About Us

Southern Africa is an immense land mass, some 6.8 million square kilometers bordered by the Indian Ocean in the East and the Atlantic Ocean in the West.

Sir Seretse Goitsebeng Maphiri KhamaGCBKBE (1 July 1921 – 13 July 1980) was a Botswana politician who served as the first President of Botswana, a post he held from 1966 to his death in 1980. Born into an influential royal family of what was then the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, he was educated abroad in the neighbouring country of South Africa then in the United Kingdom. While in Britain, he married an Englishwoman named Ruth Williams, a decision opposed by the white-minority government of South Africa and which led to a controversy resulting in the British government making him stay in England in exile so as to not sour U.K.-South African relations.

After the end of his exile, Khama led his country’s independence movement and transition from British rule into an independent nation. He founded the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1965. In 1966, Botswana gained independence and Khama was elected as its first president. During his presidency, the country underwent rapid economic and social progress. Khama served as President until his death in 1980, and was succeeded in office by Quett Masire. His son, Ian Khama, served as Botswana’s fourth president from 2008 to 2018. Seretse Khama was born in 1921 in Serowe, in what was then the Bechuanaland Protectorate. He was the son of Queen Tebogo and Sekgoma Khama II, the paramount chief of the Bamangwato clan of the Tswana, and the grandson of Khama III, their king. The name Seretse means “the clay that binds”. He was named this to celebrate the recent reconciliation of his father and grandfather; this reconciliation assured Seretse’s own ascension to the throne with his aged father’s death in 1925. At the age of 4, Seretse became Kgosi (king), with his uncle Tshekedi Khama as his regent and guardian.

Countries commonly included in Southern Africa include Angola, Botswana, The Comoros, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In cultural geography, the island country of Madagascar is often not included due to its distinct language and cultural heritage.
In physical geography, the geographical delineation for the sub-region is the portion of Africa south of the Cunene and Zambezi Rivers: Botswana, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the part of Mozambique that lies south of the Zambezi River. undefined
That definition is most often used in South Africa for natural sciences and particularly in guidebooks such as Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa, the Southern African Bird Atlas Project, and Mammals of the Southern African Sub-Region.
It is not used in political, economic, or human geography contexts because the definition cuts Mozambique in two.  The terrain of Southern Africa is varied ranging from forests, grasslands and then deserts.
The region has both low-lying coastal areas to mountains.  In terms of natural resources, the region has the world’s largest resources of platinum and the platinum group elements, chromium, vanadium, and cobalt, as well as uranium, gold, copper, titanium, iron, manganese, silver, beryllium and then diamonds.
Southern Africa is set apart from other Sub-Saharan African regions because of its mineral resources, including copper, diamonds, gold, zinc, chromium, platinum, manganese, iron ore, and coal.
Countries in Southern Africa are larger in geographic area, except three smaller landlocked states: Lesotho, Swaziland, and Malawi. The larger states- South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, and Angola—all have extensive mineral deposits. undefined
These widespread mineral resources make this one of the wealthiest regions of Africa with the greatest potential for economic growth. A chain of mineral resources in Southern Africa stretches from the rich oil fields in northwest Angola, east through the central diamond-mining region in Huambo Province, and into the Copper Belt region of Zambia and Congo. undefined
A region of rich mineral deposits continues to the south called the Great Dyke in central Zimbabwe, through the Bushveld basin into South Africa. This extends southwest through the Witwatersrand and Northern Cape of South Africa toward the southern coast. Mining activity exists across the eastern region. Diamond mining is found in parts of Botswana and along the Namibian coast. Coal can also be found in central Mozambique, Zimbabwe and northeast South Africa.undefined
The climate of the region is broadly divided into subtropical and temperate regions in the north and south respectively, but also includes humid Sub-Tropical, a Mediterranean climate, highland subtropical, oceanic, desert and semi-arid regions.
Except for lower regions of Zambia and interior regions of Namibia and Botswana, the region rarely suffers from extreme heat. In addition to that, the winter presents mostly mild and dry, except in the southwest. Cool southeasterly winds and high humidity bring cool conditions in the winter. The Namib Desert is the driest area in the region.undefined
Altitude plays an outsize role in moderating the temperatures of the South African Highveld, Lesotho and much of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The prairie region of central and northeast South Africa, Zimbabwe and parts of Zambia is known are known as the veldt, divided into the Bushveld and Highveld regions. There are high temperatures and low rainfall inside the Zambezi and Limpopo river valleys, probably due to the lower altitude.undefined
The Western Cape has a Mediterranean vegetation and climate, including the unique fynbos, grading eastward into an oceanic climate along the Garden Route to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and East London. The Namib and Kalahari deserts form are arid lands in the center-west separating the highlands, woodlands, croplands and pastures of wetter and higher East from the Atlantic Ocean. undefined
In addition, the Drakensberg and Eastern Highlands separate the highland areas and coastal plains centered on Mozambique in the north and KwaZulu-Natal to the south, the latter of which are often prone to flooding every few years.
Der Nama-Führer Hendrik Witbooi, um 1900. Nach dem Tod von Witbooi in Oktober 1905 führten Jacob Marengo, Cornelius Frederiks und Abraham Morris den Guerillakampf der Nama gegen die deutsche Schutztruppe fort. Samuel Maharero (1856-1923), son of Maharero (1820-1890)
Namibia is primarily a large desert and semi-desert plateau. Quivertree Forest, Bushveld. In the east the river systems of the Zambezi and Limpopo basin form natural barriers and sea-lanes between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.Swakopmund

Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa. It is named after the Limpopo River, which forms the province’s western and northern borders. The capital and largest city in the province is Polokwane, while the provincial legislature is situated in Lebowakgomo.
The province is made up of three former homelands  of Lebowa, Gazankulu and Venda.  Limpopo is made up of three main ethnic groups: the Pedi, the Tsonga and the Venda.
Across most of southern Africa, apart from the Western Cape in South Africa, the major rainfall season is during the southern hemisphere summer (December to February). In the Western Cape the rainfall maximum is in June through to August.
There are a number of important rainfall producing weather systems in southern Africa. These include, tropical-extra tropical cloud bands, tropical lows and tropical cyclones, cut-off lows and mesoscale convective systems. Winter midlatitude storms account for the June-August rainfall maximum in the Western Cape.
Year to year variability in rainfall, including droughts, are associated with changes in global and regional sea surface temperatures. These include the El Nino Southern Oscillation, the Subtropical Indian Ocean Dipole and changes in the Benguela Current region in the southeast Atlantic.  Future climate projections suggest that much of southern Africa will get hotter and drier in response to global climate change.

Garden Route & Klein Karoo

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The Garden Route District Municipality (Afrikaans: Tuinroete-distriksmunisipaliteit; Xhosa: uMasipala weSithili sase Garden Route), formerly known as the Eden District Municipality, is a district municipality located in the Western Cape province of South Africa. 

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The Garden Route District Municipality covers an area of 23,331 square kilometres (9,008 sq mi) in the southeastern part of the Western Cape, covering the regions known as the Garden Route and the Little Karoo. It stretches to the Breede River mouth and the Langeberg mountains on the west, where it abuts the Overberg District Municipality and (for a short distance) the Cape Winelands District Municipality. To the north the boundary with the Central Karoo District Municipality runs along the Swartberg mountains. In the east the municipality runs up to the Eastern Cape provincial boundary.  The district is divided into seven local municipalities

The council of the Garden Route District Municipality consists of thirty-five councilors. Fourteen councilors are directly elected by party-list proportional representation, and twenty-one are appointed by the councils of the local municipalities in the district: six by George, four by Mossel Bay, three each by Oudtshoorn and Knysna, two each by Hessequa and Bitou, and one by Kannaland.

After the election of 3 August 2016 there are twenty-one councilors from the Democratic Alliance (DA), twelve from the African National Congress (ANC), and one each from the Independent Civic Organization of South Africa (ICOSA) and the African Independent Congress (AIC).

The Garden Route begins about four hours outside Cape Town, and includes one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, the starting point of which is constantly contested as towns such as Witsand, Stilbaai and Albertina join the route that winds its way for some 200 km via George, Wilderness, Sedgefield and Knysna on to Plettenberg Bay culminating in the Tsitisikamma Forest – a fairyland of giant trees, ferns and bird life.

Mountains crowd close to a shoreline dotted with beaches and bays, and vividly coloured wild flowers delight the eye. Between Heidelberg and Storms River, the Garden Route runs parallel to a coastline featuring lakes, mountains, tall indigenous forests, amber -coloured rivers and golden beaches.

Meandering trails are followed by hikers, the forests invite long, leisurely drives, and the lakes and rivers lend themselves to swimming boating and fishing. A wide range of leisure options, spectacular scenery and a mild climate guarantee an unforgettable holiday experience when visiting the Garden Route in South Africa.

The region provides a stirring study in contrasts. The delightful town of George, known as “The Gateway to the Garden Route”, graces a coastal plateau in a fertile area of lush greenery at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains. Oudtshoorn, “Capital of the Klein Karoo”, is set in a semi-arid valley, providing the ideal habitat for ostriches which are farmed here on a grand scale.

