Constructed in 1963, Gaborone dam makes for a fantastic venue for beautiful Botswana sunsets. Gaborone dam, the largest man-made body of water in Botswana; was built with the sole purpose of providing the Greater Gaborone are with a reliable water source, but also serves as a recreational venue for many local water sports clubs. It is located along the Notwane River.
During the scorching hot Botswana summers, especially when there’s not much rainfall, the dam is often the subject of many a conversation as people worry about the water levels dropping. This is because the less water in the dam means the possibility of water rations. Botswana has been grappling with long spells of drought due to the lack of rainfall. As Gaborone grows bigger and bigger, demand is out-stripping supply, which has led to the government building the further dams north at Bokaa and Letsibogo.
Gaborone Dam Now at 100% Capacity- after 16 years!
However, with the recent heavy downpours, Gaborone Dam’s luck changed and for the first time in sixteen years, we saw as the water levels in the dam gradually crept up. Thanks to Cyclone Dineo, within the space of a week (if not less) Batswana watched anxiously and excitedly as Gaborone Dam went from around 39% capacity and continued to fill up until it hit 100% capacity.
What’s more, all dams in Botswana are now almost all full, which has come as very good news to Batswana across the country. So pleased is President Ian Khama, he has even has called for a national day of thanksgiving. Some will even remember the president sending an impassioned prayer up to the heavens, pleading for rain during Botswana’s 50th Jubilee celebration on September 30, 2016. Fittingly, he has given his heartfelt thanks to the heavens above for the recent downpours.
His Excellency the President, Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama, in his words-
“My fellow Batswana, there is nothing more precious to us than the blessing of good rains. In this respect, we have been truly humbled these past few weeks by the rains that have occurred throughout our country. Today almost all our dams are full, including the Gaborone Dam for the first time in sixteen years.
In as much as these rains were an answer to our fervent prayers, it is only befitting that we should now give thanks to the Lord who makes all things possible. In this regard, I am declaring that this coming Sunday, the 5th of March 2017, should be a day of national thanksgiving.”
Meanwhile, President Khama joined the religious community on Sunday morning to offer a united prayer for the bountiful rains that Botswana recently received. The president held a traditional gourd filled with water on the shores of Gaborone dam, as various churches came together to belt out songs of praise. The Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, cabinet ministers and members of parliament attended the prayer session.
Want to go and see Gaborone Dam?
Although it is a little awkward to get to Gaborone Dam is open to the public. Gaborone Dam is great for hiking and rock climbing. You have to buy a permit to visit and take pictures. Please note, you’ll only be able to do this during the week. Once inside, you can have a picnic close to the water. Fishing is not allowed.
Gaborone is also great for bird viewing. With the dam at full capacity, flamingos tend to paint the area beautiful. The views are a lot more stunning the more water there is.
There is a massive fence around the entire dam and as such, without a permit, you wouldn’t be able to go in.
Thank God for the rains, Gaborone Dam is back! PULA!!!