Botswana Capital City, About Gaborone Tourism and Travel

(Botswana, BW, Southern Africa)

Gaborone image showing the Parliament BuildingGaborone is a bustling modern city, located in the shadow of the Kgale and Oddi Hills in the south of Botswana. Its relatively small size belies the fact that Gaborone is seen as one of southern Africa's economic success stories.

Today, Botswana's capital city boasts a flourishing economy and a wide range of facilities. Gaborone is home to several attractions which are of interest to visitors who choose to linger a while in the city.

Photo of Khama statue at Gaborone

Tourism and General Information

The old town of Gaborone was founded in 1890 by the African chief, Gaborone Matlapin. When Botswana gained its independence from British rule in 1966, Gaborone became the new capital city of Botswana, replacing the former capital of Bechuanaland Protectorate.

As well as a new name, Gaborone took on a whole new look, with government offices, hospital schools and homes all rising from the bush in the space of just a few years. Along with the rapid growth of the city has come the expansion of its population. Today, Gaborone is home to some 200,000 inhabitants.

Gaborone University pictureGaborone is dominated by its business district, which comprises mostly modern high rises, and lies at the heart of the city. This district is home to the Mall and most of Botswana's government buildings. By way of contrast, the Village is a reminder of Gaborone's colonial past.

No longer the centre of the city, the Village has become one of the city's surrounding suburbs. Along with the remains of an old fort, this neighbourhood is also home to the former Government Rest House where Cecil Rhodes (founder of the De Beers diamond company) is said to have once stayed.

View of modern architecture in central GaboroneFurther suburbs include Broadhurst, and Gaborone West, where Gaborone's industrial areas can be found. The suburb of Phakalane is home to a luxurious golf and hotel resort, expensive shops and some of the city's most upmarket residents. The suburb of Old Naledi is Gaborone's oldest and largest township, created to accommodate builders and other workers who flooded into the city in the 1960s.

One of Gaborone's most distinctive landmarks is the Orapa House, a reminder that Botswana produces something like 60 per cent of the world's gem diamonds. Other popular tourist attractions are the Mall, home to the Pula Arch, Gaborone's War Memorial and numerous shops, and the St. Claire Lion Park, with its playgrounds, trails and picnic sites. A climb up Kgale Hill is well worth the effort, with rewards of great views over both the Gaborone cityscape and the dam supplying the city's water.