Published on August 2015 in www.hks-ink.com
Photo Credit: Wilderness Safaris
“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had
drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”
– Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen) from her book Out of Africa –
Botswana, the landlocked country in southern Africa, is a bit smaller than Texas, while just about the size of France. Within its borders resides a high-standard for its natural treasures – landscapes, wildlife and rigorous conservation policies that validate its travel industry renown as the “safari destination’s safari destination.”
Both UNESCO World Heritage Sites – The Great Kalahari Desert in the south and the Okavango Delta in the north – reside in Botswana.
The country’s commitment to ‘high value/low volume’ tourism confirms Botswana as southern Africa’s most expensive safari destination. Yet a considerable amount of Botswana’s natural wealth – 42% according to Government of Botswana statistics – is allocated to national parks, game reserves and preservation areas. All commercial hunting has been banned since January 2014. Botswana is recognized for rigorous wildlife policies.
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta. It is both mating site and summer watering hole until it empties and evaporates into the Kalahari Desert. Botswana maintains a vigorous anti-poaching policy, particularly given that the world’s largest herd of elephants resides in the Chobe Reserve and Game Park’s riverine landscape: some 130,000 elephants are here.
Botswana is a stable and prosperous country, though sparsely populated. As Africa’s longest continuous democracy, its policies and functioning institutions reflect its impressive global income transition: Botswana shed its former ranking as the world’s third poorest country and today’s has become an upper middle-income country. This transformation has occured in less than 50 years. Botswana is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by volume.
Celebrations will abound this year as Botswana’s 50th Anniversary as a Republic occurs in 2016.