Orapa is a town located in the Central District of Botswana. It is the site of the Orapa diamond mine, one of the largest diamond mines in the world, and is considered to be the diamond capital of the country. Nearby is another kimberlite mine owned by Lucara Diamond, thought to have very large reserves of diamonds.
The town has four schools, one of which teaches in English, serving a community containing a high proportion of immigrants. The population in 1996 was approximately 10,000 but has increased much in the last 10 years and is still increasing, due to the mining output having increased in line with development targets.
Restrictions and access
The town is served by the Orapa Airport which operates DeBeers-owned company aircraft to Gaborone, Johannesburg and other significant locations. A gliding club is located at the airport. An animal conservation region (game park) is located within the boundaries of the town.
Although the town is surrounded by fences to protect the diamond industry, it is not considered by most residents to be confined or restricted, but rather as a safe and prosperous environment in which to live.
It is the only town in Botswana that has 24-hour protection (only people with permits can access it). It is fenced, with an eastern and a western gate, and a thief or criminal can be banned or become a prohibited immigrant of the town. It has turned out to be a small suburb of cities as houses are constructed and arranged according to classes.
Orapa has amenities and facilities such as hospitals, clinics, schools, restaurants and sports clubs which have developed with the growth of the De Beers diamond mine.
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