Gaborone (Tswana IPA: [χabʊˈrʊnɛ]; English GA-bə-ROH-nee) is the capital/largest city of Botswana with a population of 231,626 based on the 2011 census, about 10% of the total population of Botswana. Its agglomeration is home to 421,907 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
Gaborone is situated between Kgale and Oodi Hills, on the Notwane River in the south-eastern corner of Botswana, and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the South African border. The city is served by the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. It is an administrative district in its own right, but is the capital of the surrounding South-East District. Locals often refer to the city as Gabs.
Many languages are spoken there, Setswana (Tswana) being the main language. English, iKalanga, and the native language of the Kgalagadi, are also spoken.
Because the city had no tribal affiliation and was close to fresh water, the city was planned to be the capital in the mid-1960s when the Bechuanaland Protectorate became an independent nation. The centre of the city is a long strip of commercial businesses, called the Mall, with a semicircle-shaped area of government offices to the west of the Mall. The city is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, and this has created problems with housing and illegal settlements. The city has also dealt with conflicts spilling into the country from Zimbabwe and South Africa during the 1980s.