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Ghanzi is a town in the middle of the Kalahari Desert the western part of the Republic of Botswana in southern Africa. At the time of the 2011 census, there were 12,167 people living in the town with another 861 nearby. It is the administrative center of Ghanzi District and is known as the "Capital of the Kalahari". Ghanzi District measures 117910km2 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 spellingsOther spellings of Ghanzi include "Gantsi", which is more consistent with Setswana, the national language of Botswana; "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 tp the good health of antelope and, later, cattle that congregated around a pan in the area.HistoryThe first Afrikaner to settle in Ghanzi was the flamboyant Hendrik van Zyl, who crossed the Kalahari and set up a small hunting and trading enterprise in the area around 1870 and gained extravagant wealth in the ivory trade. However, the first substantial Boer migration into Ghanzi began around 1897-1898.The place known today as Ghanzi was first called "Kamp". The Kalahari Arms Hotel and the Barclays bank in Ghanzi were some of the first businesses established in Ghanzi.The town of Ghanzi was the subject of a 1988 LA Times article which described the close-knit relationship between resident Afrikaners and Bushmen. At the time, there was no radio or television in Ghanzi, and the Kalahari Arms Hotel, which was surrounded by a 9 foot high fence to keep lions out, hosted the only bar and discotheque in the area. Ghanzi is in Ghanzi District. Add Ghanzi and other destinations to your itinerary using our Botswana journey planner, and learn about what to see, what to do, and where to stay.
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