Mahalapye is a town located in the Central District of Botswana. The town has about 41,000 inhabitants and is situated along the main road between the capital Gaborone and the second largest city Francistown. Mahalapye has a bus station, a railway station, a couple of hotels and a market area with many shops and fastfood restaurants. It also has several petrol stations, some open 24 hours per day. Being situated on the edge of the Kalahari desert it is quite dry, and the local waterways are dry except during the rainy season. In recent times, it has become a convenient stop-over town for travellers travelling to and from Gaborone.
This town is located on the Tropic of Capricorn. Thus at approximately 13:11 hours on 21 December, or at solar noon on Summer Solstice, the sun will be directly overhead at this site. To mark this geographic feature there is a small monument just outside town on the 23rd parallel, or 23 degrees South of the equator. At this time the sun will be directly above this monument where the sun reaches its furthest point South. At this point there will be no shadow on the monument.