Blogs from Gaborone, South-East, Botswana, Africa


Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone August 25th 2019

African Diary 2016 Thursday, February 1, 2016 Saturday, January 30 was a strenuous day. At 3:30 AM I had to get up in Burgdorf at Ilsabe’s. The cab picked me up at 4 and I was at the Hannover Airport by 4:30 AM, 90 minutes before departure of a KLM flight to Amsterdam. The check in with a business class ticket was a breeze, I felt privileged and grateful for Nicky that he made me take this step. Also Martin and Ilsabe are supportive of me spending their inheritance. We landed in Amsterdam in stormy weather around 7 AM and I had three hours to kill. The way to the lounge was long and even this early the stores were already busy. I had a cup of coffee in a comfortable chair. A few minutes after ... read more

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone December 6th 2015

I left Bulawayo by bus and crossed into Botswana. Very rich in diamonds, Africa’s safest and most prosperous country has just over 2 million inhabitants. The language mostly spoken is Setswana and the currency is the Pula. After passing border control the bus continued towards Francistown, the second largest city, for a break where I had lunch. Originally I wanted to visit the north first, but everything seemed pretty expensive there. I guess I’ll have to visit the Okavango Delta another time, when I’m not on a budget. It seems like they don’t want mass tourism and therefore it’s kept expensive and exclusive. I decided to visit just Gaborone. Botswana’s capital, called “Gabs” by most people, has about 250.000 inhabitants. That’s much more than Willemstad, yet Willemstad seems like a bigger place. A lot is being ... read more
Giraffes in Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Softball training with locals
Botswana Pula

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone February 24th 2014

Dumêlarra (greetings in Setswana) and welcome to Botswana! Besides the semi-arid climate, parts of Gaborone, Botswana's small capital city, could be Western European in terms of its development. It’s a unique place in Africa and a big part of the academic motivation for traveling here. Botswana had been an extremely poor country prior to the discovery of diamonds (3rdpoorest country in the world at the time of their independence), but has since sustained high GDP growth rates for more than 30 years and is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. Within economic development research, there is a well-known pattern that resource rich countries have generally struggled to utilize this wealth to develop the country, often getting funneled to few powerful individuals and often leading to extreme inequality, instability and conflict. The notable exceptions to this ... read more
Meet New Years - the Mokolodi Mascot
Photo Credit to Phil
Zebras at the Gabs Game Reserve

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone January 14th 2013

Geo: -24.6544, 25.9201In the morning, Chris took me to see his office at one of the government agencies. I then spent the morning walking up and down the main pedestrian mall of Gabarone. At the far end is parliament and the near end the National Museum (of course, closed on Mondays, boo). The place is far more developed than Zambia or Zimbabwe. While not quite up to South African standards, it almost appears so on the surface. While the Ministry of Education has a big shiny new building, you can see all the windows are open because A/C is too expensive, even in the hottest month.At 11:30, I met back up with Chris and he took me to the airport where we parted ways once again. At this point I'm officially in return mode, there is ... read more
Standard lock type in Southern Africa
Gaborone Museum
Gaborone Museum Railcar Rhodesia Railways

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone January 13th 2013

Geo: -24.6544, 25.9201Departing N'Dola at 8:45am, I made the short hop to Lusaka then waited around several hours for my thrice-per-week flight to Gaborone (sounds like Hab - ah - roni), capital of Botswana. A friend of mine from past travels lives there (Chris/cmj). On the flight I talked to a college junior who was originally of Chingola, but then moved to Botswana, now he goes to school in Lusaka. He's studying to be an architect, but plans to leave Zambia because there isn't a strong need there for architects. Anything complicated is built by the Chinese, and thus his industry is effectively in its infancy. He thinks he'll go to South Africa to work with his older brother for the time being and perhaps return to Zambia or Botswana at a later time.I met Chris ... read more
Riding around in a nice SUV in Botswana
Grocery Store in Gaborone
Grocery Store in Gaborone

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone June 12th 2012

Today I begin my transit in one of those long days, with the hour dropping back as I cross time zones heading east. This makes for an interminable single day that doesn't look bad on paper until you add the extra hours to the apparent flight time. One last bowl of hot sorghum cereal, then I make my way back to the land of decent coffee.... read more

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone June 11th 2012

Today was our last seminar, on women's health rights. We then made a last trip to a craft store (and I again had seswaa and sorghum, but tried the spicy morogo with peanuts instead). We tried to visit Gaborone Dam, but it appears that now there is an admission fee that can't be paid on site, so we bagged it. Tonight is our farewell dinner, in theory to be attended by some of our speakers and program managers. And maybe the chief, so on again with the skirt. One participant has already left; one leaves before the crack of dawn tomorrow, and a few are staying for awhile. If I weren't headed straight home, I'd fly to Maun and drive out from there with the anthropologist, who is going to try to locate people (or their ... read more
My desktop
But is it art?
South Africa

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone June 10th 2012

Today we had two morning presentations, one on psychiatry and mental health, the second on some statistics associated with health and aging. We then headed out for the official game drive in Mokolodi. After the game tour (with a good female guide), we had a large campfire and a very nice brai with beef, beef sausage, chicken, salad, bean salad, coleslaw, and mealie meal with a tomato sauce. I'm sorry to say that Africa has some fantastic simple starches. We had excellent views of the southern hemisphere constellations. My clothing smells of woodsmoke, so I'm off to start laundering. Birds both M and I have seen on this trip thus far: White-breasted cormorant Reed cormorant African darter Egyptian goose White-faced duck African jacana Common moorhen Cattle egret African spoonbill African sacred ibis B... read more
Male ostrich
A cautionary message

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone September 2nd 2011

M – After we left Vic Falls we took a couple of days to drive down through Botswana back to the border with South Africa. As I mentioned in an earlier block on the Okavango Panhandle, having already had a great Mokoro trip into the Delta from its North West corner we planned to avoid the touristy Maun and were able to make good time going south by avoiding the 300km detour westward that most tourists who visit the Delta from Maun have to make. The road from Kasane to the South through Francistown is a little pot holed but compared to some of the gravel roads in Namibia it was bliss! What did cause a little stress though were the Food Checkpoints! Just like the Red Line in Namibia, Botswana has Police/Agricultural checkpoints to prevent ... read more
Are those illegal sausages in that pan ...
Bushman fans the fire for dinner
The view from the shower

Africa » Botswana » South-East » Gaborone April 20th 2011

Morokeni Vakwetu, (Good Day Friends-Rukwangali Language), Sunday, April 17/11 Blog#2 You will notice from the title of this blog that our Safari adventure was incredible. We arrived Mon. Apr. 11 after a seven hour drive North through South Africa from Johannesburg. The drive took us through many villages and cities with incredible scenery all around. We saw the diamond mines in the distance clustered amoungst 4 million year- old rocks and mountains. Upon arrival at the border to Botswana, we were met by the rangers from the Mashatu Game Reserve. We took cable cars across the river to the Toyota Land Cruisers awaiting us. After an hour’s bumpy but sunny drive we arrived at the Tent Camp and were orientated about the do’s and don’ts of living in this environment. The ‘tents’ were on platforms, very ... read more

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