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Palapye is a large town in Botswana, situated about halfway between Francistown and Gaborone (240 km away from Gaborone and 170 km away from Francistown). Over the years its position has made it a convenient stopover on one of Southern Africa's principal north–south rail and road routes.Located here is the Morupule Colliery coal mine, which supplies Morupule Power Station, Botswana's principal domestic source of electricity. The power station has undertaken an expansion project to increase its generation capacity in an effort to meet the country's increasing demand for electricity. Construction began in 2010. Currently, the plant produces 120 MW of electricity.In 1997 Palapye was said to be the fastest-growing village in Africa, and was expected to expand its population from 30,000 to 180,000.HistoryThe Bamangwato people, under Kgosi Khama III, are widely believed to be the first people to have settled near present-day Palapye. Their capital was the settlement of Phalatswe, also called Old Palapye, and was situated at the western end of the Tswapong Hills. Palapye was originally spelled as Phalatswe, which meant the place for impalas.It existed up to 1902, and the ruins of its church, built in 1892, are still to be seen a few kilometres from Palapye's town centre. Chief Khama contributed some 3,000 pounds to its construction and took a keen interest in church affairs. The Bamangwato people's houses were initially clustered around the church, but finding its vicinity too rocky, they moved 1.5 km away.Palapye is in Central District. Plan your holiday in Palapye and other destinations, from the rural, to the urban, and everything in between, using our Botswana trip planning site .
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