Ghanzi is a town located in western part of The Republic of Botswana in southern Africa. It is the administrative center of Ghanzi District, and is known as the "Capital of the Kalahari". Ghanzi District measures 117,910 km2. and is bordered by Ngamiland to the North, Central District to the East, and Kgalagadi and Kweneg Districts to the South. Its western border is shared with Namibia.
Other spellings of Ghanzi include "Gantsi," which is more consistent with the national language of Botswana, Setswana, "Ghansi," and "Ghantsi." It has also been purported that the various renderings of Ghanzi actually stem from the Naro language word "Gaentsii", meaning "swollen buttocks" referring the good health of antelope and, later, cattle which congregated around a pan in the area.
The first Afrikaner to settle in Ghanzi was Hendrik van Zyl, who set up a small hunting and trading enterprise in the area around 1870. However, the first substantial Boer migration into Ghanzi began around 1897-1898.
Ghanzi was also first a farm of someone. The place known today as Ghanzi, was first called Kamp. Kalahari Arms Hotel and the Barclays bank in Ghanzi are some of the first businesses established in Ghanzi
Geology & Climate
The district’s land surface mainly consists of gently undulating sandveld which lies between 1,100 and 1,230 meters above sea level. The Kalahari is the largest continuous stretch of sand in the world, covering some 2,500 km2. Karoo sediments, covered by younger basaltic lavas, underlie most of the Kalahari sands and about half of the country of Botswana. The sands of the Kalahari vary in depth from 5m to 200m.
The climate is semi-arid of the low-altitude, high-steppe variety with summer rainfall. Mean maximum daily temperatures are 33-45°C in January and around 22°C in July; mean minimum temperatures are 4 to -5°C in the winter months. The long-term mean annual rainfall is around 375mm although this can vary by up to 50% year by year. Generally speaking, both the climate and the soils are unfavorable for arable farming. Small cultivation is spread over the district but is limited to subsistence crops of maize, sorghum, beans, peas, and melons.
Ghanzi has only one bank, Barclays Bank, which is a sub branch, and has a ATM also. The First National Bank has plans to open another sub branch in the town, but when it will open is still unknown. Ghanzi now has three shopping centres, namely Ghanzi Spar, Score and the recently opened Choppies, another great retailer in Botswana.
Tourism & Events
An annual farm show in August attracts many people from all over southern Africa. It is also a great time where all the people in Ghanzi come together and celebrate. Actions are also held at the premises and BDF (Botswana Defense Force) usually comes to show their weaponry and stuff. Ghanzi is also a stop over point for travelers wishing to visit the Okavango Delta; there are many lodges in the area and one filling station, namely Shell. It is the only available fill-up point between Kang and Maun, which is a span of about 500 km, if you are travelling to the Okavango Delta.The major places where a tourist can stay is Kalhari arms, Khawa Lodge, Thakadu Camp and TauTona Lodge.
There are lots of interesting things to see in Ghanzi, as it is a Bushmen town. Kuru has a small shop there, where a person is able to buy various handcrafted bushmen articles. There are a few sightseeing spots in Ghanzi-Lions, cheetahs and wild dogs can be seen in big spots made available to them at the main gate of TauTona. There is also a place called "Ghanzi gat". This is a hole that was made while the tar road was being made in Ghanzi, but while using dynamite to break the rock open, the people accidentally opened a water vein. This filled the 40m deep hole with water.
Ghanzi is primarily a farming community that supplies the Botswana Meat Commission with most of the required beef produce. The town is growing, as many South-African farmers are coming to farm here.
- 1989: Telephone service installed in Ghanzi using solar powered towers
- 1990: Education center opened for teacher and government workers ongoing education
- 1993: First private school (Pioneer Academy) to open
- 1995: Senior secondary school opened in Ghanzi
- 1995: In November Cosmos has opened branch in ghanzi.
- 1999: Paved road completed linking Ghanzi with Gaborone, the national capital
- 2000: Major flooding of Ghanzi and surrounding areas
- 2001: True Love Waits, an interdenominational abstinence education and support program, launched
- 2006: Broadband services are tested and introduced by GFS (Ghanzi Farmer Supplies) in conjunction with Winagain Holdings 
- 2008: New Shopping Complex opened in February 2008 with Super Store like Choppies, COSMOS, JB Sport and Pep.
- 2010: (March) GFS sell interests in ISP business.
- 2010: (April) Winagain Holdings gains licence to provide broadband services in Ghanzi, opening a hotspot at Kalahari Arms Hotel, and plans to launch many more.
For More Information
Please look at Botswana's national website for more info: