A chronology of key events
1867 - European gold prospectors arrive, mining begins.
1885 - British proclaim a protectorate called Bechuanaland.
1890 - British protectorate is extended to Chobe river.
1950 - Chief of the Ngwato, Seretse Khama, is deposed and exiled by the British.
1952 - Rioters protest at Seretse Khama's exile.
1959 - Copper mines are established.
1960 - Bechuanaland People's Party (BPP) is established.
1960 December - Britain approves new constitution for Bechuanaland. Executive Council, Legislative Council and African Council are established.
1961 - Seretse Khama appointed to Executive Council.
1962 - Seretse Khama founds Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP), later to become Botswana Democratic Party.
1965 - Gaborone becomes administrative centre.
1965 - BDP wins legislative elections, first to be held under universal adult suffrage. Seretse Khama becomes prime minister.
1966 September - Bechuanaland is granted independence and becomes Republic of Botswana with Seretse Khama as president.
1967 - Diamonds discovered at Orapa.
1969 August - BDP wins general election. Khama is re-elected for another term.
1977 January - UN Security Council resolution demands Rhodesian hostilities on Botswana border cease.
1977 March - Botswana Defence Force is established.
1979 October - General elections: BDP wins majority, Khama is re-elected as president.
1980 - Botswana is founder member of Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), grouping which aims to reduce region's economic reliance on South Africa.
1980 - President Seretse Khama dies. Quett Masire, former vice-president, is made president after National Assembly vote.
1984 September - General elections: BDP wins majority, Quett Masire is re-elected as president.
1985 June - Buildings in Gaborone are raided and 12 people are killed by South African forces seeking alleged ANC members. Action is condemned by UN Security Council.
1989 October - General elections; BDP wins majority. National Assembly re-elects Masire as president.
1991 - 12,000 public sector workers sacked after strike action calling for increased wages.
1994 October - Legislative elections: BDP secures 53% of vote. Masire re-elected by National Assembly.
1995 - Government begins relocating thousands of bushmen to settlements outside Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
1997 - Constitutional amendments approved. Presidency is limited to two five-year terms. Voting age lowered from 21 to 18.
1998 March/April - Masire resigns as president and retires. Festus Mogae, formerly vice president, becomes president under new constitutional arrangements.
1998 June - Botswana Congress Party established after split in BNF and is declared official opposition after most BNF deputies switch allegiance.
1999 September - Six-day state of emergency declared to resolve voter registration problem.
1999 October - General elections: BDP wins majority, Festus Mogae is confirmed as president.
1999 December - International Court of Justice grants control of Sedudu-Kasikili - a river island disputed by Botswana and Namibia - to Botswana.
2000 February/March - Devastating floods: More than 60,000 are made homeless.
Battle against Aids
2000 August - President Mogae says Aids drugs will be made available free of charge from 2001.
2001 March - National diamond corporation, Debswana, says it will subsidise drugs for workers with Aids.
2002 March - Kalahari bushmen take the government to court to challenge a forced eviction from their land; the case is dismissed on a technicality.
2003 September - Botswana begins erecting a fence along its border with Zimbabwe to stem an influx of Zimbabwean illegal immigrants.
2004 March - HIV infection rate falls to 37.5%; Botswana no longer has the world's highest rate of infection.
2004 August - Workers at Botswana's largest diamond-mining company strike over pay, after a court rules that such action is illegal. Some 1,000 workers are sacked.
2004 October - President Mogae secures a second term in a landslide election victory.
2006 December - A group of Bushmen wins a four-year legal battle to hold on to their ancestral lands.
2008 March - Botswana launches its own diamond trading company - the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB).
2008 April - Seretse Khama Ian Khama takes over as president.
2008 October - Botswana's former President Festus Mogae wins a $5m prize set up to encourage good governance in Africa.
2009 April - Botswana says it will halve diamond production because of falling demands for gems.
2009 October - Ruling BDP party wins elections, and another 5-year term for President Khama.
2009 November - Botswana stages a substantial economic recovery after stepping up diamond production again, a bank reports.
2010 November - Human rights group Survival International calls for a boycott of Botswanan diamonds, accusing the government of trying to force Basarwa bushmen away from their ancestral lands.
2011 January - An appeals court in Botswana overturns a July 2010 order depriving the indigenous Basarwa bushmen of the right to drill for water on their ancestral land.
2011 April - Civil servants begin what becomes a two-month strike over pay.
2012 January - Talks by three main opposition parties aimed at forming coalition fail, destroying hopes of challenge to ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
2012 November - Government says it will ban the commercial hunting of wildlife from 2014, citing a sharp decline in animal populations.
2013 November - Global diamond giant De Beers completes the move of its rough stone sales operation from London to Gaborone, in what is seen as a step towards turning Botswana into one of the world's top diamond hubs.
2014 July - Opposition leader Gomolemo Motswaledi dies in a car crash, just weeks before the general election. Police say it was an accident, his party suspects foul play.
2014 September - Editor of the Sunday Standard is arrested after the paper reported that the president was involved in a car accident.
2014 October - Ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) wins the general elections with 33 of the 57 seats, giving Ian Khama a second term as president.
2014 November - Gay rights group wins legal recognition.
2018 April - Mokgweetsi Masisi becomes president and leader of the governing Botswana Democratic Party.