Gaborone is the capital of Botswana and located in the south of the country, near the border to South Africa.Planned to be the country’s capital following independence in 1966, Gaborone is now a sprawling city of around 250,000 people and measures close to 15km from east to west. Generally it is a clean, safe and functioning city. There is a definite city centre based around the train station and the government enclave of Khama Crescent. However, numerous shopping malls are dotted all over the city diluting the prominence of the centre.Gaborone’s nomenclature confuses most new arrivals. Different parts of town are called Blocks, Extensions, Phases etc. and there can be multiple names for the same place. Below is a rough guide:Wikimapia is the best online resource using the standard nomenclature. Knight Frank, a real estate agent with an office near the Shell Garage on the Main Mall, has a useful map of the city.Gaborone features a semi-arid climate with hot characteristics. Summers have an average daily temperature of 25.7C (78.3 F) with highs and lows at 32C (90 F) and 20C (67 F). Due to its altitude, at 1000m (3340ft), the heat isn’t as intense as you would expect and temperatures haven’t actually got above 40C (104 F) in the city’s recorded history. Winter starts in May and lasts until August and, again due to its altitude, can become pretty chilly. Temperatures in July (the coldest month) range from 4C (40 F) to 23C (73 F), therefore having large temperature variations. There is an average of 1 day per year, when temperatures reach 0C (32 F) and the lowest recorded temperature is -2C (28 F). Most rainfall falls December to March and the winter period is almost completely dry. Overall, there is no real best time of the year to visit the city, but most tourists visit in June, July and August.Customs is a mere formality and is quite efficiently organised. Make sure you have an address that you can state you will be staying at. The border crossing between South Africa and Botswana is pretty straight forward. Passengers get off the bus (without luggage, just their documentation) at the South African immigration check point to get their exit stamps, then they walk over to the Botswana side to get their entrance visa stamps. Be careful, buses sometimes do leave passengers stranded in the border without telling them.AT&T Monnakgotla connects Gaborone with Windhoek and Johannesburg.Many drive in from Gauteng. If coming from Johannesburg the quickest and simplest route is via Magaliesburg and Swartruggens. There is a ZAR75 toll going this route. Most drivers turn north at Zeerust and enter via the Tlokweng gate – going via the Pioneer Gate and Lobatse is slower, and there are more cows on the road. If arriving at night the Tlokweng gate is definitely recommended as there are fewer cows on this route (there should be none on the South African side). Be aware that the Tlokweng border gets very busy at 18:00-22:00 on Sundays, with waits of an hour or more possible.Public taxis are generally small white cars and can be identified by their blue license plates. These cars travel designated routes, generally going to areas/neighbourhoods that combi routes do not. The fare for a taxi is BWP4.10. Since taxis can only hold a maximum of 5 passengers they also tend to be quicker than a combi in completing their route. You can catch a taxi at many combi stops and ask them to drop you off anywhere along the route. For route information simply ask the driver of the taxi. If you need to go to a particular destination not on the taxi route then ask for a “special”, see cab section below.A cab is a private taxi or a “special” which takes you directly from your origin to destination. This may be a public taxi with a blue licence plate or a privately run cab. Generally you must request a cab by phone. There are several cab companies in Gabs and many display contact information on the cab itself. You can also hail public taxis on the road and request a special. To give directions, its usually better to give Plot numbers or easily identified places rather than street names (which aren’t commonly used). If a driver gives you a good rate, ask him for his cell phone number and remind him of the place where you are staying. Using one driver the whole time you are in Gaborone can end up saving you money. Don’t worry if you hail a cab with someone inside. Offer to split the fare for the destination and save each other some cash. Don’t be afraid to try and discuss lower fares. Most trips should be BWP20-30 (eg. Main Mall to Game City is around BWP30). Combis are white vans that are like mini-buses. Combis cost BWP3.50. There are different lines which are painted on the front of the combi, so just ask the driver if that line passes where you need to go. If you know the direction you need to go, start walking there – combis will honk at you as they are passing to let you know they’re behind you. Map is available at [68]You can get to most big cities by bus. However, do arrive at the bus station early, as the buses can fill up very quickly, and sometimes just leave as soon as they are full. Bring water, as the buses are often not air conditioned, and if you do not manage to get a seat, it is likely you will have to stand until at least halfway to your destination, particularly on week-ends.Gaborone is the car capital of Botswana. Traffic levels are manageable, however during rush hours (07:00-08:00, 16:30-18:00) traffic can come to a standstill, in particular on the bridges crossing the railway line. Driving standards are OK, however there are many traffic lights (robots) which stay red for a long time, hence many drivers run red lights – perhaps 6 or more cars will run a red before traffic comes to a stop. Some Stop signs are also optional, which means that further caution is needed.There is a daily night train from Gaborone to Francistown, and onward to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, leaving Gabs at 21.35 and arriving in Francistown at 6.10.Gaborone abounds with shopping malls, and pretty much every South African chain store has at least one branch somewhere in the city. Unfortunately this crowds out local independent shops. This, coupled with seemingly rampant collusion and price fixing among retailers makes Gabs a disappointing and quite expensive place to shop, despite the 12% VAT rate undercutting the 14% in South Africa.That said there are a smattering of arts villages and local workshops that buck the trend, and a visit can make a pleasant diversion for an afternoon.Independent artIndependent shopsShopping MallsSee Dumela Gaborone for a comprehensive list of Botswana shopping malls.Gaborone offers the best eating this side of Johannesburg, and there are some excellent restaurants in the city, with steaks and south Asian cuisine being particular highlights. However Gaborone does suffer a little from South African culinary hegemony and if you want to avoid bland South African chain restaurants some forward planning is required. Certainly there are some interesting nooks and crannies to interest your taste buds.The restaurants below are organised by compass point from the city centre. Main MallGovernment Enclave(New) Central Business DistrictPhakalane (10km north of Gaborone)SquareMart MallGrand Palm complexWestgate MallAirport JunctionSebele MallAfrica MallRiverwalk MallTlokwengGame CityChain restaurants with multiple outletsIn general, prices for western goods are at EU prices

Airport: GBE Sir Seretse Khama International Airport Cities in Bosnia And Herzegovina

Country: Botswana