Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in southern Africa, with just 1.9 million people living in the country; many of whom live in the larger urban areas, including Gaborone, Francistown and Molepolole. Water is a very important resource in Botswana, so much so that the national currency is called the Pula – or rain. While Botswana lives in a fine balance of water availability/scarcity, it is blessed with significant natural resources, including precious stones and metals, most notably diamonds.

In the Limpopo River basin the majority of the area is considered to be rural. There are six administrative districts found within the basin: North East; Central; Kgatleng; South East and parts of Kweneng. The main urban centres within the basin are Serowe, Selebi-Phikwe, Palapye, Mahalapye, Francistown, Mochudi and Gaborone (capital city) (LBPTC 2010). 

Key Indicators and Data

Capital city Gaborone
Population (CSO estimate for 2006) 1 773 240
Population living in rural areas

40.4 %

Population in the Limpopo River basin (2007) 1 205 580
Date of independence 30 September 1966
Human Development Index (2009) 0,694
125th out of 182 countries
Access to improved drinking water sources (2006) Urban: 100 %
Rural: 90 %
Access to Improved Sanitation (2006) Urban: 60 %
Rural: 30 %
Groundwater as a source of potable water 76 %
GDP (2008/2009 est) US$13,81 billion (total)
US$13 491 (PPP-per capita)
Primary sectors Agriculture: 1,6 %
Industry: 52,6 % (incl. 36 % mining)
Services: 45,8 %
Main exports Diamonds, copper, nickel, beef
Neighbouring countries Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Area of land in the Limpopo River basin 81 400 km2
Percentage of the Limpopo River basin 20 %

Sources: Central Statistics Office (2006), Limpopo Basin Permanent Technical Committee(2010), World Health Organization (2008), International Monetary Fund (2009)Globalis GVU UNEP (2009), World Factbook (2009), BBC Monitoring (2009), UNHDR (2008).


Coat of Arms of Botswana.
( click to enlarge )