The Garden Route stretches on the southern coast from Heidelberg to the Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River. It’s a nook of the country that offers inspiration to writers and artists whose presence gives the Garden Route a trendy flavor. It is also a top priority of many a foreign visitor. The coastal drive links a series of charming towns interspersed with natural beauty.

Along the way, every kind of adventure activity is possible; scuba diving, abseiling, fishing and more. The Tsitsikamma National Park, perched on a tumultuous Indian Ocean shore is one of South Africa’s most dramatic protected areas, combining marine and land attractions. Its indigenous forests are a haven for birdlife. One of the most geologically interesting parts of South Africa is the Klein Karoo, with its towering mountains and sheer gorges.

An important geological feature is the Cango Caves, a series of caverns and chambers naturally hewn out of limestone, situated outside the city of Oudtshoorn. The Cango Caves are among the top ten most visited South African attractions.

Oudtshoorn itself, the heart of the ostrich feather industry when it was in its hey day the late 1800s and early 1900s, is well worth a visit. The grandiose, old feather palaces are still to be seen, while ostrich farms, now involved in the commercial production of meat, leather, eggs and feathers, can be toured, with the possibility of riding an ostrich.

The Klein Karoo (Little Karoo) is a spectacular 350 kilometre long valley stretching from Montagu in the west to Uniondale in the east, and is almost completely surrounded by mountains. The Klein Karoo is only between 40 and 60 kilometres wide, sandwiched between the imposing Swartberg Mountains (Black Mountains) in the north, and the continuous Langeberge (Long Mountains) and Outeniqua Mountains in the south.

Klein Swartberg north of LadismithKlein Swartberg north of Ladismith


The Langeberge and Outeniqua Mountains act as a rain-shield from the well-watered coastal plains to the south. What rainfall penetrates the Klein Karoo tends to concentrate against the southern slopes of the Swartberg Mountains, ensuring that many of the towns and villages are concentrated along the northen edge of the Klein Karoo. Almost all of the southern sections of the Klein Karoo, in the lee of the Langeberge and Outeniqua Mountains, tend to be more arid than the areas immediately adjacent to the southern slopes of the Swartberg Mountains in the north.

The popular Route 62 Tourist Route runs the full length of the valley from Montagu in the west through the village of Barrydale, at the southern entrance to the western sections of the Klein Karoo via the Tradouw Mountain Pass, to Ladismith beneath the towering Swartberg Mountains and the distinctive 2198-metre high Towerkop in the Klein Swartberg Mountain Range.

Beyond Ladismith the R62 passes by the historic mission stations of Zoar and Amalienstein before plunging through the Huisrivier Pass (House River Pass), a steep ravine through the twisted legions of rocks, before crossing the Gamka River.

Beyond the Gamka River the road ascends the eastern slopes of the steep valley before rounding a spur in the mountainous terrain and emerging at the western end of a wide open plain that descends gradually into Calitzdorp, the Port Wine Capital of South Africa.

Ostrich in the Klein KarooBeyond Calitzdorp the R62 runs due east across a seemingly featureless plain with distant views of the Swartberg Mountains to the north and the Outeniqua Mountains to the south before entering Oudtshoorn, the principle town of the Klein Karoo. Vast numbers of ostrich are farmed in the area and are a common sight in the farmlands along the road.

Beyond Oudtshoorn the R62 joins with the N12 highway south towards George across the Outeniqua Mountains on the coastal littoral. Before ascending the Outeniqua Pass towards George the R62 swings east in concert with the N9 highway towards Uniondale at the eastern end of the Klein Karoo.

Feather Baron Era Residence in OudtshoornFeather Baron Era Residence in Oudtshoorn

An alternate route from Oudtshoorn to Uniondale continues east along the N12 highway towards De Rust and beyond via the R341 and R339 to Uniondale through the beautiful valley between the Swartberg Mountains in the north and the Kammanassieberge to the south of the road.

Beyond Uniondale the R62 exits the Klein Karoo via Uniondale Poort and the spectacular Langkloof towards Port Elizabeth.

De Rust south of Meiringspoort is the access to the Klein Karoo from the Winelands of the Western Cape, the southern coastal strip and the Great Karoo to the north and north-east is almost exclusively by means of mountain passes.

These mountain passes were mostly constructed during the nineteenth century by renowned road-builders Thomas Bain and his father Andrew Geddes Bain and either pick their way through steep ravines following the course of rivers that have cut their way through the mountains, or up and over the precipitous heights of the surrounding mountains.

