Bird stamps from Bechuanaland.

The Bechuanaland Protectorate was a protectorate established on 31 March 1885, by the United Kingdom in southern Africa. It became the Republic of Botswana on 30 September 1966.

Bechuanaland postage stamps were issued from 1888 to 1966. Overprinted stamps were issued until 1932, when the first stamps inscribed "Bechuanaland Protectorate" were issued.

In 1962 the South African rand was introduced, necessitating surcharged stamps until new ones were issued.

Bechuanaland meant the country of the Tswana and for administrative purposes was divided into two political entities.

 The northern part was admistered as the Bechuanaland Protectorate and the southern part was administered as the crown colony of British Bechuanaland. British Bechuanaland was incorporated into the Cape Colony in 1895 and now forms part of South Africa.

The northern part, the Bechuanaland Protectorate, had an area of 225,000 square miles (580,000 km2), and a population 120,776.

The British government originally expected to turn over administration of the protectorate to Rhodesia or South Africa, but Tswana opposition left the protectorate under British rule until independence in 1966.

The Bechuanaland Protectorate was technically a protectorate rather than a colony. Originally the local Tswana rulers were left in power, and the British administration was limited to a police force to protect Bechuanaland's borders against other European colonial ventures.

But on 9 May 1891 the British Government gave the administration of the protectorate to the High Commissioner for South Africa, who started to appoint officials in Bechuanaland, and the de facto independence of Bechuanaland ended.

Face value | Family number | English name | Scientific name
1961.01   02.10.1961   Definitives      
African Golden Oriole Oriolus auratus African Hoopoe Upupa africana Scarlet-chested Sunbird Chalcomitra senegalensis Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus African Grey Hornbill Tockus nasutus Red-headed Weaver Anaplectes rubriceps Brown-hooded Kingfisher Halcyon albiventris
1c     158     African Golden Oriole    Oriolus auratus     
2c     96     African Hoopoe    Upupa africana     
2½c     216     Scarlet-chested Sunbird    Chalcomitra senegalensis     
3½c     218     Yellow Bishop    Euplectes capensis     
5c     95     Swallow-tailed Bee-eater    Merops hirundineus     
7½c     98     African Grey Hornbill    Tockus nasutus     
10c     218     Red-headed Weaver    Anaplectes rubriceps     
12½c     92     Brown-hooded Kingfisher    Halcyon albiventris

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