Botswana is a southern African nation with a landlocked geography. The country has a relatively flat topography, and 70% of its territory is occupied by the Kalahari Desert. South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia are the neighbors of Botswana. It is a mid-sized country populated by only around 2 million people. 10% of the Botswana’s population inhabits its largest city of Gaborone. The sparsely populated nation was formerly one of the world’s least prosperous nations but has rapidly developed since then. Botswana is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and provides a moderate standard of living to its people.
The Five Biggest Cities In Botswana
Gaborone is the biggest city in Botswana as well as the economic and government capital of the country. The city hosts about 10% of the nation’s population. The city is located on the banks of the Notwane River in Botswana’s south-eastern corner. The city center of Gaborone is an important commercial business hub of the country and has a semi-circle shaped area hosting the important government offices. The Sir Seretse Khama International Airport serves the city.
Francistown ranks second among the biggest cities in Botswana and is 400 km to the north-northeast of Gaborone at the confluence of the Inchwe and the Tati rivers. The importance of Francistown during the Gold Rush period in southern Africa is visible in the ruins of the abandoned mines here. Today, the economy of the town is supported by cobalt, nickel, and copper mining. Agriculture is also an important source of income for the people. The town also houses several hotels, lodges, museums, cathedrals, and other tourist attractions and facilities.
Though not a large city but a village, Molepolole is the third biggest settlement in Botswana. It is located in the country’s southeast and is mainly inhabited by the Bakwena people, one of the eight major tribes of the country. The village is named after the river of the same name and is only 50 km away from the capital city of Botswana. Molepolole acts as the gateway to the exploration of the Kalahari Desert. It is a traditional settlement with a traditional court and unique culture.
Selebi-Phikwe was originally two settlement of Selebi and Phikwe that straddled an area of undiscovered copper and nickel deposits. When in the 1960’s, the deposits were uncovered, a township grew up in the area including the settlements of Selebi and Phikwe. Nickel mining that commenced in 1973 is the main activity in Selebi-Phikwe today. The town hosts a number of hotels and lodges and lies on the tourist route to Okavango and Chobe. The town also holds potential to serve as birdwatching and fishing spot at the Letsibogo Dam area.
Maun is Botswana’s fifth biggest town and the tourism capital of the country. It is also the administrative center of the Ngamiland district. Numerous safari and air-charter operations arrange trips for tourists to the Okavango Delta. Though officially a village, Maun has many shopping centers, lodges, hotels, and other modern amenities.