Interesting Facts

  • Botswana is the world’s second largest diamond producer
  • 17% of Botswana’s land has been set aside as natural reserves.
  • Botswana’s President, Ian Khama, is the son of the country’s first President, Sir Seretse Khama.
  • A citizen of Botswana is referred to as a ‘Motswana’, while many citizens are ‘Batswana’

Key Market Alerts

  • While homes in Gaborone are moderately priced, prices have been steadily increasing. This has largely been driven by increased investment in the country, and the relocation of the head office of the world’s largest diamond companies to Gaborone.
  • Places in Gaborone’s schools are limited therefore securing a place for an expatriate child should be the first priority.
  • There is very little suitable temporary accommodation in Gaborone therefore hotel stays are common.

An Overview of Botswana

Botswana, Africa’s longest-running democracy, is located in Southern Africa. The mining sector (largely diamonds, copper and nickel) is vital to the Botswana economy. Botswana is however increasingly diversifying, focusing on sectors such as construction, manufacturing and services. The country has a small population (2 million people) and its GDP per capita is the highest in Africa. Botswana is forecast to experience steady growth.

Gaborone is the capital of Botswana, and where most expatriates are based. Gaborone is a small city – with a population of only 202,000 people. The city was planned and built as the country’s capital because this location was not considered a stronghold of any of the country’s tribes, thereby making it neutral territory.

Living in Gaborone

Gaborone is a fairly safe, well-appointed city with a large and vibrant expatriate community. Expatriates easily assimilated into Gaborone society as a result of the city’s rich cultural diversity and active expatriate community. There are a number of groups and clubs that expatriates can join.

Public transport in Gaborone is limited, therefore a vehicle is essential. An international driver’s license is required. Traffic in Gaborone, while fairly congested during peak hours, is moderate. There is adequate infrastructure, well maintained roads and orderly drivers therefore a driver is not considered necessary in most cases.

Housing in Gaborone

Home finding in Botswana is fairly structured, with the presence of a number of well-established and international real estate agencies. Because of higher demand as a result of Botswana’s growing middle and upper income groups and increased investment into the country, property prices in centres such as Gaborone are set to rise considerably.

In the central area of the city, the areas favoured by expatriates include Broadhurst, Extension 5, Extension 9, Extension 11 and Maru-a-Pula; while in the northern part of the city, the suburb of Phakalane is preferred; and in the southern part of the city, Kgale Hill, Notwane and Gaborone West are the favoured suburbs.

Schooling in Gaborone

Schools in Gaborone are either Government or Private (including International schools). Government schools offer education in both English and Setswana, while private schools tend to offer classes in English only. Gaborone’s private schools are of an excellent standard and typically run on a 3-term system. Many expatriates and locals choose to send their children to private boarding schools in South Africa.

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