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Gaborone

Gaborone is situated at 24°39?29?S 25°54?44?E? / ?24.65806°S 25.91222°E? / -24.65806; 25.91222 between Kgale and Oodi Hills, on the Notwane River in the southeastern corner of Botswana, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the South African border . The city is served by the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.

History

Evidence shows that there have been inhabitants along the Notwane River for centuries. In more recent history, Chief Kgosi Gaborone left the Magaliesberg to settle in the area around 1880, and called the settlement Moshaweng. The city was then called Gaberones by the early European settlers Gaberones, derived from Gaborone's Village, was named after Chief Gaborone of the BaTlokwa, whose home village, now called Tlokweng, was across the river from the Government Camp, the name of the colonial government headquarters. The nickname, GC, comes from the name Government Camp In 1890, Cecil John Rhodes picked Gaberone to house a colonial fort. The fort was where Rhodes planned the Jameson Raid.

In 1965, the capital of the Bechuanaland Protectorate moved from Mafeking to Gaberones. When Botswana gained its independence, Lobatse was the first choice as the nation's capital. However, Lobatse was deemed too limited, and instead, a new capital city would be created next to Gaberones. The city was chosen because of its proximity to a fresh water source, its proximity to the railway to Pretoria, its central location among the central tribes, and its lack of association with those surrounding tribes.

The city was planned under Garden city principles with numerous pedestrian walkways and open spaces. Most of the city was built within three years. Buildings in early Gaborone include Assembly buildings, government offices, a power station, a hospital, schools, a radio station, a telephone exchange, police stations, a post office, and more than 1,000 houses. Because the city was built so quickly, there was a massive influx of labourers who had built illegal settlements on the new city's southern industrial development zone. These settlements were named Naledi. Naledi literally means the star, but could also mean under the open sky or a community that stands out from all others. In 1971, because of the growth of illegal settlements, the Gaborone Town Council and the Ministry of Local Government and Lands surveyed an area called Bontleng, which would contain low-income housing. However, Naledi still grew, and the demand for housing was greater than ever. In 1973, the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) built a "New Naledi" across the road from the "Old Naledi". Residents from Old Naledi would be moved to New Naledi. However, the demand for housing increased yet again; moreover, the residents who relocated to New Nadeli disliked the houses. The problem was solved in 1975 when Sir Seretse Khama, the president of Botswana, rezoned Naledi from an industrial zone to a low-income housing area.

On 30 September 1966, Bechuanaland became the eleventh British dependency in Africa to become independent. The first mayor of Gaborone was Reverend Derek Jones. The old Gaberones became a suburb of the new Gaborone, and is now known as "the Village".

In the mid-1980s, South Africa attacked Botswana and conducted raids on Gaborone and other border towns. The raids resulted in fifteen civilian deaths.

After the 1994 General Elections, riots started in Gaborone because of high unemployment and other issues.

Today, Gaborone is growing very rapidly. The city originally planned on 20,000 citizens, but by 1992, the city had 138,000 people. This has led to many squatter settlements on undeveloped land.

Geography

Gaborone is situated at 24°39?29?S 25°54?44?E? / ?24.65806°S 25.91222°E? / -24.65806; 25.91222 between Kgale and Oodi Hills, on the Notwane River in the southeastern corner of Botswana, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the South African border Gaborone is surrounded by the following cities: Ramotswa to the southeast, Mogoditshane to the northwest, and Mochudi to the east, and Tlokweng across the river. Most of them are commuter towns for Gaborone. Suburbs in Gaborone include Broadhurst, Gaborone West, The Village, Naledi, and New Canada]. Phakalane, an affluent suburb, lies outside the city limits.

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification system, Gaborone is classified as semi-arid (BSh). Most of the year, Gaborone is very sunny. The summers are usually hot. The nights are cool. Usually, the summers with little rainfall are warmer than summers with regular rainfall. If there is a drought, the hottest temperatures of the year are usually in January of February. If there is normal rainfall, the hottest temperatures are usually in October, right before the rain starts. During the winter, days are still warm, and the nights are cold .

There are on average seventy-four days per year with temperatures above 32 °C (90 °F). There is on average 196 days per year with temperatures above 26 °C (79 °F). There is on average fifty-one days per year with temperatures below 7 °C (45 °F). There is on average one day per year with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F). The average dew point peaks around January and February at 16 °C (61 °F) and hits the lowest levels in July at 2 °C (36 °F). The average dew point in a given year is 10 °C (50 °F) .

