The next time you are with someone sporting diamond jewellery, do not be surprised if you discover that the diamonds come from Botswana. These precious gems brought Botswana to the status of being one of Africa’s richest nations due to the discovery and mining of diamonds in the last part of the twentieth century. The Jwaneng diamond mine is ranked among the world’s richest, producing 9 million carats annually. The country also mines copper-nickel. The climate and soils also favour large-scale ranching. Cattle ranching is Botswana’s second largest industry and processed beef is exported to the European Community.
One of course cannot ignore the other large money earner for the country – tourism. This industry has developed substantially over the years yet the government of Botswana is keen to maintain its policy of high cost/low volume in order to protect environmentally sensitive areas. Eco tourism is high on the government agenda and camps and lodges are becoming more eco friendly. Many lodges are solar powered and measures are in place to minimise carbon footprint in protected areas. Ultimately, it is true to say that Botswana does still offer one the best wilderness areas, away from the madding crowd, for a spectacular safari experience.