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© Lonely Planet Publications

13

Contents
The Authors 20 Getting Around
Around Gaborone
91
92
EASTERN BOTSWANA 93
Getting Started 23 Serowe
Khama Rhino Sanctuary
93
94
Francistown 95
Itineraries 28 North-East Tuli Game
Reserve 97
MAKGADIKGADI PANS 97
Snapshot Nata 99
Southern Africa 36 Sowa (Sua) Pan
Gweta
99
100
Ntwetwe Pan 100
History 37 Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pan
National Park 100
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK 101
The Culture 42 Kasane & Kazungula
Chobe Riverfront
101
105
Savuti 106
Music in Linyanti Marshes 106
Southern Africa 52 OKAVANGO DELTA
Maun
106
106

59
Eastern Delta 112
Environment Inner Delta 112
Moremi Game Reserve 114
The Okavango Panhandle 116
Wildlife Guide 69 Gcwihaba Caverns
(Drotsky’s Cave) 117

77
Aha Hills 117
Botswana Tsodilo Hills 117
Highlights 78 THE KALAHARI 118
Itineraries 78 Khutse Game Reserve 118
Climate & When to Go 78 Central Kalahari Game
Reserve 119
History 78
Ghanzi 121
The Culture 83
D’Kar 121
Arts 84
Kgalagadi Transfrontier
Environment 84 Park 121
Food & Drink 85 BOTSWANA DIRECTORY 122
GABORONE 86 Accommodation 122
History 87 Activities 123
Orientation 87 Books 123
Information 87 Business Hours 124
Sights 87 Children 124
Activities 89 Customs 124
Festivals & Events 89 Dangers & Annoyances 124
Sleeping 89 Embassies & Consulates 124
Eating 90 Festivals & Events 125
Entertainment 91 Holidays 125
Shopping 91 Internet Access 125
Getting There & Away 91 Internet Resources 125
14 CONTENTS

Language 125 Quthing 150 Rumphi 181


Maps 125 LESOTHO DIRECTORY 151 Nyika National Park 181
Money 125 Accommodation 151 Vwaza Marsh Wildlife
Post 126 Activities 151 Reserve 184
Telephone & Fax 126 Books 152 Mzuzu 185
Tourist Information 126 Business Hours 152 Nkhata Bay 188
Visas 126 Customs 152 Around Nkhata Bay 191
Work 126 Dangers & Annoyances 152 Chintheche Strip 191
TRANSPORT IN Embassies & Consulates 153 Likoma Island 192
BOTSWANA 126 Chizumulu Island 194
Festivals & Events 153
Getting There & Away 126 CENTRAL MALAWI 194
Holidays 153
Getting Around 129 Viphya Plateau 194
Internet Resources 153
Kasungu 196
134
Language 153
Lesotho Maps 153 Kasungu National Park 196
Money 153 Nkhotakota 196
Highlights 135
Post 154 South of Nkhotakota 197
Itineraries 135
Telephone 154 Nkhotakota Wildlife
Climate & When to Go 135
Reserve 197
History 135 Tourist Information 154
Salima 198
The Culture 139 Visas 154
Senga Bay 198
Religion 139 TRANSPORT IN LESOTHO 154
Mua 200
Arts & Crafts 139 Getting There & Away 154
Monkey Bay 200
Environment 139 Getting Around 155
Cape Maclear 201
Food & Drink 140
157
Monkey Bay to Mangochi 204
MASERU 140
Orientation 141
Malawi Mangochi 205
Highlights 158 SOUTHERN MALAWI 206
Information 141
Itineraries 158 Liwonde 206
Dangers & Annoyances 141
Climate & When to Go 158 Liwonde National Park 206
Tours 141
History 158 Zomba 208
Sleeping 141
The Culture 162 Zomba Plateau 210
Eating 143
Sport 164 Blantyre & Limbe 212
Shopping 143
Religion 164 Around Blantyre 218
Getting There & Away 143
Arts & Crafts 164 Mulanje 219
Getting Around 143
Environment 166 Mount Mulanje 219
Around Maseru 143
Food & Drink 167 Lower Shire 224
NORTHERN LESOTHO 144
LILONGWE 167 MALAWI DIRECTORY 226
Teyateyaneng 145
History 168 Accommodation 226
Leribe 145
Orientation 168 Activities 226
Highlands Water Project 145
Information 168 Books 227
Butha-Buthe 146
Dangers & Annoyances 171 Business Hours 228
Oxbow 146
EASTERN LESOTHO 146 Sights & Activities 171 Children 228
Thaba-Tseka 146 Tours 172 Customs 228
Mokhotlong 147 Sleeping 172 Dangers & Annoyances 228
Sani Top 147 Eating 174 Embassies & Consulates 228
Sehlabathebe National Drinking & Entertainment 175 Festivals & Events 229
Park 147 Shopping 175 Holidays 229
Qacha’s Nek 148 Getting There & Away 175 Internet Access 229
SOUTHERN LESOTHO 148 Getting Around 176 Internet Resources 229
Semonkong 148 Around Lilongwe 176 Language 229
Morija 149 NORTHERN MALAWI 177 Maps 229
Malealea 149 Karonga 177 Money 229
Mafeteng 150 Chitimba 179 Photography & Video 230
Mohale’s Hoek 150 Livingstonia 179 Post 230
CONTENTS 15

Telephone 230 Vilankulo 265 Internet Resources 295


Tourist Information 231 Bazaruto Archipelago 267 Legal Matters 295
Visas 231 Inhassoro 267 Maps 295
Volunteering 231 CENTRAL MOZAMBIQUE 268 Money 295
TRANSPORT IN MALAWI 231 Beira 268 Telephone 296
Getting There & Away 231 Gorongosa National Park 270 Tourist Information 296
Getting Around 233 Mount Gorongosa 270 Visas 297
Chimoio 271 Volunteering 297

Mozambique 237 Manica


Tete
271
272
TRANSPORT IN
MOZAMBIQUE 297
Highlights 238 Cahora Bassa Dam & Getting There & Away 297
Itineraries 238 Songo 273 Getting Around 300
Climate & When to Go 238 Zumbo 273
History
The Culture
238
242
Sena & Mutarara
Caia
273
273 Namibia 304
Sport 243 Quelimane 273 Highlights 305
Religion 243 Mocuba 275 Itineraries 305
Arts & Crafts 243 Milange 275 Climate & When to Go 305
Environment 244 Gurúè 276 History 305
Food & Drink 245 Alto Molócuè 276 The Culture 309
MAPUTO 246 NORTHERN Religion 311
Orientation 246 MOZAMBIQUE 276 Arts & Crafts 311
Information 246 Nampula 276 Environment 312
Dangers & Annoyances 250 Angoche 278 Food & Drink 314
Sights 250 Ilha de Moçambique 278 WINDHOEK 314
Maputo for Children 251 Chocas 281 History 315
Tours 251 Nacala 282 Orientation 315
Festivals & Events 251 Cuamba 282 Information 315
Sleeping 251 Mandimba 283 Dangers & Annoyances 315
Eating 252 Lichinga 283 Sights & Activities 317
Drinking & Entertainment 253 Lake Niassa 284 Festivals & Events 319
Shopping 253 Niassa Reserve 284 Sleeping 319
Getting There & Away 253 Montepuez 285 Eating 321
Getting Around 254 Pemba 285 Drinking 321
Around Maputo 255 Around Pemba 288 Entertainment 321
SOUTHERN Quirimbas Archipelago 288 Shopping 322
MOZAMBIQUE 256 Macomia 289 Getting There & Away 322
Ponta d’Ouro & Ponta Pangane 289 Getting Around 323
Malongane 256 Mueda 290 Around Windhoek 323
Maputo Special Reserve 258 Moçimboa da Praia 290 Dordabis 324
Namaacha 258 Palma 291 Arnhem Cave 324
Bilene 258 MOZAMBIQUE NORTH-CENTRAL
Xai-Xai 259 DIRECTORY 291 NAMIBIA 324
Around Xai-Xai 259 Accommodation 291 Okahandja 326
Limpopo National Park 260 Activities 291 Gross Barmen Recreation
Quissico 260 Books 292 Reserve 326
Závora 261 Business Hours 292 Karibib 326
Inhambane 261 Children 293 Omaruru 326
Around Inhambane 262 Customs 293 Outjo 327
Tofo 262 Dangers & Annoyances 293 Gamkarab Cave 327
Barra 263 Embassies & Consulates 294 Otjiwarongo 328
Maxixe 264 Festivals & Events 295 Waterberg Plateau Park 328
Linga Linga 264 Holidays 295 Grootfontein 329
Massinga & Morrungulo 264 Internet Access 295 Tsumeb 330
16 CONTENTS

Etosha National Park 332 Language 391 Namaqualand 464


NORTHERN NAMIBIA 336 Maps 391 EASTERN CAPE 466
Oshakati 337 Money 391 Nature’s Valley to Port
Ondangwa 338 Post 392 Elizabeth 466
Uutapi (Ombalantu) 339 Telephone & Fax 392 Port Elizabeth 477
Ruacana 339 Tourist Information 392 Port Elizabeth to Kei River 481
Rundu 340 Visas 392 Settler Country & Around 486
Khaudom Game Reserve 341 Work 393 the Karoo 488
Bwabwata National Park 341 TRANSPORT IN NAMIBIA 393 Wild Coast 491
Katima Mulilo 343 North-Eastern Highlands 494
Getting There & Away 393
Mpalila Island 344 KWAZULU-NATAL 495
Getting Around 395
Mudumu National Park 345 History 495

399
Mamili National Park 345 Durban 495
Otjozondjupa Region 346 South Africa Around Durban 507
NORTHWESTERN Highlights 400 South of Durban 508
NAMIBIA 347 Itineraries 400 North of Durban 509
Damaraland 347 Climate & When to Go 400 Zululand 509
Kaokoveld 350 History 402 The Elephant Coast 511
Skeleton Coast 354 The Culture 407 Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg
CENTRAL NAMIBIA 355 Park 516
Sport 409
Swakopmund 355 The Midlands 523
Religion 410
Around Swakopmund 364 Thukela 525
Arts 410
Walvis Bay 364 MPUMALANGA 527
Environment 411
Namib-Naukluft Park 367 Eastern Lowveld 528
Food & Drink 414
SOUTHERN NAMIBIA 375 Klein Drakensberg 536
CAPE TOWN 415
Rehoboth 375 GAUTENG 539
History 415
Hardap Dam Recreation Johannesburg 540
Climate 418
Resort & Game Park 375 Pretoria 552
Orientation 418
Mariental 377 Around Pretoria 559
Duwisib Castle 377 Information 418 FREE STATE 559
Maltahöhe 377 Dangers & Annoyances 419 Bloemfontein 559
Helmeringhausen 377 Sights 419 Northern Free State 564
Brukkaros 378 Activities 426 Eastern Highlands 565
Keetmanshoop 378 Tours 430 NORTH-WEST PROVINCE 566
Aus 379 Festivals & Events 430 History 567
Lüderitz 379 Sleeping 430 Rustenburg 567
Around Lüderitz 384 Eating 433 Sun City 568
Fish River Canyon National Drinking 435 Pilanesberg National Park 569
Park 385 Entertainment 435 Mafikeng 570
Around Fish River Canyon 386 Shopping 436 LIMPOPO 571
Noordoewer 387 Getting There & Away 436 History 571
NAMIBIA DIRECTORY 387 Getting Around 437 The N1 Highway 571
Accommodation 387 WESTERN CAPE 438 Venda Region 575
Activities 389 Winelands 438 The Waterberg 576
Books 389 The Overberg 444 The East 577
Business Hours 389 Route 62 447 SOUTH AFRICA
Children 389 Garden Route 450 DIRECTORY 578
Customs 389 West Coast & Swartland 457 Accommodation 578
Dangers & Annoyances 389 NORTHERN CAPE 459 Activities 579
Embassies & Consulates 390 Kimberley 460 Books 582
Festivals & Events 390 Upington 461 Children 582
Holidays 390 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Courses 582
Internet Access 391 Park 462 Customs 583
Internet Resources 391 Upington to Springbok 464 Dangers & Annoyances 583
CONTENTS 17

Embassies & Consulates 583 SOUTHERN SWAZILAND 613 Food & Drink 640
Festivals & Events 584 Ngwempisi Gorge 613 LUSAKA 640
Holidays 585 SWAZILAND DIRECTORY 613 Orientation 640
Internet Access 585 Accommodation 613 Information 640
Maps 585 Activities 613 Dangers & Annoyances 644
Money 585 Books 613 Sights & Activities 644
Post 586 Business Hours 613 Sleeping 644
Telephone 586 Children 613 Eating 646
Tourist Information 586 Customs 614 Drinking & Entertainment 646
Travellers With Disabilities 587 Dangers & Annoyances 614 Shopping 647
Visas 587 Embassies & Consulates 614 Getting There & Away 647
Volunteering 587 Festivals & Events 614 Getting Around 648
TRANSPORT IN SOUTH Gay & Lesbian Travellers 614 THE COPPERBELT 649
AFRICA 587 Holidays 614 Kapiri Mposhi 649
Getting There & Away 587 Internet Access 614 Ndola 649
Getting Around 591 Internet Resources 614 Kitwe 649
Language 614 Chimfunshi Wildlife
Swaziland 597 Maps
Money
614
615
Orphanage
Lake Kashiba
650
650
Highlights 598 Photography & Video 615 NORTHERN ZAMBIA 650
Itineraries 598 Post 615 Serenje 650
Climate & When to Go 598 Telephone 615 Kasanka National Park 651
History 598 Tourist Information 615 Bangweulu Wetlands 651
The Culture 601 Visas 615 Samfya 651
Religion 602 TRANSPORT IN Mutinondo Wilderness 652
Arts & Crafts 602 SWAZILAND 615 Shiwa Ng’andu 652
Environment 603 Getting There & Away 615 Kasama 653
Food & Drink 603 Getting Around 616 Mbala 653
MBABANE 603 Kalambo Falls 653
Orientation
Information
604
604
Victoria Falls 618 Mpulungu
Nsumbu (Sumbu) National
654

Dangers & Annoyances 604 Activities 619 Park 654


Sights 604 Travel & Adventure EASTERN ZAMBIA 655
Companies 620 Chirundu 655
Sleeping 605
ZAMBIA 621 Lower Zambezi National
Eating 605
Livingstone 621 Park 655
Shopping 605
Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Luangwa Bridge 657
Getting There & Away 605 Park 625 Chipata 657
Getting Around 605 ZIMBABWE 626 South Luangwa National
Around Mbabane 606 Victoria Falls 626 Park 658
NORTHWESTERN Victoria Falls National Park 630 North Luangwa National
SWAZILAND 609 Zambezi National Park 630 Park 662
Ngwenya 610 SOUTHERN ZAMBIA 662

631
Malolotja Nature Reserve 610 Choma 662
Piggs Peak 610 Zambia Lake Kariba 663
Bulembu 611 Highlights 632 Lochinvar National Park 664
EASTERN SWAZILAND 611 Itineraries 632 WESTERN ZAMBIA 664
Siteki 611 Climate & When to Go 632 Sesheke 664
Hlane Royal National Park 611 History 632 Ngonye Falls 665
Mlawula Nature Reserve 612 The Culture 636 Senanga 665
Mbuluzi Game Reserve 612 Sport 637 Mongu 665
Mkhaya Game Reserve 612 Religion 637 Kafue National Park 666
Simunye 612 Arts & Crafts 637 ZAMBIA DIRECTORY 668
Big Bend 612 Environment 638 Accommodation 668
18 CONTENTS

Activities 669 Kariba 703 Visas 729


Books 669 Mana Pools National Park 705 TRANSPORT IN
Business Hours 670 Middle Zambezi Canoe ZIMBABWE 729
Children 670 Safaris 706 Getting There & Away 729
Customs 670 Chinhoyi Caves National Getting Around 730
Park 706
Dangers & Annoyances 670
EASTERN HIGHLANDS 706
Discount Cards 670 Southern Africa
Embassies & Consulates
Festivals & Events
670
671
Mutare
Bvumba Mountains
707
708 Directory 732
Nyanga National Park 710 Accommodation 732
Holidays 671
Chimanimani 712 Activities 734
Internet Access 671
Chimanimani National Park 714 Books 740
Internet Resources 671
THE MIDLANDS & Business Hours 742
Language 672 SOUTHEASTERN Children 742
Maps 672 ZIMBABWE 714
Climate Charts 742
Money 672 Kwe Kwe 714
Courses 744
Photography & Video 673 Gweru 714
Customs 744
Post 673 Around Gweru 715
Dangers & Annoyances 744
Telephone 673 Masvingo 715
Embassies & Consulates 745
Tourist Information 674 Great Zimbabwe 716
Gay & Lesbian Travellers 745
Visas 674 Lake Mutirikwe (Kyle)
Insurance 746
TRANSPORT IN ZAMBIA 675 Recreational Park 717
Gonarezhou National Park 717 Internet Access 746
Getting There & Away 675
WESTERN ZIMBABWE 718 Maps 746
Getting Around 677
Bulawayo 718 Money 746

Zimbabwe 680 Tshabalala Game


Sanctuary 722
Photography & Video
Solo Travellers
747
748
Highlights 681 Khami (Kame) Ruins 722 Telephone 748
Itineraries 681 Matobo (Matopos) Time 748
Climate & When to Go 682 National Park 722 Toilets 749
History 682 Hwange 723 Tourist Information 749
The Culture 687 Hwange National Park 723 Travellers with Disabilities 749
Sport 688 Western Lake Kariba 725 Visas 749
Religion 689 ZIMBABWE DIRECTORY 725 Volunteering 750
Arts & Crafts 689 Accommodation 725 Women Travellers 750
Environment 689 Activities 725
Food & Drink 692 Books 726
Transport in
HARARE
Orientation
692
693
Business Hours
Children
726
726 Southern Africa 752
Information 693 Customs 726 GETTING THERE & AWAY 752
Dangers & Annoyances 695 Dangers & Annoyances 726 Entry Requirements 752
Sights 695 Embassies & Consulates 727 Air 752
Activities 698 Festivals & Events 727 Land 755
Harare for Children 698 Gay & Lesbian Travellers 727 Sea 757
Festivals & Events 698 Holidays 727 Tours 757
Sleeping 698 Internet Access 728 GETTING AROUND 758
Eating 699 Language 728 Air 758
Entertainment 700 Maps 728 Bicycle 759
Shopping 700 Money 728 Boat 759
Getting There & Away 701 Photography & Video 728 Bus 759
Getting Around 701 Post 728 Car & Motorcycle 760
Around Harare 702 Telephone 728 Hitching 764
NORTHERN ZIMBABWE 702 Tourist Information 728 Local Transport 764
© Lonely Planet Publications
C O N T E N T S 19

Tours
Train
764
765
IN TRANSIT
Deep Vein Thrombosis
767
767 Glossary 783
Jet Lag 767

Health 766 IN SOUTHERN AFRICA 767 Behind the Scenes 787


Availability & Cost of
BEFORE YOU GO
Insurance
766
766
Health Care
Infectious Diseases
767
768 Index 796
Recommended Travellers’ Diarrhoea 770
Vaccinations
Medical Checklist
766
767
Environmental Hazards 771 World Time Zones 810
Internet Resources
Further Reading
767
767 Language 772 Map Legend 812

Regional Map Contents

Malawi
p159
Zambia
p633

Mozambique
Zimbabwe p240
Namibia p681
p307

Botswana
p79

Swaziland
p599

Lesotho
p136
South Africa
p401
© Lonely Planet Publications
23

You can buy, download and


print individual chapters from

Getting Started this guidebook.


