Lobatse Botswana

Intended at one time to have been the capital city of Botswana, Lobatse is an enjoyable town nestling in a range of hills and Botswana safaris (otse Mountain, the highest point in the country, is only a few kilometers away) with tree-lined avenues and a somewhat wetter, cooler climate. The town is located some 65km south of Gaborone. There is a border crossing (Pioneer Gate) to South Africa and the town is the gateway to the Trans-Kalahari Highway.

In the early 1960s Lobatse had the earliest tarmac road in Botswana; a few short kilometers laid particularly for the Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The first chief settlement in the area was a Bangwaketse village, built in the late eighteenth century. Afterwards the tribe headed west to their current capital, Kanye. There are a number of appealing archaeological remains to be spotted around Lobatse from this and previous eras, like the stone walling from the Ngwaketse village (this is on a private farm, called Lobatse Estates, and permission is needed to visit). There is an earlier stonewall settlement set up by the Bakgwateng, a Kgalagadi grouping, who lived in the area prior to the Bangwaketse. This is found on a hillside south out of Lobatse, opposite the tennis club. The town is named following Chief Molebatse.

With inhabitants of 60,000, Lobatse is the location of the High Court together with the headquarters of the Department of Geological Surveys. A pipeline from Gaborone and a dam at Nnywane have led to the setting up of several significant industries in Lobatse.