Mmabatho, Central Region

Mmabatho, once the capital city of the North West Province, lies just south of the Botswana border - relegated to something of a suburb of the now capital city of Mafikeng. But this in no way detracts from the buzzing Mmabatho, which originally served as the capital of the ‘independent homeland’ of Bophuthatswana, during the years of apartheid.

Mmabatho, as a result, is home to most of the provincial government buildings, including Ga-Rona, designed in the style of the traditional Tswana meeting place known as kgotla; a sports stadium with the capacity to seat 75 000, a university and a whopping shopping complex known as Mega City - the largest in the province.

Whilst this might not sound like much of an invitation, Mmabatho has profited from rubbing shoulders with Sol Kerzner’s gambling casinos and from the discovery of platinum. Make sure that you visit the North West Arts complex, which focuses on arts, sports, drama and cultural enrichment, across from Mega City.

Mmabatho also lies in a rather enviable position, connected by major roads to Pretoria and to Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana. Add to this its international airport that handles flights to and from Johannesburg, and you can see how Mmabatho increases in value for travellers.

Easy access to the Mafikeng Game Reserve, the Barberspan Nature Reserve (with the region’s largest waterfowl sanctuary), and the Botsalano Game Reserve, make Mmabatho a popular base from which to view game.

In the vicinity

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Mmabatho as a destination

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