Get Southern Africa chapters>

Southern Africa varies tremendously; it’s suitable for backpackers getting by


on packets of chewy biltong, right through to those who prefer their cocktails
by the saltwater pool. It all depends on the country you want to spend time
in and the activities you pursue.
Anyone with limited time will want to plan their trip carefully, while those
with more time may prefer to just follow their whims and take life at a lei-
surely pace, stopping whenever something takes their fancy. Remember that
the right attitude is what’s most important – take precautions but don’t be
paranoid, whether in Johannesburg or sunning yourself by Lake Malawi.
Don’t run around trying to fit too much into your time – Africa needs
to be approached with a sense of fun and laid-back nonchalance. Before
long you’ll find yourself in tune to the rhythm of its friendly people, wild
landscapes and majestic wildlife.

WHEN TO GO
High season is from April to August, when most of Southern Africa is basking
in temperate sunshine, with comfortable (but often very chilly) nights. The
shoulder seasons of February to March and September to October are also
usually quite comfortable in the central part of the region. In the north, you
can plan on inclement weather from November to March; the heat can be
oppressive and travel can be more difficult due to flooded rivers and washed-
out roads. Wildlife viewing is also less rewarding than in the winter (and some
See Climate Charts (p742)
parks close completely), but bird-watching is at its best, and you’re likely to
for more information.
see the most dramatic skies and thunderstorms imaginable.
The Cape area, however, experiences a Mediterranean climate with win-
ter rain, which means that the high season is just the opposite of the rest
of Southern Africa. The high season in Cape Town runs from October to
March, while May to August is characterised by rains and blustery winds.
April and September can go either way.
Winter is best for hiking, because it’s dry and cool in the highlands and
not too hot in the lowlands.
Another factor to consider is the South African school holidays, when vast
numbers of people head for the coast and national parks of South Africa and
neighbouring countries. Hotels and camping grounds can fill completely, and
prices skyrocket. See the individual Climate and When to Go sections at the
beginning of the country chapters for country-specific details.

COSTS & MONEY HOW MUCH?


Generally speaking, prices in Southern Africa are around 50% to 75% of what 2WD car hire US$50-100
they are in Europe, Australasia or North America. Although the rand has Box of fruit at roadside
strengthened in recent years, South Africa still remains very good value and US$1-2
the crisis in Zimbabwe (see p682 for some background) has caused foreign-
Wildlife safari US$100
currency prices to plummet. Botswana is always considerably more expensive
and up
than these countries, while Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique offer a wide
range of options, from dirt cheap to exceptionally expensive. In general, Hourly internet access
locally produced items will be good value wherever you go, while imported $US0.50-$4
goods may be twice what they cost in the West (thanks to import duties). Traditional dance
Serious backpackers may get by on an average of US$12 to US$15 per day, US$5-15
including accommodation, food and transport, although US$20 allows more
flexibility. For a bit more comfort, US$25 to US$30 per day is a reasonable
budget for day-to-day living expenses. To stay in midrange hotels, eat well
24 G E T T I N G S TA R T E D • • R e a d i n g U p lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G E T T I N G S TA R T E D • • M u s t - S e e M o v i e s 25

Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier by Alexandra Fuller


DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT winds its way through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Fuller travels
 A sense of fun and a relaxed attitude about African travel. into a war-scarred past with her companion, revealing a legacy of conflict
and its effects on themselves and the region’s indigenous peoples.
 Binoculars for wildlife viewing and a schmick camera for taking great wildlife shots.
One of the most prominent contemporary South African authors is Zakes
 An appetite for biltong, boerewors and mealie pap (see p48). Mda, who – with the publication of Ways of Dying in 1995 – made a suc-
 Your yellow fever vaccination card, if you’ve been travelling in affected countries (see p770). cessful transition from poetry and plays to become an acclaimed novelist.
 Reading the Malaria section of the Health chapter (p769) in this book if you’ll be travelling in
His most recent book, The Whale Caller (2005), takes a somewhat sceptical
malarial areas. look at the optimism surrounding the new South Africa.
In The History of Southern Africa, Kevin Shillington objectively and sen-
 Warm, waterproof clothing, a hat and warm socks for cold highland areas (even in summer). sitively discusses Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland,
 Reading a few books (see below), or bringing one along for long bumpy bus rides. covering prehistory plus African and colonial history.
 A tent, sleeping bag and sheet liner (which may also come in handy at budget hotels) for
camping. A camping stove is also essential for overnight hiking, as fires are not allowed in Websites
many areas – one that runs on petrol will be the least hassle. AfricaNet (www.africanet.com) A site with an African search engine covering many different
aspects of Africa, including tourism.
BackPacker (www.backpackafrica.com) This site has a South Africa bias, but lists lots of travel-
and travel in comfort when possible, you’re looking at around US$50 per related companies and has a live booking system and useful links.
day or more. Top-end travellers should expect to pay at least US$75 per day, Ecological Safaris (www.ecologicalafrica.com) A great website for planning personalised tours
but US$100 upward is more realistic (note that your budget will skyrocket around Southern Africa with an experienced operator.
if you’re staying in private game reserves). iafrica.com (www.iafrica.com) This diverse South African–dominated site includes travel, news
Along with these basic costs, you’ll have to consider visa and national and lifestyle sections, plus links to sites on other Southern African countries.
park fees, plus the cost of any tours or activities (such as wildlife safaris or Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com) Here you will find several pages of information on each
whitewater rafting). To hire a car, you’ll find the cheapest deals in South country in Southern Africa and the Thorn Tree notice board, where you can ask questions before
Africa (p593), where some companies will allow you to take the vehicle into you go or dispense advice when you get back. There are also travel services, including an
neighbouring countries for a minimal extra charge. accommodation-booking facility with dedicated Lonely Planet author reviews.
See the Transport sections of individual country chapters, and the Money Political Africa (www.politicalafrica.com) Here you’ll find the latest stories on Africa, from
sections in country-specific Directories, for more information on costs. various news services around the world.

READING UP MUST-SEE MOVIES


Books  Tsotsi (Director Gavin Hood, 2006)
No Place Like & Other Stories by Southern African Women Writers, edited  Yesterday (Director Darrell James Roodt, 2005)
by Robin Malan, is a compelling collection of short stories that focus on the  Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony (Director Lee Hirsch,
women of Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. The tone varies 2003)
between ironic, intimate and emotionally charged, often within the larger  Drum (Director Zola Maseko, 2005)
political landscape, encapsulating the hope and political futures of colonial
and post-colonial times.
FAVOURITE FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Mukiwa by Peter Goodwin is a book that grabs your heart and stays in your
head. It is the story of a small Rhodesian boy who witnesses the murder by Seeing a local festival can be a highlight of your trip to Southern Africa and a window into the
guerrillas of a neighbour…and then the tumultuous end of white rule. Mukiwa local culture. There’s plenty of traditional celebrations throughout the year – here’s a list of our
captures much of the beauty and mystery of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa. favourites:
Lost World of the Kalahari by Laurens Van der Post is a captivating account  /Ae//Gams street festival, Namibia, September (p319)
of the author’s rediscovery of the San at a time when Southern Africa was
 Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe, late April (p698)
under colonial rule. The book details the author’s arduous expedition deep
into the wild Kalahari and reveals the unique indigenous culture of Africa’s  Incwala ceremony, Swaziland, late December/early January (p607)
last Stone Age people.  Kuomboka ceremony, Zambia, late March/early April (p666)
The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent
 Maitisong Festival, Botswana, March or April (p125)
from 1876 to 1912 by Thomas Pakenham details the colonial history of
Africa in well-written and entertaining prose. It was one of the first studies  Morija Arts & Cultural Festival, Lesotho, early October (p149)
to tell both sides of the story and has become established as the standard  Rustler’s Valley One World Unity Party, South Africa, Easter (p585)
work on the topic.  National Arts Festival, South Africa, July (p486)
Indaba My Children by Credo Mutwa is a book of legends – a historic
account of age-old Bantu traditions and beliefs. From the creation myth  Timbilas Festival, Mozambique, date varies between June and August (p295)
to the colonial era, this revealing book is a testament to the spirituality of  Umhlanga (Reed) Dance, Swaziland, August/September (p607)
Africa’s people.
© Lonely Planet Publications
26 G E T T I N G S TA R T E D • • R e s p o n s i b l e T r a v e l lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com G E T T I N G S TA R T E D • • R e s p o n s i b l e T r a v e l 27

 Zulu Love Letter (Director Ramadan Suleman, 2004)  Budget your trip, and devote 10% (or more!) before you go to donate
 Wah-Wah (Director Richard E Grant, 2005) to charities that will directly help the areas you visit – such as Future
 Boy Called Twist (Director Timothy Greene, 2004) Forests, which battles airplane fuel’s contribution to global warming.
 In My Country (Director John Boorman, 2005)  Don’t watch sacred dances staged solely for tourists, and don’t go to
 Red Dust (Director Tom Hooper, 2005) sacred sites that offend local beliefs. Respect the fragility and cultural
 Flame (Director Ingrid Sinclair, 1996) importance of rock paintings throughout the region – no touching,
rubbing or interference.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL  Respect local protocol with regard to clothing – avoid very skimpy or
Tourism has a substantial effect on the destinations most frequented by for- ripped/dirty clothes, and topless sunbathing.
eign visitors. While some of these effects are absolutely beneficial, providing  Don’t drive 4WDs off road or on sand dunes and especially don’t drive
local income and incentive for environmental conservation, other aspects on beaches in Mozambique, where it’s harmful to the environment and
of tourism can seriously disrupt local economies and ecologies. Please take illegal.
note of the following guidelines and help minimise the negative aspects of  Be aware of the source of your seafood. Overfishing and inappropri-
tourism while reinforcing its benefits to local communities: ate fishing methods mean that although Southern Africa’s waters are
 Save water; it’s a precious resource, especially in Namibia, where you bountiful, many species are overexploited and some stocks are running
should be extra careful about water conservation – particularly during dangerously low.
the dry season.
 Don’t – ever! – litter on trails, in parks or in cities. When there’s a Organisations with information on responsible travel and sustainable envi-
choice, don’t stay in guesthouses or hotels that dump sewage into riv- ronmental practices include Tourism Concern (%020 7133 3330; www.tourismconcern
ers, canals or lakes. .org.uk; Stapleton House, 277-281 Holloway Rd, London N7 8HN); and Action for Southern Africa
 Support local enterprise. But when buying locally made souvenirs, avoid (%020 7833 3133; www.actsa.org; 28 Penton St, London N1 9SA), which campaigns for
items made from natural material – wood, skin, ivory etc – unless they (among other things) sustainable tourism throughout the region.
come from a sustainable source (admittedly, this is difficult to check). For further information on responsible tourism, see p65.
 Recognise land tenure. Indigenous people who use the land are entitled
to it by international law, whether or not local governments respect
that law.
 Ask permission before taking close-up photographs of people, and if
payment is requested, either pay up or put the camera away.
 Don’t give money or sweets as gifts for children. If you want to help
them, find the village school and donate some pens or schoolbooks, or
seek out the clinic and donate unwanted first-aid items. Don’t allow
schoolkids to guide you during school hours as this encourages them
to play truant.

CONDUCT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA


A few straightforward courtesies may greatly improve a foreigner’s chances of acceptance by
the local community, especially in rural areas. In Southern Africa, pleasantries are taken quite
seriously, and it’s essential to greet or say goodbye to someone entering or leaving a room.
Learn the local words for hello and goodbye and use them unsparingly. Emphasis is placed on
handshakes all over the region. The Batswana (in Botswana) are particularly sensitive to proper
greetings (always be polite) and handshakes (grab your right elbow with your left arm while
shaking). In Zambia it’s customary to greet someone who is walking if you are the one who is
stationary, not the other way around. The African handshake consists of three parts: the normal
Western handshake, followed by the linking of bent fingers while touching the ends of upward-
pointing thumbs, and then a repeat of the conventional handshake.
As in most traditional societies, the achievement of old age is an accomplishment worthy of
respect, and elders are treated with deference – their word should not be questioned and they
should be accorded utmost courtesy. Teachers, doctors and other professionals often receive
similar treatment.
When visiting rural settlements, it’s a good idea to request to see the chief to announce your
presence and ask permission before setting up camp or wandering through.
If you’re offered a gift, don’t feel guilty about accepting it, as refusal may bring shame on the
giver. To receive a gift politely, accept it with both hands and perhaps bow slightly.
© Lonely Planet Publications
28 lonelyplanet.com ITINERARIES •• Classic Routes 29

NATURAL WONDER & SENSATIONAL SAFARIS One Week / Victoria

Itineraries Falls to the Okavango Delta


Start your trip at one of the great natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls
(p618), whose mighty spray can be seen from 50km away. For the best per-
spective visit from both Livingstone (Zambia; p621) and the town of Victoria
CLASSIC ROUTES Falls (Zimbabwe; p626). There’s a plethora of activities including serene canoe
trips on top of the falls, or rafting down the churning Zambezi, below the
falls, if you’re after an adrenalin rush. Also be sure to check out Mosi-oa-Tunya
NATURE & FUN IN THE SUN Three Weeks to One Month / Game Park (p626) and the rainforests of Victoria Falls National Park.
Kruger to southern Mozambique From the Zimbabwean side catch a shuttlebus or drive to Kasane (p101)
Using Johannesburg (p540) as a gateway, head east via Nelspruit (p533) to South in Botswana, the gateway town to the stunning, wildlife-rich Chobe National
Africa’s world-renowned Kruger National Park (p528). The teeming wildlife will Park (p101). Here you can organise wildlife drives and river cruises to the
undoubtedly mesmerise you for at least several days. Chobe Riverfront wonderland, where nearly every Southern African mam-
If you’ve time, duck out of Orpen Gate for a look at Blyde River Canyon mal species is represented.
(p536). From Kruger, continue south into Swaziland, where you can spend a From Chobe it’s an easy hop, skip and a jump southwest to Maun (p106)
few days hiking through the grasslands and forests of Malolotja Nature Reserve and Botswana’s tourist magnet, the vast Okavango Delta (p106), where one of
(p610) before heading on via Mbabane (p603) to the tiny but brilliant Mkhaya the world’s most impressive ecosystems breathes life into the Kalahari sands
Game Reserve (p612), which is noted for its black rhinos. and attracts astonishing amounts of wildlife and incalculable birds.
Then head to culturally intriguing Maputo (p246) via the Mozambican Once in Maun, you can do a mokoro (dugout canoe) trip in the Eastern
border town of Namaacha (p258). Head north on the EN1 and if you’re get- Delta (p112), take a safari in Moremi Wildlife Reserve (p114), or splash out on a
ting desperate for a dip, stop at Xai-Xai’s (p259) quiet beaches. Continue up fly-in trip into the Inner Delta (p112). From Maun, take a minibus clockwise
the EN1 to Inhambane (p261), one of the country’s oldest and most charming around the delta towards Namibia, perhaps stopping in Sepupa to take a boat
towns. Beaches close by include legendary Tofo (p262), with azure waters, to Seronga (p116) and do a mokoro trip in the Okavango Panhandle (p116).
and the more sedate Barra (p263). If you’ve more steam, trundle a bit further A rewarding side trip will take you to the Tsodilo Hills (p117), which the San
north to Vilankulo (p265), the gateway to the tropical paradise of Bazaruto people maintain is the site of creation.
Archipelago.
This trip serves up A delightful
delightful variety, itinerary, this will
and if you’ve a take you 700km
month up your through some of
sleeve you can get the biggest draws
MALAWI
a good sampling ZAMBIA ZAMBIA
MALAWI
in Southern Africa.
of the wildlife and When viewing
local culture and Victoria wildlife, remember
Falls
still have time to Kasane Livingstone
to take a break
MOZAMBIQUE Tsodilo Hills Sepupa Chobe National Park
laze on the beach ZIMBABWE
Okavango Moremi Wildlife MOZAMBIQUE here and there –
Delta Reserve
along this 2000km- Bazaruto
Maun ZIMBABWE
don’t try to
NAMIBIA
plus route. Short NAMIBIA
BOTSWANA
Archipelago
Vilankulo
squeeze too much
Kruger
on time? Whiz National BOTSWANA in. You could whiz
Blyde River Canyon Park
through Swazi- Nature Reserve Xai-Xai
Inhambane
along in about
Nelspruit
land and stick to Malolotja Nature Reserve
Namaacha
MAPUTO seven days, or
Johannesburg SWAZILAND
motorways where relax along the
Mkhaya Game Reserve
MBABANE

possible. SWAZILAND way and stretch


LESOTHO LESOTHO
things out to 10
ATLANTIC SOUTH AFRICA INDIAN SOUTH AFRICA days or even two
ATLANTIC INDIAN
OCEAN OCEAN
OCEAN OCEAN weeks.
30 ITINERARIES •• Classic Routes lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com I T I N E R A R I E S • • R o a d s Le s s T r a v e l l e d 31

