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Friday 15th December
Botswana Facts
The highest points in Botswana are in the Otse Mountain (1,491 m) and the Tsodilo Hills (1,489 m).

Botswana's border with Zambia is on the Zambezi River - the countries of Namibia and Zimbabawe also meet at this point.

The Okavango River Delta is one of the world's largest inland deltas; the river feeds into the land rather than a sea.

The Kalahari Desert covers a large percentage of Botswana as well as parts of Namibia, South Africa and Angola.

The rock art site of Tsodilo, in the Kalahari Desert, has over four and a half thousand paintings dating back over a hundred thousand years.

The San people have lived in the Kalahari for around thirty thousand years.

The ancient kingdom of Mapungubwe spanned the borders of present-day South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Mapungubwe, added to the World Heritage List in 2003, was the largest kingdom in the sub-continent before it was abandoned in the fourteenth century.

The Toutswemogala Hill Iron Age Settlement is situated near Mapungubwe.

A number of archaeological sites can be found in the Tswapong Hills in Eastern Botswana.

Gcwihaba Caverns, a large system of dolomite caves, are near the Namibian border. The first European to see the caves was Martinus Drotsky in the 1930s.

David Livingstone (1813-1873), the missionary and explorer, spent his early years in "Botswana".

Gold mining by European prospectors started at the end of the 1860s. The last mine was closed a hundred years later.

"Botswana" was made a British Protectorate in 1885.

Until independence in 1966 the country was known as Bechuanaland.

Seretse Khama was the first president of the Republic of Botswana.

The name Botswana is derived from the Batswana people, one of the major ethnic groups in the country.

Gaborone, the capital city, is named after Chief Gaborone who led his people into the area in the late nineteenth century.

Diamonds were discovered at Orapa in 1967. Today, Botswana is one of the world's leading producers of diamonds.

The University of Botswana came into existence in 1982.

Floods in early 2000 made over sixty thousand people homeless.

Botswana has one of Africa's most advanced programs for dealing with HIV/AIDS.

Botswana is a member of the Commonwealth.

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