SeweweekspoortMeiringspoort, Seweweekspoort and Toorwaterspoort linking the Great Karoo with the Klein Karoo, Cogman’s Kloof at the western end of the Klein Karoo and Tradouw Pass linking Barrydale with Swellendam are examples of mountain passes that follow the course of rivers that have cut their way through the sheer barrier of twisted rock of the surrounding mountains.

Renowned mountains passes such as the Swartberg Mountain Pass, linking the towns of Prince Albert in the Great Karoo with Oudtshoorn, and the Outeniqua Mountain Pass and the now little-used Montagu Pass carry travelers over the Outeniqua Mountains from Oudtshoorn to George on the Garden Route.

Lesser known mountain passes include the spectacular Prince Alfred Mountain Pass linking Uniondale with Knysna, Garcia Pass linking Ladismith and Van Wyksdorp with Riversdale and the gentle Ghwarriepoort at the north-eastern end of the Klein Karoo linking Uniondale along the N9 highway to Willowmore and beyond to Graaff-Reinet in the Camdeboo region of the Great Karoo.

Although other regions of the Karoo, especially the western end of the Koup and the Hamtam Roggeveld are rich in succulent plants, the Klein Karoo has probably the richest and most diverse succulent habitats in the World. In the wider southern Africa region taxonomists have recorded more than 5000 species of succulents represented in about 60 families.

Fields of Aloes in the Kammanassie ValleyFields of Aloes in the Kammanassie Valley  represents nearly 50% of succulent species in the World and these unusual and unique plants are most easily accessible and widespread in the Klein Karoo. The Klein Karoo is also a transition zone between the Fynbos Plant Kingdom and the Succulent Karoo habitat prevalent in the area and it is common to encounter both fynbos and succulent plants growing naturally together.

The Klein Karoo is also home to the longest wine route in the World, stretching some 270-kilometres from Montagu to De Rust. The wine culture in the Klein Karoo has been established over more than 200 years.

In the late eighteenth century, before the advent of railways, casks of heavy brandy were often loaded onto ox-drawn transport wagons on their journeys from the fledgling Cape Colony into the interior, and from this the culture of drinking wine has developed.

Despite the size of the Klein Karoo wine region, production is focused more on quality than quantity with seven co-operatives and five private cellars, which offer a veritable feast of wines, including the world-famous port-wines of Calitzdorp.

Rooiberg Pass between Calitzdorp and Van WyksdorpRooiberg Pass between Calitzdorp and Van Wyksdorp is the most accessible region within the Karoo and attracts the greatest number of visitors. As a destination the region is probably the most varied of the seven regions in the Karoo and this can largely be ascribed to its topography and the relatively higher rainfall.Fields of Proteas on Swartberg Pass

The Klein Karoo is rich in culture with well-established communities that can trace their ancestry back across the centuries. The towns and villages are on the whole beautifully maintained, with a rich variety of historic buildings, many of which can be as old as two hundred years.

The diversity of the landscapes, with rugged mountains always in view, and the rolling hills and valleys within the Klein Karoo provide an endless source of delight and wonderment.

Despite being the most developed part of the Karoo there remains a sense of space and solitude across most of the region and the Karoo landscape fringed by mountains is always as one with the blue dome of the sun-splashed sky.



Mpumalanga is known for its spectacular landscapes and its teeming game reserves. It also has an extraordinarily rich and vivid history which has not been previously recognized. The South African province’s valued heritage and its contribution to tourism, education, and economic development remain undeveloped.

Mpumalanga (/əmˌpuːməˈlɑːŋɡə/) is a province of South Africa. The name means “East“, or literally “The Place Where the Sun Rises” in the Nguni languages. Mpumalanga lies in eastern South Africa, bordering Eswatini and Mozambique. It shares borders with the South African provinces of Limpopo to the north, Gauteng to the west, the Free State to the southwest, and KwaZulu-Natal to the south. The capital is Mbombela.

Mpumalanga was formed in 1994, when the area that was the Eastern Transvaal was merged with the former bantustans KaNgwane, KwaNdebele and parts of Lebowa and Gazankulu. Although the contemporary borders of the province were only formed at the end of apartheid, the region and its surroundings have a history that extends back thousands of years. Much of its history, and current significance is as a region of trade.

The liberation movement turned leading party, the African National Congress (ANC) came into power in Mpumalanga after white minority rule ended. A program of land redistribution, aimed at granting land back to the black communities who were forcibly moved during apartheid, had redistributed tens of thousands of hectares to these communities and their descendants. However, the process has been marked by corruption, controversy and has been seen as inadequate to address the extent of apartheid spatial planning.

