As we sail out of winter and pilot our way towards the final quarter of the year, outdoor events and activities are making a comeback. The opening act in Maun is the Nkashi Classic that was hosted at the Okavango River Lodge on Saturday (24th August 2019). Organized by The Wild Bird Trust Botswana in partnership with Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO), the event’s mandate is to celebrate traditional Botswana customs.
The event was named after the nkashi, an apparatus used to propel the mokoro. With the inaugural event taking place last year, the event’s public attraction was the mokoro race. However, due to the intense dry spell hovering over Ngamiland this year, the unique element of mekoro and their polers racing across the Thamalakane was eliminated from the day’s activities. Nonetheless, this didn’t slap any smiles off the spectators faces as they enjoyed an afternoon (and evening) of endless activities for both the old and young.
With the theme Connecting Science, Community and Conservation, the Nkashi Classic brought together people of different calibers. Stalls included local water purifier Aquarite to quench the Ngamiland heat, Monatye ko Potong restaurant serving setswana cuisines for those with an appetite, The Wild Bird Trust supplied a 3D feel of conservation edutainment and Travel for impact delivered a flare of traditional hand-made crafts. A conservation tree was set up for the masses to share their conservation messages. As a family event, the Nkashi Classic catered for the bundles with activities such as face painting, kiddies crafts and a jumping castle erected ready to absorb all their energy. In order to keep the mokoro theme alive, a mokoro drag race was organized for the gentle-fellas to show who is the strongest and fastest of them all.
As the sun goes down the crowd slowly started to unwind from the day’s heated activities. Entertainers came to surface. Entertainment was provided by Poetavango wordsmith Goody the Bad, Tom with his Tswororo and The Magic Bean Theater company kept to the theme with a performance of wildlife conservation themed acts and a fire dancing routine.
with the expectations of the the mekoro race taking place dying down with the sunset, spectators were furnished with a view of Emmy nominated documentary ‘Into the Okavango’. Projected on a large outdoor screen, The emotion filled 4 month documented expedition about the river system that feeds into the Okavango Delta didn’t disappoint the viewers as they were left in awe and with a clear understanding as to why the Thamalakane River is dry.