Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Great Plains Research 20 (Spring 2010):109-19


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Botswana has a variety of ecosystems, all of which support a multitude of wildlife species. The Kalahari is a vast semidesert that covers over 84% of the country. Grasslands along with scattered trees and drought-resistant undergrowth dominate large tracts of the Kalahari’s landscape. The northeastern Kalahari extends into the wetter environments of Botswana—the Okavango Delta, the Savuti, and the Chobe—within which grassland habitats support abundant wildlife species. Botswana is unique in that most of its biodiversity remains intact, with a higher percentage of its total landmass conserved than any other country. Botswana achieves this level of protection primarily through ecotourism, which operates at several levels in working toward biodiversity conservation. Government policy on tourism aids ecosystem conservation in Botswana by employing a high-income, low-volume tourism policy. This paper examines and gives specific examples of where and how Botswana has used ecotourism as a tool for biodiversity and grassland conservation. It further looks at the other factors that play a role in successfully conserving Botswana’s grassland habitats.