Orapa, which means "the resting place of the lions", is the oldest operating diamond mine in Botswana and the largest open pit diamond mine in the world.
Gateway to the Makgadigadi, learn about Orapa Today, be part of Orapa Tomorrow and see how Debswana is committed to protecting and preserving Botswana’s natural heritage.
It was in 1955 that early diamond exploration began in Botswana. It took until 1967, 1 year after Botswana’s independence that some promising geology lead our exploration team to the area around Orapa. This resulted in more detailed and extensive exploration until diamonds were eventually found. De Beers Botswana Mining Company (Pty) Ltd was formed in 1969 and in July of 1971 full production began at Orapa which started the diamond industry and importance of diamond mining in Botswana's economy.
Debswana aims to promote tourism within the Boteti region by enhancing the species diversity, empowering employees and the community on biodiversity and conservation thus leaving a positive legacy. In partnership with BirdLife Botswana, Orapa strives to protect and conserve Botswana’s birdlife.
In the Orapa Game Park, within our lease area, we maintain 22,000 hectares for recreation, education, conservation and the promotion of biodiversity.
TODAY is about making Orapa a great place to live and work with the best hospital and schools to go with it, striving for zero harm and zero crime, a truly harmonious community. Sports and extramurals play an important part of living in Orapa ensuring a safe and secure place to walk and play with children.
TOMORROW is to position Orapa as the hub of Boteti - the gateway to the Makgadikgadi - the first great Diamond Mine in Botswana with a museum to capture the anecdotes and history of this critical period in the history of the nation. Orapa will open the town to fulfil its destiny in the region which is to make it a model town, well designed and safe. The plan is to do this all now whilst there are many more years of mining, so that it achieves its rightful place in the district.