Capital of Botswana, mainly an administrative and government-service centre; population (2001 est) 185,900. The city lies at an altitude of 1,000 m/3,300 ft, and is on the Cape–Zimbabwe Railway. Light industries include motor vehicle assembly, textiles, brewing, printing and publishing, and construction. The city developed after 1962 when it replaced Mafikeng as capital in preparation for the country's independence in 1966.
The city was built on the site of Gaberones village, the remnants of which can be seen in the Village District. Gaborone is the headquarters of the Bamalete ethnic group. It was formerly centre of the Gaberones Block, a large area earmarked for white settlement in the late 19th century, and today used mostly for ranching. The University of Botswana and Swaziland, founded in 1976, is here; the city is also the home of the Botswana Agricultural College (1967) and of the National Museum and Art Gallery.