The Republic of Botswana (Lefatshe la Botswana in Setswana and Hango yeBotswana in Kalanga) is a triangular landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is bordered by Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the west and north, and South Africa to the south and southeast. It also shares part of its border with Zambia, with the Zambezi River separating the two. Botswana was formerly known as Bechuanaland, a British protectorate. It gained independence in 1966. Its capital is Gaborone, the largest city in Botswana.
Botswana uses the pula as its monetary unit. Pula is Setswana for rain or blessing. The Banka Ya Botswana (Bank of Botswana) was established and legislated on April 1975. Prior to the pula and the establishment of a central bank, Botswana was part of the Rand Monetary Area and used the South African rand as its currency. The pula replaced the rand at par. Early pula banknotes bore the portrait of President Seretse Khama, the Botswana coat of arms, and a different native bird on the obverse side and different economic activities on the reverse side. From 1982 to 1993, the portrait of Seretse Khama was replaced by President Quett Ketumile Joni Masire on the obverse side and natural landscapes were added on the reverse side. In 1999, Masire’s portrait was replaced by the following portraits: President Festus Gontebanye Mogae on the 10; composer Kgalemang Tumedisco Mosete on the 20; former president Seretse Khama on the 50; and the three tribal chiefs Sebele I, Bathoen I, and Khama III on the 100 note. The first family of notes to use the printed dates in Botswana is the 2002 series. The 2002 series also had enhanced security features, including a windowed security thread. The 2009 family of banknotes had redesigned portraits, reduced sizes, and added security features. The 200 pula note was also introduced in the same year. In 2018, the Bank of Botswana introduced the first polymer note—the 10 pula note. This polymer note continues to circulate in parallel to its paper counterpart.