Leaving the mountain of gods alone again, young Tsolido tour guide Poetolo approached me for a lift to Sesheke??? He had a funeral to attend to, another family member had passed away. Living in the remote ‘Hambukushu village’, right next to the spiritual Mountains, getting away is a difficult task. Without hesitation, I agreed to get him where he needs to be, as I am going that way anyhoe. Being almost two weeks in Botswana already, moving at a fairly steady pace from destination to destination, I didn’t really have time to look behind the curtains of the culture and history of this young nation.
50 Years off Independence was celebrated 2 Years ago, the country literally was painted in black and light blue. On our 3 hour journey, I had plenty of time to dig a bit deeper.
Young Poetolo is single but is the father of one child. He paid out his debt to the mothers family, which is now supported by a government institution. He isn’t ready to get married yet and enjoys his single life. Living in different towns previously, he enjoys a little following of female friends.
Well, he is a bit handsome. It seems that casual sexual encounters are just as common as anywhere else in the world, possibly even more so here. After Botswana’s independence 52 Years ago, birthrate exploded dramatically to one of the highest in the world. That was short lived after the H.I.V virus made its round around the world. Many, many died a painful death, as Botswana and Swaziland equally lead the percentage of Aids infections globally.
So, what about nowadays then? Poetolo proudly showed me his collection of banana flavoured condoms. I had a giggly face and ask if they have chocolate flavour as well? Botswana’s government had to come up with drastic solutions then, and they did. A countrywide campaign about and against this deadly disease started, giving out free condoms at hospitals or mobile medical units. Even the so-called ‘government pill’, given out by the government, to subdue the virus, can be obtained free of charge at doctors and hospitals. A good step in the right direction.
His cousin on a donkey wagon helped to mend his belt, Tsolido Hills, Botswana
Asking about his heritage at ‘Hambukushu village’ and neighbouring clans, the following was stated. The Hambukushu are direct descendants from the ‘Khoi-San’. Their neighbouring villages descend from the Bantu clan. Living in harmony for centuries, sharing a mystical environment.
I asked him about the ‘Xai-Xai’ village we visited on our way through. Most people had darker and stronger body features then I expected for a Khoi-San community. This is how I found out the complexion of the Herero tribe from Namibia with the bushmen in the Kalahari desert, described in a previous post.
Botswana itself has grown into a very social society. Having a generous outlook on refugee status in surrounding neighbouring troubled countries, refugee camps are built on a larger scale. Refugees then can choose to take on residency or not. A truly free state in Africa. Not only for humans but elephants and zebras too.
Maun is the gateway to the southern Okavango Delta.
The Thamalakane River edges the town and already gives you a ‘Delta Feel’.
Fig trees are just some of the plentiful and colourful vegetation.
Fishermen have their favourite fishing spots for Okavango Bream or catfish, while the sun is colourful setting above. A sense of tranquillity, in Botswana’s Delta hub. There are many ways to explore the Delta. Plenty of self-drive or safari vehicles line the streets. Mokoro ( traditional banana boats) or motorboats offer hourly or overnight trips. There is always the option to fly in or over the floodplains, choices are countless. Most of the town revolves around the tourism industry.
I passed through and stayed in Maun on 3 different occasions, with the same purpose. I needed to use free wifi to catch up on my travel diaries and photos. At first, I was very much sceptical about staying at ‘Sedia Riverside Hotel’ and Campground, as Claudio firstly suggested.
The very spacious campgrounds edging ‘Thamalakane River’ attracts large groups of tour buses for a very good reason. Well maintained chalets are kept immaculately clean, as is the whole reception, bar, restaurant and kitchen area.
Even better was the friendly professional service being given by manager Blessing and his well dressed, polite and stunning team. No issue was too big to solve, always with a handsome smile.
I asked a few off the bar and floor staff girls for a little photo shoot. It wasn’t busy and my photos had been well received by then. Shy and giggle they agreed.
Maduo works behind the bar. She is a part-time model in her spare time, I can see why.
Dreamy eyes and a heartwarming smile.
Nina works on the service floor,
providing attentive and friendly customer service.
Being best friends, it was hard for the two to keep a straight face. Very amusing.
Sego works in the customer service area as well. Another pretty young face.
After revealing the photos, hysterical laughter accompanied these photos. Three more happy people, the language of OM-D had spoken clearly.
Part of this delightful accommodation is ‘Afro Trek Safaris’, who offer trips in the Okavango Delta. The swimming pool was under construction but refilled with water by my departure. It didn’t take long for my scepticism to turn in to ‘wow’, this is a great place to stay’. Thank you to each and everyone to let me be a brief part off ‘Sedia River Lodge’.
A chameleon crossed my path one afternoon. As I told and showed Frederica shortly after, she asked how I spotted it.
Changing colours to their environment, it is almost impossible to see.
I literally almost stepped on it as it slowly, in shaking backwards and forwards motion, making its way over to the tree close to my camp.
Another Botswana highlight, seeing these masters of disguise in natural surroundings.
I haven’t seen any since my visit to Madagascar.
I didn’t expect to see any here.
I watched him, watching me and his prey at the same time. Fascinating.
Changing colours numerous times, up and down leafy branches.
I placed my finger in front of it to grab as support.
A gentle squeeze on my finger sensation, an incredible mind sensation.