Botswana Independence Day is celebrated every September 30. Under normal conditions, inhabitants of Botswana will throng stadiums to hear about how the nation gained independence from the British under the command of the late Sir Seretse Khama, the father of the country’s former president Ian Khama. Botswana, once known as Bechuanaland during the colonial period, is now called for its majority ethnic group, the Tswana, and has garnered worldwide renown as a peaceful and growing affluent democratic state since independence. During this time, many inhabitants of this southern African country go to see friends and family to commemorate the national day.
History of Botswana Independence Day
According to historical records, Tswana people living in this area in the late 19th century were being assaulted by communities from the northeast and threatened by advancing Dutch Boer farmers from the south and east. The Batswana leaders, Khama III, Bathoen, and Sebele, appealed to the British government for support in combating these threats. On March 31, 1885, the British placed the northern section of the area, known as Bechuanaland — the term comes from an English version of the Tswana phrase ‘Land of the Tswana,’ under their protection.
Once the Union of South Africa was founded in 1910 by the major British colonies in the area. It was intended that Bechuanaland would ultimately become a member of the union. However, this was never implemented. The regional tribal chief, on the other hand, was opposed to joining the union because he believed it would be detrimental to his people. His advocacy was successful, and the British were unable to complete the transfer of the territory to South Africa as a result. With the establishment of apartheid in South Africa in 1948, any hope of integration into the country was extinguished.
Britain, negatively impacted by the activities of the Second World War and a growing desire for independence, initiated the process of minimizing its colonies, including those in Africa. This process was completed by the end of the Second World War. In 1964, the United Kingdom agreed to proposals for the establishment of self-government in Botswana. On September 30, 1966, a new constitution was adopted, paving the way for the country’s first general elections, which resulted in the country gaining its independence. Seretse Khama, who had played a pivotal role in the independence movement, was elected to his position.
Botswana Independence Day timeline
On March 31, 1885, the British take control of the northern part of the region known as Bechuanaland.
The attempt to include Bechuanaland in the new South African union fails.
The United Kingdom agrees to suggestions for Botswana’s self-government.
A new constitution enacts the path for the country’s general elections, which lead to independence.
Botswana Independence Day FAQs
Is Botswana a rich or poor country?
Botswana lies in the heart of Southern Africa between Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. When it gained independence in 1966, it was one of the world’s poorest countries but has become a development success.
Why is Botswana so rich?
Botswana’s economy is based on diamond mining. Diamond mining accounts for 50% of government revenue, primarily through the Debswana Diamond Company, a joint venture with De Beers.
What is Botswana best known for?
Among the greatest wilderness and animal locations in Africa, Botswana is well-known. National parks, reserves, and wildlife conservation areas occupy 38% of the country’s total land area.
Botswana Independence Day Activities
Participate in national festivities
Botswana residents visit stadiums to learn about the country's independence from the British. Participate on this day if you can.
Many Botswana nationals mark the country's national day by paying visits to friends and family. Family is important to Botswana nationals and this day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate with them.
Share on social media
You may also commemorate this momentous day by using the hashtags #Botswanaday and #IndependenceDayBotswana while posting on social media. Go ahead, and post on this momentous day!
5 Interesting Facts About Botswana
Botswana has the most elephants.
Botswana has the world’s densest elephant population and you can visit most of them at Chobe National Park.
Home to the world’s largest inland delta
Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta spreading over an area of 15,000 square kilometers.
Botswana has a large salt pan
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are among the world’s largest salt pans, covering 12,000 square kilometers.
The official language is English
Botswana’s official language is English, while Setswana is the local and the most widely spoken dialect.
Home of the Bushmen
Botswana is a residence of the San Bushmen, who have a fascinating click language.
Why We Love Botswana Independence Day
There are no crowds
Botswana, one of the world’s least populated nations, has set aside over 45% of its territory for conservation. This has considerably contributed to the country’s richness of wildlife.
The Kalahari Desert’s beauty
The Kalahari's breathtaking dunes seem to go on forever. Visit on your next vacation.
A substantial big cat population
It is one of the best places in Africa to see all types of big cats. It ranges from lions to leopards and cheetahs.
Botswana Independence Day dates