A SOUTHERN AFRICAN SLICE One Month / Cape Town to Windhoek


A car is definitely your best bet for this mega road trip. After a few days in
Cape Town (p415), including a stay at a township B&B, tear yourself away from
ROADS LESS TRAVELLED
this wonderful city and head to the fertile valleys of the Winelands, with a
night or two in Stellenbosch (p438) or Franschhoek (p442). DUSTY ROADS & SHIMMERING WATERS Three Weeks to One Month /
From here, continue east to the artists’ enclave of Montagu (p447), and then Lusaka to Nkhata Bay
via the scenic Route 62 through the Little Karoo to Oudtshoorn (p448), South Start with a few days in Lusaka (p640) with its lively ambience and genuine
Africa’s ostrich capital. Possible detours along the way include to Hermanus African feel. Then head out on the highway to the beautiful Lower Zambezi
(p444) for whale watching if the season is right, and Cape Agulhas (p446) for National Park (p655), its beautiful flood plain dotted with acacias and other
the thrill of standing at Africa’s southernmost point. large trees. There’s no public transport so you’ll need a car, or organise a
From Oudtshoorn take the N12 north and then loop back towards Cape tour. Continue up the Great East Road to Chipata (p657), taking a break from
Town via the N1, link up with the N7 and head for Namaqualand (p464) the road at Luangwa Bridge (p657), roughly halfway. At Chipata check out the
to see the fabulous wildflower displays, especially good in August and market and organise a trip to South Luangwa National Park (p658), the best in
September. Zambia and one of the most majestic parks in Africa. From Chipata you can
Keep tracking up the N7, cross into Namibia at Vioolsdrif (p465) and head drive to Mfuwe Gate (p658), or minibuses make the trip to Mfuwe village. The
to Hobas (p385) to see the Fish River Canyon National Park (p385), a jaw-dropping really adventurous could try to reach spectacular North Luangwa National Park
natural sight that’s also Namibia’s premier walking destination. (p662), but seek local advice for this.
Further north along the B1, Keetmanshoop (p378) has some colonial archi- Then it’s on to Lilongwe (p167), worth a day or two to check out the old
tecture; if this grabs you, head west along the B4 to surreal Lüderitz (p379), town and the local Nature Sanctuary. Then strike north along the M1 to
a coastal colonial relic. Heading back to the B1, turn north at the C13 and Nkhata Bay (p188), perfect for swimming, kayaking or just lazing about after
make a beeline for baroque Duwisib Castle (p377), well worth exploring, 70km some hard weeks on the road. Possible detours on the way to Nkhata include
south of Maltahöhe (p377), where you can stay on a working ranch. From the gently rolling hills of Kasungu National Park (p196), and Nkhotakota (p196),
there head to Mariental (p377), back on the B1, and it’s another couple of to pick up some good-value crafts and to organise a trip to the wild Nkhotakota
hours to Windhoek (p314), the small, colourful and cosmopolitan capital city Wildlife Reserve (p197), where you’ve a good chance of seeing elephants.
with its bracing highland climate.

Definitely for lov- A 2000km route


ers of a road trip. that could be
Even if you can’t done in a couple
North Luangwa MALAWI
squeeze everything National Park
Nkhata Bay of weeks, but we
South Luangwa
in on this 3000km- National Park Kasungu
National Park
recommend at
least three weeks
Mfuwe
plus journey, you’ll ZAMBIA
MALAWI
ZAMBIA Lower Zambezi
Chipata
Nkhotakota
LILONGWE
undoubtedly come National Park
Luangwa to enjoy this jour-
LUSAKA Bridge
away with an ney through the
immense apprecia- MOZAMBIQUE Southern African
ZIMBABWE
tion of this varied NAMIBIA
ZIMBABWE
MOZAMBIQUE outback. Travel-
and remarkable ling in Zambia is
region. If you’re WINDHOEK
BOTSWANA NAMIBIA
BOTSWANA
a chance to get a
looking to make taste of the real Af-
cuts, shave some Maltahöhe Mariental
rica, and the dusty
Duwisib
kilometres off the Castle
SWAZILAND roads will become
Lüderitz
a distant memory
Keetmanshoop
Western Cape loop.
SWAZILAND
Fish River Hobas
Canyon
To avoid white-line National Park
Vioolsdrif
once you’re lazing
LESOTHO
fever allow at least
Namaqualand
LESOTHO by the crystal clear
a month. ATLANTIC SOUTH AFRICA INDIAN ATLANTIC SOUTH AFRICA INDIAN waters of Lake
OCEAN
Montagu Oudtshoorn
OCEAN OCEAN OCEAN Malawi.
Stellenbosch
CAPE TOWN Franschhoek
Hermanus
Cape
Agulhas
32 I T I N E R A R I E S • • R o a d s Le s s T r a v e l l e d lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com I T I N E R A R I E S • • R o a d s Le s s T r a v e l l e d 33

LAKESHORE TO SEASHORE Three Weeks to One Month / MESMERISING WILDERNESS & CULTURE Three Weeks / Skeleton
Nkhata Bay to Pemba Coast to the Kalahari
Drag yourself out of Nkhata Bay’s (p188) crystal waters and hop onto the Ilala Starting on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, a treacherous coastline with its rusting
ferry for the blissful Likoma Island (p192), where swimming, snorkelling and shipwrecks and desert wilderness, check out the Cape Cross Seal Reserve (p354).
local cultures are the star attractions. Splash out at Kaya Mawa if you’ve the Track north along the coast to Torra Bay (p355), where you can camp, or to
pennies – it’s one of Africa’s finest paradise retreats. Take the ferry over to Terrace Bay (p355) for more luxurious accommodation. Then travel west into
the Mediterranean-esque Chizumulu Island (p194), with its idyllic beaches, and the wonders of Damaraland (p347), with its wild, open spaces, and head for
return by dhow (only if the waters are calm). Twyfelfontein (p349), one of the most extensive galleries of rock art in Africa.
On Likoma hop back on the ferry, or take a dhow, and head over to Cóbuè Then journey further east to Outjo (p327), a staging post for visits to Etosha
(p284) on the other side of the lakeshore in Mozambique. Stay just south of National Park (p332), teeming with animals and one of the continent’s great
Cóbuè at Nkwichi Lodge, a magnificent bush retreat and part of an important wildlife-viewing sites.
development and conservation project. If your budget isn’t up to Nkwichi Exit Etosha via Von Linqequist Gate and proceed to Tsumeb (p330), one of
Lodge, there’s the backpacker-friendly Mchenga Wede nearby. Then continue the country’s prettiest towns with its vivid jacarandas and flame trees. Track
south to tiny Metangula (p284), and on to cool Lichinga (p283), surrounded by northeast along the B8 into Botswana at the border town of Mohembo. Drive
scenic, rugged terrain and the capital of remote Niassa province. Carry on down the west side of the Okavango Delta (p106), perhaps stopping in Sepupa to
through to Mandimba (p283) and on to bustling Cuamba (p282), where you can take a boat to Seronga (p116) to do a mokoro trip in the Okavango Panhandle.
pick up a train all the way to Nampula (p276). Then jump on a bus through Detour to the mystical Tsodilo Hills (p117), soaked in San legend, culture and
to magnificent Ilha de Moçambique (p278), with its intriguing architecture and spiritual significance: a highlight is the prolific rock art in the area.
time-warp atmosphere. If you need a beach break on the way to the island, The last leg of this ambitious trip is the gigantic Central Kalahari Game
detour to nearby Chocas (p281). Finish up a bit further north at Pemba (p285), Reserve (p119) to the southeast, lying at the heart of Botswana. Enter at the
the gateway to the superb Quirimbas Archipelago. Matswere Gate at the northeastern end of the reserve: wildlife includes lions
and brown hyenas. You can finish your trip by exiting the same gate and
travelling east to Francistown (p95).

This 1500km trip This is a 3000km-


could be tacked plus challenging
onto ‘Dusty Roads Likoma &
jaunt into some of
and Shimmer- Chizumulu
Islands Southern Africa’s
Nkhata Bay
ing Waters’ and Metangula
Cóbuè most inhospitable
is a great way
MALAWI
Lichinga
Mandimba
Pemba
ZAMBIA
and magnificent
to combine the
ZAMBIA
Cuamba
Chocas terrain – you
fourth largest lake MALAWI Nampula
Ilha de definitely need a
Moçambique
in Africa with a Etosha MOZAMBIQUE car, and note that
MOZAMBIQUE
Mozambican bush National
Terrace Park Tsodilo
Sepupa
Okavango
ZIMBABWE
much of it is 4WD
Bay Damaraland Tsumeb Hills Delta
adventure. Ilha ZIMBABWE
Torra
Outjo territory. You could
Matswere Francistown
de Moçambique
Twyfelfontein
NAMIBIA
Bay
Cape Cross
Gate push through in
makes a wonder-
Seal Reserve Central Kalahari
three weeks, but
BOTSWANA
Game Reserve

ful contrast to the BOTSWANA


consider taking a
NAMIBIA
bush, and you can month, especially if
finish on the beach
SWAZILAND
SWAZILAND you want to spend
in the tropical some time in the
island paradise LESOTHO
ATLANTIC LESOTHO INDIAN Kalahari.
OCEAN OCEAN
of Quirimbas ATLANTIC
SOUTH AFRICA
OCEAN
Archipelago. SOUTH AFRICA
INDIAN
OCEAN
© Lonely Planet Publications
34 I T I N E R A R I E S • • Ta i l o re d T r i p s lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com I T I N E R A R I E S • • Ta i l o re d T r i p s 35

MAJESTIC WILDLIFE & AFRICAN LANDSCAPES


TAILORED TRIPS Africa and its wildlife have a mystique that’s simply awe-inspiring. In South
Africa, world-class Kruger National Park (p528) has an astonishing variety
and number of animals, while surreal Pilanesberg National Park (p569) with
WORLD HERITAGE SITES its extinct volcanoes is good for spotting wild dogs. At Mkhuze Game Reserve
Southern Africa’s Unesco-protected World Heritage Sites encapsulate some (p515) sit by a pan at dawn listening to the sounds of the bush, watching
of the most valuable cultural icons, historical sites and natural landscapes on the wildlife parade before you. For unforgettable sunsets and wild storms,
the continent. South Africa hosts fossil hominid sites including Sterkfontein head to the hauntingly beautiful Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (p462), with its
(see p37), referred to as the Cradle of Humankind. Further north, Mapungubwe shifting red and white sands. If you’re after separation from the world, try
Cultural Landscape (p575) incorporates wonderful historical sites from an ancient Sehlabathebe National Park (p147) in Lesotho.
kingdom. Greater St Lucia Wetlands (p513) is a brilliant ecotourism destination, In Malawi, hippos, elephants and kingfishers dominate the lush sur-
and the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park (p516) is an otherworldly mountainous area rounds and tranquil Shire River at Liwonde National Park (p206), while Nyika
splashed with San rock art. In the west, just offshore National Park(p181) has antelope, endless views
from Cape Town, Robben Island (p419) is a shrine to and clean, crisp air. Magnificent Kafue National Nyika
MALAWI the struggle, with tours led by former inmates. Park (p666) is Zambia’s foremost park for spot- National Park
Lake
ZAMBIA Malawi Zimbabwe boasts impressive cultural sites such ting the Big Five. Kafue MALAWI
MOZAMBIQUE

Victoria Mana Pools as Great Zimbabwe (p716), once the greatest medieval One of the largest herds of elephants in the Etosha
National
ZAMBIA Park
Liwonde
National Park
Falls National Park Ilha de
Moçambique
city in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Khami Ruins world roam around Hwange National Park (p723) in National
Park ZIMBABWE
Tsodilo Hills ZIMBABWE (p722). Close by, Matobo National Park (p722) has one Zimbabwe, and the breathtaking Eastern Highlands Hwange Eastern Highlands
Khami Ruins Great Zimbabwe Okavango National
NAMIBIA Matobo
National
of the world’s best collections of San rock art. In the (p706) are a wilderness wonderland of formidable NAMIBIA Delta Park

Park
MOZAMBIQUE
Mapungubwe
north, Mana Pools National Park (p705) is known for peaks, savanna valleys and hiking trails. Kgalagadi
BOTSWANA Kruger
National Park
its walking safaris. Victoria Falls (p618), to the west, Namibia’s Etosha National Park (p332) is one
BOTSWANA
Cultural Landscape Transfrontier
Park Pilanesberg SWAZILAND
SWAZILAND Greater
St Lucia is one of the world’s seven natural wonders. of the continent’s great wildlife-viewing destin- National Mkhuze
Park
ATLANTIC LESOTHO Wetlands Ilha de Moçambique (p278) in Mozambique is a ations, while the Okavango Delta (p106) in Bot- LESOTHO
Game
Reserve
Ukhahlamba-
OCEAN
SOUTH AFRICA Drakensberg portal to the past with its intriguing architectural swana contains water-soaked Kalahari sands, a A TOLCAENATNI C Sehlabathebe
National
Robben
Park INDIAN
OCEAN
legacy, Lake Malawi (p187) is a snorkelling para- staggering animal population and magnificent SOUTH AFRICA Park INDIAN
OCEAN
Island
dise, and the Tsodilo Hills (p117) in Botswana is the desert vistas.
site of creation according to the San.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
BEACH PARADISE Southern Africa’s historical roots are firmly planted in the extraordinary
Sun worshippers will do well along South Africa’s Garden Route. Further San rock art sprinkled around the region. Some of the best examples are in
east, Jeffrey’s Bay (p468) is South Africa’s foremost centre of surfing, where Matobo National Park (p722) in Zimbabwe; the Tsodilo Hills (p117) in Botswana;
you’ll find locals waxing lyrical about the supertubes. But if you are look- and Twyfelfontein (p349) in Namibia.
ing for something more remote head to the aptly named Wild Coast. Here The stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe (p716), a rare example of medieval
dramatic beaches are backed by indigenous forest in one of the wildest, African architecture, are well worth a ramble, as are the 16th-century Khami
most unspoilt areas in the country. Durban’s (p495) holiday atmosphere Ruins (p722).
makes for the ultimate beachside playground complete with warm water, In Mozambique, European extravagance is evident in Palace of São Paulo
sun, surf and sand. (p280) and the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere, Chapel
In Mozambique, try Tofo (p262) with its long arc of white-sand beach and of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte (p280); both are found on timeless Ilha de Moçam-
excellent offshore diving. The Bazaruto Archipelago (p267) has clear waters of bique, which has a diverse cultural heritage.
turquoise and jade waters filled with colourful A unique pocket of colonial Africa can be
Nkhata
fish. Beaches north and south of Inhambane (p261) found at unspoilt Livingstonia (p179) in Malawi,
Bay Quirimbas are long, palm-fringed and backed by low cliffs where the fascinating museum details European Livingstonia
Chizumulu &
Likoma Islands Lake
Archipelago
or dunes. The Quirimbas Archipelago (p288) has missionary work. At Nkhotakota (p196) you can Shiwa
House Nkhotakota
ZAMBIA
Malawi beaches with stunning patches of deserted white sit under the tree where Livingstone persuaded MALAWI
ZAMBIA MALAWI
sand, with diving and snorkelling just offshore. a local chief to end the slave trade. ZIMBABWE
Khami
Ilha de
Moçambique
ZIMBABWE
MOZAMBIQUE But you don’t need a coastline to find a beach! Reminiscent of a medieval castle with its maze Tsodilo Ruins Great
NAMIBIA Bazaruto Try Lake Malawi (p187), its waters filled with of dusty corridors and stairways, bizarre Shiwa Twyfelfontein Hills Zimbabwe

House (p652) in Zambia is a rambling European Matobo


BOTSWANA Archipelago NAMIBIA MOZAMBIQUE
stunning marine life, for some of the best snor- National Park
Inhambane;
Tofo kelling in the region. There’s no better place to edifice situated in the middle of the African BOTSWANA

SWAZILAND
start than in the crystal waters off Likoma (p192) bush. Johannesburg
SWAZILAND

LESOTHO
Durban
and Chizumulu (p194) islands, with their sublime In Jo’burg the Apartheid Museum (p544) tells ATLANTIC
LESOTHO
INDIAN
A T L A N T I C SOUTH AFRICA
INDIAN
beaches and unparalleled diving. Back on the the chilling apartheid story with sensory verve, OCEAN SOUTH AFRICA OCEAN
OCEAN
OCEAN lakeshore get seduced into lazing at Nkhata Bay while Cape Town (p415) is awash with European CAPE TOWN
Jeffrey's Bay (p188). history.
World Heritage Sites Beach Paradise Majestic Wildlife & African Landscapes A Little Bit of History
© Lonely Planet Publications
36