Precipitation in Gaborone is sparse and variable. Most of the rainfall in Gaborone falls during the summer months, between October and April. There is on average forty days of thunderstorms per year, most of the happening during the summer months, and four days of fog, usually happening during the winter months.

The highest humidity occurs in June at 90% while the lowest humidity is in September at 28%.

Solar radiation levels range from 14.6 MJ/m² in June to 26.2 MJ/m² in December.

It is windier from August to November at 14 kilometres per hour (8.7 mph), and it is calmer from May to July at 8 kilometres per hour (5.0 mph). The average wind speed in a given year is 12 kilometres per hour (7.5 mph).

Demographics

The population, based on the 2001 census, is 186,007. There are 91,823 males and 94,184 females in the city . There are 58,476 households in Gaborone . The city of Gaborone is home to 10% of the population of Botswana .

The population growth rate of Gaborone is 3.4%, the highest in the country. This is most likely because the city has a more developed infrastructure, making it more livable . Gaborone is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

The sex ratio of Gaborone is 97.6, meaning that there are 976 men for every 1,000 women.

It is estimated that over one-third of the people living in Gaborone, 38.8%, have AIDS—the highest prevalence in the world. The rate is even higher for people between the ages of 15 and 49 at 44%.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaborone, which is under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pretoria, is located in the city. The diocese contains the southern half of Botswana, and the bishop for the diocese is Bishop Valentine Tsamma Seane who was consecrated on 25 April 2009. The previous bishop was Boniface Tshosa Setlalekgosi. There is a catholic cathedral called Christ the King Cathedral .

There is a Hindu temple in Gaborone, nicknamed Hindu Hall, as well as a gurudwara and a mosque . Construction started in May 2001 on a Venkateswara temple in Gaborone West for a local community of Telugu people by the Botswana Hindu Charities Trust and was complete in September 2007. The Indian High Commissioner, and the President Festus Mogae visited the temple upon its completion.

Economy

Gaborone is the center of the national economy. The headquarters of important financial institutions such as the Bank of Botswana, Bank Gaborone, BancABC, and the Botswana Stock Exchange are located downtown, as well as the headquarters for Air Botswana, Consumer Watchdog, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, and Debswana, the joint diamond mining venture between De Beers and the Botswana government. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has its headquarters in Gaborone; the organization was formed in 1980 to increase economic cooperation among its members and reduce dependence on South Africa .

Orapa House, owned by Debswana through the Botswana Diamond Valuing Company (BDVC), is where the diamonds mined from Debswana are sorted and valued . Orapa House, located at the intersection of Khama Crescent and Nelson Mandela Drive , has a unique style of architecture that allows the perfect amount of indirect sunlight to shine through the windows in order to accurately sort diamonds.

Arts And Culture

The National Museum and Art Gallery is located just northwest of the Mall along Independence Road. The museum opened in 1968. It holds many things from traditional crafts to works of art by local artists. The museum houses original paintings by Thomas Baines and Lucas Sithole. Exhibits include Artists in Botswana, Children's Art Competition and Thapong International. Outside the museum, there are various forms of transportation such as wagons, sledges, and bakkies (pickup trucks) . There is also an exhibit on the Bushmen, the earliest inhabitants of southern Africa . The museum opened a 3.6-hectare (9-acre) botanical garden called the National Botanical Garden on 2 November 2007. The garden was built to protect Botswana's indigenous plant life, and 90% of its total plant species are native plants from Botswana .

The Maitisong Festival was started in 1987 and is held every year for seven days on either the last week of March or the first week of April. The festival holds outdoor concerts, plays, and movies in various venues around the city .

My African Dream” is a performing-arts competition that is held every year at the Gaborone International Convention Center. The show features many kwaito dancers and musicians.

The book series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is set in Gaborone. The series is written by Alexander McCall Smith. The books follow Precious Ramotswe, the first female private detective in Botswana, and the mysteries that she solves.

Sports

There are several football stadiums located in and around Gaborone. They are SSKB Stadium, Mochudi Stadium, and Botswana National Stadium. There are also many football teams representing Gaborone. They include Botswana Defence Force XI, Gaborone United, Notwane FC, Police XI, and Uniao Flamengo Santos FC; all of them play in the Botswana Premier League. The Botswana national football team play in the National Stadium, but have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup nor the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Botswana Cricket Association, the governing body of cricket in Botswana, is headquartered in Gaborone.

