"Gaborone - Capital city of Botswana" Top 5 Page for this destination Gaborone by MikeAtSea

Gaborone Travel Guide: 52 reviews and 122 photos

Often described as Africa's fastest growing city, Botswana's capital Gaborone is a vibrant and colourful city, which lies in the flat valley between Kgale and Oodi hills, on the Notwane River in the south eastern corner of Botswana, 15km from the South African border post at Tlokweng.
In 1998 Gaborone had an estimated population of 192,000 inhabitants. As the capital city, Gaborone is the seat of government as well as the country's commercial and administrative heart. The city is named after
Kgosi (Chief) Gaborone who led the Batlokwa tribe into the area in the 1880s. They settled in Tlokweng, the first urban area one reaches when driving into the city from the South African border post 10km to the east. In the early 1890s a colonial fort was built in an area now known as The Village near Tlokweng, and its ruins can still be seen near the Village Cinema.
As plans developed for Bechuanaland's independence, the need to establish an administrative town within the boundaries of the country was recognized. Bechuanaland was the only territory in the world whose administrative centre, Mafikeng, lay outside its boundaries. Nine possible sites had been suggested: Mahalapye, Shashe, Serowe, Artesia, and a point within the Tuli Block Gaborone was chosen because of its strategic location, its proximity to the railway line and Pretoria, its already established administrative offices, its accessibility to most of the major tribes, its non-association with any particular tribe, and, most importantly, its closeness to a major water source Gaborone, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. In three short years, the new capital emerged from the African bush. By the time it was completed, it boasted Assembly buildings, office blocks, a power station, a hospital, schools, a radio station, a telephone exchange, police stations, a post office, banks, shops, a church, a hotel, a brewery, a stadium grandstand and more than 1,000 houses. The basic infrastructure was in place for Independence Day on 30 September 1966, when Bechuanaland became the eleventh British dependency in Africa to become independent.
Today it is a very different story, and Gaborone is a bustling modern city, and the seat of power for one of Africa's most successful economies, There are numerous busy shopping malls offering full range of imported and locally produced goods, excellent restaurants, top international quality hotels, sports clubs and various night clubs. New buildings and suburbs sprout like mushrooms wherever there's a block of land to fit them, resulting in a mix of low-cost housing, blocks of flats, shopping
centres and industrial complexes.

  • Last visit to Gaborone: Feb 2004
  • Intro Written Oct 10, 2005
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Reviews (3)

Comments (2)

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2005 at 3:37 AM

    Hello Mike! I see that I only managed to see a small glimpse of Gaborone during my brief stay there. Excellent tips and good photos. Looking for more. Greetings from Finland, Sini

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2005 at 7:18 AM

    I hope this is only the beginning.

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