don’t forget to visit such important venues in Gaborone as the Ethnographic Museum and the National Art Gallery.
The village of Serowe is an exceptionally interesting destination. It was founded over a century ago as the capital for the Bamangwato. The majority of landmarks in this village are connected with the name of Khama III, a notable leader and the founder of Serowe. There is a museum dedicated to Khama III that exhibits personal items of the prominent figure and historic artifacts that date back to the most important periods of his reign. The king’s memorial and ruins of old buildings, the age of which is more than a thousand years, are among the most notable attractions of Serowe.
Do you want to see unique landmarks connected with ancient people and prehistoric times? In this case, visit Gcwihaba Caves that have a very complex structure and large size. There are many legends about these caves. According to one of them, a big treasure is hidden in Gcwihaba. The chain of caves is an important archaeological site because scientists discovered rock drawings, the age of which is several thousand years. Visitors can also see incredibly beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that formed yet during the prehistoric epoch. Some underground caves and tunnels are naturally colored into different shades – layers of different minerals create incredible combinations of shades.
The Tsolido Hills is a unique archaeological area of international level. Explorers discovered the largest collection of rock art in whole Africa in this area. There are more than 4,000 different drawings in Tsolido. The majority of them were made during the Stone Age. Rock art is not the only attraction of the hills. This is a beautiful place with striking views of surroundings. Despite dry climate with little precipitation, there are many rare plants. Visitors can watch wild animals and rare species of birds. The natural reserve has several trekking trails ranging from paths for beginners to advanced ones. Some of these trails take visitors to the top of one of the hills.
The international airport situated in the capital of Botswana has the majority of flights coming from Great Britain and provided by British Airways. There is also regular air connection with other African countries, such as Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. South African Airways has regular flights to Botswana from Johannesburg. The airport in Johannesburg, in its turn, has well-established air connection with numerous European countries.
Read further: Cities and sights of Botswana