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Members of the Bakwena, a chieftaincy under a legendary leader named Kgabo II, made their way into the southern Kalahari by AD 1500, at the latest, and his people drove the Bakgalagadi inhabitants west into the desert.
Over the years, several offshoots of the Bakwena moved into adjoining territories.
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.
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.
All these various peoples were connected to trade routes that ran via the Limpopo River to the Indian Ocean, and trade goods from Asia such as beads made their way to Botswana most likely in exchange for ivory, gold, and rhinoceros horn.
The arrival of the ancestors of the Tswana-speakers who came to control the region has yet to be dated precisely.
Archaeological digs have shown that hominids have lived in Botswana for around two million years.
What these records show is that the Bangwaketse had become the predominant power in the region.
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.
This massive cattle-raising complex prospered until 1300 AD or so, and seems to have regressed following the collapse of Mapungubwe.
During this era, the first Tswana-speaking groups, the Bakgalagadi, moved into the southern areas of the Kalahari.