In 2001, 1,270 hectares of the Boomplaats farm near Mashishing was the first farm in South Africa to be expropriated.

Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest conservation area

The diverse and special flora and fauna of the province enjoys protection in a range of nature reserves.

• Barberton Nature Reserve
• Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
• Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, previously known as Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park. This international game park brings together some of the best and most established wildlife areas in southern Africa. The park is managed as an integrated unit across an unprecedented three international boundaries which includes the Kruger National Park (South Africa), Limpopo National Park (Mozambique) and Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe).
• Lowveld National Botanical Garden in Mbombela
• Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is built up of numerous private reserves: Nottens Bush Camp,[30] Idube Safari Lodge, Chitwa Chitwa Game Lodge, Djuma Game Reserve, Exeter Game Lodge, Inyati Private Game Reserve, Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, Londolozi Game Reserve, Mala Mala Game Reserve, Savanna Private Game Reserve and Ulusaba Game Lodge.
• Verloren Vallei near Dullstroom

Many species of plants are unique to the different geological formations within Mpumalanga. Some examples of these formations include serpentines of Barberton Mountains, norites of Sekhukhuneland, quartzites of Blyde River Canyon, and the dolomites in the northern plateaus.

68% of land area in the province is used by agriculture. The climatic contrasts between the drier Highveld region, with its cold winters, and the hot, humid Lowveld allow for a variety of agricultural activities. Mpumalanga has been an important supplier of fruit and vegetables for local and international markets for decades. A history of dispossession mean that farming land is largely white owned, although policies of land redistribution era aim to address this.

Crops include maize, wheat, sorghum, barley, sunflower seed, soybeans, macadamias, groundnuts, sugar cane, vegetables, coffee, tea, cotton, tobacco, citrus, subtropical and deciduous fruit.[35] Natural grazing covers approximately 14% of Mpumalanga. The main products are beef, mutton, wool, poultry and dairy.

Farming in the province is driven by both a combination of seasonal, permanent and temporary labourers. Conditions on farms vary widely but seasonal and temporary workers, many of whom are migrant workers from nearby Mozambique, face intense insecurity.

Forestry is extensive around Sabie and Graskop. Located near the forests, Ngodwana is the site of one of South Africa’s largest paper mills (Sappi).

Extensive mining is done and the minerals found include gold, platinum group metals, silica, chromite, vanadiferous magnetite, argentiferous zinc, antimony, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, tin, coal, andalusite, chrysotile asbestos, kieselguhr, limestone, magnesite, talc and shale.

Gold was first discovered in Mpumalanga province in 1883 by Auguste Roberts in the mountains surrounding what is now Barberton. Gold is still mined in the Barberton area today.

Mpumalanga accounts for 83% of South Africa’s coal production. 90% of South Africa’s coal consumption is used for electricity generation and the synthetic fuel industry. Coal power stations are in proximity to the coal deposits. A coal liquefaction plant in Secunda (Secunda CTL) is one of the country’s two petroleum-from-coal extraction plants, which is operated by the synthetic fuel company Sasol.

The high density of coal power stations on the Mpumalanga highveld means that the region has the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in the world.

Mpumalanga is popular with tourists. Kruger National Park, established in 1898 for the protection of Lowveld wildlife, covering 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi), is a popular destination. The other major tourist attractions include the Sudwala Caves and the Blyde River Canyon.

Many activities including the big jump, mountain and quad biking, horse trails, river rafting and big game viewing are endemic to the region. This is “Big Five” territory. Towns in the Lowveld are Barberton, Mbombela, White River, Sabie, Graskop, Hazyview, Malelane, Pilgrim’s Rest, Lydenburg and Nkomazi.

In 2008, a Haute Cuisine route was formed, trickling from Mbombela down to Hazyview. The Lowveld Gourmet Route covers the four top fine dining restaurants the area has to offer. The restaurants include Summerfields Kitchen, Oliver’s Restaurant, Orange and Salt.

Mpumalanga is home to a diverse range of cultures, including Swazi, Ndebele, Afrikaans, Tsonga, Zulu, Mapulana, Portuguese and Pedi communities.

The Ndebele Cultural Village at Botshabelo is a renowned center of cultural heritage, with displays of Ndebele house painting. Ndebele artist Esther Mahalangu gained international acclaim for her artwork rooted in Ndebele traditions and geometric patterns. Prominent South African artist Gerard Sekoto was born in Botshabelo.

Many celebrated South African musicians, such as Ray Phiri, Rebecca Malope and Pretty Yende, are from Mpumalanga.

