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Spotlight On The African Buffalo



Not the prettiest, but maybe the most fierce?

Not the prettiest, but maybe the most fierce?

The African buffalo, not to be confused with the American bison, is a very scary animal! It forms part of the so-called ‘big 5’ that so many tourists want to tick off their safari shopping list of animals to spot on their safari trips, the other four being the lion, leopard, black/white rhino and elephant. The moniker basically came about because hunters say these are the five animals that are very difficult to trek on foot.

However, I digress slightly. The focus of my post really is the African buffalo. I was moved to write a piece about this majestic animal because two Batswana men recently found themselves in a very hairy situation with two buffalos, but were very fortunate to escape with their lives, and were able to live to tell the tale!

The two cattle herders are said to have been out in a very remote area, out in the sticks minding their cattle, when out of nowhere two highly agitated buffalos came charging at them with the intention of causing some serious damage. The men didn’t have much time to wonder where the beast had come from, given the fact their lives were in danger. According to the men, the buffalos attacked them; tossing them high up in the air, dragging them all over the place like rag dolls and then prodded them violently with their sharp horns at intervals! By some miracle, the men were lucky to escape from the clutches of the angry beasts. Needless to say, they were very shaken up and also received some nasty injuries, which were fortunately not life threatening.

Being from Botswana, I’ve always known about this animal, but the main thing I’ve always known about it is its fierceness. But these men’s ordeal inspired a lot of discussions around buffalos, and as a result, I have learnt a lot of fascinating facts about them.

The African buffalo is famed for its cunning ways, its blazing temper, its ferocious attitude and unforgiving nature. Hunters have claimed the buffalo has the mentality that in a fight between it and its opponent, it’s clear there has to be one loser; NOT THE BUFFALO. It’s said to be one of the few animals which are very hard to bring down, unless the spinal cord’s severed. There’s the widespread belief that in a fight with a buffalo, rarely does man escape its clutches with his life.

It is indeed a formidable beast, which has also been known to take on the king of the jungle, the lion, and win! There are even countless YouTube videos showing a buffalo single handedly head off a pack of lions! It would appear even the king of the jungle knows when to bow out of a battle it’s very highly unlikely to win, because lions will often bow out and retreat into the wilderness, rather than face the wrath of the buffalo. So fierce are buffalos that they have even been seen taking on lions and chasing them up the safety of very lofty trees, where the buffalos can’t reach them!

Some Interesting Facts About The Buffalo

It is a very heavily built animal with a stocky, but long body. It can weigh up to 900kg, approximately 142 stone! A fully-grown buffalo can measure 1.7m in height and 3.5 m in length, so it’s not the smallest of creatures!

They have very poor eyesight and hearing, but a fantastic sense of smell.

Widely regarded as a very dangerous animal, the buffalo alongside the hippo and crocodile kills more people than any other wild animal in Africa per year. It has a very unpredictable temper and often attacks people when it feels threatened or if injured. They tend to trample their prey and gouge out body parts with their horns.

The buffalo is known to lie in wait and ambush its prey, sometimes without provocation. What makes it even more dangerous is the facts that it’s very clever at camouflaging itself against the background, making it incredibly hard to detect. Victims often realize too late that they’ve stumbled upon the buffalo.

Buffalos are very social animals and can move in herds of up to a thousand of buffalos. They are formidable fighters, always stick together and will fight tooth and nail to protect a member of their herd from being attacked. They’ve been known to fiercely defend their young and will even go back to defend one of their own if left behind.

They are herbivores and in Botswana, are concentrated in the northern part of the country, where they have access to ample water, grass and shade.

They are well known for their high level of intelligence and intuition. Apparently when a person tries to play dead, the buffalo will urinate into the canal of their ear because it causes intense itching, forcing them to snap out of it and give themselves up!

Picture credit

https://pixabay.com/en/buffalo-kruger-national-park-krueger-1043274/



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An Unexpected Visitor

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You know when you’re busy and could do with keeping up the momentum, but you receive an unexpected visitor, who then stays for longer than expected?

Well, I say unexpected, but really a friend had mentioned he wanted to stop by yesterday for a quick visit, but never specified a time. He called Friday saying he may stop by on Saturday afternoon. Because I rarely see him and his wife, I thought it might be lovely to catch up. He’s a childhood friend and someone I really cherish and have a lot of time for, so to speak. I suppose it’s ironic then that I’m here sort of moaning about his extended visit!

