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Moving to Gaborone

Moving to Gaborone can be difficult, since the country is still developing and many expats could have problems settling down and integrating. However, the African cordiality, the middle-sized city vibe and the positive atmosphere are bound to facilitate the process.

Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, is the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. Reflecting the popularity of the city, it is also among the fastest growing cities in the world. A long strip of commercial businesses, known locally as ‘the Mall’, sits proudly in the center, with numerous pedestrian walkways and open spaces boosting the city as a popular destination for expats. The city also boasts good hotels, decent properties, international food and a range of schools, as well as a simple visa system and reliable banking facilities, which explains the rising number of foreigners relocating there. 

About the City

Located between Kgale and Oodi Hills in the south-eastern corner of Botswana, Gaborone is the country’s largest city. The city sits just 15 kilometers from the border with South Africa on the Notwane River. Nearby cities include Ramotswa to the south-east, Mogaditshane to the north-west and Mochudi to the east. 

As the political capital of Botswana, the city is home to numerous government offices, including the new National Assembly of Botswana (the parliament). The Botswana Stock Exchange, based in Gaborone, cements the city’s position as a commercial hub. The city is also highly diverse; English is spoken widely, alongside Setswana, the main Botswanan dialect, and Kgalagadi, the local south-eastern dialect. The city is religiously diverse too, with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaborone located in the city, as well as a Hindu temple – affectionately nicknamed Hindu Hall – and several mosques. 

The Climate in Gaborone

Gaborone boasts sunshine and warm weather virtually all year round, which often makes relocation a pleasure for expatriates. As with most parts of Africa, Gaborone is vulnerable to climatic shocks, with droughts possible. In the event of a drought, temperatures will soar in the early part of the year, but under normal rainfall conditions, visitors can expect the hottest month to be October. The rainy season normally runs from November to April, but this is erratic. The windier months are typically September to November but winds remain mild even then. 

Finding Accommodation

Gaborone’s suburbs offer the house-hunter plenty of choice, with The Village, Naledi, Broadhurst and Gaborone West all popular with expats who want to live close to their jobs. Phakalane, another popular option, is an affluent suburb of Gaborone and just a short distance away from downtown. 

Real estate agencies and commercial property sellers are professional and tend to offer good rates. International estate agents, such as the UK-based Knight Frank, offer advice, swift replies and high quality apartments. Rent is high compared with the rest of Botswana, but prices are internationally competitive. Insurance quotes are advised before agreeing any rates. 

Jonathan Brown

"As an expat in Gaborone & beyond, I learned to love Botsuana's treasures and would like to share my love for my second home with you. "

Melanie Rasbery

"Gaborone's a comparatively small African metropolis, but I still needed help from expats and locals to relocate and settle in. "

Global Expat Guide