Citizens of Botswana are known as Batswana, with ‘Ba’ meaning ‘the people of’. (The singular is Motswana.) Batswana feel a great pride in their history and government and share a strong sense of national identity. Any ethnic origins are usually considered as secondary. The term Batswana also refers to the largest ethnic group in the country – the Tswana, who make up around two-thirds of the population and speak Setswana.
A variety of languages
Alongside the official language of English, Setswana is the main language of the country. But at least 26 others are spoken by different ethnic communities. These fall into two different language groups – Bantu and Khoisan. The Khoisan tongues are sometimes called the ‘click’ languages, because of their integral click sounds.
Things to do Mokoro
Ride in Okavango Delta
The Mokoro is a common type of canoe used to get around in the shallow waters of the Okavango Delta. The oarsman stands in the stern and pushes it with the pole. Traditionally Mokoros are made from dug out trunks of a large straight trees, like ebony, and kigelia and but today, for conservation purposes they are more commonly made from fiber-glass.
A Mokoro ride in the Delta is an absolute “must do” even if it at first seems terrifying. All guides learned to handle a Mokoro at a very tender age as low as seven, making them expert polers. It’s a careful balancing act – the simplest sudden turn or twist could land the passengers in the water. This vessel allows you to experience the delta in stealth and tranquility. Allowing you to get close to birds and other animals.
Horse Riding in Tuli
If you love horse riding then you should try Horseback safaris. This kind of Botswana safari gives you the opportunity of viewing wildlife in ways that are impossible... Imagine yourself mounted high above the long grass and reeds watching great herds of wildebeest and lechwe as they move across the golden floodplains. The breathtaking excitement when your silent progress along game paths only used by animals brings you upon a herd of buffalo or a family group of elephant.
Cantering alongside the elegant motion of a giraffe is an experience you will never forget and the only sounds you will hear, as the wind sighs through the grass and rattles the palms, are the fisheagle’s haunting cry, the splash of a disappearing crocodile and the faraway drumming of hooves.As the blood red sun drops into the black of night, the hyena’s whoop-de-whoop and the lion’s roar accompany your fireside reverie and the hippo’s watery grunt punctuates your dreams. This is as close to nature as you will ever get.
Self-Drive Safari in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Self drive Botswana, at the comfort of your own pace traverse through this wild and unspoilt land. Seldriving in Botswana is an experience on its own. You will need a 4x4 vehicle, a high lift jack, a tow rope plenty of water and fuel and food. Take note that a large percent of the area you will cover will not have cellphone reception.
Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Imagine – if you will – an area the size of Portugal, largely uninhabited by humans. Its stark, flat, featureless terrain stretches – it would seem – to eternity, meeting and fusing with a milky-blue horizon. This is the Makgadikgadi – an area of 12 000 sq kms, part of the Kalahari Basin, yet unique to it – one of the largest salt pans in the world.
10 things travel sites won’t tell you
1. “Don’t assume our prices are the lowest.”
2. “We’ll snag you a great view -- of the parking lot.”
3. “Freebies are for our preferred customers.”
4. “We’re making the big bucks—at your expense.”
5. “Our fees are a drain on local tax coffers.”
6. “Advertised prices may have no bearing in reality.”
7. “Our prices might all be the same.”
8. “A price-match guarantee isn’t the same as a money-back guarantee.”
9. Not all surprises are nice surprises.
10. “Adding complication to cancellations is our specialty.”