Where to Go - Africa
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Population : 1,576,000
Literacy rate : 69.8%
Life expectancy at birth : male – 38.63 yrs, female – 39.93 yrs
Infant mortality rate : 61.68 deaths/1,000 live births
Population growth rate : 0.76 %
GDP growth rate : 6.5%
GDP per capita : £2,650
Unemployment : 20%-40%
Inflation : 7.7%
TI index : 6.0
Climate : semiarid; warm winters and hot summers
Time : GMT +2.
Electricity : 220/240v AC, 50Hz.
Botswana page of the US Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/rr/international/amed/botswana/botswana.html
The official government site is at http://www.gov.bw/
English is the official language. Despite political situations in neighbouring countries, trips to Botswana are usually trouble free. South Africa is making brave efforts but border situations involving smuggling still occur. Check with the Foreign Office (UK) or the local equivalent before making any decisions. Unemployment is high, but the country is making efforts. The population figures above include an allowance for the inroads being made by AIDS on the population. The situation in this area is nothing short of tragic – the country is being robbed of its educated people. Over 10% of government spending is on education. Teachers are often recruited from the UK through the Teachers for Botswana Recruitment Scheme. Information may be obtained from the British Council in Manchester. Recruitment usually takes place twice a year. You will need good qualification (e.g. a degree or similar). The cost of living is low.
Mainly, the country is an undulating sand-filled plateau. Most of the population lives in the east near the River Limpopo. From there, going westward, the land gradually changes into the Kalahari Desert. The north-west is much richer, with varied flora and fauna. There is a little forest (deciduous) in the extreme north. As to the economy – the agricultural sector labours under great difficulties due to the erratic climate, but about 40% of the GNP is supplied by the mining industry (chiefly diamonds).
This may be an interesting country, and it will look good on your CV to have had experience here.
Passport must have at least 6 month’s validity. An entry permit may be acquired on the presentation of a valid return ticket and proof of sufficient money.
Hepatitis A, Malaria, Polio, Tetanus and Typhoid. As in all of sub-Saharan Africa, beware of AIDS.
Tax and Insurance
Get health insurance – if you can get it with a repatriation clause, so much the better. Although it sounds awful, making out a will is a wise precaution. No information on income tax.
Gap Year Programmes
Click here to find gap year programmes and placements in Botswana