Parks And Recreation

Gaborone Dam

The Gaborone Dam is located south of Gaborone along the Gaborone-Lobatse road, and while providing water for the city, it is also starting to be marketed as a recreational area. The northern end of the reservoir is planned to become an entertainment venue called The Waterfront. There is a yacht club, called Gaborone Yacht Club, also on the northern side of the lake. The southern end houses the Kalahari Fishing Club and a new public facility called City Scapes]. City Scapes contains parks, playgrounds, and boating facilities. The dam is popular with birdwatchers, windsurfers, and anglers . However, there is no swimming due to crocodiles and parasitic bilharzias.

Gaborone Game Reserve

The Gaborone Game Reserve is a 600-hectare (1,500-acre) park west of the city on Limpopo Drive. The reserve was built in 1988 and is now the third-busiest in Botswana. Examples of animals in the park are impala, kudu, ostriches, wildebeest, zebras, gemsbok, bushbuck, springbok, duiker, Common Eland , and warthogs . The park is famous for its birdwatching . Birds in the marshy section of the park include snake eagles, boubou, gallinule, kingfishers, and hornbills .

Kgale Hill

Kgale Hill is located a few hundred metres from the city. The hill is nicknamed the Sleeping Giant and is 1,287 metres (4,222 ft). There are three different paths to reach the top, usually taking two hours.

Mokolodi Nature Reserve

The Mokolodi Nature Reserve is a 30-square-kilometre (12 sq mi) reserve that was created in 1994 . It is located 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of Gaborone . There are many different species of animals found in the park such as warthogs, steenbok, kudu, zebras, giraffes, Common Eland, ostriches, hippos and rhinos. The park helps with wildlife projects in Botswana that include: the reintroduction of the White Rhino and the relocation of “problem” cheetahs. Mokolodi also holds the Education Centre, which teaches children about the conservation projects

Somalerang Tikologo Ecological Park

Somarelang Tikologo (Environment Watch Botswana) is a member-based environmental NGO housed inside an ecological park at the heart of Gabarone. The aim of the organization is to promote sustainable environmental protection by educating, demonstrating and encouraging best practices in environmental planning, resource conservation and waste management in Botswana. The park was officially opened by the Botswana Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Hon. Onkokame kitso Mokaila on 27 February 2009. The park contains a playground for children to play on throughout the day, a community organic garden, a recycling drop-off center, and a shop where visitors can purchase products made of recycled material.

Government

Gaborone is the political center of Botswana. Most government buildings are located west of the Mall in an area called the Government Enclave . The National Assembly of Botswana, the House of Chiefs of Botswana, the National Archives , and the Ministry of Health]. Near the entrance of the parliament building, there is a statue of Sir Seretse Khama, Botswana's first president.

An International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) was established on 24 July 2001 in Gaborone. The academy would provide training for middle managers for the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mayors

  • Derek Jones
  • Serara T. Ketlogetswe
  • Nelson Ramaotwana
  • Paul Rantao
  • Harry Mothei

Transportation

Rail

The railway that served the founding purpose of the city remains important, bisecting the city in a north-south direction . Botswana Railways runs a line that goes from Cape Town to Harare via Bulawayo. The railway station in Gaborone is located south of the Parliament House in the city's centre. The line stops at the following cities in and near Botswana: Ramatlabama on the South African border, Lobatse, Gaborone, Palapye, Serule, Francistown, Ramokgwebana, and Plumtree, Zimbabwe . The line became a cargo-only line starting 1 April 2009.

Air

Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (ICAO code: FBSK IATA code: GBE ) lies 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of the city] and has flights to Johannesburg, Harare, Francistown, and Maun with connections to Kasane and Livingstone. It is the headquarters of Air Botswana, the national airline of Botswana.

Gaborone gained media attention in October 1999 because of the death of Chris Phatswe. Phatswe was a pilot for Air Botswana who committed suicide by crashing his plane into the runway at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. Before his death, Phatswe was grounded because he was unable to pass the physical. Also, it was later found that he had AIDS. Although he never stated it, these obstacles may have caused him to choose to kill himself. He crashed his plane into two other planes on the tarmac. This almost crushed Air Botswana as they had only one plane left after the incident . Airdisaster.com has photos of the aftermath.

Road

Highways in and around Gaborone include the Trans-Kalahari Highway, A1 Highway, and the Cairo-Cape Town Highway. There are five major roads in Gaborone that go to Lobatse, Kanye, Molepolole, Francistown via Mochudi, and Tlokweng .

Public Transport

Public transport in the city is generally reliable, when compared with major African cities. Kombis, small vans, and taxis ply the routes within the city while buses serve surrounding villages and other towns in Botswana .

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
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