I guess that’s one of the hurdles online workers have to contend with from time to time. You do really want to spend time with people, but when they drop in on you, you can find it slows you right down. Once they leave, you’ve lost your mojo and then have to try and drum up some enthusiasm, in order to continue. That’s exactly what happened when my friend came by yesterday afternoon. Around lunchtime I was right in the middle of my online work, on a serious roll when I saw a familiar car parking outside my window. I honestly didn’t think it would be him, because I would have thought he’d give me the heads up to say he was on his way! I wasn’t even showered yet and hadn’t had lunch haha.

As soon as he got through the door, he said he was gagging for a cigarette! Since I know he smokes, I asked him where his cigarettes were, but he’d left them in the car. So as my husband smokes, he smoked his. From there, it was one thing after the other! He was feeling a little peckish, so he helped himself to an apple and a banana from the fruit bowl. Then he was thirsty, and helped himself to some water from the fridge. Then he wanted to watch the music channel and proceeded to put the TV on and flick through to his favourite channel.

Now, I don’t know how other people from other cultures would feel about this, but in Botswana carrying on like this isn’t being rude at all. It’s just a friend being completely at home in his friend’s space, and it’s not frowned upon at all. It’s kind of like that Spanish thing mi casa, su casa thing, only taken to a higher level. We also have this thing about never refusing people food or water. But I could see my husband’s eyes popping out of his head. From I was sat, It was almost comical to, to be honest! This is not something that happens in his culture, and to him my friend was being downright rude and disrespectful. My husband hasn’t lived here very long and we don’t get many guests, so I had to explain it all to him after my friend left! As sad as it is, my only complaint was that I’d lost a lot of time and momentum for my online work because my friend was there for about two hours.

What’s your stand on friends who don’t give you ample warning before dropping in on you? Do you have free reign to their space when you go visiting them and vice versa, or is the idea just as alien to you?

Picture credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/welcome-to-our-home-welcome-tablet-1205888/

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Scramble For Imported Japanese Cars!

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Earlier this week there was a serious scramble for used cars on the outskirts of my city Gaborone, with many imported Japanese cars going for as low as the equivalent of $450! I was out covering an event when I got so bored; I just had to nip outside to avoid falling asleep. I was sat right upfront, but felt my head lolling too dangerously close to the desk because I was almost nodding off! You don’t want that happening, especially at a big event where you have cameras from different media houses as well as TV stations hunting for scandalous shots.

I nipped outside for a blast of fresh air, in hopes of getting my second wind before going back in refreshed and more awake. While I was outside, I saw a clutch of fellow news reporters huddling around discussing something that seemed very interesting. I went to investigate, only to find there was a huge buzz around some garage just outside the city selling off all their cars like fat cakes. Apparently, all this time I’d been blissfully unaware of all the excitement because there was a Facebook thread discussing the whole thing the previous night, and people were scrambling to get their hands on one or two or however many second hand cars for cheap! Christmas had come early.

The long and short of it is that the garage in question was found to be a front for a drug business run by some foreigners, whose nationality will remain nameless for fear of offending or stereotyping some members. They were said to be busted, and in a bid to claw back some of their money, were in a rush to sell off all of their stock of second hand Japanese cars, as they were being deported right the next day. Cars were apparently going for anything from approximately $450, way below what we’re accustomed to paying. There was talk of some people buying 4-5 cars with a view to selling them for double or more than the sale price. Facebook was littered with video clips of the site at which all this was taking place, and it was mayhem, crammed full of people! Used Japanese cars are very popular in Botswana anyway, but to get one at such a ridiculously low price was always going to create a situation of this nature.

With this news, some of the reporters had lost all interest in the event and were looking to wrap up and go over to the town to investigate. I had to settle for learning from those who went what exactly was happening. Some of my colleagues who went fed back to me. By the time they got to the garage, the police had got wind of this unusual activity. Subsequently, they made their way out to the garage and shut down the whole operation. It sounds like they even confiscated some of the cars, demanding to see everyone’s blue books. The word on the street’s that in the excitement, some people never actually secured them, meaning the police would confiscate them and all likelihood auction them off…yikes!! I’m just glad I didn’t jump the gun and rush to buy one of those cars…phew!

