Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, lies in a flat valley between the Kgale and Oodi Hills in the southeast of the country. The name originates from the early practice of referring to African tribal capitals by the name of the chief, in this case Chief Kgosi Gaborone of the BaTlokwa, whose village, now called Tlokweng, was just across a river from the government headquarters.
Botswana is a wealthy country and much of the wealth has been ploughed back into the capital. The city centre is modern and bright, with wide tree lined avenues and buildings made from glass, steel and bricks. Surrounding this modern centre are leafy suburbs and villages — Ramotswa to the southeast, Mogoditshane to the northwest, and Mochudi and Tlokweng to the east. A lot of people live in these villages and work every day in Gaborone.
Gaborone's cultural side
Gaborone is perhaps now most famous for being the location of the books by Alexander McCall Smith: The Ladies No 1 Detective Agency and most visitors who stop in Gaborone do so for this reason. There is a good low-key tour of the city which takes in a number of the places from the books but also shows people the land, culture, history and people of Botswana. Tours take in Zebra Drive (or Zebra Way as it is actually named), Mochudi, the Botswana Book Centre, the Tlokweng Road and more. There is even time for a cup of Rooibos tea on the veranda of the President Hotel.
Finally, if you overnight in Botswana, do try and tune into the radio if you have an early start — then you can wake to the sound of cowbells on Radio Botswana.