Botswana Lifestyle and Culture

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Botswana is filled with the most diverse ecological environment. With one of the most famous deserts in Africa, to one of the biggest deltas in the world, the country is a beautiful sight to see for both the tourists and the locals of the country. It definitely is the “Gem of Africa”.

Culturally; Botswana is engrained in a solid cultural base that guides interactions between Batswana and with the rest of the world. Although there are different tribes, there is a common thread that unifies Batswana.

The diamond driven economy has brought about much-needed development in terms of modern infrastructure. Like most African countries the culture and traditions of the Tswana people is infused in the architecture to bring out unique outstanding buildings that identify with the society.

Tourists primarily visit Botswana due to the country’s numerous activities for visitors. All around the country you can learn the rich history of Botswana from its museums.

Some of these museums are, the Botswana National Museum in Gaborone, Kgosi Bathoen II (Segopotso) Museum in Kanye, Kgosi Sechele I Museum in Molepolole, Khama III Memorial Museum in Serowe, Nhabe Museum in Maun, Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi, and Supa Ngwano Museum Centre in Francistown.

When you bump into people in the streets do not be surprised to hear “Dumelang”, it is a way of saying hello, Tswana people are friendly and are bound to greet you in the street even if they are not acquainted to you. It is part of their culture so do not be startled when you settle there.

Tswana people are celebratory people so you might come across a number of celebrations like marriage ceremonies, anniversaries, birthday parties, or even meet-ups/reunions between old friends. At these functions, you might hear women ululating as a sign of excitement, do not be surprised that is the culture.

When Tswana people gather to celebrate, they usually roast meat over an open fire and drink traditional beer or Kgalagadi Breweries Limited’s St. Louis beer, Botswana’s national beer that identifies with Botswana’s rich history.

Batswana are agriculturalists who treasure livestock, in particular sheep, goats, horses, and cattle. These are not only sources of food, clothing, and trade, but they are an indication of prominence in society. Meat is an essential part of the Tswana people as Botswana is a cattle country.

Most of their cuisines include meat therefore it comes as no surprise that the national dish seswaa is pounded meat made from goat or beef. Madila, fermented milk in a yogurt form is a very popular delight amongst the Tswana people, something you must-try during your stay in Botswana.

Botswana's cuisines identify a lot with the cuisines of Southern Africa; therefore you are bound to have the same types of foods when you travel across Southern Africa.

Botswana traditional music mainly consists of singing and rhythmic clapping of hands and stomping of feet. Doing this produces instrumental sounds that people can dance to and enjoy. This is very popular in many cultures and ethnic groups around Africa and as you travel throughout the continent you are bound to notice the similarities that are there in sound and dance.

Botswana traditional music has numerous instruments such as setinkane, a small piano-like instrument, phala, a whistle, and meropa, drums that come in different forms shapes and sizes.

The traditional attire is worn during traditional ceremonies usually entails animal skin, material that has been used by the people as clothing.

"Botswana is a wonderful place" - John from Germany

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