Picture credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/offer-sale-deal-discount-promotion-706846/

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Finding a Job In Botswana

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I don’t know how bad the lack of jobs is in your country, but it’s pretty bad in my country! We’ve always had a problem with a severe shortage of jobs, but nowhere near what it is now. Ever since the global economic meltdown a few years ago, things have taken a turn for the worse in Botswana. I know that this is a global problem, but I wonder how the rest of the world compares to my country. Finding a job in Botswana is certainly a mammoth task.

In Botswana, we see jobs advertised, we apply but never get called for an interview! This November, It’ll have been 3 years since I moved from the UK to my native Botswana. I spent the first twelve months acclimatizing and settling in. Then I started applying for work, only to have my confidence knocked because I wasn’t hearing back! I may not be the best candidate ever, but I know for a fact I’m also not the worst. I feel like I at least deserve an interview. The UK job market is tough, but at least I did used to get an interview here and there. Not in Botswana.

I started commenting to friends and family about my situation, and what they told me left me gobsmacked! Basically, most jobs we see advertised have apparently already been filled, or the powers that be have earmarked them for their friends and family! Some people actually told me not to even bother applying for jobs, unless I had an inside ‘connection’, a ‘contact’! I found that appalling, to say the least!

I’ve also heard that some people in HR have started accepting the equivalent of $600 or more from job seekers, in exchange of a guaranteed job interview! I mean, I just don’t know what’s happened in this country! I wasn’t willing to believe this, but today I met a taxi driver who confirmed it. As we conversed, I found out he has a university degree, but has had to resort to running a taxi service to keep his head above water because on graduating he couldn’t get a single job. Prior to owning his taxi business, he tried to go down the route of paying $600 in order to get an interview at a well-known diamond mining company. When it soon became apparent that the HR woman he’d paid was giving him the run around, he demanded his money back and decided to go it alone.

I was shocked to hear this! It’s one thing to hear rumours of it happening, but to actually hear it from someone who’s actually experienced it first hand is tragic! In as much as I understand people do it out of desperation, I personally would never entertain and perpetuate this practice by bowing down to these unscrupulous modern day sharks! I mean, there’s not even any guarantee you’ll get the job.

Would you do it? Is your country experiencing a severe lack of jobs, too? Is it fairly easy to secure a good job, based on merit? What challenges are you faced with when it comes to securing a good job with good prospects?

Picture credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/job-work-office-bueroschlaf-1257206/

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Spotlight on Botswana Property Rentals

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10% Annual Rent Increment Unfair To Tenants?

Two years ago, as a returning Motswana who lived in the UK for over a decade, it came as a shock to learn that landlords generally increase residential property rent by 10% every year! In England, we lived in the same apartment for just over seven years, and in all that time our rent went up once. When my landlord at the time announced he needed to hike the rent, we were on tenterhooks. We were naturally very pleasantly surprised when he said the rent would go up by a “whopping” £10, hardly a stretch for anyone!

When we moved to Botswana, we initially crashed at my brother’s for a few months before we moved into rented property. So imagine our shock when we looked at our lease agreement and read the bit about the annual 10% rent increment! We initially thought there was a huge mistake in the lease agreement. I couldn’t see how the government could allow it, how it was feasible. First of all, I doubt anybody’s wage increases by 10% or more every year, especially since the economic crash. Wages are generally stagnant, and the rate of inflation in this country will certainly not help matters. It is common knowledge that the rate of inflation is usually very high in Botswana, although it appears it did take a dip early this year! However on the whole, it does tend to rise more than fall; so as it stands, people in Botswana already have to contend with the rise of basic commodities and goods at an alarming rate. Not many people have a lot of disposable cash.

We consequently spoke to a few friends who saved my blushes before we went in guns blazing, to raise the matter with our landlord. Our friends confirmed that this is indeed the norm, rather than the exception in Botswana! This leads to some people constantly moving house almost every year, in search of cheaper rentals and of course, in a bid to avoid having to pay the 10% extra in rent year on year. But in reality, moving every year is just not practical. We chose to stay where we are until our financial situation improves, so that when we move it’d be to a much better neighbourhood. Our rent was scheduled to go up last month, but as luck would have it; our landlord sent us a letter informing us that as we’ve been good tenants, the increment wouldn’t apply this year!

