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Botswana History Timeline

200 - 1700

  • (200 - 500) Bantu-speaking farmers moved into area
  • (600 - 700) Farming culture thrived in Toutswe Hill area
  • (1200 - 1300) Toutswe state conquered by neighboring Mapungubwe state; Tourswe town abandoned
  • (1300s) Three main branches of Tswana tribe evolved in Molepolole, Kanye, Serowe
  • (1600s) Rolong-Khalagari power stretched from Mbandu country across the central Namibia-Botswana frontier
  • (1700) Kwena, Hurutshe migrants founded Ngwatketse chiefdom in southeastern Botswana
1800s
  • (1800) Raiders from the Cape attacked the Ngwaketse
  • (1800s) Kwena people established permanent settlements
  • (1840s) David Livingstone began missionary work
  • (1860s) Tswana people appealed to British for protection against enemies
  • (1867) Gold discovered, mining began
  • (1885) British established Bechuanaland Protectorate to stop annexation by South Africa
  • (1890) British protectorate extended to Chobe River
1900s
  • (1900) Administration of the region was transferred to High Commissioner for Basutoland (present-day Lesotho), Bechuanaland and Swaziland
  • (1909) Inhabitants of the Bechuanaland Protectorate asked for and received British assurances that they would not be included in the proposed Union of South Africa
  • (1920) European council established consisting of two advisory councils representing Africans and Europeans
  • (1930) Botswana Chiefs began making demands for national symbols, self-government
  • (1930) British rejected demands for self-government, claimed Protectorate was not ready for independence
  • (1934) New proclamations regularized tribal rule and powers
  • (1940s) Independent churches and schools established
  • (1950) Mgwato Chief, Seretse Khama, exiled to UK following pressure from South Africa for his marriage to a white British woman
  • (1952) Rioters protested the exile of Seretse Khama
  • (1959) Copper mining began
  • (1960) Bechuanaland People's Party (BPP) formed
  • (1960) Britain approved new constitution for Bechuanaland
  • (1960) Executive, Legislative and African Councils established
  • (1961) Seretse Khama appointed to Executive Council
  • (1962) Seretse Khama founded Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP)
  • (1964) Britain accepted proposal for self-government
  • (1964) New administrative capital constructed at Gaborone
  • (1965) BDP party won legislative elections, Seretse Khama became prime minister
  • (1965) Gaborone officially became administrative center
  • (1966) Bechuanaland granted independence, became the Republic of Botswana
  • (1966) Seretse Khama became president
  • (1967) Diamonds discovered at Orapa
  • (1969) BDP party won general election, Seretse Khama re-elected as president
  • (1977) Botswana Defense Force established
  • (1979) BDP party won general election, Seretse Khama re-elected to third term as president
  • (1980) Botswana was founding member of Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) group, goal was to reduce region's economic reliance on South Africa
  • (1980) President Khama died, former Vice-President Quett Masire made president by National Assembly vote
  • (1980) Severe drought resulted in loss of livestock
  • (1984) BDP party won general elections, Quett Masire re-elected president

Botswana Photographs

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.