It is unclear when Bantu-speaking peoples first moved into the country from the north, although AD 600 seems to be a consensus estimate.In that era, the ancestors of the modern-day Kalanga moved into what is now the north-eastern areas of the country.Around 10 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone.Formerly one of the poorest countries in the world—with a GDP per capita of about US per year in the late 1960s—Botswana has since transformed itself into one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
Under the rule of Makaba II, the Bangwaketse kept vast herds of cattle in well-protected desert areas, and used their military prowess to raid their neighbors.
During the 1840s and 1850s trade with Cape Colony-based merchants opened up and enabled the Batswana chiefdoms to rebuild.
The Bakwena, Bangwaketse, Bangwato and Batawana cooperated to control the lucrative ivory trade, and then used the proceeds to import horses and guns, which in turn enabled them to establish control over what is now Botswana.
Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but is, at most, a few hundred metres long.
A mid-sized country of just over 2 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.