Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, being a relatively mid-sized nation with a population of just around 2 million. It is a landlocked nation with a semi-arid climate. Even though it is one of the more “richer” nations in sub-Saharan Africa, the fact remains that over 30% of its citizens are still in poverty, and thus there is a definite need for volunteers.
Photo Credit: Ian N. White.
Botswana, due to its high poverty rate, has many people who do not receive proper education. The educational infrastructure in parts of the nation is poor and volunteers are needed to teach English to children as many native teachers have a very poor grasp on the English language.
Botswana is a land that has a variety of wildlife. With the diversity of wildlife, there arises a need for conservation as well. As a volunteer, you will work on conversation reserves, tracking the movements of various animals. By the end of your experience, you will have gained many research skills and you will be an expert on tracking methodology.
Planning Your Trip
Volunteer Support: If you volunteer in Botswana through an organization, they should have a support system in place where you can get support and ask for help. Your home country’s embassy or consulate can be reached in Gaborone for further information as well.
NGO/Nonprofits: Botswana has many nonprofit organizations. Here is a complete list NGO's in Bostswna.
Know before You Go: Although most people you encounter in Botswana’s larger cities will know some English, it is still quite helpful to learn some of the national language, Setswana, before you visit the nation.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Botswana
As a volunteer in Botswana, you are recommended to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Rabies. For more information, visit MD Travel Health.
Crime is somewhat of a serious concern for tourists in Botswana. Tourists and volunteers should be vigilant at all times, particularly from the threat of petty crime like pick-pocketing.