Gaborone, named after Kgosi (king) Gaborone (1820-1932) chief of the Batlokwa people who had settled in the area, was known as Gaberones Village until 1965. The area was known in colonial times as Bechuanaland and came under British
protection in March 1885 following pleas for assistance from Kgosi Khama III
(below) of the Bamangwato people following hostilities in the area between
the Shona and Ndebele tribes further flamed by the arrival of Boer settlers.
The protection amounted to little more than securing the area's borders
against other European incursion.
was then administered as the northern Bechuanaland Protectorate
and the southern crown colony of British Bechuanaland. On
independence British Bechuanaland was incorporated into Cape
Colony in 1895 and is now part of South Africa whilst the
Bechuanaland Protectorate became Botswana. It had the unenviable
distinction of being the only territory in the world with its
administrative centre lying outside its own boundaries being at Mafeking in South Africa.
As independence loomed it was clear a
administrative capital would be required within its own boundaries, and, of the
nine sites considered, the small settlement at Gaberones Village was
deemed most suitable as it already housed some government
offices, had a railway line for transport, was close to Pretoria
in South Africa, had a major source of water ~ the Ngotwane
River and, equally
importantly, wasn't associated with any particular tribe. At
that time the then Gaberones Village had few other buildings save for
the remnants of a colonial fort used as a base to police the
area, a prison and a Government Rest House.
the location had been identified work on the earth core fill
Gaborone Dam began in 1963 (right) securing a water source for
the planned city and building of the city itself started in
earnest in 1964 being largely completed within two years in time
to celebrate the birth of the new nation on 30th September 1966
when the town was renamed Gaborone.
Today Gaborone, with its population of just under a quarter of a
million, boasts an international airport, stadium, large
shopping malls and hotels together with government, industrial
and financial hubs. It also serves as a gateway to rural Africa.
It achieved city status in 1986.
The above video shows of the sights of Gaborone whilst the city
itself can be explored using the interactive map below.