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Introducing Gaborone

Botswana’s small capital may be the country’s largest city, but it’s a pretty low-key place. There aren’t that many reasons to come here – it’s a world of government ministries, shopping malls and a seemingly endless urban sprawl with outer neighbourhoods known as ‘Phases’ and ‘Extensions’ – which is why most travellers either fly to Maun, or cross overland elsewhere. It can be convenient if you’re looking to make reservations for the small handful of government-run campsites, although that’s unlikely to be reason enough to come here on its own. But if you do find yourself here, ‘Gabs’ has a handful of decent restaurants and good hotels.

The city is largely a modern creation, with little sense of history to provide interest. Indeed, ask a Motswana who was born and raised in Gaborone where they’re from, and they may well tell you the name of a family village or cattle post they’ve never seen. And yet, while a local Motswana may not see Gaborone as a traditional family ‘home’, they do see it as the place where their future, and that of their nation, is forged. As such, it can be an interesting place to take the pulse of the nation.