I’ve walked up and down this shopping mall 3 times and just can’t find a postcard anywhere, so here’s a virtual postcard that I’ll share with everyone else who reads this blog. We’re actually in Gaborone, in Botswana and I still can’t quite believe we’re really here.
We drove across the border yesterday and spent last night, our second night of camping, at Mokolodi Nature Reserve, which is 15km south of Gaborone. Trip Advisor rates it as the #1 tourist activity in Gaborone, and we really loved staying there, although actually driving to the bush campsites was a bit tricky. 3.5km of really rough rocky track, but Mr Adventure managed it beautifully, even in a Corolla. He does love a challenge. I timed the drive back out this morning and it took 30 minutes to do the 3.5kms.
There are 8 campsites, each with their own kitchen sink with running water, toilet, shower with hot water heated by a ‘donkey’ (44 gallon drum turned on its side with space for a fire underneath). As we were driving in, we saw a group of impala and an ostrich – wow, those birds are big! We had the camping area to ourselves until late in the evening when 2 young employees drove up and introduced themselves as our ‘security’ – they stayed a bit further down the track and left early this morning. I think they were there in case of wild animal attack, but we didn’t see anything overnight, although Greg found some large hoof/paw prints this morning and there was some scat on the track, but our knowledge of African animals is pretty limited so we don’t know what we missed. We slept in the tent with the sides rolled up, so it felt like we were sleeping under the stars. It was lovely. I think I sent you a link to the Alexander McCall Smith Traditional camping area, but it was much, much further away and only seemed to have traditional hut-type accommodation, no provision for self-catering. The 3.5kms we drove was far enough, but it would have been good to see the McCall Smith area.
And now we’re in Gaborone. We drove past a mob of baboons a couple of kms from the outskirts of the city. They were just ambling across the road. I’ve been looking for the Tiny White Van, but haven’t found it yet. Maybe Mma Ramotswe is out investigating a case on the Tlokweng Road, or out at Molopolole. We’ve seen a few traditionally-built ladies, and I’ve noticed that many of the female manequins in clothes shops are closer to a size 14 than all those skinny ones we have at home. Little kids stare at us because we’re the only white-skinned people in this shopping centre. I smile and make funny faces at them, and they smile back. It’s obviously not touristy here – which is why I can’t find postcards.
We drove past the turn-off to Ramotswa yesterday afternoon. I’d intended to stop and get a photo of the town sign, but we didn’t go through the town, and it’s a bit dangerous stopping by the side of the road here – the locals use the edges of the road as another lane. We drove through a roundabout this morning and I realised that the lane markings are really just a suggestion – the 2 lanes had at least 3 cars abreast, and the one on the far left wanted to make a right turn AND DID … across the other 2 cars.
Heading north soon, to Francistown and eventually to the northern border with Zambia.
Much love, and thanks so much for sharing your love of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency with me. I’m so glad we’re here. Jxxx
And to everyone else reading this – if you know and love Alexander McCall Smith’s series, you’ll know what I’ve been talking about. It you haven’t read it yet …please do. It’s beautiful .. and it’s one of the main reasons we’re here.