Blogs from 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 June 9th 2012

Yesterday morning we visited the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence. I was very impressed with their research, programs for HIV+ children and adolescents, and other services. I'd like to get a field placement set up there. It looks like an excellent place to be helpful, learn, and participate in community service. I've been pleased to find that my HIV knowledge is reasonably up to date and the reading I've done to prepare for the trip was sufficiently extensive and accurate. Because this is an interest of mine, I was able to answer some questions about mother-to-child transmission for a medical doctor in our delegation who has previously answered some of mine. I asked our presenter at Batswana-Baylor some questions and, contrary to a small but strident set of unpleasant and racist reviews of Tinderbox on ... read more
Detail of wall painting at the museum
View from the museum
Rock dassie

Africa » Botswana » South-East June 7th 2012

55. Little sparowhawk 56. Amethyst sunbird 57. White-bellied sunbird 58. Southern double-collared sunbird 59. Cape sparrow 60. Golden-tailed woodpecker 61. White-backed mousebird 62. South African cliff swallow 63. ?? Southern boubou My birding colleague and I decided not to wait for the shuttle to the university, and instead went out to the road and caught a combi, which is a shared van-taxi (if you've been in Israel, it's pretty much a sherut), to the unicersity instead. We'd been told not to walk. The combi cost us 3.3 pula each, or under a dollar for both. We birded around the university for a little over an hour. It was nice to walk on campus, not to have a big group, and to make decisions for ourselves. * Today's seminars were on youth substance abuse and community home-based ... read more

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