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Gaborone Accommodation

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 you reach 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, Francistown, Serowe, Artesia, Lobatse, Gaborone, Maun 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.

In three short years, the new capital emerged from the African bush. By the time it was completed, it boasted Assembly buildings, Government 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, which once again is being viewed with envy by almost all her neighbours.

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.

Government ministries, the National Assembly, the House of Chiefs and the Archives are all grouped in the Government Enclave. The University of Botswana, the National Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the stadium and a golf course are also located here.

In late 1998 a couple of private commercial radio stations, Yarona FM and GabzFM were established in Gaborone, and in conjunction with the government's RB2 radio station, have provided a great forum for the expansion and development of local musical talent, which at last is seeing steady growth.

On the August 30th, 2000 the first national television service called Botswana Television (BTV) was launched. With the headquarters in Gaborone, it is the first station in Africa to fully utilize digital technology. The signal of BTV is also carried on a PAS7 satellite with a footprint that covers the majority of the continent.

Botswana International Trade Fair held in the city is an annual event. Football matches and cultural gatherings are frequent occurrences at the National Stadium, while music and drama are performed at a number of venues, including Maitisong Cultural Centre.

Situated close to the capital, Sir Seretse Khama International Airport has modern facilities to cater for all wide-body aircraft and has recently installed state-of-the-art radar facilities aimed at enhancing the safety of flights in Botswana airspace.

Visitors to Gaborone now have an excellent choice of 'craft' shops to choose from. Botswana Craft, which specializes in crafts from Botswana, has several outlets in the city. The Camphill charity shop stocks good handmade wooden furniture and various other craft items such as local pottery and weavings. At Oodi weavers, 5km north of Phakalane, visitors can tour the weaving factory and shop, while in Broadhurst the Craft Workshop houses a range of very upmarket craft outlets which is becoming exceptionally popular with Gaborone's cappuccino drinking set.

The Main Mall is the starting point for your journey around Gaborone. This area was planned in 1963, in a preparation for the Independence and was to be the town centre, located between the Railway Station and the Army Garrison. Today it is the heart of Gaborone with shops, banks, business offices, as well as walkway with people selling crafts and other goods.

Gaborone
Botswana
24° 39' 38.6856" S
25° 54' 42.9912" E
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Starting from ZAR 1,047.50 p/p sharing | ZAR 1,740.00 single | BB
Cresta Lodge Gaborone

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Starting from ZAR 1,027.00 p/p sharing | ZAR 1,594.00 single | BB
Cresta President Hotel

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Starting from ZAR 775.00 p/p sharing | ZAR 1,450.00 single | BB
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Starting from ZAR 1,230.00 per room | BO
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