B is for Botswana

Now’s a good time to head for Botswana – although May is considered an early winter month, it’s also a dry month with sunny days. Perfect for viewing the big game people from all over the world come to see (even if we’re only armchair travelers).

Botswana is known for its conservation efforts, serving as an example for other countries looking to preserve its wildlife while offering tourists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In the past forty years, Botswana has transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the fastest growing economies. Readers may also be familiar with the country through Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramwotse series (which is at #17 as of this post). However you come to understand Botswana, you’re sure to learn even more with the resources here.

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BOOKS

Carrion Death – Michael Stanley

  • In the aftermath of the murder of an anonymous victim, assistant superintendent David Bengu begins his career in Botswana, where his convivial passions and determined methods earn him a local nickname that likens him to a hippopotamus.

Frommer’s South Africa

  • A guide to travel in the countries Botswana and South Africa.

Mortals – Norman Rush

  • In the heart of Botswana, the lives of three Americans–an undercover CIA agent, his disaffected wife, and an iconoclastic black holistic physician–entangle with that of a local populist leader as a violent insurrection erupts in the area.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith

  • Boldly going where no woman has gone before, Precious Ramotswe is the very first female private detective in all of Botswana. Tactful, effective, and insightful detecting comes naturally to this very independent woman in this highly entertaining humorous cozy mystery series.

The Old Way: A Story of the First People – Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

  • The author revisits her experiences studying the Kalahari San in Africa and documents their behavior as hunter-gatherers.

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle: The Story of an African Childhood – Robyn Scott

  • Documents the author’s adventures growing up in Botswana with her eccentric family, an upbringing marked by her doctor father’s yearnings to be a vet, her holistic and home-schooling mother, and the apartheid mind-set embraced by their white neighbors.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide – Peter Allison

  • Presents tales from a safari guide about his encounters with big cats, elephants, hippos, and other unpredictable animals.

White Dog Fell From the Sky – Eleanor Lincoln Morse

  • An intimate portrait of 1970s Botswana is told through the intertwined stories of three people including a medical student who is forced to flee apartheid South Africa after witnessing a murder and an American Ph.D. student who abandons her studies to follow her husband to Africa.

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DVDs

Botswana: In the Footsteps of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective with Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

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WEBSITES

Botswana (Official Website)

“Botswana: A Haven for Africa’s Endangered Species” (National Geographic)

History of Botswana (Wikipedia)

Okavango Delta (UNESCO Heritage List)

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