Information and history

ID #1741

Towns and Villages of Botswana, Southern Africa.

•    Francistown.  A friendly mining and commercial town that was the site of the first gold rush in Southern Africa in 1870. An important staging post for tourism destinations in the north and west of the country and boasts a few attractions of its own, such as the Supa-Ngwao Museum, which houses a variety of cultural and historical exhibits. The Marothodi hand-printed clothing also attracts attention.  Gateway to the Zimbabwe border and Bulawayo.
•    Ghanzi.  Colourful frontier town offers a unique richness in its landscape and history, and is an essential stopover for visitors to western Botswana.  Make sure you visit the Ghanzi Craft Co-operative for an array of authentic local art and crafts. Visit the D’kar Community Trust to experience the creativity of the San.  Cattle ranching is the principal economic activity.
•    Jwaneng.  The world’s largest deposit of diamonds is at Jwaneng. Annual production is estimated at nine million carats.  The town is attractive and boasts a variety of modern shopping and sporting facilities.  Tours to the mine are only possible by prior arrangement or with an official permit.
•    Kanye. Bustling hilltop settlement is one of Botswana’s most attractive villages. 44-km west of Lobatse in southern Botswana. Visit the 18th century ruins and a scenic hilltop-hiking trail along the Kanye Gorge.  Rural Industries Centre manufactures a number of interesting items.
•    Kasane.  Gateway to Chobe National Park, which is one of the most important game viewing sites in Botswana and home to the largest populations of elephant in southern Africa.  Close to the Victoria Falls. Visit Zambia by means of the Kazungula Ferry. Visit the Chobe Reptile Park, which is reputedly home to the world’s largest crocodile in captivity. Also visit the mineral spa at Seep Hot Springs as well as Inchingo fishing camp.  Sedudu Island on the Chobe River is a favourite spot for game viewing and bird watching.  Enjoy sundowners while on a river cruise or a trip on the Chobe River rapids.  See hollow baobab trees that were once used as prisons. 
•    Lobatse.  Judicial capital of Botswana. In a hilly environment 77 km south of Gaberone.  Site of the largest abattoir in the country as well as St Marks Anglican Church.  Visit Tiro Afrique Knitwear for arts and crafts and Trio ya Diatla Weavers for rugs and clothing.  It is the main staging post for the Trans-Kalahari Highway to Namibia.
•    Mahalapye.  Picturesque town best known as a refuelling stop on the north road to Francistown.  Visit the stone-walled ruins of an early Ngwato capital and the 19th century ruins of two mission stations.  Some 8th century mine workings are conserved in the nearby village of Shoshong.  Interesting local architecture.
•    Maun.  Vibrant and friendly safari town is a must for all tourists to the northern regions.  An important staging post for camps and lodges in Moremi and the Okavango Swamps.  The Maun Environmental Centre and Game Reserve are worth a visit.  The Nhabe Museum displays natural history and culture of the Okavango area along with wildlife exhibits and cultural artefacts.  See the Okavango Swamps Crocodile farm and the Borobonche Ostrich Farm.  The old Matlapaneng Causeway is a national monument. 

•    Mochudi.  Scenic village of architectural interest.  The Phuthadikobo Museum, on a cliff overlooking the village, includes exhibits from the Kgatleng district and the Bakgatla.   Silk screening, jewellery, tin workshops along with traditional crafts are an added attraction.  A blacksmith will demonstrate this ancient art form.
•    Molepolole.  Huge, sprawling hillside village that has been the main centre of the Bakwena people for many generations.   Visit the ancient stone-walled enclosures and a nearby grove of marlothii aloes, which are protected along with interesting birdlife in the area.  See the large deposits of silica asbestos.   Livingstone’s Cave, which was visited by the missionary during his travels in the region, is 4-km south of the village.  Ruins of an early London Missionary Society mission station are nearby.
•    Nata.   Small village at the crossroads of the northern and western routes is an important refuelling stop for travellers to Kasane and Maun. Principally cattle farming area but you should allow several days to explore.  The Nata Bird Sanctuary is a must – 165 species, including pelicans and flamingos. Sowa pan, with its unique beauty and beaches of rolled quartz pebbles also offers unique birding opportunities.  Kubu Island nearby is a National Monument, with ancient stone enclosure, artefacts and unusual atmosphere.  Eastern Ntwetwe Pan with its fascinating landscape and beautiful sunsets is also worth visiting.  Travel to the pans is by 4x4 only. Basketry is available for sale, and excellent accommodation is available east of the village.
•    Orapa.  Diamond mining town and site of one of the largest deposits of diamonds in the world.  Small private game reserve nearby is managed by the mine for the enjoyment of the staff. Permits are required for entry to the mine.
•    Selebi-Phikwe.  Urban centre in eastern Botswana with a diverse economy consisting of mining (copper, nickel, cobalt), textiles, commerce and manufacturing.  Curios and crafts can be purchased from the Handicrafts Club or from the Bushman (Bushmen) Craft at Tonota.
•    Serowe.  One of the largest and most attractive villages in Botswana and the traditional home of the paramount chiefs of the Ngwato. The Khama III Memorial Museum houses memorials to the Khama family as well as historical artefacts and interesting local sculpture.  The Khama Rhino Sanctuary west of the village offers excellent accommodation and game drives in a reserve that is fast becoming a tourist attraction.   Thathaganyane Hill is a National Monument and royal cemetery set on a rocky enclave with sweeping views.  It is well known for its high quality basket ware. BFTowns

Contct:            Department of Tourism
Private bag 0047 Gaborone Botswana
+267 35 3024 telephone
+267 30 8675 fax

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Last update: 2014-05-11 23:18
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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