Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

The Bushmen, or San, have inhabited the lands for thousands of years since they roamed the area as nomadic hunters. However, since the mid-1990s, the Botswana government has tried to relocate the Bushmen from the reserve, claiming they were a drain on financial resources despite revenues from tourism. In 1997, three quarters of the entire San population were relocated from the reserve.

In October 2005, the government had resumed the forced relocation into resettlement camps outside of the park leaving only about 250 permanent occupiers. In 2006, a Botswana court proclaimed the eviction illegal and affirmed the Bushmen’s right to return to living in the reserve. However, as of 2015, most Bushmen are blocked from access to their traditional lands in the reserve. A nationwide ban on hunting made it illegal for the Bushmen to practice their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle, despite allowing private game ranches to provide hunting opportunities for tourists.

In the middle of Sept. 2008, there was a huge bush fire in and around the park. The origin of the fire remains unknown. In 2014, a diamond mine operated by Gem Diamonds opened in the southeast portion of the reserve. The company estimated that the mine could yield $4.9 billion worth of diamonds.

Grade: A

REFERENCE: Google Earth

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