The capital of the Central District of Botswana
Serowe, also known as "the Royal City", is located in the central district of Botswana and is said to be one of the largest villages in Southern Africa. It is the traditional centre of the Bamangwato tribe, and was founded as their new home by King Khama III in 1903.
It was the birthplace and home of Sir Seretse Khama, Botswana's first president after independence. He was born into the royal family as the son to Sekgoma Khama II, then chief of the Bamangwato people, and grandson to King Khama III, founder of Serowe. Sir Seretse Khama was later banned from chieftainship due to his marriage to british born Ruth Williams, who he met while studying law in London. South Africa made it very public that they did not approve of an interracial couple, in such a prominent position. After further investigation and very little evidence of why the couple should not be together, Sir Seretse Khama was still exiled after refusing to leave his wife in 1952. The ban was lifted a few years later and he returned with his wife and children to live in Serowe. He began his own democratic party, which later led to his leadership and Botswana's Independence in 1966.
Sir Seretse Khama is now resting at the Khama cemetary next to his wife, located on the Thathaganyana Hill in Serowe, along with King Khama and other family members.
The village is growing steadily and has undergone some major developments recently, including the opening of a new sports stadium in 2003 (Serowe Stadium) and Hospital in 2007 (Sekgoma Hospital).
Things to do in Serowe:
Serowe is rich in history and an interesting stopover when passing through. For the historic aspect, I suggest a visit to the Khama III Memorial Museum, as well as the Khama cemetary on Thathaganyana Hill. The latter should only be done with permission given by the Chief's office at the foot of the hill. Another attraction is the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, situated about 25km north of Serowe Village. It's a community wildlife project helping to save the Rhino, both black and white. It is almost guaranteed that one will see a Rhino during your visit.
How to get to Serowe:
By aircraft: Serowe airport is now closed since the construction of the Sekgoma Hospital on its premises, and no longer in use.
By car: Serowe is accessible by passenger vehicle as the road is now tarred between Palapye and Orapa. The A14 leads past Serowe from Palapye (east) to Orapa (northwest).
By bus: N/A
By train: N/A
Where to stay in Serowe:
There is accommodation in Serowe and your choice will vary dependent on your interest. If you wish to stay nearer to the village, one can recommend the Hill View Guest Inn. Alternatively, for those who like to steer clear of the hustle and bustle, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary offers a selection of rustic rooms.