Since 2003, Mpumalanga’s capital city, Mbombela, has hosted the Afrikaans national arts festival Innibos. The festival features music, comedy, arts, crafts and theatre.

Mpumalanga Community Information Centre’s

Community Centers have been established throughout the province for the purpose of providing local information and booking services to incoming visitors. These centers are available to assist in all possible ways and will ensure that your visit to our Province is an enjoyable one.








Badplaas Tourist Information Badplaas +27 (0)17 844 1630
Barberton Tourist Information Barberton +27 (0)13 712 2880
Big Five Country Tourism Lowveld +27 (0)13 737 8191
Belfast Visitors Information Centre Belfast +27 (0)13 253 0408 
Carolina Tourist Information Carolina +27 (0)83 450 1563
Cosmos Country Tourism Centre Secunda +27 (0)17 620 6282
Chrissiesmeer Information Chrissiesmeer +27 (0)17 843 1631
Dullstroom Accommodation Dullstroom +27 (0)13 254 0020
Dullstroom Reservations Dullstroon +27 (0)13 254 0254
Ermelo Tourism Office Ermelo +27 (0)17 819 4707 
Golden Monkey – Big 5 Reservations Sabie +27 (0)13 737 7415 
Graskop Info & Reservations Graskop +27 (0)13 767 1833 
Graskop Panorama Reservations  Graskop  +27 (0)13 767 1377 
Emalahleni (Witbank) Municipality Emalahleni (Witbank) +27 (0)13 690 6911
Komatipoort Information Centre Komatipoort  +27 (0)13 793 7218 
Kruger Park South Information Office Malelane +27 (0)13 790 1193 
Kruger Safaris Information Office Hazyview  +27 (0)13 737 6661 
Lowveld Tourism (Nelspruit) Nelspruit  +27 (0)13 755 1988 
Lowveld Tourism (White River) White River +27 (0)13 750 1073
Mac Mac Panorama Safaris & Info Graskop +27 (0)13 764 2376
Middelburg Tourism Information  Middelburg  +27 (0)13 243 2253 
 Milly’s Farm Stall N4 Machadodorp  +27 (0)13 256 9286 
Piet Retief Tourism Association  Pilgrim’s Rest  +27 (0)13 768 1060 
Trips SA – Reservations & Information Sabie +27 (0)13 764 1177
Wakkerstroom Tourism Office Wakkerstroom +27 (0)17 730 0606



Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods. The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs.

Botswana (English: Land of the Tswana; /bɒtˈswɑːnə/, also UK/bʊt-, bʊˈtʃw-/, officially the Republic of Botswana (Setswana: Lefatshe la Botswana, [lɪˈfatsʰɪ la bʊˈtswana]), is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Botswana is topographically flat, with approximately 70 per cent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. It is connected by the Kazungula Bridge to Zambia, across the world’s shortest border between two countries.

Chobe National Park

A country of slightly over 2.3 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. It is essentially the nation state of the Tswana, who make up 79% of the population.

 About 11.6 per cent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone. Formerly one of the world’s poorest countries—with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—it has since transformed itself into an upper-middle-income country, with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Modern-day humans first inhabited the country over 200,000 years ago. The Tswana ethnic group were descended mainly from Bantu-speaking tribes who migrated southward of Africa to modern Botswana around 600 AD, living in tribal enclaves as farmers and herders.

In 1885, the British colonised the area and declared a protectorate under the name of Bechuanaland. As decolonisation occurred, Bechuanaland became an independent Commonwealth republic under its current name on 30 September 1966.

 Since then, it has been a representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the lowest perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998.

The economy is dominated by mining and tourism. Botswana has a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about $18,113 as of 2021, one of the highest in the subsaharan Africa. Botswana is the world’s biggest diamond producing country. Its relatively high gross national income per capita (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa) gives the country a relatively high standard of living and the third-highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa (after Gabon and South Africa). Botswana is the first African country to host Forbes 30 Under 30 and the 2017 Netball World Youth Cup.

Botswana is a member of the Southern African Customs Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. The country has been adversely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2002, Botswana became the first country to offer anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to help combat the epidemic.

Despite the launch of programs to make treatment available and to educate the populace about the epidemic, the number of people with AIDS rose from 290,000 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2013. As of 2014, Botswana had the third-highest prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS, with roughly 20% of the population infected. However, in recent years the country has made strides in combatting HIV/AIDS, with efforts being made to provide proper treatment and lower the rate of mother-to-child transmission.

