Gaborone

Overview

Introduction

Gaborone, Botswana, a sprawling and unattractive capital, is not one of our favorite African cities—we recommend moving on quickly. Gaborone's best attraction is the national museum, which displays a wonderful collection of local handicrafts and traditional objects. The museum also has a number of stuffed animals.

About 25 mi/40 km south of Gaborone is Mokolodi Nature Reserve, with animal species large and small. It promotes wildlife conservation and environmental education for the children of Botswana, and it derives income from tourism. Visitors can experience day and night game drives, animal tracking, horse riding, elephant walking, riding and bathing, bush barbecues and cheetah petting. Some of the scenes in the film The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency were shot there.

If you have some extra time, you could take a day trip to David Livingstone's house. Although this site is not on most tour agendas, it can be reached from Gaborone in an ordinary vehicle without four-wheel drive. Botswana was the only place in Africa where the missionary and explorer lived for any length of time. The stone foundations of Livingstone's home and small school lie just west of the Kolobeng River (a dry streambed for most of the year) on the north side of the gravel road between Thamaga and Kanye.

Although there is not actually much to see in this dry, dusty spot, you can stand where Livingstone once did and look out on a small part of Africa that is almost identical to what he and his family experienced. You might also gain an insight into why he left the isolated life at this mission to become an adventurer.

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