Snapshot
Southern Africa
Southern Africa received a boost in 2005 when the world’s richest nations
agreed to write off the debt owed by the world’s poorest countries, which
include Zambia and Mozambique, with Malawi expected to qualify for the
ECONOMICALLY same debt relief in coming years.
SPEAKING, DID The establishment of transfrontier parks (p67) linking wildlife migration
YOU KNOW? routes across borders in pursuit of sustainable development is picking up
Botswana: one of the momentum, with Malawi and Zambia recently agreeing in principle to the
world’s fastest- first such park outside South Africa.
growing economies, Ever-looming food shortages swept across Southern Africa in 2005–06
has a per-capita GDP of (see p43); rains and food aid have helped to avert a potential large-scale
around $10,000 famine, although food shortages remain a critical problem. Wreaking even
Lesotho: unemployment more havoc is HIV/AIDS, which is devastating Southern Africa – Botswana
rate is 45%, literacy rate and Swaziland have the highest infection rate in the world, and South Africa
is 85% has an estimated 4.5 million infected citizens (p42).
Zimbabwe attracts most of the headlines for all the wrong reasons as © Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally
Malawi: tobacco
Mugabe’s madness shows no sign of relenting (see p680). Artists are perhaps restricted. In return, we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes
generates over 60% of
redefining what it means to be Zimbabwean in the troubled country, moving
export earnings
away from Western influences and returning to the music and instruments of
only. In other words, please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass email it to
Mozambique: annual per their ancestors – the mbira (thumb piano) is a classic example of this (p55). everyone you know, or resell it. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying
capita income is about Botswana and Namibia are beacons of political stability in the region. The the above - ‘Do the right thing with our content.’
US$300 (compared with subject of diamonds and when they’ll run out is an issue in both countries, as
about US$26,000 in is the fate of the San, an ancient nomadic hunter-gather group who has been
the UK) relocated from its ancestral lands into government-sponsored settlements in
Namibia: world’s the Central Kalahari. The Botswana government has dug its heels in over the
fifth-largest producer of relocations, stubbornly insisting such moves are necessary, but the issue remains
uranium highly controversial and a political nightmare for the government (see p119).
In South Africa the subject of President Mbeki’s successor is fervently
South Africa: world’s
discussed, as is the unrelenting crime rate, which is finally showing tentative
largest exporter of gold
signs of abating (p407). Mbeki’s conspicuous failure to condemn the forced
Swaziland: receives reclamation of white-owned farms in neighbouring Zimbabwe has unnerved
nine-tenths of its imports both South African landowners and foreign investors.
from and sends almost The mood in Mozambique is generally upbeat, with tourism booming and
two-thirds of its exports Celtel advertising ‘orgulhosamente Moçambicano’ (proudly Mozambican)
to South Africa pasted everywhere around the country.
Zambia: benefits from the In Malawi, political infighting and corruption tend to be the ‘normal’
exploding economies of state of affairs, while Zambia’s corruption problems are a daily topic in the
India and China, which country’s main newspapers. Many people say that President Mwanawasa is
have pushed up the price not in touch with the needs of common Zambians, though it is assumed he
of its copper will win the coming election (p635).
Zimbabwe: fastest-
Corruption also features in Lesotho’s dam projects (p145), selling water to
shrinking economy in the
South Africa and, in the process, displacing villages and causing environmental
world outside a war zone
concerns. However, since elections in 2002 it has enjoyed a period of relative
stability. In Swaziland the new constitution was unveiled in 2003 and promptly
dismissed by reform-minded Swazis, who want King Mswati III to loosen his
grip on power and phase in a democratic system of government (p600).
If you’re planning ahead, the spotlight will be turned on football-mad
Southern Africa in 2010 as South Africa hosts the World Cup, a great time
for travel in the region.
© Lonely Planet Publications
20 lonelyplanet.com THE AUTHORS 21

The Authors
ALAN MURPHY Coordinating Author MATTHEW D FIRESTONE Botswana, Namibia, Victoria Falls
Alan remembers falling under Southern Africa’s ambient spell after bouncing Matt is a trained biological anthropologist and epidemiologist who is par-
around in the rear of a bakkie on the way from Jo’burg airport in 1999. Since ticularly interested in the health and nutrition of indigenous populations.
then he’s been back three times working for Lonely Planet, including the South His first visit to Botswana and Namibia in 2001 brought him deep into the
Africa and Africa guides. Whether spotting elephants at a water hole, tracking Kalahari, where he performed a field study on the traditional diet of the
rhino in the bush, glimpsing elusive wild dogs or chuckling at the clownish San. Unfortunately, Matt’s promising academic career was postponed due
behaviour of curious baboons, he finds wildlife watching exhilarating. Besides, to a severe case of wanderlust, though he has relentlessly travelled to more
any place where you can bribe officials with mangoes at road blocks has got than 50 countries in search of a cure. Matt is hoping that this book will help
to be special. More than anything, though, he never ceases to be amazed and ease the pain of other individuals bitten by the travel bug, though he fears
humbled at the fortitude and verve of Southern Africa’s resilient people. that there is a growing epidemic on the horizon.

The Coordinating Author’s Favourite Trip


I have to top a list of my faves with Kruger National Park (p528) –
my first wildlife excursion in Africa, where I was greeted by two Likoma Island MARY FITZPATRICK Mozambique
Lake Malawi
dwarf mongoose shagging by the roadside. Following closely Originally from Washington, DC, Mary set off after graduate studies for sev-
Liwonde
is Mkhaya Game Reserve (p612) and rustling around the bush Livingstone National eral years in Europe. Her fascination with languages and cultures soon led her
Victoria Park
trying to spot black rhino. Unforgettable was snorkelling the Falls further south to sub-Saharan Africa, where she has spent much of the past
Chimanimani
aquarium that is Lake Malawi’s crystal waters, off Likoma island Kruger
National Park decade living and working, including almost four years in Mozambique. Mary
(p192), and kayaking up the lakeshore. National has travelled extensively throughout the country, and has authored and co-
Park
Next is waking up to a hippo munching outside my rondavel Mkhaya authored numerous other guidebooks covering Mozambique and elsewhere
Game
at Liwonde National Park (p206); hiking in Chimanimani National Reserve in the region. She calls Cairo home at the moment and travels to points
Park (p714), with its jaw-dropping views; and dropping into Liv- ATLANTIC INDIAN south (preferably those with beaches) whenever she gets the chance.
OCEAN
ingstone for canoeing up the Zambezi along the top of Victoria OCEAN

Falls (p618), alert for ‘rising hippo ears’ and skittish elephants.

KATE ARMSTRONG Lesotho, Swaziland MICHAEL GROSBERG South Africa


Kate was bitten by the Africa bug when she lived and worked in Mozam- After a childhood in the Washington, DC area and with a valuable philosophy
bique, and on her subsequent travels around East Africa. She jumped at the degree in hand, Michael took a job developing a resort on an island in the Pacific,
chance to explore new territory for this Lonely Planet edition. While she after which he left for a long overland trip through Asia. He later found his way
successfully avoided malarial mosquitoes, she was less able to escape an to the seaside resort of Durban, South Africa, where he investigated and wrote
obsession with Zulu culture, giraffes and the overwhelming hospitality of the about political violence, prison abuse and other fun issues, and helped train
local people (not to mention several flat tyres along the way). When Kate’s new local government officials in the province of KwaZulu Natal while finding
not eating, hiking and dancing her way around parts of Africa, Europe and time to travel all over Southern Africa. He returned to NYC for graduate school
South America, her itchy feet are grounded in Sydney where she works as in comparative literature, and he has taught literature and writing in several NYC
a freelancer, writing travel articles and children’s educational books. colleges in addition to Lonely Planet assignments around the world.

NANA LUCKHAM Malawi & Northern, Eastern & Western Zambia


Born in Tanzania to a Ghanaian mother and an English father, Nana started
LONELY PLANET AUTHORS life crisscrossing Africa by planes and bouncing along the roughest of roads.
Why is our travel information the best in the world? It’s simple: our authors are independent, A rather less glamorous childhood on the south coast of England followed,
dedicated travellers. They don’t research using just the internet or phone, and they don’t take albeit punctuated with periods living in Ghana and a then-thriving Zimbabwe.
freebies in exchange for positive coverage. They travel widely, to all the popular spots and off After a degree in history and French and a Masters in international relations
she headed off, with an impressively small backpack, to explore Southern and
the beaten track. They personally visit thousands of hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars, galleries,
Eastern Africa and beyond, supplementing her travels with periods of gainful
palaces, museums and more – and they take pride in getting all the details right, and telling it
employment at UN headquarters in New York. She now lives in the exotic
how it is. For more, see the authors section on www.lonelyplanet.com. wilds of southwest London but still spends most of her time on the road.
© Lonely Planet Publications
22 T H E A U T H O R S lonelyplanet.com

ANDY REBOLD Lusaka, Copperbelt & Southern Zambia


Born in the Bronx, Andy was dragged kicking and screaming to suburban
New Joisey, where he grew up. In 1998, after surviving the Peace Corps in
Mali, Andy spent three years with Lonely Planet as an author and cartogra-
pher. Tired of being impoverished, he earned a MPH at Columbia University
and then joined the UN Population Fund, which sent him to myriad African
nations whose peace hung by a string of dental floss. He now manages
government-funded public health projects in Zambia. In his spare time, Andy
listens to Lou Reed, guzzles Brooklyn lager and cheers for New York Yankee
Johnny Damon (#18) when he scores against the Boston Red Sox.

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS
Jane Cornwell wrote the Music chapter. Jane is an Australian-born, London-based journalist writing on
music for publications including the Evening Standard, Guardian, Songlines and Jazzwise. Her articles also
appear regularly in the Australian newspaper. She holds a postgraduate honours degree in anthropol-
ogy and has worked for the Institute of Contemporary Arts; Real World Records; World of Music, Arts
and Dance (WOMAD); and Sydney’s Ignite Festival.

Harriet Martin wrote the Zimbabwe chapter. Born in Tanzania to Australian parents, Harriet lived in
Southern Africa until she was 12. She then studied in Sydney, but the travel gene was never far from
the surface. She backpacked and worked in South and Central America, the Middle East, India and
West Africa, before returning ‘home’ to sub-Saharan Africa.

You can buy, download and


print individual chapters from
this guidebook.
Get Southern Africa chapters>

© Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally
restricted. In return, we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes
only. In other words, please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass email it to
everyone you know, or resell it. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying
the above - ‘Do the right thing with our content.’
© Lonely Planet Publications
37

History
Precolonial history of Southern Africa is a compelling, interwoven web of
peoples on the move throughout this vast region – the original travellers
on our planet. It’s also a story of technology and its impact on our early
ancestors. Although Southern Africa’s history stretches far back into the
mists of time, the only records today are intriguing fossil remains and an
extraordinary human diary of Stone Age rock art.
See www.pbs.org/wgbh
The region has revealed many archaeological records of the world’s earli-
/evolution/humans
est human inhabitants. It’s generally agreed among scientists that the first
/humankind for an over-
‘hominids’ (upright-walking humanlike creatures) became established in the
view of human evolution
savannas of East and Southern Africa nearly four million years ago. (Further
in Southern Africa
north in Chad the discovery of a well-preserved skull and other hominid
remains dating to between six and seven million years old – the most ancient
yet discovered – recently had anthropologists quivering with excitement.)
In Southern Africa, evidence of early hominid fossils dating back 3.5
million years has been discovered at the Sterkfontein Caves in Gauteng,
northwest of Johannesburg in South Africa. Sterkfontein is regarded as one
of the richest places on the planet for early human remains and is a World
Heritage Site. In Malawi, archaeologists have found remains thought to date
back as far as 2.5 million years.
It is surmised that about two million years ago several hominid species
evolved with Homo erectus developing basic tool-making abilities and
eventually becoming dominant. Later evolving into Homo sapiens (modern
humans), these early Africans are believed to have backpacked to other
parts of the world, where local factors determined the racial characteristics
of each group.
Today, remains of temporary camps and stone tools are found throughout
Southern Africa, and one site in Namibia suggests that 750,000 years ago,
these early people were hunting elephants and cutting up carcasses with
large stone axes. By 150,000 years ago, people were using lighter spear heads,
knives, saws and other tools. (Archaeologists classify this period of tool
making as the Stone Age, subdivided into the Early, Middle and Late stages,
although the term applies to the people’s level of technological development,
rather than to a specific period.) See Matobo in Zimbabwe p722 and Morija
in Lesotho p149, for details of where to see early Stone Age artefacts.

EARLY KHOISAN INHABITANTS


By about 30,000 years ago, humans in Southern Africa had developed an
organised hunting and gathering society. Tools were more sophisticated –
made from wood and animal products as well as stone – and make-up, natural
pigments used for personal adornment, was in fashion. These Boskop people
(named after the site in South Africa where their remains were discovered)
To learn more about
are believed to be the ancestors of the San people, who still exist in isolated
the San, including their
pockets today.
history and current issues
By about 20,000 years ago, the San had made significant technological
for survival, see www
progress. Tools became smaller and better designed, which increased hunt-
.kalaharipeoples.org, a
ing efficiency and allowed time for further innovation, artistic pursuits
nonprofit organisation
and admiring the fiery African sunsets. This stage is called the Microlithic
dedicated to the people
Revolution because it was characterised by the working of small stones.
of the Kalahari.
The remains of microliths are often found alongside clear evidence of
food gathering, shellfish remains and working of wood, bone and ostrich
eggshell.
38 HISTORY •• Early Khoisan Inhabitants lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com HISTORY •• The Bantu Migration 39

termed Khoisan or Khoi-San, and are mostly found in remote parts of


ANCIENT ROCK ART Namibia and Botswana.
Ogling some of the magnificent rock art sprinkled around Southern Africa, a remarkable human Sadly, in recent times the San have been controversially and forcibly
diary left by an ancient people, is a major highlight for many visitors. There’s a lot of specula- relocated from their ancestral lands to new government settlements such as
tion about the origins of the ancient rock paintings and engravings. Due to the tools and animal New Xade in the central Kalahari in Botswana. For more information see
remains left around major sites, and the scenes depicted, it’s believed the artists were the early the boxed text, p119.
San people.
A tantalising sliver of mankind’s Stone Age existence, these sites provide a snapshot of the THE BANTU MIGRATION
way the San lived and hunted, and their spirituality. The most poignant thing about rock art is While the Khoisan were developing, in West Africa another group with
that it remains in the spot where it was created. Unlike in a museum, you may catch a glimpse larger body types and darker skin was emerging: the Bantu. By around 3000
of the inspiration that actually went into the paintings. Although rock art is found all over South- to 4000 years ago, they had developed iron-working skills, which enabled
ern Africa, the best examples are probably in Matobo National Park (p722), Domboshawa and them to make tools and weapons.
Ngomakurira (p702), all in Zimbabwe; the Tsodilo Hills (p117) in Botswana; Twyfelfontein (p349) Their skills led to improved farming methods and the ability to make
in Namibia; and Giant’s Castle (p520) in South Africa. unwanted guests of themselves on their neighbours’ lands. Over 2000 years
Most rock paintings reflected people’s relationship with nature. Some rock paintings are stylised ago the Bantu moved into the Congo Basin and, over the next thousand years,
representations of the region’s people and animals, but the majority are realistic portrayals of hunt- spread across present-day Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and migrated south
ers, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, lions, antelopes and so on in rich red, yellow, brown and ochre. into Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and other parts of Southern Africa. The
Common themes include the roles of men and women, hunting scenes and natural medicine. term ‘migration’ here refers to a sporadic and very slow spread over many
History of Southern
The latter includes examples of trance dancing and spiritual healing using the San life force, hundreds of years. Typically, a group would move from valley to valley, or
Africa by JD Omer-Cooper
known as nxum, which was invoked to control aspects of the natural world, including climate from one water source to the next. This process inevitably had a knock-on
provides an excellent,
and disease. All these elements still feature in San tradition. effect, as weaker tribes were constantly being ‘moved on’ by invaders from
highly readable account
Although climatic onslaught means the earliest works have long faded, flaked and eroded other areas.
of the early peoples of
into oblivion, the dry climate and sheltered granite overhangs have preserved many of the more At first, the Bantu in Southern Africa apparently lived in relative harmony
Southern Africa, including
recent paintings. Three distinct periods have been identified: the earliest paintings seem to reflect with the original Khoisan inhabitants, trading goods, language and culture.
fascinating cultural detail
a period of gentle nomadism, during which people were occupied primarily with the hunt; later However, as Bantu numbers increased, some Khoisan were conquered or
that differentiates the
works, which revealed great artistic improvement, suggest peaceful arrivals by outside groups, absorbed by this more advanced group of peoples, while the remainder were
many Bantu-speaking
perhaps Bantu or Khoikhoi; the final stage indicates a decline in the standard of the paintings – pushed further and further into inhospitable lands.
groups.
or they may be imitations of earlier works by more recently arrived peoples.
Red pigments were ground mainly from iron oxides, which were powdered and mixed with BANTU CULTURE & EARLY KINGDOMS
animal fat to form an adhesive paste. The whites came from silica, powdered quartz and white A feature of Bantu culture was its strong social system, based on extended
clays, and were by nature less adhesive than the red pigments. For this reason white paintings family or clan loyalties and dependencies, and generally centred on the rule
survive only in sheltered locations, such as well-protected caves. Both pigments were applied to of a chief. Some chiefdoms developed into powerful kingdoms, uniting many
the rock using sticks, the artists’ fingers and brushes made from animal hair. disparate tribes and covering large geographical areas.
While admiring the rock art of the Southern Africa, please keep in mind the fragility of the Cattle played an essential role in the lives of Southern Africa’s Bantu
paintings (p26). population. Apart from providing food, skins and a form of capital, cattle
were also most essential when it came to bridewealth. Marriage involved
the transfer of a woman to the household of her husband. In turn, the
By about 10,000 years ago, the San began producing pottery. The artistic cattle from the husband’s family were reassigned to the family of the
traditions of these people are also evidenced by the wonderful paintings bride’s father. A man who had many daughters would one day end up
that can be seen today in rock shelters and caves all over Southern Africa with many cattle.
(see the boxed text, above). The better examples capture the elegance and One of the earliest Bantu kingdoms was Gokomere, in the uplands of
movement of African wildlife with astonishing clarity. More recent paintings Zimbabwe. The Gokomere people are thought to be the first occupants of
In 1660 Jan Van Riebeeck
even depict white farmers. the Great Zimbabwe site (p716), near present-day Masvingo.
planted a bitter-almond
Despite these artistic and technical developments, the San had no knowl- Between AD 500 and 1000 the Gokomere and subsequent groups de-
hedge separating the
edge of metal working, and thus remain classified as Stone Age people. For veloped gold-mining techniques and produced progressively finer-quality
Dutch from the Khoikhoi.
visitors interested in San culture, consider visiting sites of spiritual signifi- ceramics, jewellery, textiles and soapstone carvings.
Parts of the hedge can
cance, especially the Tsodilo Hills (p117) in Botswana.
still be seen today (p426).
During this same period (around 8000 BC), the San came under pressure
from another group called the Khoikhoi (or Khoi-Khoi), known in more THE BANTU
recent times as Hottentots. The San and Khoikhoi are thought to share a The Bantu peoples could more accurately be called ‘Bantu-speaking peoples’ since the word
common ancestry: differences were slight, based more on habitat and life- ‘Bantu’ actually refers to a language group rather than a specific race. However, it has become a
style than on significant physiological features. (The Khoikhoi kept cattle, convenient term of reference for the black African peoples of Southern and Eastern Africa, even
which were a source of food and transport, and were even trained to charge though the grouping is as ill-defined as ‘American’ or ‘Asian’. The Bantu ethnic group comprises
the enemy in warfare.) They also shared a language group, characterised many subgroups or tribes, each with their own language, customs and traditions.
by distinctive ‘click’ sounds. Today these two peoples are regarded as one,
© Lonely Planet Publications
40 HISTORY •• Early Traders lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com H I S T O R Y • • T h e D i f a q a n e 41

