Gaborone

Gaborone pronounced GA-bə-ROH-nee is the capital and largest city of Botswana with a population of 231,626 based on the 2011 census, about 10% of the total population of the entire country. The town is colloquially nicknamed Gabz.

Gaborone is situated between Kgale and Oodi Hills, on the Notwane River in the south-eastern corner of Botswana, and 15 kilometres from the South African border. The city is served by the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport with international flight coming in from Kenya, South Africa and Namibia and it is an administrative district in its own right.

Because the city had no tribal affiliation and was close to fresh water, the city was planned to be the capital in the mid-1960s when the Bechuanaland Protectorate became an independent nation. The centre of the city is a long strip of commercial businesses, called the Mall, with a semicircle-shaped area of government offices to the west of the Mall. The city is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, and this has created problems with land shortages for housing and other important infrastructure therefore making the government and other investors to start exploring the more common practice of building upwards rather than single storied buildings.

The city is the seat of government as well as the economic and financial capital, headquarters to numerous local and international companies and the Botswana Stock Exchange. Gaborone is also home to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) a supranational organization, hoping to increase economic unity in the southern region of Africa.

According to Mercer's 2011 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, Gaborone has the 195th highest cost of living for expatriates in the world, up from 203rd in 2010. Gaborone comes between Chennai, India and Quito, Ecuador. Gaborone is the fourth least expensive city for expatriates in Africa, coming in above Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 211th, Kampala, Uganda at 202nd and Windhoek, Namibia at 198th.

Entrance to Parliament buildings in Gaborone