Welcome to Gaborone, Botswana!
This little city located near the border of South Africa and is the largest city in Botswana. The city’s name comes from a local chief from the Tlokwa tribe, and Gaborone became one of Africa’s fastest growing cities.
Following independence from the British in the mid-1960s, the population of Gaborone grew exponentially into the thriving city it is today. Like many African cities, nature and animals are an important part of the culture here, and any visitor will definitely have to experience the vast landscapes and beautiful wildlife that Gaborone has to offer. A worldwide local knows that city life is fun, but it’s important to connect with nature, as well, and Gaborone is a perfect place for both. Our insider’s guide will take you through some great adventures and sights, through the eyes of a local.
Worldwide Local Tip: The city of Gaborone is still growing, and as a result, there are some growing pains. While still a very safe place for travelers, you should still take caution when visiting certain parts of town, especially at night. Grabbing a taxi to take you around from any of the Gaborone hotels is the safest option, especially if you’re visiting somewhere late at night. Oh, and be on the lookout for herds of animals on the road. Common sense is essential in keeping you safe.
Climb Kgale Hill
After you land in Gaborone Airport, you’ll be ready to get out and explore. Perhaps the best part of Gaborone is the fact that it is absolutely filled with amazing places to be with nature. One of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals to hang out, enjoying the Gaborone weather, is Kgale Hill. The area is one of Botswana’s highest hills, but don’t let that deter you from making the trek up. The walk is a fairly easy and pleasant one, and once at the top, you’ll be greeted with the best view of the city. There are set paths for people to walk up and it doesn’t cost anything. Bring some good shoes and a camera, also be sure to watch out for the baboons!
Worldwide Local Tip: No, seriously watch out for the baboons! More importantly, stick the predetermined paths laid out, as getting lost or assaulted by an animal is always a possibility. Also, you don’t want to go when it is too quiet. Check the parking lot for other cars and other hikers around, as being alone puts you at risk of being robbed.
For the Animal Lover
Naturally, if you’re going to be in this part of Africa, you’ll probably want to see the wildlife. Gaborone has two game reserves. Mokolodi is arguably the most popular reserve, where guests can go for a two-hour drive around the area and take in the animal kingdom in all its glory. Watch elephants, giraffes, and zebras go about their lives, as you’re guided through the park. There’s also the Gaborone Game Reserve, where you can go on a self-guided tour to check out zebras and wild boars, as well as a plethora of birds.
Worldwide Local Tip: Mokolodi has an amazing restaurant on site operated by the reserve, even if you don’t go to view the animals, the restaurant alone is worth a visit. It is, however, recommended that you do both.
Shopping in Gaborone
Gaborone, and Botswana as a whole, are places rich with customs and traditions. Support the local economy and local artists, by visiting one of the many shops around town specializing in African art. There are a few great independent dealers around town such as Green Shop, which is environmentally conscious and is a non-governmental organization. In addition, there is an NGO, or Botswana Craft, which has been around since the 1970s and specializes in goods. If you’re tired from your full day, ask around about the best body massage in Gaborone.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re looking for something truly unique, pick up some Kalahari quilts. Handwoven by the women of the Kalahari, each piece is handmade and reflects life in Botswana with features of landscapes, animals, and scenery.
Have an Incredible Time in Gaborone!
Gaborone is a place that should be on everyone’s radar if you’re traveling to Africa. Set among the beautiful natural landscapes and hills, here you’ll find wild animals and picture-perfect scenery. A worldwide local knows that sometimes you have to get back to nature, and Gaborone is a perfect place to do just that.