Study suggesting human life originates in Botswana expected to catalyse its travel market

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A RECENT study tracing the origins of modern human life to Botswana is expected to serve as a springboard to the phenomenal growth of the southern African country’s travel market, a Botswanan tourism officer said Thursday.

Based on the genetics, the report, carried by the prestigious science journal Nature on October 28, suggests that human life started around the dry and salty flats of the Makgadikgadi Basin, known as Makgadikgadi Pans, an area situated some 400 km north of the country’s capital Gaborone.

‘Botswana can therefore proudly claim and ride on the recognition bestowed on her that human life originated in our country,’ said Myra Sekgororoane, Botswana Tourism Organisation’s chief executive officer.

An increase in the number of visitors can be expected since the Makgadikgadi Pans has been a choice of tourist destination on its own, she said.

‘Okavango and Makgadikgadi Pans were identified as some of the areas where earliest humanity evolved before making their way across the globe and eventually populating the entire planet,’ Sekgororoane said.

She added that ‘with the historical element attached to the already sought-after Makgadikgadi Pans, this would constitute a breakthrough in terms of increasing the tourism product menu in the country.’

It is anticipated that the discovery will give the Makgadikgadi Pans more value and by extension, a competitive edge over other locations in attracting visitors, said the tourism officer.

Botswana is likely to receive over 2.1 million tourists in 2019, she said.

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