The people of landlocked Botswana call themselves Twsana or Batswana (that's plural, the singular is Motswana). The official language of Botswana is English although Setswana is widely spoken across the country.
The country forms a flat part of the Limpopo Basin. The Limpopo is a river. You'll also find the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the world's largest inland delta, but 70 per cent of the country is covered by the Kalahari Desert.
The Makgadikgadi area is known for its saltpans, where water evaporates in the heat to leave the precious mineral.
The land is therefore mostly dry and not very fertile, which makes farming difficult.
The main source of wealth is diamond mining. Nickel, copper and coal are other important minerals, as are salt and soda.
Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith has written about Botswana in the novels of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. The books are humorous, but also give you factual information about the country's customs.
Botswana won its first Olympic medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games when Nijel Amos came second in the 800m. In 2011, Amantle Montsho became world champion in the 400m and won Botswana's first Athletics medal at this level.
Botswana joined the Commonwealth in 1966.
It started competing in the Commonwealth Games in 1974. Botswana has appeared at all Games since then, missing only the Edmonton 1978 Commonwealth Games. The country has enjoyed medal success, notably in Athletics and Boxing.
On the athletics track at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Botswana struck Gold for the first time. Amantle Montsho took first place in the Women's 400m.