Recommended Books on Botswana

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Although relatively quiet on the day to day news front Botswana nonetheless has a wealth of literature of many genres coming from the country, with fiction and image rich publications celebrating the culture and wildlife.

Leigh Kemp

Many beautifully illustrated coffee table books about Botswana and it's wilderness areas are on offer but there are also many other genres to select from when looking for information or stories regarding the country. From historical narratives to illustrated research publications Botswana is well represented in print.

Botswana Fiction

The most famous fiction out of Botswana right now is the hilariously accurate No1 "Ladies Detective Agency" series written by Alexandra McCall Smith. Based on day to day aspects of Botswana life the stories feature one Mma Precious Ramotswe, the only woman detective in Botswana. The stories are as much about social commentary as they are about the solving of crimes. The stories have been filmed for television and recorded for radio and all eleven books in the series are best sellers.

Botswana Non-fiction

Arguably the most important non-fiction book from Botswana is the story of the first president's marriage to a white British woman and the issues they went through at the time. Entitled "A Marriage of Inconvenience: The Persecution of Ruth and Seretse Khama" this book is a fascinating insight into the mindset of the colonial powers, and the reactions of the people of Botswana, to interracial marriage, something that was virtually unknown at the time.

Botswana Guide Books

There is a plethora of guides books on the market to choose from, all providing good information on the country. Insiders Guide to Botswana by Ian Michler, photographer and author, is featured on this web site, and covers culture, art, history and traditions of the Botswana people, as well as how to get around by road - for the intrepid adventurer.

Reference Books on Botswana

There are some excellent reference books dealing with specific subjects such as plants and birds of Botswana but for general information there are two standout publications that cover Botswana and the Okavango Delta through first-hand experience in great detail.

These books are:

Kalahari: Life's Variety in Dune and Delta by Mike Main
Okavango: Jewel of the Kalahari by Karen Ross

Two great publications that can be used as reference books or merely as interesting reads are the stories by Laurens Van der Post about his travels into the interior of the Kalahari, and his affinity with the Bushmen people.

The two books are:

The Lost World of the Kalahari
The Heart of the Hunter

Coffee Table Books

Botswana's wilderness is a place of immense beauty and there are many beautiful coffee table books that celebrate this, with some of the more memorable being:

Sea of Land, Land of Water by Peter Johnston and Anthony Bannister
Miracle Rivers by Peter and Beverly Pickford
Africa's Wetland Wilderness by Adrian Bailey and Robyn Keene-Young
Hunting with the Moon by Derek and Beverly Joubert
Running Wild by Dave Hamman and Helene Heldring

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