About City :
Gaborone is the capital and the largest city of Botswana. It is an administrative district besides being the capital of the surrounding South East District. The history of this city dates back to the 1880s when Kgosi Gaborone left Magaliesberg to settle in the area. The early European settlers called the city Gaberones, though at present the locals often refer to it as Gabs. In 1966 Gaborone became the capital of Botswana after the country gained its independence from the colonial rule of the English. This city was chosen due to its proximity to a source of fresh water, and also because of its experience as an administrative center.
Gaborone is controlled by both a local government known as the Gaborone Town Council and by the national government of Botswana. It is a fast-growing city with a current population of around 250,000. Setswana is the prevalent language spoken here with English as the main language used for business. Gaborone is home to a mixed population comprising of Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus.
Gaborone is located between Oodi and Kgale Hills, on the Notwane River in the south-eastern part of Botswana. Stretching over an area of 169 sq. km, the city is about 15 kilometers away from the South African border. It lies at an elevation of 1,010 meters above sea level. In the center of the city lies the Mall which is currently the administrative and financial center of Gaborone.
How to Reach (Transport) :
Gaborone is served by the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport and can be flown in from various cities with airline services like Air Botswana, South African Express, and Air Namibia. There is also a daily bus plying between Pretoria, South Africa, and Gaborone. The railway facility has been stopped since 2009 throughout Botswana.
Once in the city, the easiest way to travel is by availing of a shared taxi or by booking a cab. Combis (mini-buses), cars, and buses are the other options available.
When to Visit :
The city experiences a hot semi-arid climate. The best time to visit Gaborone is in July-August when the temperatures are comparatively lower with little rainfall and calmer winds.
Fairs and Festivals :
A land of diverse cultures, Botswana’s traditional festivals draw tourists from all over the world to the fascinating displays of African music and dance. Check travel destinations to know more about the place.
- The Maitisong Festival held in March is a nine-day long carnival filled with music, dance, and theatrical displays. The entire population takes to the streets in the true fashion of a carnival during this time.
- The Maun Festival, held over a two-day period in April, is marked by the execution of traditional poetry, dance, and music. This festival honors the rich tribal culture of northwestern Botswana.
- Botswana Day is celebrated on September 30, marking the progress the country has made since independence. Street parades and traditional events are the major attractions of this day.
- World Wetlands Day is a popular event celebrated in February that promotes environmental causes.
- President’s Day is a four-day national holiday in July that sees residents returning to their native villages to celebrate, through traditional dance and music.
Apart from these traditional festivals, Gaborone celebrates Christmas and New Year’s Day with much pomp and splendor throughout the city.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit) :
The following are the sites that must be visited in Gaborone :
- The National Museum and Art Gallery offer an exhibit of Botswana’s history and cultural diversity.
- Established in 1988, Gaborone Game Reserve is house to Botswana’s wildlife in a natural and accessible location.
- Thapong Visual Arts Centre is an art gallery exhibiting local artists.
- The Three Dikgosi Monument, erected in the memory of the three nationalist heroes, is an interesting landmark.
- The Gaborone Dam is the largest in Botswana and is a splendid sight to anyone visiting the city.
Sufficient accommodation facilities are available in Gaborone within various price ranges. The Tsodilo Lodge and The Mogoditshane Tent are the best among the budget hotels. There are also several hotels that offer excellent services at an affordable price, like African Home, Linville, and Luxury Lodge, to name a few. Among the luxury hotels, Landsmore Masa Square and Grand Palm are undoubtedly the best that offer five-star facilities. Besides these, apartments are also available for longer stays, namely the Motheo Apartment, Innisfree Apartment, and the Hantom House.