NACJ26 Day 13: Botswana – Ghanzi

November 10, 2014 Comments Off on NACJ26 Day 13: Botswana – Ghanzi
Andrew Walton
Just a happy guy who loves travelling, loves Africa and feels that travelling changes you forever.

Botswana – Ghanzi

Departing Namibia, we make our way to the Botswana border post. After completing border formalities, we arrive at our lodging in Ghanzi and, in the evening, we are treated to an experience of traditional tribal dancing performed by the local San community.

Upon crossing the border of Botswana, we will begin to spot villagers, cattle, donkeys and sheep along the roadsides. At times, the donkeys and cows will simply sit themselves in the very middle of the road and will not be moved by any amount of noise you attempt to make. Botswana has been independent since the year 1966 and contains three of the world’s most abundant diamond mines which have made the country rather wealthy. Botswana is known as the African success story. Politically stable with high economic standards and the good sense to invest in education and healthcare as well as devoid of the racial issues that have afflicted most other African countries, Botswana has the greatest economy in sub-Saharan Africa.

The government uses a strategy of high income and low impact tourism, where the amount of tourists entering any area of the country is decreased by charging much more than adjacent countries, thus making it more restricting to the budgeting traveller.

Previously known as Bushmen, the San are indigenous to Southern Africa and have resided here for over 30,000 years. It is wonderfully fascinating to learn about the conditions of Africa in the past and how the San managed to survive in the desert surroundings, living in peace with nature. There is a belief that the word ‘San’ meant ‘wild people who cannot farm’, but historically, they did not have a word for themselves. Now, however, they call themselves ‘Ncoakhoe’ meaning ‘red people’, but the term ‘San’ remains chief. They were roaming people, largely hunter gatherers travelling to where food and water could be found. There are only approximately 55,000 San left with almost 60% of which reside in Botswana, whilst the remainder dwell in Namibia and northern South Africa. Countless examples of their dramatic and extraordinary cave paintings can be seen peppered around Southern Africa – an indication of the truly nomadic San tracking their movements historically. Unfortunately, in the present their traditional lifestyle has been battered by colonial influence and they can now be located in the ‘squalid alcohol plagued settlements’ or on farms and cattle posts.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Ghanzi Trail Blazers
Facilities: En-suite per room, bar, swimming pool
Route: Windhoek to Ghanzi +/-570 kms
Travel Time: +/- 8-9 hours and a border crossing
Activity Package: Bushman dance in the evening
Optional Activities: Bushman walk

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