Google Goes To Botswana, Offers Up Safari Street Views


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Later this year, Google Street View will officially be available in Botswana now that Google has decided to give that endlessly fun boots-on-the-ground mapping feature to Botswana. The map service will be replete with the usual street-level fare in order to hopefully encourage the growth of the country's budding tourist industry.

If you're sitting there reading this wondering why Botswana, a country that claims only nine people per square mile, is getting Street Viewed you may be forgiven for that reaction. For one, Street View might be a slight misnomer in this particular case when you consider that most of Botswana's cultural and natural richness likely exists beyond the pavement.

Jeff Ramsay, a spokesman for Botswana government, told the Botswana Gazette, "The initiative has come at a very crucial stage for Botswana because it will heighten our campaign to promote the country as a diamond centre and destination of choice for tourists."

A Google spokeswoman, Julie Taylor, also emphasized Botswana's wildlife treasures as a reason to Street View the country, saying that requests from companies that specialize in safari tours are already coming in.

The Street View might be considerably different than what some of you are used to seeing when you flip the switch on for the map option. Several cities in Botswana like Gaborone and Francistown will be Street Viewed, many natural attractions will be included as well. Insofar the tourist industry might be concerned, instead of seeing lavish palaces or even barrier reefs, Google Maps explorers will get a glimpse of the Kalahari Desert or some of Botswana's wildlife-rich national parks.

In other words, the point-of-view users will find in Botswana's Street View will probably be unlike anything you'll find in any other country's Street View.