The country’s name means “Land of the Tswana”, referring to the dominant ethnic group in Botswana. The Constitution of Botswana recognizes a homogeneous Tswana state. The term Batswana was originally applied to the Tswana, which is still the case. However, it has also come to be used generally as a demonym for all citizens of Botswana.

to the sitting vice-president, Quett Masire, who was elected in his own right in 1984 and re-elected in 1989 and 1994. Masire retired from office in 1998. He was succeeded by Festus Mogae, who was elected in his own right in 1999 and re-elected in 2004. The presidency passed in 2008 to Ian Khama (son of the first president), who had been serving as Mogae’s vice-president since resigning his position in 1998 as Commander of the Botswana Defence Force to take up this civilian role. On 1 April 2018 Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi was sworn in as the fifth president of Botswana, succeeding Ian Khama. He represents the Botswana Democratic Party, which has also won a majority in every parliamentary election since independence. All the previous presidents have also represented the same party. A long-running dispute over the northern border with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip was the subject of a ruling by the International Court of Justice in December 1999. It ruled that Kasikili Island belongs to Botswana.

In 2014, the Okavango Delta of Botswana, the largest inland delta in the world, was inscribed as the 1000th World Heritage Site. In the 1970s, Botswana held a reputation of being one the world’s principal producers of diamonds. This reputation has held into the modern day as Botswana’s diamond mining industry is among the world’s largest. Botswana’s Jwaneng mine in particular is the world’s richest.

The United States Government has also entered into an agreement with Botswana, giving them US$7 million to reduce Botswana’s debt by US$8.3 million. The stipulation of the US reducing Botswana’s debt is that Botswana will focus on more extensive conservation of the land. The country had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 9.13/10, ranking it 8th globally out of 172 countries.

The United Nations Development Programme claims that poverty is a major problem behind the overexploitation of resources, including land, in Botswana. To help change this the UNDP joined in with a project started in the southern community of Struizendam in Botswana. The purpose of the project is to draw from “indigenous knowledge and traditional land management systems”. The leaders of this movement are supposed to be the people in the community, to draw them in, in turn increasing their possibilities to earn an income and thus decreasing poverty. The UNDP also stated that the government has to effectively implement policies to allow people to manage their own local resources and are giving the government information to help with policy development.

institutions and a special financial incentives programme that is aimed at increasing Botswana’s status as a financial centre. Credit is allocated on market terms, although the government provides subsidised loans. Reform of non-bank financial institutions has continued in recent years, notably through the establishment of a single financial regulatory agency that provides more effective supervision. The government has abolished exchange controls, and with the resulting creation of new portfolio investment options, the Botswana Stock Exchange is growing. In Botswana, the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security led by Hon Sadique Kebonang in Gaborone, maintains data regarding mining throughout the country. Debswana, the largest diamond mining company operating in Botswana, is 50% owned by the government. The mineral industry provides about 40% of all government revenues. In 2007, significant quantities of uranium were discovered, and mining was projected to begin by 2010. Several international mining corporations have established regional headquarters in Botswana, and prospected for diamonds, gold, uranium, copper, and even oil, many coming back with positive results. Government announced in early 2009 that they would try to shift their economic dependence on diamonds, over serious concern that diamonds are predicted to dry out in Botswana over the next twenty years.

Botswana’s Orapa mine is the largest diamond mine in the world in terms of value and quantity of carats produced annually. Estimated to have produced over 11 million carats in 2013, with an average price of $145/carat, the Orapa mine was estimated to produce over $1.6 billion worth of diamonds in 2013.Increasing importance is being given to the economic contribution of the creative industries to national economies. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recompiles statistics about the export and import of goods and services related to the creative industries. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has assisted in the preparation of national studies measuring the size of over 50 copyright industries around the world. According to the WIPO compiled data, the national contribution of creative industries varies from 2% to 11% depending on the country.

Using the WIPO-framework, the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority(CIPA) and the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis were published by a sector-specific study in 2019. In 2016, copyright industries contributed 5.46% to value-added and 2.66% to the total labour force, 1.28% to exports, and 3.47% to imports. Botswana became world champion in the 400 meters and won Botswana’s first athletics medal at the world level. High jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang is a three-time African champion, Isaac Makwala is a sprinter who specialises in the 400 metres, he was the gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, Baboloki Thebe was a silver medalist in the 200 metres at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics and reached the semi-finals at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics, and Ross Branch Ross, a motor-biker, holds the number one plate in the South African Cross Country Championship and has competed at the Dakar Rally. Letsile Tebogo set the world junior record in the 100 metres with a time of 9.94 at the 2022 World Athletics Championships. On 7 August 2021 Botswana won the bronze medal in the Men’s 4 × 400 metres relay at the Olympics in Tokyo.