It was interesting to observe that although people are naturally not pleased with this situation, they do not feel it was necessary to query it. People are resigned to the status quo because they have no choice but to cough up the extortionate fees, or move. Furthermore, this is all they have ever known, so they have no reason to question it. Accommodation in Gaborone is very expensive, so moving elsewhere may not even be a viable option for most. There is also the fact that although more and more properties are being built, Gaborone is not exactly awash with endless choices in terms of affordable houses and/or properties to rent.

What about where you live, is the rent very expensive? Does your government protect tenants’ rights? Please feel free to share your views.

Picture Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/real-estate-home-investment-realtor-465100/

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Spotlight on Meerkats

isn't he just cute?

isn’t he just cute?

I just love meerkats. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I’m an animal lover anyway, but I think meerkats are some of the CUTEST, most adorable animals out there. I have never actually seen one face to face, but I intend to put that right soon. For some of you who reside in the UK, I’m sure you’ll remember the hilarious comparison website adverts from a few years back, starring the ever dapper meerkat, Aleksandr. So popular were the adverts, no doubt because of the devastatingly cute meerkats, that the comparison site milked them for what they were worth for ages. I don’t live in UK anymore, so I don’t know if they still run them!

Meerkats can be found in quite a few countries, including Botswana. In Botswana they can be found in places including the touristic Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and the Kalahari Desert. The meerkat looks slightly like a cross between a squirrel and a cat, if that makes sense. Perhaps one of its most distinct features is its dark beady eyes, and its tendency to stand on its hind legs like a furry little human being, which just adds to the cuteness factor!

Some Interesting Facts About Meerkats

Family oriented, they often live in large communities made up of several families. The survival of the community is shared by members of the meerkat community, and it’s not unusual to see them pouncing collectively on a would-be aggressor like a snake.

Community spirit reigns supreme in any meerkat group, as stated above. They work together harmoniously for the survival of the whole group. While some stand guard, looking out for any potential attack from above and on the ground, others are busy foraging around for food to feed everyone. Prey such as hawks and eagles are known to swoop down and snatch the meerkats for a meal. At the first sign of danger, those on watch sound a shrill sharp warning call to alert others of danger

Young meerkats are so scared of predatory birds that the sound of planes has them scurrying off into hiding.

Upright, human-like posture is very common to meerkats. They can often be seen standing on their hind legs, looking over the expanse space they occupy, no doubt on the lookout for danger posed by preys. Nursing meerkats mothers are also known for feeding their young on their feet.

The meerkat diet includes small creatures such as worms, lizards, insects, birds and fruit.

Lodgings for meerkats are cool ‘multi-roomed’ burrows within which they take shelter away from the harsh African skies and the elements.

Meerkat litters consist of 2-4 babies and their burrows come in handy for the birthing process. Much like in the human family structure, the meerkat fathers and older siblings help raise the young.

Have you ever seen or heard of the meerkat?

Picture credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/alert-animal-cute-fur-hair-look-165009/

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Botswana Superstitions

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Ask anybody if they are superstitious, and most of them aren’t always happy to be identified as such. Yet across the world, different cultures do have their own set of old wives’ tales, superstitions, myths, beliefs, whatever you want to call it, that are older than time itself! Some of them seem to even be universal and cut across cultures. The most common among them being the Friday 13th myth as well as the tales around the black cat, which just about everyone knows about!

I will readily put my hands up and admit to being moderately superstitious.

For instance, I refuse to walk under ladders. I also do the ‘touch wood’ (or ‘knock on wood’ for the Americans) thing a lot. I also know for a fact that I’m not the only one. So I’m not sure why some people feel the need to distance themselves from it when they clearly, to some extent, believe in superstitions. Or even if they don’t, they seem to subconsciously do little things in their daily lives that suggest they are superstitious.

So what exactly are Superstitions?

Here’s how various dictionaries define superstitions

A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.

A belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition.

An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.

Some Superstitions from Botswana

The Hooting Of An Owl At Night puts many people on edge. I for one find the owl a rather odd looking bird with its huge eyes, anyway. Perhaps it is not surprising that the belief is that owls are very closely linked to witches and anything sinister that happens in the dead of night; never mind the owl is a nocturnal bird!

Choking on Saliva means you’ll eat a lot of meat 

Treating others badly can lead to bad luck, as the belief is that their hurt feelings cast a spell on the person who wronged them. This sort of ties in with idea of karma, because it’s believed that the wrong doer will subsequently get their just desserts.

