Sometimes you have to step away from where you are rooted in order to appreciated it. Before travelling abroad, I was not interested in the beauty of my country and its place in the world. There are a few hundred articles on how ‘boring’ Botswana is, that there is nothing to see except animals, that the people are lukewarm. After a while, one starts to believe it, maybe this is why it took me 26 years to backpack across my country and see it with new eyes. I would like to take you on a journey to Botswana, enjoy it with me.
The National Flag
One thing I have always appreciated about Botswana is the national flag. It represents everything I love:
Blue: Sky (its almost always blue all year round)
White stripes and Black: Racial harmony
The other Blue: Water (Because it is a scarce resource)
NATURE AND WILDLIFE
Botswana is home to, and has been named the country with the highest concentration of African elephants in the world. My adventures at the North of the country (where they are found) was a surreal experience. Elephants in Botswana move together in herds of 10–20 elephants, at one point we had to stop in order to allow them to cross the road.
Being on the open top Safari vehicle and riding through the game park allowed me to view wild animals at closer range (than my TV and computer) which was both scary and empowering. Growing up, I had no plans of being that close to the wild. I always wanted to see the Okavango Delta, the notion of ‘Delta meets Desert’ seemed somehow, now I know that it is true what they say, the Okavango flows into the desert and stops abruptly there.
THE INCREDIBLE KHOISAN PEOPLE
So after after travelling through the Salt Pans (I had a Top Gear moment at the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans)in the east, Okavango in the north, I had to go back south through west, the Kalahari Desert. There was more life there than any reporter has shared. Here, I met the Khoisan people, one of the world’s oldest inhabitants. They are simply gold waiting to be discovered; living at harmony with nature, use of natural remedies, longer life span. They had more knowledge about life and philosophy more than my college professor, this knowledge is passed from generation to general, without formal education. The Kalahari was a glimpse of the Africa I see on TV, be careful while driving on the Trans-Kalahari highway, animals will pop out of nowhere!
I will admit, it felt incredibly good to come back to the city life. What feels even better is living with a more in depth knowledge of this little African country that does not get a lot of airplay. To this day, I cannot keep quite about what an adventure I had.