This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Gaborone. To help you make friends with Gaborone before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Gaborone, Botswana, is the capital of Botswana and a stop for many travelers on their journey through southern Africa. Compared to other southern African capitals, Gaborone is a clean and safe city. There are several shopping malls. With only two hundred fifty thousand citizens, Gaborone is a small capital. Gaborone is not only small, but it is also often considered a boring city. Pretty architecture is scarce and there aren't many sites to see. However, Gaborone is on many people’s itinerary around southern Africa, as it is the only city in Botswana with flight connections with other continents and it is en route from Johannesburg to the national parks in Botswana. Johannesburg is only a five- to six-hour car ride away. Most people travel onward to Maun (Okavango Delta), Francistown, or Namibia.
Traveling on a budget is not always easy in Botswana. There is not much of an infrastructure for backpackers, as Botswana policy is to focus on tourists that have more to spend and there are only a few hostels. Obtaining a permit to open a hostel is a pain in the ass for entrepreneurs in Botswana. However, there are a few hostels in Gaborone, Botswana. Be sure to book in advance if you are traveling in peak season, because they can fill up quickly.
Despite that Gaborone is not an attractive city to visit, you can go on some day trips near Gaborone. In half an hour, you can reach a game reserve where you can witness Cape vultures, which can be found in only a few reserves in Africa. There are a few more game reserves that you can visit, but the variety of wildlife is not as big as in other parks in north Botswana or southern Africa. You can also find a lion park and a crocodile pool. Although these animals are not entirely free to roam around, this will give you an opportunity to see these carnivores up close in their natural habitat.
Written by local enthusiast for Gaborone hostelsMartin Straatman