Mahalapye – Place of Lights

Mahalapye – Place of Lights

Located in the Central District of Botswana, Mahalapye, which means Impala, is mainly used by long distance truck drivers and motorists as a stopover for fuel and to stretch their legs for those on their journey between the capital city Gaborone and Botswana’s second largest city Francistown. It is here too that the headquarters of the Botswana Railways is situated, where the rail line lies almost exactly halfway between South Africa’s Mafikeng and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe – a perfect commuter resting place.

Situated on a plateau close to the Kalahari desert, most of the towns approximately 42 000 inhabitants still live in mud huts relying on the rainy season and enduring the dry seasons to make their living through raising cattle and mixed farming, mainly beans, sorghum and wheat, although textile and tool making industries do account for a share of the towns economy and employment.

Over the past few years however, the town has slowly seen an increase in urban development, with more hotels and fast food restaurants as well as filling stations being built as businesses have begun recognising it as an ideal meeting destination between South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, as well as for those travelling between the three.

Mahalapye offers a few places of interest to visitors, but the most interesting is the fact that this town is home to one of the country’s meteorological stations, as well as a branch of the National Library. Most notably though it is known for a monument built just outside the town which lies on the Tropic of Capricorn exactly 23 degrees south of the equator – this is significant because each year usually around December 21st or on the summer solstice the sun reaches its highest point in the summer sky, casting no shadow around the monument or anything which lies on this line of latitude. This happens every year and is quite interesting to see.

Cresta Hotels has opened its doors in Mahalapye earlier this year, and offers the perfect stopover for the business and leisure traveller.

Official Opening of Cresta Mahalapye

Cresta Hotels held the official opening ceremony on Friday May 31, 2013 for Cresta Mahalapye!

Mahalapye is located in the Central District of Botswana and is known as the headquarters of the Botswana Railways. This quaint town is situated between the capital Gaborone and the second largest city Francistown making it a convenient stop-over for travellers travelling to and from Gaborone. With only about 39 000 inhabitants, Mahalapye depends largely on the mixed farming of corn, sorghum and maize for its economic sustainability, with most of the locals still living in their traditional hut-type homes.

It is in this unique town of Botswana that Cresta Hotels have built another of their world class hotels. The Cresta Mahalapye is conveniently situated just 180 kilometres from Gaborone. The hotel is perfect for both business and pleasure and an ideal stopover between Gaborone and Palapye. Hotels in Mahalapye are few in number, therefore signifying the need and reasoning behind the new venture.

Mr Tawanda Makaya, the Managing Director of Cresta Marakanelo, speaking at the official launch ceremony of Cresta Mahalapye on Friday 31st May.  The hotel was opened by The Honorable Tshekedi Khama Minister of Tourism, pictured below.