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Botswana Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, is bordered by Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Gaborone is the capital city. Other major cities include Francistown and Selebi-Pikwe.

Botswana's terrain is mainly high plateau (tableland). The principal river is the Okavango.

The country is semi-arid with warm winters and hot summers.

Environment
The Kalahari Desert covers a large percentage of Botswana. Although a dry area, vegetation such as grasses and acacia bushes grow in the Kalahari. The delta of the Okavango River, one of the world's largest inland deltas, is on the edge of the Kalahari.

The Kalahari Game Reserve and Okavango Delta are part of the system of National Parks. Other protected areas include Chobe National Park and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.

Antelopes, hyenas, elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and zebras can be seen in the parks. A variety of birds, such as flamingoes and kingfishers, can be found around the Okavango Delta, the River Chobe and the Makgadikgadi.

Architecture
Villages in Botswana were traditionally built around the meeting place (kgkota) and cattle kraal. Lekgaph, a traditional art form, was used to decorate the walls of houses and courtyards. Since independence, buildings such as schools, modern houses and shopping malls have been constructed throughout the populated areas.

Gaborone is a modern city with offices, hotels, blocks of flats and shopping malls. Some colonial buildings remain in the capital.

Population
The population of Botswana was estimated at 1,990,880 in 2009.

Languages
The main languages in Botswana are English and Setswana. English is the official language and Setswana is the national language.

Religion
A large percentage of the people are Christians; others have indigenous beliefs.

Food
Millet and sorghum are staple foods. Both are made into porridge with various additional ingredients. Maize and beans, although less drought resistant than millet and sorghum, are also grown.

Stews are supplemented with meat (beef, goat, mutton, lamb and chicken). Beef is boiled, barbecued and dried. Fish is available from the rivers. Vegetables include bean leaves, spinach, cabbage, onions, potatoes, pumpkins and tomatoes. Groundnuts are also used in recipes. Dumplings and a number of types of bread are made from imported flour.

Water melons and a type of melon called lerotse are grown.

Popular drinks include local millet and sorghum beer, palm wine and a ginger non-alcoholic drink.

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