The card game bridge has a strong following; it was first played in Botswana around 40 years ago, and it grew in popularity during the 1980s. Many British expatriate school teachers informally taught the game in Botswana’s secondary schools. The Botswana Bridge Federation (BBF) was founded in 1988 and continues to organize tournaments. Bridge has remained popular and the BBF has over 800 members. In 2007, the BBF invited the English Bridge Union to host a week-long teaching programme in May 2008

On 19 November 2021 scientists at the Botswana Harvard HIV Reference Laboratory (BHHRL) first discovered the variant Omicron subsequently designated B.1.1.529, and then named “Omicron” becoming the first country in the world to discover the variant. Since early 2021, they have genome-sequenced some 2,300 positive SARS-CoV-2 virus samples. According to Dr Gaseitsiwe, Botswana’s genome sequence submissions to GISAID are among the highest in the African region on a per capita basis, on a par with its well-resourced neighbour South Africa. Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) was built in 2003, two years after the umbrella organisation opened the BHHRL, its purpose-built HIV research lab and one of the first on the continent

In the IT sector in 2016 a firm, Almaz, opened a first-of-its-kind computer assembly company. Ditec, a Botswana company, also customizes, designs and manufactures mobile phones. Ditec is one of the leading experts in design, development and customization of Microsoft powered devices. The impact of Aids is considerable. Economic development spending was cut by 10% in 2002–3 as a result of recurring budget deficits and rising expenditure on healthcare services. Botswana has been hit very hard by the AIDS pandemic; in 2006 it was estimated that life expectancy at birth had dropped from 65 to 35 years. However, after Botswana’s 2011 census current life expectancy is estimated at 54.06 years. However the graph here shows over 65 years, therefore there is conflicting information about life expectancy.

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Botswana was estimated at 25.4% for adults aged 15–49 in 2009 and 21.9% in 2013, exceeded by Lesotho and Eswatini in sub-Saharan African nations. This places Botswana at the third highest prevalence in the world, in 2013, while “leading the way in prevention and treatment programme”. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive programme involving free or cheap generic antiretroviral drugs as well as an information campaign designed to stop the spread of the virus; in 2013, over 40% of adults in Botswana had access to antiretroviral therapy. In the age group of 15–19 years old, prevalence was estimated at 6% for females and 3.5% for males in 2013, and for the 20–24 age group, 15% for females and 5% for males. Botswana is one of 21 priority countries identified by the UN AIDS group in 2011 in the Global Plan to eliminate new HIV infections among children and to keep their mothers alive. From 2009 to 2013, the country saw a decrease over 50% in new HIV infections in children. A further measure of the success, or reason for hope, in dealing with HIV in Botswana, is that less than 10% of pregnant HIV-infected women were not receiving antiretroviral medications in 2013, with a corresponding large decrease (over 50%) in the number of new HIV infections in children under 5. Among the UN Global Plan countries, people living with HIV in Botswana have the highest percentage receiving antiretroviral treatment: about 75% for adults (age 15+) and about 98% for children.

With a nationwide Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission program, Botswana has reduced HIV transmission from infected mothers to their children from about 40% to just 4%. Under the leadership of Festus Mogae, the Government of Botswana solicited outside help in fighting HIV/AIDS and received early support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Merck Foundation, and together formed the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership (ACHAP). Other early partners include the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute, of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Botswana-UPenn Partnership of the University of Pennsylvania. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, universal access to treatment – defined as 80% coverage or greater – has been achieved in Botswana.

Tourist on a safari boat cruise

The Botswana Tourism Organisation is the country’s official tourism group. Primarily, tourists visit Gaborone due to the city having numerous activities for visitors. The Lion Park Resort is Botswana’s first permanent amusement park and hosts events such as birthday parties for families. Other destinations in Botswana include the Gaborone Yacht Club and the Kalahari Fishing Club and natural attractions such as the Gaborone Dam and Mokolodi Nature Reserve. There are golf courses which are maintained by the Botswana Golf Union (BGU).The Phakalane Golf Estate is a multi-million-dollar clubhouse that offers both hotel accommodations and access to golf courses. Museums in Botswana include:

  • Botswana National Museum in Gaborone
  • Kgosi Bathoen II (Segopotso) Museum in Kanye
  • Kgosi Sechele I Museum in Molepolole
  • Khama III Memorial Museum in Serowe
  • Nhabe Museum in Maun
  • Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi
  • Supa Ngwano Museum Centre in Francistown