EARLY TRADERS held out. One of Africa’s most traditional cultures, the Himba people (see the
Meanwhile, from the latter half of the 1st millennium, Arabs from the lands boxed text, p352) in Namibia, are descended from the Herero.
around the Red Sea were sailing southwards along the eastern seaboard of The power of the Bantu kingdoms started to falter in the late 18th and
Today’s Herero women
Africa. They traded with the local Bantu inhabitants, who by this time had early 19th centuries due to a major dispersal of indigenous tribes called the
are distinguished by
reached the coast, and bought ivory, gold and slaves to take back to Arabia. difaqane, and a rapid increase in the number of European settlers.
their extravagant neck to
Between AD 1000 and 1500 the Arab-influenced Bantu founded several
major settlements along the coast, from Mogadishu (in present-day Somalia) to THE DIFAQANE ankle Victorian dresses,
petticoats and large
Kilwa in southern Tanzania, including Lamu (Kenya) and Zanzibar (Tanzania). The difaqane (meaning ‘forced migration’ in Sotho, or mfeqane, ‘the crush-
hats – a by-product of
In Kenya and Tanzania particularly, the Bantu people were influenced by the ing’, in Zulu) was a period of immense upheaval and suffering for the in-
contact with German
Arabs, and a certain degree of intermarriage occurred, so that gradually a mixed digenous peoples of Southern Africa. It originated in the early 19th century
missionaries.
language and culture was created, called Swahili, which remains intact today. when the Nguni tribes in modern KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) changed
From southern Tanzania the Swahili-Arabs traded along the coast of rapidly from loosely organised collections of chiefdoms to the more central-
present-day Mozambique, establishing bases at Quelimane (p273) and Ilha ised Zulu Nation. Based on its highly disciplined and powerful warrior army,
de Moçambique (p278). the process began under Chief Dingiswayo, and reached its peak under the
From the coast the Swahili-Arabs pushed into the interior, and developed military commander Shaka Zulu.
a network of trade routes across much of East and Southern Africa. Ivory and Shaka was a ruthless conqueror and his reputation preceded him. Not sur-
To read more about
gold continued to be sought after, but the demand for slaves grew consider- prisingly, tribes living in his path chose to flee, in turn displacing neighbours
Shaka Zulu (and for links
ably, and reached its zenith in the early-19th century when the Swahili-Arabs and causing disruption and terror across Southern Africa. Tribes displaced
to the difaqane), see
and dominant local tribes are reckoned to have either killed or sold into from Zululand include the Matabele, who settled in present-day Zimbabwe,
www.sahistory.org
slavery 80,000 to 100,000 Africans per year. while the Ngoni fled to Malawi and Zambia. Notable survivors were the
.za/pages/people/zulu
Swazi (see p598) and Basotho (p136), who forged powerful kingdoms that
LATER BANTU KINGDOMS & PEOPLE became Swaziland and Lesotho. -shaka.htm
As early as the 11th century, the inhabitants of Great Zimbabwe had come
into contact with Arab-Swahili traders from the coast. Great Zimbabwe EUROPEAN COLONISATION & SETTLEMENT
became the capital of the wealthiest and most powerful society in Southern Although there had been a European presence in Southern Africa for several
Africa – its people the ancestors of today’s Shona people – and reached the hundred years, in 1820 the British Cape Colony saw a major influx of settlers.
zenith of its powers around the 14th century (see p682), becoming the great- Around 5000 were brought from Britain on the promise of fertile farmland
est medieval city in sub-Saharan Africa. around the Great Fish River, but in reality to form a buffer between the
From around the 11th century it appears that more advanced Bantu- Boers (to the west of the river) and the Xhosa (to the east), who competed
speaking Iron Age people migrated to the area, absorbing the earlier immi- for territory.
A journey through South
grants. As they settled they branched out into a number of cultural groups. From this point, European settlement rapidly spread from the Cape
Africa, Botswana and
One of these groups, the Nguni, were distinguished from their neighbours Colony to Natal and later to the Transvaal – especially after the discovery
Zimbabwe, The Electronic
by strict matrimony rules – marriage was forbidden to a partner that could of gold and diamonds. In many cases Europeans were able to occupy land
An Introduction to the Elephant by Dan Jacobson
be traced to a common ancestor. The Xhosa were the southernmost of these abandoned by African people following the difaqane (see p402).
History of Central Africa – combines frequently
people: see p466. Covering large areas of present-day South Africa, Botswana From South Africa, over the next 100 to 150 years an ever-increasing
Zambia, Malawi and depressing contemporary
and Lesotho were the Sotho-Tswana, who encouraged intercousin marriage. number of Europeans settled in areas that became the colonies of Swaziland,
Zimbabwe by AJ Wills encounters with fascinat-
The Venda, who have a matriarchal culture and are thought to be related to Nyasaland (Malawi), Northern and Southern Rhodesia (Zambia and Zim-
provides a comprehensive ing historical flashbacks.
the Shona people of Zimbabwe, occupied the north of Limpopo province babwe), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Basotholand (Lesotho), German South
work on the region and
in South Africa (see p575). West Africa (Namibia) and Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). With
is considered one of the
Further north, between the 14th and 16th centuries, another Bantu group this change Southern Africans would never again be permitted to follow
best around.
called the Maravi (of whom the Chewa became the dominant tribe, see p163) entirely traditional ways.
arrived in Southern Africa from the Congo Basin and founded a powerful For colonial and modern history of the individual countries, see the
kingdom covering southern Malawi and parts of present-day Mozambique and relevant country chapters.
Zambia. Masks made by a men’s secret society called Nyau were an integral
part of ceremonies for this group. As well as representing cultural ideals with
themes such as wisdom, sickness, death and the ancestors, masks also cari-
catured undesirables such as slave traders, invaders and colonial figures.
At about the same time the Tumbuka and the Phoka groups migrated into
the north of Malawi (see p158). The Tumbuka are known for their healing
practices, which combine traditional medicine and music.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, another Bantu group called the Herero
migrated from the Zambezi Valley into present-day Namibia, where they
came into conflict with the San and competed with the Khoikhoi for the best
grazing lands. Eventually most indigenous groups submitted to the Herero.
Only the Nama people, thought to be descended from early Khoikhoi groups,
© Lonely Planet Publications
42 lonelyplanet.com T H E C U LT U R E • • D a i l y L i fe 43

The Culture
With hundreds of thousands dying every year in Southern Africa from AIDS
alone, population growth is estimated to be near zero in most countries and
even falling into the negative. Swaziland and Mozambique in particular
are suffering from an increase in the epidemic. The only good news comes
DAILY LIFE from Zimbabwe (for a change), which recently recorded a decline of HIV-
Giving an accurate picture of everyday life in Southern Africa is virtually infected people.
impossible given the chasm of wealth differentiation between and within All the countries in Southern Africa are conservative in their attitudes
the countries of the region. That said, there are some generalisations we towards gay men and lesbians (see p745). In traditional African societies gay
can make that represent very real (and in some cases very terrifying) trends sexual relationships are a cultural taboo. In practice, rights for gay citizens
afflicting the everyday life of Southern Africa’s diverse population. For contrast strongly between countries. South Africa’s progressive constitution,
more country-specific detail, please see this section near the beginning of for example, outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and
each country chapter. gay couples have won many rights. On the other hand Namibia and Zim-
In Southern Africa, life varies considerably between the ‘haves’ and the babwe have strongly condemned homosexuality with President Mugabe
‘have nots’. Middle-class and wealthy families live in homes reflecting that describing them as ‘worse than pigs and dogs’.
wealth, and many leafy, richer neighbourhoods could be just about anywhere South Africa has one of the highest incidence of rape in the world (p407)
in the Western world. Leisure time is often defined by time spent at shopping and, as many are too afraid to report the crime, the true extent of the prob-
centres (and in the case of South Africa, heavily guarded shopping centres). lem is probably much worse than official figures. Another tragic issue in
Upmarket shopping malls mean alfresco dining, plenty of retail therapy and the region is sexual abuse in schools; the sexual abuse of girls by teachers
certainly a place ‘to be seen’.
However, for the millions of Southern Africans (the vast majority of the
population) who still live in great poverty, life is about survival. Simple huts THE FAMINE
or enclosures contain large extended families, and obtaining and preparing In 2005 much of the Southern African region was lurching headlong towards famine. Fortunately,
food is the focus of daily life. in early 2006, it appeared a real crisis had been temporarily averted through good rains and aid
Southern Africa is largely still a male domain, and black African men will delivery, although food shortages and hunger remain critically serious problems. At one stage it
not normally give up a seat to a woman, never mind that she is carrying a was feared that between 10 and 12 million people faced potential starvation. Heard it all before?
baby and luggage and minding two toddlers. Local whites, however, generally Well, that’s probably because the region suffers from a seemingly endless cycle of food insecurity –
follow Western conventions. but that doesn’t make it any less real or less horrifying. Some countries in this region are in their
Masters of Illusion: The
There are two major plights affecting the households of the majority of fourth consecutive year of severe food shortages.
World Bank and the
Southern Africa’s population. Firstly, the food insecurity afflicting the region The simple reason is prolonged dry spells, which leads to crop failure. The reasons behind the
Poverty of Nations by
is a distressing problem that devastates households and seems to have no region’s continued problems in feeding itself are more complex and deeply rooted. There are a
Catherine Caufield dis-
end in sight. Dependent on the rains, the region is caught up in a merciless multitude of causes including inadequate agricultural policies, the ripping away of a generation
cusses the influence that
cycle of drought that, when combined with other factors (see the boxed text, of workers through the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a lack of employment opportunities, bad governance
the global development
opposite), leads to regular food shortages. Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and environmental degradation.
lending agency has had
are the worst-affected countries, but people in Mozambique, Lesotho and The situation varies between countries in Southern Africa with Malawi (see the boxed text,
on poor countries around
Swaziland are also suffering. p162), Zambia and Zimbabwe possibly facing the worst of the current crisis. For more on how
the world.
The largest problem facing the people of Southern Africa, though, is AIDS. the famine has affected Lesotho, see p138, and for Swaziland, see p602.
The sub-Saharan region is the worst-affected region in Africa and, while the If you’re looking to make a financial donation to assist in alleviating this continuing crisis
statistics are simply dreadful, the socioeconomic effects are overwhelming. or would like information, you can get in touch with the following organisations (most accept
South Africa has the world’s largest HIV-positive population, and national donations online):
adult HIV prevalence has risen higher than previously thought possible in
countries such as Botswana and Swaziland. UN World Food Programme (www.wfp.org) Make a direct donation to help feed people in the region specify-
Have a look at www
Unlike diseases that attack the weak, AIDS predominantly hits the produc- ing that you want your money to go towards the effort in Southern Africa.
.safaids.org.zw for the
tive members of a household, young adults. It’s particularly rife among those Oxfam (www.oxfam.org.uk) Plenty of up-to-date information about the crisis and their work in Malawi, Zambia
latest news on the
who are highly educated, and have relatively high earnings and mobility. and Zimbabwe.
battle against HIV/AIDS in
This has an enormous impact on household incomes, with the region fac- Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org) Working in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia, this
Southern Africa.
ing the loss of a large proportion of a generation in the prime of their life. organisation has a special emphasis on the protection of children.
This has also meant a sharp increase in the number of orphans, pressure Care International (www.care.org) Care is contributing food, tools, fertilisers and training for local farmers in
on grandparents to assume parenting roles of young children and children the affected countries in Southern Africa.
pulled out of school to care for the sick, grow food or earn money. There’s Red Cross (www.redcross.org.uk) Provides emergency food aid in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique,
still a lot of stigma attached to AIDS too, and many locals won’t admit to Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho.
the cause of a loved one’s death. World Vision (www.worldvision.org) As one of the largest long-term development and relief NGOs operating in
AIDS has led to a sharp decrease in life expectancy in Southern Africa. the region, World Vision provides emergency food distribution and help to recover lost livelihoods.
Recent projections have put life expectancy by 2010 at 29 in Botswana, 30 Christian Charity Tearfund (www.tearfund.org) Local Christian organisations work in conjunction with
in Swaziland, 33 in Namibia and Zimbabwe and 36 in South Africa and Tearfund running food-for-work programmes, distributing food aid and supporting agricultural projects.
Malawi. Without AIDS it would be around 70 in most of these countries.
44 T H E C U LT U R E • • M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com T H E C U LT U R E • • S p o r t 45

is an enormous problem, and as a result, many girls are reluctant to attend


school. The perpetrators often cite low wages and poor working conditions MOVERS & SHAKERS
as justification for partaking of this perceived ‘fringe benefit’. Sadly, national For every country chapter in this book we’ve included a boxed text called ‘Movers & Shakers’,
and local governments and individuals have so far done little to express their which profiles an influential African from that country, including: Oliver Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe;
intolerance for such unacceptable behaviour. p701); Nelson Mandela (South Africa; p408); Sir Seretse Khama (Botswana; p83); Samuel Nujoma
The contribution of foreign aid to the development of Southern Africa (Namibia; p310); Jack Mapanje (Malawi; p164); Malangatana Valente Ngwenya (Mozambique;
and improvement of the daily life of its citizens is difficult to quantify. While p244); King Mswati III (Swaziland; p600); Fanuel Musi of Malealea (Lesotho; p149); and Kenneth
aid that increases grassroots development capability and food production Kaunda (Zambia; p636). If you want an insight into some of the extraordinary people who have
is basically seen as positive, an unhealthy culture of aid dependency is seen influenced life in Southern Africa, keep an eye out for these boxes.
as a serious issue in the region, and it’s particularly bad in Malawi, Zambia
and Lesotho.
Likewise, there has been a drift (some say avalanche) of Zimbabweans
MULTICULTURALISM looking for work illegally in Botswana. The reason is simple – Botswana has
Southern Africa’s population is made up of Bantu-speaking people (the a booming economy while Zimbabwe has the fastest-shrinking economy in
majority) who migrated from the north and west of the African continent the world outside a war zone.
(p39), later-arriving Europeans (including Dutch, British, Portuguese and Back home, a migrant’s money makes a big difference to the local economy –
Germans), Indians and pockets of the Khoisan, an ancient Stone Age people Lesotho is a good example, with many travelling to South Africa to work
who survives in small numbers, mainly in Botswana and Namibia (p37). in mines and send money back home to their families. It is widely agreed,
‘Bantu’ refers to a convenient language-grouping, not a race, and in reality however, that this type of migration has also contributed to the spread of
the Bantu ethnic group comprises many subgroups or tribes, each with their HIV/AIDS.
own language, customs and traditions, living all over the region.
Broadly speaking, two societies and cultures (Western and African) run SPORT
in parallel, and they rarely cross. As you might expect, in a Western situa- Football (soccer) is without doubt the most popular sport across Southern
tion social customs are similar to those in Europe, although often a touch Africa, especially for black Africans. You’ll see dusty fields everywhere
‘Southern more formal – but at the same time more friendly – than in other parts of with ragtag balls used for informal matches – training grounds for the big
For all your Southern
Africa is very the Western world. For example, Afrikaners will often shake hands and say leagues.
African football news,
their name, even if you’re only meeting them briefly. While you’ll meet locals Essentially the national leagues work in a similar way to European football.
multicultural of European origin and ‘Europeanised’ black Africans all over the region, Unsurprisingly, South Africa has the major league (www.psl.co.za), which including the regional
and surpris- the societies and cultures are predominantly African. runs from August to May. The winners of each league qualify for the African competition, see www
.cosafa.com, or check
ingly peace- Southern Africa is very multicultural and surprisingly peaceful given Champions League, in which the champions of countries from all over the
out www.cafonline.com
the extraordinary number of ethnic groups. This concoction of peoples is continent compete. The best countries compete in the African Cup of Na-
ful given the exemplified in South Africa, which has 11 official languages! While much tions, held every two years: the next one is in Ghana in 2008. Although no for the African football
extraordi- of the focus has been on black and white relations here, there is also fric- Southern African countries qualified for the 2006 World Cup, South Africa confederation, includ-
ing details on club and
nary number tion and distrust between blacks, coloureds and South Africans of Indian is hosting it in 2010.
country competitions.
descent. However, in the case of South Africa, the relatively peaceful transi- The Cosafa Castle Cup, run by the Council of Southern Africa Football
of ethnic tion to democracy from the last remaining white minority government in Associations, is the annual regional competition, with participation by 13
groups’ the region in 1994 (p406) was a true miracle of multiculturalism, despite countries, including all nine Southern African countries. Zambia and Zim-
ongoing racial friction. babwe are the most successful, having both won the Cup twice each.
Integrating European and African populations has been a source of ten- Although cricket, rugby and golf have traditionally been the domain of the
sion for many years in the region, exacerbated by colonial rule, apartheid white population, they have grown in stature and popularity, especially in
governments and, in Zimbabwe, a policy of reclaiming white-owned farms South Africa, with that country’s return to the international scene. Zimbabwe
in recent years. However, disharmony stretches much further back with the also fields an international cricket side, but availability of foreign exchange
destruction and dispersal of the difaqane (p41), which led to tribal affilia- (through international TV rights) has meant that the national cricket body
tions being disrupted among various Bantu groups in the region. This was is corrupt and has almost ruined the sport.
exacerbated in South Africa by the Great Trek and the Voortrekkers, who
settled into areas they believed were ‘vacant’ (see p402). RELIGION
Migration from the poorer countries to the wealthier countries in the Christianity
region has also brought about tensions and hostility. South Africa for example Most people in Southern Africa follow Christianity or traditional religion,
has far more job opportunities than other countries in the region, and this often combining aspects of both. South Africa, Malawi, Botswana and Na-
has led to a great number of migrant workers (many illegal) drifting there. mibia have very high Christian populations (anywhere between 70% and
Many come through and are from Mozambique. Africans who look differ- 80% of the general population), while Mozambique has the lowest (around
ent or don’t speak the local language are often harassed by officialdom and 35%). All the Western-style Christian churches are represented (Catholics,
the police. Locals are often suspicious of such people too as they think they Protestants, Baptists, Adventists etc), most of which were introduced in co-
are stealing their jobs and are responsible for crime (although there are no lonial times by European missionaries. Their spread across the region reflects
statistics to back that up). their colonial roots – the dominant Christian sect in Namibia is German
46 T H E C U LT U R E • • R e l i g i o n lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com T H E C U LT U R E • • A r t s 47

