Botswana stamps

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Flag of Botswana

Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on September 30, 1966.

It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Namibia to the west, Zambia to the north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. The economy, closely tied to South Africa's, is predominated by mining (especially diamonds), cattle, and tourism. The country is named after its largest ethnic group, the Tswana.

STELLALAND: The area was conquered and annexed by the Boers when in 1882 they established the republic of Stellaland and then proceeded to establish the republic of Goshen further north. The Boers proclaimed Stellaland to be under Transvaal protection. A postal service was organized and stamps were printed. These stamps however were only valid within the country. 

The British sent out a force which, without a shot being fired, led to Bechuanaland being formally taken under British protection on the 30th September 1885. Two areas were established  - British Bechuanaland and the Bechuanaland Protectorate

BRITISH BECHUANALAND: The area to the south of Molopo river was constituted as a crown colony and described as British Bechuanaland.  Stamps were produced by overprinting Cape of Good Hope  and British stamps. Then on the 16th November 1895 it was annexed to the Cape Colony and it ceased to have its own stamps.

BECHUANALAND PROTECTORATE: The large portion to the north of the Molopo river became the Bechuanaland Protectorate. First Cape of Good Hope and then British stamps were overprinted for use in the protectorate till 1932 when the first stamps were printed for the area.

BECHUANALAND: In 1965 the Becuanaland Protectorate  was granted self-government and was renamed as Becuanaland.

BOTSWANA: On the 30th September 1966 Bechuanaland became the independent republic of Botswana.

See: Bechuanaland Protectorate


Scott: #88-91P

Issued: 21.8.1972

Mafeking-Gubulawayo Runner Post

#65 Inside #89: Bechuanaland Protectorate #65O


Scott: #91aP

The runner post between Mafeking and Gubulawayo is commemorated with this minisheet issued in 1972 to mark the 84th anniversary of the post. The sheet was redrawn and a souvenir sheet was issued in 1988 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary (#436-39). Both issues show the same map. The original was drawn by Mike Bryan, and it was redrawn by Lucy Phalaagae.

#234 #235 #236

Scott: #234-6P

Issued: 27.8.1979

Death Centenary of Sir Rowland Hill

#6  Inside #234: Bechuanaland #6O

#107 Inside #235: Bechuanaland Protectorate #107O

#20 Inside #236: Botswana #20O


Scott: #266-7P

Issued: 7.8.1981

Birth Centenary, von Stephan

#150 Inside #266: Bechuanaland Protectorate #150O

#111 Inside #266: Botswana #111O

#151 Inside #267: Bechuanaland Protectorate #151O

#112 Inside #267: Botswana #112O

Heinrich von Stephan (1831 - 1897) was a general post director for the German Empire who reorganized the German postal service. He was integral in the founding of the Universal Postal Union in 1874, and in 1877 introduced the telephone to Germany.

Stephan began his career as a local postal worker. In 1866 he was put in charge by the Prussian government of federalizing the postal service that had long been privately run by the Thurn und Taxis noble family. In 1870 he was named director of postal services for the North German Confederation, the precursor to the German Empire (founded in 1871). Stephan's career then moved quickly up the ranks, as he was named Postmaster General of the German Empire in 1876, the Undersecretary of State in charge of the post office in 1880, and the Minister of State for the German Empire in 1895.

When Stephan began his work as a postal worker, Germany was divided into 17 postal districts, each with separate policies and fees. He worked early on to establish a uniform postage rate throughout Germany, to facilitate easier mailing. His general goal of standardization and internationalization is evident in his work to combine the postal service with the telegraph service in Germany, and in his efforts to organize the International Postal Conference in Bern in 1874, in which the Universal Postal Union was established. He introduced the postcard (which he had initially suggested in 1865) to Germany after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck promoted him in 1870: the postcard came into widespread use in the subsequent Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 as a method of communication between units in the field. He is also credited with having introduced the telephone to Germany.

Stephan died in 1897 in Berlin, having made a profound impact on the standardization of mail service worldwide.


Scott: #277O

Issued: 8.1.1981

Literacy Campaign

Inside #277: Stamp on Envelope



Scott: #363-7O

Issued: 24.1.1985

Centenary, Botswana Stamps

#4 Inside #363: Bechuanaland #4O

#72 Inside #364: Bechuanaland Protectorate #72O

#106 Inside #365: Bechuanaland Protectorate #106O

#199 Inside #366: Bechuanaland Protectorate #199O

#1 Inside #367: Botswana #1O



Scott: #436-39O

Issued: 22.6.1988

Runner Post Centenary

#65 Inside #437: Bechuanaland Protectorate #65O

Scott: #439aO

Thanks to Lloyd Gilbert for scan


Scott: #468-71O

Issued: 5.8.1990

25th Anniversary, First Election

Inside #468: Bechuanaland Protectorate #201O

GB #1 te Inside #471: G.B. #1 [A-A]



Scott: #788-91

Issued: 9.10.2004

World Post Day

Inside #788: Stamps on Envelope

Scott: #???-?P

Issued: 9.10.2016

Favourite Stamps of Five Decades

 Inside #???: Botswana #132

 Inside #???: Botswana #359

 Inside #???: Botswana #490

 Inside #???: Botswana #710 Inside #???: Botswana #???? (2007)

botswana      ss 2016 (2)

Scott: #????O

botswana fdc

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