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These proto-Kalanga were closely connected to states in Zimbabwe as well as to the Mapungubwe state.
These states, located outside of current Botswana's borders, appear to have kept massive cattle herds in what is now the Central District—apparently at numbers approaching modern cattle density.
What these records show is that the Bangwaketse had become the predominant power in the region.
Botswana boasts a GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of about ,825 per year as of 2015 Its high gross national income (by some estimates the fourth-largest in Africa) gives the country a relatively high standard of living and one of the highest Human Development Index of continental Sub-Saharan Africa.
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.
The Bangwaketse occupied areas to the west, while the Bangwato moved northeast into formerly Kalanga areas.
The first written records relating to modern-day Botswana appear in 1824.
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.