Kuru Art Center and Museum, D’Kar


(June 20)

Today, to break up our long journey, we stopped at Kuru Art Center and Museum in D’Kar. It was about half way. When parking, we got stuck in the loose sand, but I (Anna) managed to get out. Good choice to get a 4WD.

There are currently 20 artists at the art center. All from D’Kar. Some are said to be displayed at the Smithsonian.

We were shown around the center, there was one artist at work. Some of the paintings were prices at 20 000 Pula (about the same in SEK). Alex said he would not pay for them.

The small museum showed the life and history of the San people. A little, but informative museum.

This place was sort of in the middle of nowhere.


Botswana, Motswana, Batswana, Setswana


The people of Botswana are called Batswana, or Motswana in singular. There are two official languages, English and Setswana.

The population is a little over 2 million. Botswana has the best perceived corruption rating in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa’s oldest continous democracy.

We found the Batswana very friendly and helpful. It is a wonderful country.

Botswana is estimated to be home to more than 130 000 elephants. About 1/3 of Africa’s population, and the highest number in any country in Africa.

The economy is dominated by mining, cattle (no surprise there), and tourism.


Helicopter over the Okavango Delta


(19 June)

An early morning start, with a little something to eat in our room, and a coffee for Anna, to be at the airport at 7.30. Went through security, and waited in the tiny departure hall at the airport. We’re picked up and driven to the helicopter, and our pilot Brieul (from France). It was the first time in a helicopter for all of us, so that in itself was exciting!

During our 45 minute flight over the Okavango delta we saw many animals. Normally, at this time of the year, the delta is filled with water, the animals are then easily spotted on the little islands. Now, however, there were only waterholes here and there. Alex and our pilot spotted many animals despite the lack of water. We saw large herds of buffalo, zebras, giraffe, wildebeests running away, and many, many elephants, including a baby. In one of the waterholes hippos lay closely packed together. Their skin is very sensitive, and they need water. Now they are more or less stuck in this waterhole, since the next one is too far away.


A Day in Maun


(18-19 June)

Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana, although it is still officially a village.. The population is about 55 000 (the latest numbers we can find). It’s quite a small town. You get just about everywhere in 20 min.

Wednesday we went for lunch at the Dusty Donkey again. We did check out a few options, but this seemed like the best. Maun is not on a culinary list, still we’ve done ok. The flat white (coffee) was too notch.

Before heading back to our accommodation, we stocked up for our long journey back to Gobabis tomorrow. Ordered sandwiches at Hillary’s ready to be picked-up in the morning. Also got a funnel for our jerrycan.

This evening we’re having take out. It will be nice to just relax by the bonfire for a bit.

The school children seem to be walking quite far to get to school. They often walk in small groups, laughing and talking. There must be quite a few schools since we see children with lots of different colors on their school uniforms.

Rush hour through the center start around 15.00, by 16.30 it is over. This seem to coincide with the children finishing school for the day. We saw them walking to school around 7 in the morning.


Pizza Night in Maun


(18 June)

This evening we drove to town and had dinner at a nice little restaurant, with mostly Italian food. We had pizza and gelato for dessert. Yummy!

We sat outside. Looking down at the sand we might have been in the Caribbean, but it was desert sand under our feet.

They had a lovely fire to being some warmth to the chilly night.

A game of Farkel is included in most every meal.


A fun chat with a local (and a possible coincident)


At breakfast (yesterday) we had a chat with our innkeeper, 80 years old. He has lived in Botswana for the past 30 years, but was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). I told him Dad had been in the UN troops in Congo in 1959. Patrick told us he was in Elizabethville in 1959, and often visited and talked to the UN soldiers. He said it was a possibility that he might have spoken to Dad. A small world (possibly).


A day by the Thamalakane River


Today (June 18) we have a relaxing day, just hanging about in Maun. We drove into town and had lunch at a cosy coffee shop, The Dusty Donkey. The sandwiches were great, anything but ‘dusty’. We also stopped into the town’s tiny Nahabe Museum. They were just hanging photos for a new exhibition, but they let us look around. Admission by donations.

We then went back to our guesthouse. Have been relaxing by the small swimming pool (no swimming for us since it was only 17 degrees in the water). We are also enjoying the tranquility of the river view from our balcony. There is an abundant birdlife around the river. Goats walk by, and cows wander down to the river to drink. This morning I saw a couple walk by with a wash basket. They had done laundry in the river. We settled for doing it in our scrubba ‘washing machine’. I made some great coffee in the afternoon.

A small boat ferries people across the river. In the morning to go to work, and int the afternoon to go home.

According to Patrick, our innkeeper, the water level is normally 10 m higher at this time of the year. Now they are hoping for rain in November. It must rain in Angola in December, at the latest, for the water to reach here in May.

There’s no beginning, there’ll be no end. The river doesn’t have a defined beginning (spring), and no clear end (delta).


Hairdryers and showers


It’s a curious thing about the hairdryers, the plugs and the sockets. I have borrowed a hairdryer in each accommodation. The plugs are European, and the sockets South African. The two doesn’t fit together. The simple explanation is that only foreigners use the hair dryers, and they just assume everyone brought their own converters (we did of course).

This innkeeper is the exception to the rule. Not only did he supply a converter. He also had an extension cord long enough to reach a mirror. A small luxury!

Another thing at this inn that we haven’t been spoiled with before is a hot shower. Bliss! At all the other places it has been, at best, lukewarm.


Driving to Maun


(17 June)

We left our little cottage with the sand garden around 10 am. Drove back to Ghanzi town, just up the road, to get some cash and fill up with diesel. We also bought a jerry can, and filled it up. Better safe than sorry. And of course a quick stop in Shop-Rite, got some large plastic bags to put our backpacks in when we’ll drive on gravel roads later on.

Today we had about 3,5-4 hours drive ahead of us. Speed limit on the highway is 120 km/h. Part of the road was quite narrow (from a European perspective), speed limit on a similar road in Sweden would most likely be 70 km/h. The traffic is not particularly heavy, and the road very straight. There are no shoulders on the sides, just sand and som grass straws.

We passed two veterinary check-points, due to foot-and-mouth decease in some regions, however, we didn’t have to stop (didn’t have any meat or dairy either).

Not much happening driving along the Trans Kalahari Hwy, passed a few small towns and villages. Saw kids coming from school, some in regular clothes, some in a sort of school uniform. Most houses we saw were small, made from brick. We did se some small huts as well. And of course all the farm animals.

In Botswana the drive was a bit less tedious, and as a precaution we switched drivers every hour. The road was not in quite as good condition as in Namibia. The narrower road, and a few little bends and slight inclinations made it less tiering.

We have a sat nav, and a map. Still it was pretty difficult to find the small dirt track to our accommodation, we had been warned it might be hard to find. Got close, but not exactly right. Went back to a gas station and asked a safari guide (he looked like one at least). Supposedly there were signs marking the exits. There were, tiny ones, most of them facing in a direction very hard to detect from the road. We finally found it. A fabulous B&B/guesthouse overlooking the Thamalakane river.




(16 June)

Our over night stop on our journey between Windhoek and Maun is in Ghanzi. A small town in the northern edge of the Kalahari desert. We’re staying on a lodge a few km outside of town. We’re staying in a small cottage. After checking in, it was very nice to stretch our legs and take a short walk. From our cottage we saw antelopes, and on our walk we first heard, then saw, three lions.

There was a beautiful sunset, and the moon is almost full. It’s fun to see the stars in the southern hemisphere for a change.