An itchy ear canal means somewhere out there some people are saying nasty things about you, which is not dissimilar to the Western superstition that suggests that burning ears are an indication that people are talking about you.

Rain on your wedding day is seen as a good omen, as it means your union will be blessed. However, in some parts of Botswana, it’s also believed that if the weather turns stormy, it can spell disaster for your marriage!

An itchy palm signals abundance, that you’ll receive money from somewhere.

When the upper part of your eye twitches, it means you’ll hear some good news. By contrast, if it’s the bottom part, you should expect some doom and gloom. It’s interesting because I’m always happy to go with the good news, but I choose to dismiss the bad news as just a myth!

Spilling salt can bring bad luck, unless you counteract it by throwing salt over your shoulder.

Wearing red during a thunderstorm is seriously discouraged because it can lead to you being struck by lightening.

Mirrors are not to be left uncovered during a thunderstorm, to guard against them breaking and subsequently bringing the owner years of bad luck. This one also to ties in with the Western belief also related to broken mirrors bringing bad luck.

These are just some of the myths we have up and down Botswana; there are many others, but they can differ depending on the where you live.

Do you have any common superstitions in your country that you’d like to share? Do you believe any of them?

Picture Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/cat-misfortune-superstition-822263/

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Spotlight on Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

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Botswana relies very heavily on tourism for its revenue income and very year, hundreds of people from across the world pour into the country, mainly to see the wild life in its natural habitat. Some are keen bird watchers and come specifically to bird watch, as Botswana has a very extensive number of bird species. One of the lesser known but rather fascinating tourist areas to visit in Botswana is the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.

What Is It all About?

Considered on of the largest Salt Pans in the world, Makgadikgadi saltpans cover an area that extends over 12 000 square km. According to research and studies conducted over the years, the Makgadikgadi is a relic of what used to be one of the biggest inland lakes Africa has ever had.

The Makgadikgadi is a series of pans, with the largest of them surrounded by a lot of smaller pans. Interspersed between the pans are sand dunes, rocky islands and peninsulas, and desert terrain. During the rainy season, the Makgadikgadi offers great wildlife viewing, which can include large herds of zebra and wildebeest migrations. Other wild animals often spotted in the area include gemsbok, eland and red hartebeest, as well as kudu, bushbuck, duiker, giraffe, springbok, steenbok, and sometimes elephant. Predators can also be found in the area.

Since the Stone Age, people have inhabited areas of the pans, and have adapted to geographical and climatic changes as they have occurred. The tools and the bones of fish and other animals early man fed on during those times can still be found on the archaeological sites dotted around the pans. Over the years more and more people have inhabited the areas, resulting in the mushrooming of a number of villages.

A Few Interesting Facts About Makgadikgadi:

  • Largely uninhabited by humans.
  • Its flat, featureless terrain seemingly stretches to the end of the horizon.
  • It remains waterless and arid for much of the year; during which time the animals migrate elsewhere for greener pastures.
  • By contrast; during periods of good, the pans can become flooded, thus attracting a lot of wild animals including flamingos, which add much needed colour to the area.
  • Flamingo numbers can run into the tens – and sometimes – hundreds of thousands, and to see them can be a truly breath-taking spectacle that has to be seen to be believed!
  • When the area has been blessed with huge amounts of water from rain as well as local rivers, the pan is transformed into a crisp blue lake, bursting with gorgeous colour reminiscent of the humongous, prehistoric lake the Makgadikgadi once was.
  • Because of the sheer magnitude of the salt content on the surface of the pans, no vegetation can grow in the area. However, the fringes are covered with lush grasslands, which include the majestic baobab trees.

 

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flamingo_migration_Makgadikgadi_Pan.jpg

By ed glickman from edina, usa [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

https://pixabay.com/en/flamingos-africa-wildlife-bird-1099071/

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Botswana Currency: Pula le Thebe

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The banknotes: Pula (meaning rain)

The coins: Thebe- (meaning shield)

Batswana (the people of Botswana) hold their currency very close to their hearts, maybe even more so than people of other countries do with theirs. That’s because the Pula, coined from the meaning ‘rain’ carries a lot of weight for Batswana. This is because rain is very scarce in Botswana, home to the Kalahari Desert, which takes up a lot of the country. The Kalahari is a semi-arid desert and as such, is very dry and receives very little rain all through the year. Botswana is therefore given to long spells of drought. This has led to water being a highly valued commodity. In fact, utterances of ‘pula’ can be heard in many situations such greetings, celebrations and blessings. This value has rightly been extended to the nation’s currency. In short, Botswana views rain as a blessing.

