Great Reasons to Study Abroad in Botswana

by Joel Tan

To say Botswana is a center of diversity is the understatement of the year. The nation’s diversity is truly infinite, and protected thanks to government laws that limit tourism to help maintain the country’s popular, beautiful attractions. These policies make studying abroad in Botswana even more special. Incorporating magnificent, naturally pleasing activities into a study abroad experience in Botswana will leave international students feeling like they have been transported into a scene from National Geographic.

Zebra is the national animal of Botswana.
Zebra is the national animal of Botswana. Photo by Troy Peden

Witness zebra and antelope migration. 

The zebra is Botswana's national animal so much attention is given to the creature’s activities, including their migration patterns. Zebras migrate twice a year, first from an area in the Chobe National Park down to the Savute Marsh. The second migration occurs in the Makgadikgadi Pans, one of the largest salt flats in the world located in Botswana. Antelope migration is also something of significance in Botswana. Antelopes also migrate to other areas of the Pans, especially when medium to long grass becomes scarce in a particular location. Students studying animal science in Botswana can have the opportunity to grab a front-row seat and see thousands of zebras and antelopes move across great distances.

Stare in awe at ancient bushman rock paintings at the World Heritage Site known as Tsodilo Hills. 

More than 4,000 rock paintings, most at least 2,000 years old, cover then square kilometers amidst the massive Kalahari Desert. If the facts are exciting enough then seeing the paintings up close will surely satisfy one’s desire for excitement.

The Tsodilo Hills area is more than a historical and cultural site. It is also a religious site where the bushmen, otherwise called the San, believe gods and the spirits of ancestors long dead dwell. Don't immediately rush straight to the hills, though, if you want to take a gander at the ancient paintings first get a guide because the paintings are hard to find.

Elephants, Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park

Observe elephants at the Chobe National Park, home of the greatest elephant population in Africa. 

The government of Botswana isn't kidding when it says the park has the highest concentration of elephants in Africa. The numbers of elephants at the Chobe National Park, now top 50,000, so high that moves to limit population growth have been mulled over. The park is home of the Elephant species referred to as the Kalahari Elephant, known for their large size and short tusks.

Walk with the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert

There is quite a bit of hype about the bushmen of the Kalahari, thanks in part to the cult classic The Gods Must Be Crazy. In this movie a  bushman gets hit on the head with a Coca-Cola bottle and thrown out of a passing airplane. With very little interaction with the outside world the Kalahari bushman initially thought the bottle as a gift from the gods. The bottle, however, turns into an object of desire in the bushman village causing fights among tribesmen. This prompts the bushman Xi to go to the edge of the world to throw away the "evil" bottle, but not before going through a slew of misadventures. If you want to study anthropology abroad in Botswana, this is an unmissable experience. 

Choose a study abroad program in Botswana and seek out a real opportunity to travel with a native bushman and learn about the San way of life first hand!