Lutheranism, while Malawi is dominated by Protestant churches, founded earnings may be little more than this. It’s a sad fact that the ‘witches’ who are
by British missionaries. Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage means Roman unearthed are frequently those who cannot defend themselves – the sick, the
Catholicism is favoured among that country’s Christians. old or the very poorest members of society. There are even reports of very
The influence of missionaries has been beneficial in education, campaign- young children being accused by witchdoctors of harbouring evil spirits.
ing against the slave trade and in trying to raise the standard of living in
South Africa’s Archbishop
Desmond Tutu said,
Southern Africa; however, this was tempered by their search for ideological ARTS
control and disruption to traditional cultures. They were certainly influential Rock art created by the San people since time immemorial is the one artistic
‘When the missionaries
in Malawi (see p159) where the country’s history and existence was shaped tradition that unifies the region, and can still be seen today in many Southern
came to Africa they had
by missionaries such as Dr Livingstone. African countries (see the boxed text, p38).
the Bible and we had the
Although Christian denominations in Southern Africa are generally con- The countries and indigenous peoples of Southern Africa all have their
land. They said, “Let us
servative, many churches actively participate in the fight against HIV/AIDS. own artistic traditions, often interwoven with culture and beliefs. See the
pray.” We closed our eyes. Images of Power by
Organisations such as CUAHA (Churches against HIV/AIDS; www.cuaha.info) and CRWRC individual country chapters for country-specific information.
When we opened them D Lewis-Williams &
(Christians Reformed World Relief Committee; www.crwrc.org/development/aids.html) work with When travelling around the region the more popular handicrafts you’re
we had the Bible and T Dowson is a fascinating
local churches to support families, care for those afflicted by the disease and likely to see (and be able to purchase) include the following: San crafts
they had the land.’ study of the art of the
reduce the stigma associated with AIDS. Roman Catholic bishops in Southern (particularly in Namibia and Botswana) such as jewellery and leatherwork,
San people, utilising
Africa, however, have controversially condemned the use of condoms in the bows and arrows and ostrich shell beads; mohair products such as tapestries
modern scientific tech-
fight against AIDS. and ponchos, especially in Lesotho and South Africa; wooden carvings, es-
niques and rediscovered
Many indigenous Christian faiths have also been established, ranging pecially in places where tourists are likely to wander – wildlife carvings such
records of discussions
from a small congregation meeting in a simple hut to vast organisations with as huge giraffes are popular, and you’ll even find earthmovers, aeroplanes
between the San and
millions of followers, such as the Zion and Apostolic churches in Zimbabwe and helicopters; exquisite palm-woven and African-themed baskets, particu-
early European settlers.
and South Africa. In South Africa alone the Zion Church claims four million larly renowned in Botswana; pottery, often highly decorative and of course
followers (the largest in the country). very practical; Shona sculpture (Zimbabwean), renowned worldwide, with
recurring themes like the metamorphosis of man into beast and Makonde
Islam sculpture (Mozambican); glassware and candles (Swazi) in the shape of
Islam is also followed in some areas, predominantly in the north of Malawi regional wildlife and in the case of the former often made from recyclable
and along its lakeshore, and in the northern provinces of Mozambique, where material; and township art, which has developed sober themes in an expres-
35% of the population attest to the Islamic faith, the highest percentage in sive, colourful and usually light-hearted manner. Ranging from complex
Southern Africa. There are also Hindus and Jews, particularly in South Africa, wirework toys to prints and paintings, deceptively naive images in township
but their numbers are small. art can embody messages far from simple. It developed through the political
trauma in South Africa, and this is often reflected in the violent themes of
Traditional the work. It has also spread to other countries in the region.
There are many traditional religions in Southern Africa, but no great tem- Galleries in the region display works from Southern African artists and
ples or written scriptures. For outsiders, beliefs can be complex (and to the include more traditional sculpture and paintings. Painters often interpret the
If you’ve developed
Western mind, illogical), as can the rituals and ceremonies that surround landscape, wildlife and the diverse peoples of the region – Namibia, South
a taste for wonderful
them. Most traditional religions are animist – based on the attribution of life Africa, Mozambique and Zambia in particular have galleries that display
Shona sculpture but had
or consciousness to natural objects or phenomena – and many accept the work from local artists.
no room in your bag to
existence of a Supreme Being, with whom communication is possible through
the intercession of ancestors. Thus, ancestors play a particularly strong role. Literature bring some home, see
www.shonaart.co.za to
Their principal function is to protect the tribe or family, and they may on Southern Africa has a strong tradition of oral literature among the various
order online.
occasion show their pleasure (such as a good harvest) or displeasure (such Bantu groups. Traditions and stories were preserved and transmitted orally
as a member of the family becoming sick). from generation to generation. In many parts of the region written language
was introduced only by Christian missionaries and assumed more importance
WITCHCRAFT in the 20th century. Common forms of literature that have developed include The Penguin Book of
Within many traditional African religions, there is a belief in spells and magic short stories, novels and poetry. Southern African Stories,
(usually called witchcraft or, in some places, mutu). In brief simplistic terms it Although writers have focused on themes usually concerning their own edited by Stephen Gray,
goes like this: physical or mental illnesses are often ascribed to a spell or curse country, there are common threads. Nationalism, white minority rule, the features stories (some of
having been put on the sufferer. Often, a relative or villager is suspected of struggle for independence and life after colonialism are all themes explored which are thousands of
being the ‘witch’ who placed the curse, usually for reasons of spite or jealousy. by Southern African writers. In Malawi (p165) oppression and abuse of years old) from around
A traditional doctor, also called a diviner or witchdoctor, is then required to power were common themes through the Banda years, after independence. the region. The stories
hunt out the witch and cure the victim. This is done in different ways in vari- Guerrilla poets such as Marcelino dos Santos from Mozambique (p243) show the similarities and
ous parts of the region, and may involve the use of herbs, divining implements, make fascinating reading. In many countries the growth of literature has common threads in vari-
prayers, chanting, dance or placing the spell in a bottle and casting it into a paralleled the struggle for independence and freedom. ous literary traditions.
remote spot (if you find such a bottle in the bush, don’t touch it!). Works by authors like Bessie Head from Botswana (p84) address African
However, services do not come free of charge, and many witchdoctors village life and landscape, and Zimbabwean writers (p689) include precolonial
demand high payments – up to US$20, in countries where an average month’s traditions, myths and folk tales in their writings.
48 T H E C U LT U R E • • F o o d & D r i n k lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com T H E C U LT U R E • • F o o d & D r i n k 49

Stephen Gill has written several historical books on Lesotho (p152) and, meals. In a region racked by famine (see the boxed text, p43), with many
thanks to him, archives were established and much local history saved. countries not able to consistently produce enough food to feed their own
White South African writers have had much overseas success, with literary population, food is about functionality, not creativity.
giants such as Nadime Gordimer and JM Coetzee both awarded Nobel Prizes South Africa is the best place to eat and certainly has the most variety,
for literature. If you want to get a sense of where South Africa has come from an inheritance of its varied African, European and Asian population. Here
and where it’s going, delving into its literary roots is a good start (p410). Local you’ll find a fusion of influences from the curry and coriander that wafted
literature takes you back into the days of apartheid (from both a black and over the Indian Ocean to Afrikaner favourites such as steaks that resemble
white perspective) and the realities of building the rainbow nation. half a cow and boerewors, a tasty Afrikaner sausage, and Cape Malay cuisine,
an exotic mix of spices and local produce.
Architecture Seafood is popular in places that have a coastline (be it lake or ocean),
The greatest indigenous architectural legacy is in the past – in Zimbabwe both with locals and travellers. In Swaziland you’ll readily find prawns on
The excellent Traveller’s
the ruins of great stone cities such as Khami (p722) and Great Zimbabwe menus, courtesy of Mozambique, which itself blends a variety of influences
Literary Companion to
(p716) are rare examples of medieval African architecture in the region. (African, Indian and Portuguese) into its delectable seafood offerings. In
Africa, edited by Oona
Mapungubwe (p575) in South Africa also contains excellent examples of Malawi eating chambo (fried fish) by the lake is a highlight. Around the Cape
Strathern, includes over
ancient historical buildings from a forgotten kingdom. and Winelands of South Africa look for lightly spiced fish stews, snoekbraai
250 prose and poetry
Architecturally, the colonial legacy in Southern Africa is dominated by (grilled snoek), mussels, oysters and even lobster.
extracts from all over
European designs, with South Africa containing by far the best examples. A favourite for many visitors to Southern Africa is the fruit, and depending
Africa, with an introduc-
Pretoria’s stately Union Building has won acclaim, while Art Deco design on the season you’ll find bananas, pineapples, pawpaw (papaya), mangoes ‘meat fea-
tion to the writing of
each country, plus a list
sprang up in Durban and Cape Town after building booms in the early 20th and avocados in plentiful supply. tures as a
century. Unique Cape Dutch buildings, especially townhouses, can be seen
of ‘literary landmarks’ –
in Cape Town. Examples of 19th- and 20th-century English architecture Staples & Specialities staple and
real features that appear
(especially Victorian) can be seen in many parts of the region and at times in In parts of Southern Africa, especially in South Africa, Namibia and Bot- anything
in novels written about
the country.
the most unlikely of places (such as Livingstonia in Malawi, p179, and Shiwa swana, meat features as a staple and anything that can be grilled is, including that can
Ng’andu in Zambia, p652), while in Namibia, Germany has left a colonial ostrich, crocodile, warthog and kudu – just a few of the variants you’ll find.
legacy of late 19th century–designed places, including Art Nouveau design. Meat also features in local celebrations. be grilled
In Mozambique, Ilha de Moçambique is an architectural treasure trove and Takeaway snack food found on the street may include bits of grilled meat, is, includ-
includes the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere (p278). deep-fried potato or cassava chips, roasted corn cobs, boiled eggs, peanuts ing ostrich,
Safari lodges, such as those in Zimbabwe, can be architecturally exceptional – (locally called ground nuts), biscuits, cakes, fried dough balls, which ap-
a mix of an English sensibility with African pieces and environment. proximate doughnuts, and miniature green bananas. Prices are always dirt crocodile,
cheap (unfortunately, often with the emphasis on dirt). warthog and
Dance For something more substantial but still inexpensive, the most common kudu’
In Southern Africa, dance, along with music, is often closely linked with, meal is the regional staple, boiled maize meal, which is called mielie pap in
The Heinemann Book of
and plays an important role in, social function rather than being mere en- South Africa and Namibia, sadza in Zimbabwe, and nshima or nsima in
African Poetry in English,
tertainment. Movement is regarded as an important type of communication countries further north. In Botswana, the staple is known as bogobe, in which
edited by Adewale
in traditional African societies, and dance can be associated with contact sorghum replaces the maize. When fresh and well cooked, all varieties are
Maja-Pearce, includes
between spirits and the living, and traditional healers often performed both tasty and filling, and are usually eaten with a relish, which is either very
poetry by writers from
curative dances to rid patients of sickness. Symbolic gestures, mime, props, simple (eg boiled vegetable leaves) or something more substantial, such as a
several African countries,
masks, costumes and body painting can all play a part. If you have the chance stew of beef, fish, beans or chicken.
including Zimbabwe and
to see traditional song and dance while you’re in Southern Africa, try not The main meal is at noon, so most cheap eateries are closed in the evening.
South Africa.
to miss out; places where it’s possible to do this are listed throughout the In the morning you can buy coffee or tea (with or without milk – the
country chapters.
Dance also helps to define culture and in Swaziland, for example, the
Umhlanga (reed) dance (see the boxed text, p607) plays a very important TRAVEL YOUR TASTEBUDS
role in society, drawing the nation together and reinforcing Swazi culture. If you’re not squeamish about watching wildlife during the day and then sampling it in the
Mozambicans are excellent dancers, and Arabic influence is evident in their evening, meat lovers can try some (non-endangered) local produce: such dishes as warthog stew,
slow swaying rhythms – check out the Mozambique National Company of buffalo steak or impala sausages go down a treat. They can be hard to find, but wildlife lodges
Song & Dance (p253). and upmarket restaurants are usually the best bet.
Bunny chow is a South African favourite, also popular in Swaziland. It’s basically curry inside a
FOOD & DRINK hollowed-out loaf, messy to eat but quite delicious. Finally, that South African delight you’ll find
Although food is not a real highlight of Southern Africa, things are improving all over the region – biltong – dried meat that should be wrestled from the pack with a strong
all the time. Certainly an urban setting will usually mean more variety, and set of teeth and a sturdy jaw; it’s especially good as fuel for trekking.
the colonial legacy in some countries does mean some intriguing culinary African bush tucker varies across the region among Southern Africa’s indigenous groups – for
combinations. example, the San still eat many desert creatures including caterpillar-like mopane worms, prepared
The business of eating tends to be all about survival for most of the popu- in many different ways, such as deep-fried, or just eaten raw.
lation, and much of the day’s activity is associated with the preparation of
© Lonely Planet Publications
50 T H E C U LT U R E • • F o o d & D r i n k lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com T H E C U LT U R E • • F o o d & D r i n k 51

latter is cheaper) and bread, sometimes with margarine, or maybe a slightly


sweetened bread-like cake. THE SAN HELP OVERWEIGHT WESTERNERS
Up a notch and popular with tourists are traditional meals of mielies A new diet fad has been sweeping the Western world, and North America in particular, thanks
(cobs of maize) and relish, or Western dishes, such as beef or chicken served to the San people (p37) of Southern Africa. The San eat hoodia, a prickly, cucumber-like plant,
with rice or chips (fries). More elaborate options, such as steaks, pies, fish to suppress their appetite on long hunting treks. Some bright spark realised that if it works
dishes, pasta and something that resembles curry over rice, are worth trying, for some of the last Stone Age people on earth then it should be good for overweight couch
especially for a change. potatoes. Plausible? Maybe. Hoodia-based products are now in production, although scientific
Most cities also have speciality restaurants serving genuine (or at least tests on humans have been minimal to date and there are a lot of ‘fake hoodia’ products going
pretty close to it) Indian, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Mexican or ethnic African around. Still, some recipients swear by them.
(such as Ethiopian or West African) cuisine. Hopefully the money made from the sale of this drug in the lucrative weight-loss market
makes its way back to the impoverished San.
Drinks
You can buy tea and coffee in many places, from top-end hotels and restau-
rants to humble local eating houses. Up another level are cheap to midrange restaurants (called a salã de cha
In bars, hotels and bottle stores you can buy beer and spirits, either in Mozambique), with tablecloths, menus and waiters, where meals cost
imported international brands or locally brewed drinks. South African and from US$3 to US$5. Moving up the scale to the midrange, you’ll typically
‘Traditional Namibian beers (Windhoek is excellent) are available throughout the region, pay US$5 to US$10 per person for the standard beef, chicken, fish, lamb
beer of the and in many areas they dominate local markets. Wonderful South African and other dishes, but the price is justified by better quality, presentation,
wines are widely available, as is a growing range of extremely popular spirit location and cleanliness.
region is coolers. At top-end hotels and restaurants in cities and tourist areas, you’ll find
made from Traditional beer of the region is made from maize, brewed in the villages straightforward international standards, including plenty of steak places as
maize, and drunk from communal pots with great ceremony on special occasions, well as French, British and Italian options.
and with less ado in everyday situations. This product, known as chibuku (or South Africa, Namibia and Botswana are also going through something of
brewed in shake-shake), is commercially brewed in many countries and sold in large a fast-food revolution – particularly popular are places specialising in fried
the villages blue paper cartons, or by the bucketful. It’s definitely an acquired taste, and or peri peri (hot chilli) chicken. Ubiquitous chains are becoming common,
and drunk it does pack a punch. and in new shopping malls you’ll even find fast-food Thai, seafood and
Middle Eastern outlets.
from com- Where to Eat & Drink
munal pots’ Street food is sold at roadsides, bus stations (and sometimes through windows Vegetarians & Vegans
of moving buses) or markets all over Africa; cleanliness is not a top priority Vegetarianism isn’t widely understood in Africa, and many locals think a
but it’s cheap and convenient. meal is incomplete unless at least half of it once lived and breathed. That said,
A food stall (also called a tea stall or a barraca in Mozambique), which is a if you’re not worried about variety or taste, finding inexpensive vegetarian
basic eatery selling inexpensive African food housed in a shack or hut, is typi- options isn’t that difficult. In the cheapest places, you may have to stick to
cally found in markets, bus stations, and around industrial areas or any part of the mielies and greens. A step above that would be eggs and chips (which
town with low rent and a good passing trade. Chowing down at one of these may be fried in animal fat) with whatever vegetables may be available. Those
places can be a good way to meet locals. Meals at food stalls are served in a who eat fish should have even more luck, but note that many places will even
bowl, and while some locals prefer to eat with their hands, spoons are normally serve chicken as a vegetarian dish, on the notion that it’s not really meat.
available. You may eat standing up, or at a simple table with chairs. Nearly all midrange and upmarket restaurants offer some sort of genuine
A grade above the food stalls are the takeaways and cheap restaurants in vegetarian dish, even if it’s just a vegetable omelette or pasta and sauce. In
cities, large towns, and areas frequented by tourists. These tend to be slightly larger cities and towns, a growing number of places specialise in light vegetar-
larger and cleaner and have better facilities. ian cuisine – especially at lunchtime – and of course, Lebanese, Indian and
Italian restaurants usually offer interesting meat-free choices.
FOOD ETIQUETTE
Most travellers will have the opportunity to share an African meal sometime during their stay and
will normally be given royal treatment and a seat of honour. Although concessions are sometimes
made for foreigners, table manners are probably different from what you’re accustomed to. The
African staple, maize or sorghum meal, is the centre of nearly every meal. It is normally taken
with the right hand from a communal pot, rolled into balls, dipped in some sort of sauce or
relish – meat, beans or vegetables – and eaten. As in most societies, it is considered impolite to
scoff food, or to hoard it or be stingy with it. If you do, your host may feel that he or she hasn’t
provided enough. Similarly, if you can’t finish your food, don’t worry; the host will be pleased that
you have been satisfied. Often, containers of water or home-brew beer may be passed around
from person to person. However, it is not customary to share coffee, tea or bottled soft drinks.
© Lonely Planet Publications
52 lonelyplanet.com MUSIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA •• A Potted History 53