A Little History

At the time of Botswana’s independence in 1966, the country was a member of the Rand Monetary Area (RMA) and the South African Rand briefly served as the national currency. However, with the decision announced on September 6 1974 to withdraw from the RMA, Botswana was committed to introducing a new currency. Botswana’s new national currency was launched on August 23, 1976, now known as ‘Pula Day’.

Since the currency was born, the designs have consistently centred around symbolic illustrations of the socio-economic, political and cultural make-up of Botswana. Designs have over the years highlighted the importance of democracy, tourism and mining, among others. Before 1997, it was also customary to feature the current president on all new bank notes. That’s all changed, and each denomination has been broadened to feature a different portrait (usually a person of note), with only the P10 note showing the current president. A new P200 bank note, showing a woman teaching, demonstrates the importance of education as well as the contribution of women to national development.

Botswana pula is made of one hundred thebe. The word thebe means a shield. According to the ISO standard, the currency code for Botswana money is BWP. Despite devaluation, Botswana pula still remains as one of the strongest currencies in Africa.

Picture credit:

My own

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What to see in Gaborone


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Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, which also happens to be the largest city in Botswana, may seem uninteresting to many, but it does have a few places of interest to explore. The setting of the popular TV series the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Gaborone by many standards, is admittedly a very low-key city. It boasts a huge amount of bed and breakfasts, mid range as well as five star hotels. Visitors are truly spoilt for choice, as there’s something for every budget. In terms of what to see while passing through or visiting Gaborone, below are a few examples of places to see.

Gaborone Game Reserve

At about 5 square kilometres in size, this game reserve is relatively small. Gaborone Game reserve is situated inside the city of Gaborone. It’s home to a number of Botswana’s indigenous species, including zebra, eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, impala, kudu, steenbok, vervet monkeys, warthog and rock dassies. It also boasts many resident and migrant bird species, which are best viewed from the small dam in the park. Terrain includes tree savanna, riparian woodland, marsh and rocky outcrops. The park has two picnic sites and is popularly used for weekend outings and picnics.

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Film Set

The late award winning British director Anthony Minghella chose chose a cul de sac at the base of Kgale Hill as the setting for Alexander McCall Smith’s international bestseller, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Minghella and his production crew rebuilt a segment of Gaborone city of yester-year, complete with a butchery, general supplies shop, beauty salon, bike repair shop and outdoor eatery. While younger people have complained that the Gaborone portrayed in the TV series is nothing like the Gaborone they know today, the older generation have marveled at how well the film captured the exact look and feel of the old Gaborone.

The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency tour has previously been ranked among the top 12 excursions in Africa by UK publication Independent on Sunday travel supplement for 2 years running (2006/7)

Kgale Hill

Generally speaking, Botswana is a flat country. But we do have a few hills dotted around the country. One of those is Kgale Hill, one of the city’s major landmarks, which provides a gorgeous backdrop to the Kgale area, which includes a business park and Game City shopping mall. Besides being the scene of stunning African sunsets, Kgale Hill is also popular with climbers and picnic lovers and has clearly defined routes up and down the hill. Some wildlife, including troupes of baboons and monkeys can be viewed in and around the hill. The climb takes approximately one hour.

Music, Dance, Drama 

For those interested in the culture and traditions of Botswana, there are a few venues around Gaborone where there’s always a show to see. Places like Maitisong Cultural Centre, Alliance Française and BotswanaCraft regularly stage traditional dance and music, rock, pop, jazz, classical music as well as drama shows. 

The National Museum and Art Gallery

Centrally located, the museum exhibits various aspects of Botswana’s cultural heritage. It has an exhibit hall showing Botswana’s history and its cultural diversity. The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday and is free.  It has two galleries, which often have varying exhibits depending on the time of year. For instance, the Art Gallery hosts the national basket show every August, with baskets of all shapes and designs on display, as well as tapestries and pottery.

People can also see a collection of wildlife exhibits, as well as crafts and paintings by local artists, going as far back as the 1960s.

Picture Credit: Pixabay.com

https://pixabay.com/en/botswana-gaborone-architecture-970276/

 

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