Home > Country Guides > Africa > Botswana > Culture

Botswana Culture
History of Botswana
Before the arrival of the Europeans, the area that is now called Botswana was home to the Tswana People. They lived as farmers and herders under tribal rule. Botswana saw an influx of other tribal people over the centuries. During the nineteenth century, the local people became fearful of invasion, and so they asked to become a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1964, the country became independent from Britain.
The People of Botswana
The population of Botswana is made up of a number of different ethnic groups, with the majority of the majority being Tswana People - this group makes up eighty percent of the population of Botswana. Other important ethnic groups include the Kalanga People, and the Bushmen, and about 1% of the population are of origins outside of Africa.
The Language of Botswana
The official language of Botswana is English, and this is the language used for education, government, and in business. The literacy rate in English is believed to be around 85%. Botswana was once controlled as a protectorate by Britain, and this is the reason why English has managed to become an important part of the culture. The other important language in the country is the Setswana language, which is spoken by 78% of the population. Other important languages in Botswana include Northern Sotho, Haijjom, and Zulu.
The Religion of Botswana
It is believed that 70% of the people of Botswana are Christians. This Christian population belong to a number of different denominations including Methodist, Anglican, and the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa. There are also small populations of Muslims, Hindus, and members of the Bahai faith. One fifth of the population of Botswana say that they have no religion - they are either agnostic or atheist.