Music in
style similar to that heard in Tanzania and Zambia, while musicians in the
heart of country played a style like that of Zimbabwe. The music of southern
Mozambique was altered by the influx of workers returning from the South

Southern Africa
African mines (revolutionary lyrics were delivered over regional melodies),
just as the workers who migrate from Lesotho to the mines and cities of
Jane Cornwell neighbouring South Africa have developed a rich genre of sung oral poetry –
or word music – that focuses on the experiences of migrant life. African folk
Long before there were borders, there was music. Thousands of years ago,
right across the handful of countries we now loosely term Southern Africa,
a host of cultures were singing, dancing and creating rhythms to accompany INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS MAPFUMO
their lives. And arguably it is music, more than any other aspect of culture, The Lion of Zimbabwe isn’t exactly roaring, but he’s pretty furious. Over 25 years of misrule by
that has best survived the onslaught of Western influences. Not always Robert Mugabe’s government has seen his country’s economy collapse. Crime, unemployment
untarnished, though: while some traditions persist, others have merged, and food prices are soaring; corruption and censorship are rife. Human rights abuses abound.
Rage (www.rage.co.za)
shape-shifted, formed new genres. South Africa alone has the greatest range ‘These are not good circumstances,’ says Thomas Mapfumo, who left Harare for the USA after the
is an online South
of musical styles on the African continent, helped along by its gargantuan April 2000 elections, when his life was threatened. What makes things worse for the Zimbabwean
African magazine with
recording industry. Some of these styles have spilled over into neighbouring musician is that this is a government he helped to bring about.
black urban music news,
countries, all of which have styles of their own. The politicisation of TM, as he is known, began in the mid-1970s in what was then Rhodesia.
reviews and fashion.
Music still marks the important stages of a Southern African person’s life. With the traditions and customs of his country subjugated by the ruling white minority, he
It still enlightens, heals, invokes spirits. It still makes people dance, sing, hol- began his career playing covers of American hits. But as the country lurched towards civil war,
ler. It does all this whatever the instrument – whose form can change accord- Mapfumo adopted a more revolutionary stance. He was banned from the airwaves. Decades
ing to ethnicity, geography, gender of the player and, sometimes, whatever later, his latest album, Rise Up (Real World Records), has been similarly censored, though it pulses
Namibia’s recording objects are lying around. Expressing oneself through music isn’t always easy: from Harare’s short-wave underground outfits. Its songs exhort the poor of Zimbabwe to fight
industry is virtually non- think long-suffering, government-censored Zimbabwe. Or Namibia, whose for their rights. To, indeed, rise up.
existent – you’ll often see music industry lacks distribution networks, major record labels, direction. As a boy from the countryside Mapfumo had learned Shona music from his grandparents,
artists selling their own Or Mozambique, where most artists don’t receive royalties, and promoters members – like 70% of the population – of an old culture with its own language and traditions.
CDs on street corners. frequently don’t pay. Regardless, music still pulses in Southern Africa like a The Shona’s signature instrument was the mbira, an instrument with a sound known to invite
heartbeat. So remember: just because you can’t buy it – or even see or hear ancestor spirits to possess the living during religious ceremonies. Mapfumo began to arrange
it – doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. its splattering rhythms for the guitars of his band, Blacks Unlimited. Their Shona-language lyrics
sustained guerrilla fighters in the bush.
The Drumcafé’s Traditional A POTTED HISTORY ‘We were an oppressed people in our own land,’ he says. ‘When civil war came I found a
Music of Black South It’s better, initially, to think ethnicity rather than country. Southern Africa focus.’ He called the music chimurenga, which is Shona for ‘struggle’. The white population were
Africa (2005), by Laurie is one of the world’s oldest inhabited regions, after all. So old, in fact, that unable to understand the Shona language, but there was no ignoring Mapfumo’s popularity in
Levine, is an exploration its earliest music can be traced back some 4000 years to the Stone Age, when the wake of his album, Hokoyo (Watch Out). The Ian Smith regime arrested Mapfumo, detaining
of the traditional music of groups of hunter-gatherer San played basic flutes and rattles and sang in their him without trial for 90 days.
black South Africa in cere- unique click language. Today’s San still sound wonderfully ethereal, their ‘They thought my music was encouraging youngsters to leave the country to train and come
monies and rituals. The singing, clapping trance dance the stuff of ritual, tourist haunts and left-field back fighting the government,’ says Mapfumo, who cites Malcolm X and Martin Luther King as
book includes samples of record labels. But it’s the glorious vocal polyphony of the Bantu-speaking inspirations. ‘I kept telling them it was just the traditional music of the people of Zimbabwe.
musical scores, a look at people – the Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho of the present day – that has come to There was no way I wasn’t going to sing it.’
some well-known artists characterise the region; this is the music that attracted Paul Simon before He remained prolific until Zimbabwean independence in 1980, releasing album after socially
and a handy CD. he recorded his seminal 1988 album Graceland. aware album and influencing other home-grown stars such as Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi. With over
Long before the Christian missionaries and colonialists arrived in the 30 years of touring to his credit, his Blacks Unlimited pungwes – dance marathons featuring songs
19th century, there were kingdoms. In Zambia, each king had his own decrying AIDS, alcoholism and domestic violence – are the stuff of legend. He was unofficially
royal musician, just as each kingdom had its own music. Singing often bestowed with Zimbabwe’s national symbol, the lion, as an alias, and exile has only increased
accompanied instrumental music played on horns, percussion, drums and his ire.
the stringed babatone – the inspiration for the contemporary Zambian The year 2003 was the first time since 1962 that Mapfumo did not perform his traditional year-
style, kalindula. Elsewhere, herders used flutes and other instruments end shows in his homeland. Wisely, it seems: a bootleg release of a concert in England – featuring
to help control the movement of cattle. (Oh, and the first major style of ‘Masoja Nemapurisa’, a song that told of police brutality – had youths loyal to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF
South African popular music? None other than pennywhistle jive, later party destroying any copies they found. In 2005 Mapfumo opened the Live8 Africa concert in
known as kwela.) The Bantu of Namibia played gourds, horn trumpets Cornwall, England. ‘Down with dictatorships!’ he declared at the outset.
and marimbas, while the various ethnic groups of Malawi travelled widely, It took Mapfumo a while to admit that Mugabe’s government was failing to deliver. ‘We sup-
spreading musical influences from the Zulu of South Africa and the Islamic ported them when they were fighting in the bush. When they came to power they promised us
Yao people of Tanzania. many things, but the people are still suffering and the country is a mess. So what did we fight
Colonial rule altered everything. The folk forms of Mozambique, a former for?’ He sighs. ‘I see myself as a representative,’ he adds. ‘If anyone points a finger at me, they’re
Portuguese colony, bear hallmarks of the latter – though its main style, mar- pointing it at the people.’
rabenta, flourished after independence. Mozambican bands played a roots
54 MUSIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA •• Musical Instruments lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com MUSIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA •• Musical Instruments 55

became popular in Zambia, as troubadours entertained exhausted miners. parts and quick bursts of singing in a sort of highly melodic musical round
In South Africa, Dutch farmers brought a European folk music that became called hocketting. The Tonga people of Zambia do a similar thing with the
Featuring music and
what is known today as boeremusiek. animal horns called nyele. Variations on musical themes abound. The people of
interviews by Abdullah
It’s no wonder, then, that the banjo, violin, concertina and electric guitar Sesfontein, Namibia play reed pipes made from papaya stems. Basotho herding
Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela
have all had a profound influence on Southern African music. Malawian boys fashion their lekolulo flutes from sticks, cords and reeds. Everywhere,
and Miriam Makeba
banjo-and-guitar duos were huge in the 1950s and ’60s, after which South too, there is men’s music and women’s music, just as there are men’s dances
among others, Lee
African kwela took over. The influence of guitar-based rumba from Zaire and women’s dances. In Lesotho men use their mouths to play the stringed
Hirsch’s documentary
(now the Congo) was felt right across the region (political upheaval saw setolo-tolo. Namibian women play the scraped mouth-resonated bow.
Amandla!! A Revolution
many Congolese musicians relocate to Southern Africa); its upstart cousin, There is a huge variety of drums (ngoma is the general term in the Bantu
in Four Part Harmony
soukous, has made its presence felt in everything from Zambian kalindula language). Stick-struck and hand-struck. Square, round and goblet-shaped.
(2002) explores the role
to Malawian kwasa kwasa. The gospel mega-genre has evolved from the Small cowhide-covered ones for Zulu children. Khetebu ‘bush-tom’ drums
of music in the fight
teachings of 19th-century Christian missionaries, which were customised beloved by the South African Tsonga. Namalwa ‘lion-drums’ of Zambia,
against apartheid. Made
accordingly. Reckon those chord sequences in South African songs are played by inserting a stick through the drum head and rubbing. High-pitched
over nine years, this is a
familiar? Blame the church. talking drums (which are more commonly found in West Africa), held tight
deeply affecting film.
Numerous musical styles have been born out of oppression, too. Ladysmith under the armpit and beaten with hook-shaped sticks; the Chewa people of
Black Mambazo’s ‘tiptoe’ isicathimiya music, with its high-kicking, soft- Zambia call theirs the vimbuza. Drum families – mother, father, son, played
Commissioned by the
stepping dance, has its origins in the all-male miners’ hostels in South Africa’s in sets of three – like the conical drums of the northeast of Namibia. Drums
watchdog organisation
Natal Province (now KwaZulu-Natal) in the 1930s, with workers at pains not to accompany reed ensembles, a cappella groups and, more often than not,
Freemuse, Shoot the
to wake their bosses. Kwela music, like most modern South African styles, came ankle-rattling dances.
Singer: Music Censorship
out of the townships; kwela, meaning ‘jump up’, was the instruction given to If drums are the region’s collective heartbeat, then the bow is its lonely
Today (ed Marie Korpe, Karoo Kitaar Blues
those about to be thrown into police vans during raids. Thomas Mapfumo’s soul. Southern Africa has several kinds of musical bow, many resembling
2004) is a fascinating (director Liza Key, 2003)
chimurenga is once again the music of resistance in Zimbabwe, even if – for the the Brazilian berimbau: braced, mouth and/or gourd-resonated bows. Large
book that surveys is a documentary about
majority of Zimbabwean musicians – outspokenness is just not the Zimbabwean hunting bows used as mouth bows. Two-stringed bows, played while simulta-
contemporary cases a group of talented but
way (see the boxed text, p53). Even the prolific Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi (whose neously singing and resonating. Multiple bows with multiple strings. Mouth
of music censorship isolated ‘coloured’ farm
infectious dance pop, informed by the country’s jit-jive and tsava rhythms, is bows that use palm leaves instead of strings. String instruments abound: the
worldwide for the first workers from South
known simply as ‘Tuku music’) has never done more than express his ‘great lute (both strummed and bowed) is present is several forms. The Tswana of
time. It includes a series Africa’s desolate Karoo
disappointment’. (For more on Mtukudzi, see the boxed text, p701.) Botswana sing and strum the violin-like segaba (that’s one string attached
of essays on South Africa region. Having developed
In Malawi the deliberately controversial songs of reggae giant Lucius ‘The to a tin). The dances of the Nama of Namibia use flutes, drums and strings
and Zimbabwe. a unique musical style
Soldier’ Banda has spawned a slew of similarly antsy reggae outfits; there is to emulate animal sounds.
played on homemade
also a softer reggae led by Malawian Rastafarians and a sort of Afro-pop reg- The xylophone is also prevalent: the xylophone music of southern Malawi
instruments, they eventu-
gae courtesy of Kid Mkandawire. In post-apartheid South Africa, freedom of has influenced contemporary music in both East and Southern Africa. Mal-
ally tour South Africa to
expression is pretty much expected: rap, hip-hop and their indigenous sibling let instruments with wooden keys are the main instrument of the Lozi and
rapturous response.
kwaito are as socially concerned as they are un-PC, depending on who you’re Nkoya of western Zambia, who place slats of wood over a long platform
listening to. South African jazz remains some of the best in the world; the in- and gourds in descending size; up to four people play simultaneously. The
Zimbabwe’s first feature
ternational success of the likes of Thandiswa from Bongo Maffin and Afropop marimbas of South Africa feed into the mbaqanga (township jive) style. It’s
film, Jit (director Michael
outfit Freshlyground has new audiences in new countries taking notice. an entirely different sound from that of the mbila (plural timbila) as played
Raeburn, 1993), is an
The popular music of Southern Africa has created itself by mingling local by the Chopi people of coastal Mozambique, which features resonators made
endearing romantic com-
ideas and forms with those from outside the region. And while every country from gourds and a buzzing tone created via a sheet of plastic (formerly an
edy, lifted by its exotic
has its own distinctive and constantly evolving array of styles supported animal skin) over a hole in the ground. The master of timbila is the great
setting and irresistible
by local audiences, that doesn’t mean you won’t be in one place and hear Venancio Mbande, who rehearses with his large orchestra each Sunday
jit-jive soundtrack. Boy, Radio Chikuni (www
something from somewhere else. afternoon at his house in the Zavala district.
who has a pesky, beer- .chikuniradio.org) is
But perhaps no instrument is as distinctively Southern African as the
obsessed ancestral spirit,
decides to get girl –
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS mbira, a hand-held instrument with small metal keys attached to an amplify- a community radio
station broadcasting from
As with most traditional African instruments, the membranophones, chor- ing wooden box or calabash; attached shells and/or bottle tops distort and
who happens to have a Zambia’s Chikuni Mission
dophones, aerophones and idiophones of Southern Africa (OK, it’s drums fuzz its sound. There are many traditions of so-called ‘thumb pianos’, each
gangster boyfriend. Fun, Station. Dedicated to
and string, wind and percussion instruments) tend to be found in rural with a different name according to size and origin – it’s the kankobela for
uplifting stuff. preserving Batonga music
areas. Local materials and found objects are often used to musical effect. the Tonga of Zambia. But it is Zimbabwe with which the mbira is generally
and culture.
In Namibia and Zimbabwe they tie dry cocoons together and strap them identified: central to the Shona’s marathon religious trance ceremonies
to dancers’ ankles and waists; in Swaziland and South Africa, ankles rattle known as bira, interlocking mbira patterns are considered both healing and
with dried fruit. Right across the region, everything from seeds, sticks and spiritual. Since independence the mbira has been adapted to modern styles,
stalks to horse hair, oryx horns and goat skins are being shaken and blown, such as the chimurenga guitars’ bands.
plucked and beaten. Some people in Namibia customise their drums by Oh, and then there’s the voice. Be they roaring Zulu choirs or clicking San,
carving human faces into them. four-part Nama harmonies or ululating Zambian churchgoers, the people of
The MaNyungwe people of northeastern Zimbabwe and northwestern Southern Africa really do sing up some glorious polyphonic storms. Keep
Mozambique play nyanga music on panpipes, using different interlocking an ear out.
56 MUSIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA •• Musical Styles lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com MUSIC IN SOUTHERN AFRICA •• Musical Styles 57

became a tool of social activism and, with lyrics in Shona, a secret means of
INTERVIEW WITH STELLA CHIWESHE communication. Banned by Zimbabwean state radio now as then, today’s
The majestic Stella Chiweshe has been performing with the mbira – the classic Zimbabwean chimurenga bubbles away underground, in stark contrast to the apolitical,
Held each July in
thumb piano – for over 40 years. She is the first Southern African female mbira player to gain good-time sungura guitar music (the current industry’s favoured genre)
Selebi-Phikwe, between
international recognition; her recordings capture the power and enchantment of this ancient instru- and bland Shona impersonations of hip-hop and ragga (a dance-oriented
Gaborone and Francis-
ment, traditionally revered as a medium of healing and of contact with ancestral spirits. Though style of reggae).
based in Germany, Chiweshe recorded her latest offering, double album Double Check (Piranha), in town, Botswana’s
Zimbabwe, though she was plagued by a range of distractions from petrol shortages to computer Gospel National Music Eisteddfod
showcases traditional
breakdowns. It features drums, guitars, marimbas – and the trancy, shimmering mbira sound. Gospel music is huge everywhere. In Malawi spiritual songs are sung in
dances and music from
‘I first heard mbira from an old man when I was eight years old,’ says Chiweshe, who was born church, at school assemblies and political functions, and during everyday
around the country,
in 1946 in Mujumhi, a village in Mhondoro, Zimbabwe. ‘The people were listening to the drums, tasks. Many of Zambia’s Christian churches boast US-style gospel synthesis-
courtesy of its schools,
whose rhythm stayed so loud inside me I thought people could hear it.’ She liked to accompany ers and guitars. The effects of popular influences on the realm of the church
colleges and choirs.
her grandfather on cattle-herding duty, insisting they go as far away as possible so she could can be heard in the music of top-sellers Zambian Acappella and the Glorious
sing loud and hard. Throughout her childhood – before independence and the success of the Hosanna Band. Traditional Botswanan music is present in their church sing-
Second Chimurenga (1972–80) – mbiras were kept hidden, because the colonial government and ing. Zimbabwe’s lucrative gospel market is dominated by Charles Charamba
the church had banned the instrument, fearing its power over the Shona. and his sungura-based songs (gospel singers in Zimbabwe are as big as the Dandemutande (www
Playing mbira was punished with prison and the ceremonies were secret: ‘They told us when biggest popular music stars). South Africa is the really commercial holy roller: .dandemutande.org) is a
we were children to run away from people who played those instruments and to run towards a mega-selling amalgam of European, American, Zulu and other African resource for people who
the mission to tell the priest that we had seen the people of Diabore (Satan’s people).’ Chiweshe, traditions, neatly divided into traditional and modern styles. Look out for love Zimbabwean music
the great-granddaughter of Munaka, a resistance fighter hanged by the British in days of the Rebecca Malope, Youth in Action and the Soweto Gospel Choir. and culture. Articles,
First Chimurenga (1896–97), was undeterred. She wasn’t prepared to be limited by her sex, either. mail order catalogue,
Her nonstop rhythm-making on any object she could find saw her creeping into ceremonies to Jazz discussion board,
watch. Only once did a man try to eject her: ‘I screamed so much that I filled the house and What Malawi calls ‘jazz’ began in the late 1960s when, inspired by South Af- resource guide.
they let me stay.’ rican kwela music, bands such as Chimvu Jazz featured semirural musicians
By the time Chiweshe was 17 her passion to play mbira was like ‘a ball of fire’ and over the on acoustic instruments – a tradition that continues today. In Botswana most
next decade, with the guidance of her uncle, she became a gifted maridzambira (mbira player), popular music tends to be labelled ‘jazz’; it is probably gumba-gumba (‘party-
playing at healing ceremonies, weddings, funerals, concerts and parties, and even releasing a party’) music – modernised Zulu and Tswana music mixed with traditional
single, Kasahwa, in 1975, which went gold. After independence in 1980 she was invited to join jazz – that comes closest to it. Zambia’s Zam-rock has its jazzy elements.
the National Dance Company, newly formed to familiarise the liberated Zimbabweans of the But if you’re after jazz that is structurally, harmonically and melodically
richness of their cultural heritage. They toured throughout Zimbabwe, Mozambique and then distinctive – and is, unequivocally, jazz – then head to South Africa. What
Australia, India, North Korea and Europe. Chiweshe returned on solo tours. was famously an expatriate music representing the suffering of a people is
Following the counsel of her spirit guide, she took the mbira to the denizens of Harare (‘I was now a thriving, progressive force. Arno Carstens, Moses Khumalo, Judith
told that I must introduce this music to the city people’) and to new generations in Zimbabwe Sephumo, Yenana and myriad others are at the vanguard.
and across the globe with her band, the Earthquake. So far she’s recorded 22 local singles and
seven international albums, been awarded an MA from Harare University, won two ZIMA Awards Kalindula
in 2005 and healed countless troubled souls. The urban dance style known as kalindula has its roots in the Bemba tradi-
tions of northern Zambia’s Luapula Province – where a stringed instrument
called the babatone swings like a double bass. Inspired (like many Southern
MUSICAL STYLES
A rich network of musical styles has developed in Southern Africa. And
Featuring big name UK
although those of South Africa are probably the best known, the entire re- TOP 10 SOUTHERN AFRICAN ALBUMS
and African live acts and
gion is humming with musical traditions, expressions and textures. In most  Rise Up (Real World), Thomas Mapfumo
DJs, the three-day Lake
countries there are polyphony, repetitive patterns and call-and-response
of Stars Malawi Music
singing. There are styles that reflect ethnic diversity and geography. Cities  Double Check (Piranha), Stella Chiweshe
Festival is held on the
are dominated by pop, rock, jazz and urban music, much of which combines  Best of Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks (BMG), Miriam Makeba
palm-fringed shores of
core African principles with Western influences. Electric guitars fuel genres  Soul Marrabenta (Riverboat), Mabula
Lake Malawi each Sep-
such as afroma in Malawi, jit-jive in South Africa, Zam-rock in Zambia. Local
tember. Attracts around
sounds keep migrating, metamorphosing. New genres keep forming. Follow-  Shaka Zulu (Warner), Ladysmith Black Mambazo
1500 punters; proceeds
ing is a by-no-means definitive roundup of what is being listened to.  Urban Zulu (Melt 2000), Busi Mhlongo
go to charity.
 Indestructible Beat of Soweto Volume One (Earthworks), various artists
Chimurenga
 Vana Va Ndota (Milan), Ghorwane
In Zimbabwe in the late 1970s the musician Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks
Unlimited transferred traditional Shona mbira patterns to the electric guitar.  Zambia Roadside (Sharp Wood Productions), various artists
They sang songs of resistance against the white-controlled Rhodesian gov-  A Handful of Namibians (On the Corner), various artists
ernment using bright, harmonised vocals. Chimurenga, meaning ‘struggle’,
© Lonely Planet Publications
58 M U S I C I N S O U T H E R N A F R I C A • • M u s i c a l S t y l e s lonelyplanet.com

African genres) by Congolese rumba, kalindula took hold in the mid-1970s


in the wake of the presidential decree that 95% of broadcast music should be
Zambian. Most kalindula bands broke up following the country’s economic
collapse in the 1990s. But with the likes of Brian Chilala fusing rock, reggae
and kalindula beats, and the popularity of Black Muntu’s ‘kalifunku’ sound,
kalindula seems to be enjoying a renaissance.

Kwaito
Celebrating peace,
Post 1994, kwaito (kway-to, meaning hot or angry) exploded onto South
social harmony and
Africa’s dance floors. A rowdy mix of bubblegum, hip-hop, R&B, ragga,
international solidarity,
mbaqanga, traditional, jazz, British and American house music – kwaito
Avante Mozambique! is
is nothing short of a lifestyle. Chanted or sung in township slang (usually
Maputo’s new two-week
over programmed beats), kwaito’s lyrics range from the anodyne to the
cultural tourism festival
fiercely political. Given an international lease of life as the soundtrack for
each August/September.
the feature film Tsotsi (which bagged the 2006 Oscar for Best Foreign Film,
Expect exhibitions,
and saw kwaito star Zola playing a gangster), kwaito is similarly huge across
seminars, films and, of
the Southern African region. It’s Lesotho’s favourite music style. If you’re
course, music.
in Namibia, look out for Paul Gazza. In Zambia, try gospel kwaito act the
Cherubs. If you’re in South Africa, take your pick.

Kwasa kwasa
Beginning in Zaire in the mid-1980s and spreading quickly to surrounding
areas, kwasa kwasa took its cue from Congolese rumba and soukous. Char-
acterised by an all-important lead guitar and lighter background drumming,
kwasa kwasa (from the French street slang, quoi ca? – what’s this?) songs typi-
cally let guitar and drums set the pace before the vocals enter, with an intricate
guitar solo somewhere in the middle. Arguments rage over whether kwasa
kwasa is actually just rumba; for others it’s simply a dance style. Everyone from
politicians to street vendors knows how to do the kwasa kwasa, booties wildly
gyrating – à la American hip-hop – while legs and torsos are kept still.

Marrabenta
Mozambique Music
Sounding a little like salsa or merengue, marrabenta is the best-known urban
Magazine (www
dance music in Mozambique, and one created from a fusion of imported
.mozambique-music
European music played on improvised materials: oil cans, wooden stakes
.com) is a Maputo-based
and fishing lines. Taking its name from the Portuguese word ‘to break’
site, offering news about
(hard-playing musos frequently snapped their guitar strings), marrabenta’s
local events and music
local-language songs of love and social criticism were banned by Portuguese
releases, Mozambican
colonialists – ensuring its popularity post-independence. Stalwart marrabenta
bands and music projects
band Ghorwane uses horns, guitars, percussion and strong vocal harmonies;
as well as info for visitors.
marrabenta-meets-hip-hop outfit Mabulu is making waves.

Rap & Hip-hop


The genre that was born in New York over three decades ago now has an-
other home in (or has come back to) Africa – with some fascinating hybrids
Yfm (www.yfm.co.za) as a result. In Namibia, artist Yellow fuses reggae, hip-hop and his roots in
is South Africa’s most the Nama culture. In Botswana, top-rating radio show Strictly Hip Hop,
popular youth station, with presenters/rappers Draztik and Slim (from Cashless Society Crew), is
with a 50% self-imposed transforming the local scene. Young Swaziland rap groups – and indeed,
local music quota – more rap groups across Southern Africa – are using the medium to educate listen-
than any other station in ers about AIDS. South Africa’s rappers are exploring uncharted territory:
the country. Tumi and the Volume combine kwaito, new school and house music and
put politics centre stage. Jo’burg outfit Kwani Experience mould rap with
African folk, jazz, drum ’n’ bass and funk. The beat is ‘somehow familiar yet
like nothing that you’ve heard in these times’, they say.
© Lonely Planet Publications
59

Environment
Southern Africa’s environment is as fragile as elsewhere on the continent,
with exploitation and mismanagement the cause of many long-term prob-
lems. In order to ensure you have a minimal impact on this unique place,
please keep in mind every visitor’s shared responsibility (p26).
Earthlife Africa (www
THE LAND .earthlife.org.za) is an
active environmental
Southern Africa consists of a plateau rising from 1000m to 2000m, with
group operating in South
escarpments on either side. Below the escarpments lies a coastal plain, which
Africa and Namibia; it’s a
is narrowest in Namibia and widest in southern Mozambique.
good contact for anyone
The most prominent break in the Southern African plateau is the Great Rift
wanting to get involved.
Valley – a 6500km-long fissure where tectonic forces have attempted to rip
the continent of Africa in two. This enormous fault in the earth’s crust runs
from the Jordan Valley (between Israel and Jordan) in the north, southward
through the Red Sea, where it enters Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression. At this
point, it heads south across Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, dividing in two at
one stage, to form the great lakes of East Africa. Lake Malawi is the third-
largest lake in Africa and lies in a trough formed by the valley. This feature
has created unique fish life. The lake has more fish species than any inland
body of water in the world – there are over 500, and 350 of these are endemic
to the lake (see the boxed text, p199). This spreading zone ends at the present
site of Lake Kariba (p703), between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The highest part of the region is Lesotho (often called the Kingdom in the
Sky) and the neighbouring Drakensberg area, where many peaks rise above
3000m, including Thabana-Ntlenyana (p146; 3482m), which is the highest
point in Southern Africa. Other highland areas include the Nyika Plateau (in
northern Malawi and northeastern Zambia; p181), Mt Mulanje (in southern
Malawi; p219), the Eastern Highlands (between Zimbabwe and Mozambique;
p706) and the Khomas Hochland (Central Namibia; p323).
These highlands provide jaw-dropping scenery, as well as some of the
best-preserved and most distinctive plants, wildlife and ancient rock art (see
the boxed text, p38) in the region. Hiking, climbing and mountain-biking
are just some of the myriad activities on offer in these often wonderfully
preserved patches of African wilderness.
Lower and more isolated hills include the characteristic inselbergs of
Namibia (see Spitzkoppe, p347) and South Africa’s Karoo (p488), and the
lush Zomba Plateau (p210) in central Malawi.
Good safari companions:
WILDLIFE Field Guide to Mammals
of Southern Africa and A
Southern Africa contains some of the most accessible and varied wildlife
Field Guide to the Tracks
watching found anywhere on the continent, and it’s the major attraction
and Signs of Southern and
of the region. Countries all over the region provide opportunities, and each
East African Wildlife –
has its highlights (even smaller countries such as Swaziland have magnifi-
both by Chris & Tilde
cent wildlife viewing, which can offer great alternatives to better-known
Stuart – and The Safari
parks), but for sheer variety and numbers, South Africa and Botswana
Companion: A Guide to
top the list.
Watching African Mam-
The best times of day for wildlife viewing are early in the morning and in
mals by Richard Estes.
the late afternoon/evening, when many animals are looking for their next
meal. Planting yourself at a water hole at these times can be very rewarding.
Night safaris provide wonderful wildlife-viewing opportunities, especially
to see many nocturnal animals such as genets and bushbabies (look in the
trees, not just on the ground).
60 E N V I R O N M E N T • • W i l d l i fe lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com E N V I R O N M E N T • • W i l d l i fe 61

Happily, Southern African parks are some of the best managed in Africa, has over half of all bird species identified in Southern Africa; on Inhaca Island
and the development of the massive transfrontier parks (see the boxed text, (p255) alone, about 300 bird species have been recorded.
p67) in the region, which link national parks and wildlife migration routes Highlights in the region include the world’s largest bird (the ostrich) and
in different countries, should open up even more opportunities for wildlife its heaviest flying bird (Kori bustard). Also in abundance are weavers, which
viewing. share their huge city-like nests (often attached to telephone poles) with pygmy
falcons, the world’s smallest raptors. Also keep an eye out for majestic birds
Animals of prey such as the fish eagle, bateleur eagle, martial eagle, red-necked falcon
Nowhere else on the planet is there such a variety and quantity of large mam-
mal species. Southern Africa boasts the world’s largest land mammal (the
African elephant), as well as the second largest (white rhino) and the third CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE WILD KIND
largest (hippopotamus). It’s also home to the tallest (giraffe), fastest (cheetah) Although you’ll hear plenty of horror stories, the threat of attack by wild animals in Africa is
and smallest (pygmy shrew). You stand a great chance of seeing the Big Five – largely exaggerated and problems are extremely rare. However, it is important to remember that
the black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard and lion. However, the region most African animals are wild and that wherever you go on safari, particularly on foot, there is
Rhinos aren’t named for
also supports a wonderful array of birds, reptiles, amphibians and even insects always an element of danger.
their colour, but for their
(but often in less-appreciated quantities). The longer you spend in Southern The tips below will further diminish your chances of a close encounter of the unpleasant kind,
lip shape: ‘white’ comes
Africa the more you’ll appreciate the subtleties of the region, including the and on organised safaris you should always get advice from your guide.
from wijde (wide) – the
delight of spotting some of the less-famous species. If you’re up for a challenge  Buffaloes are usually docile in a herd, but lone individuals can be unpredictable, making them
Boers’ term for the fatter-
there’s also a lesser-known ‘Little Five’ – the rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver, particularly dangerous. If you encounter a buffalo while walking in the bush, back away quietly
lipped white rhino.
elephant shrew, leopard tortoise and ant lion. See the colour Wildlife Guide and slowly. If it charges, climb the nearest tree or dive into the bush and ‘run like a rat’.
(p69) for a glimpse of the region’s spectacular wildlife.
 Elephants are not bloodthirsty creatures, but those who have had trouble from humans
ENDANGERED SPECIES previously may feel the need to go on the offensive. Lone males can be skittish, and a herd of
After years of poaching, the black rhino is the highest-profile entry on females with baby elephants will almost always be protective and wary of an approach. Keep
Southern Africa’s endangered species list (good places to spot these include your distance – if an elephant holds its trunk erect and sniffs the air, it probably detects your
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in South Africa, p512; Etosha National Park in presence and may charge rather than retreat. In this case you should be the one who retreats –
Namibia, p332; and Mkhaya Game Reserve in Swaziland, p612); and the but move away slowly.
recent lifting of a hunting ban on this rare species seems ludicrous. See  Hippos aren’t normally vicious, but they may attack if you get too close or come between
p68 for more on this issue. The beautiful African wild dog (seen with luck them and the water, or between adults and young. It’s true that hippos kill more humans in
in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, p512, and Kruger National Park, p528), with Africa than any other animal. When boating or canoeing, paddle well away from them, and
The Johannesburg-based
its matriarchal system, is also listed as endangered, as are the mountain never pitch a tent in an open area along vegetated riverbanks, as it’s probably a hippo run.
Endangered Wildlife Trust
and Cape mountain zebra. The riverine rabbit is one of Southern Africa’s  Crocodiles also present risks, and when they’re snoozing in the sun, they look more like logs
(www.ewt.org.za) is a
most endangered mammals, while the hippopotamus and African lion are or branches. Never swim, paddle or even collect water without first making a careful assess-
good source of informa-
considered vulnerable in the wider region. ment of what’s occupying the water in question. Local advice is best but, if it’s not available,
tion on South Africa’s
Turtles don’t fair well, with the loggerhead, green turtle and olive ridley assume the worst.
endangered species with
listed as endangered, while hawsksbill and leatherback turtles are critically
links to broader Southern  Hyenas are potentially dangerous, although they’re normally just after your food. They aren’t
endangered.
African conservation particularly fussy either: they’ll eat boots and equipment left outside a tent, and have been
projects. known to gnaw right through vehicle tyres!
BIRDS
Birds rate highly among the many attractions of Southern Africa. For sheer  Lions have also been known to investigate lodges and camp sites. If you’re camping out in the
abundance and variety, few parts of the world offer as much for the bird- bush, zip your tent up completely. If you hear a large animal outside, lie still and don’t try to
watcher, whether expert or beginner. Southern Africa is host to nearly 10% of leave your tent. While walking in the bush, if you encounter a lion try to avoid an adrenalin
Ian Sinclair’s Field Guide
the world’s bird species – over 900 species have been recorded in the region. rush (easier said than done), and don’t turn and run. If you act like prey, the lion could respond
to the Birds of Southern
More than 130 are endemic to Southern Africa or are near-endemic, also accordingly.
Africa by Ian Sinclair is
being found only in adjoining territories to the north.
a comprehensive work  Rhinos tend to be wary of humans, although they may charge vehicles that get too close.
This astonishing variety can be attributed to the number of habitats. These Remember, too, that black rhinos are far more aggressive than white rhinos – unsurprising, as
with colour plates of
habitats are well defined and can be separated into eight main categories: for- they were hunted almost to extinction. If you are caught out on foot and can’t immediately
all avian species in the
est; savanna-woodland; fynbos; grassland-semidesert; Karoo (South Africa’s climb a tree, face the charge and step to one side at the last moment in bullfight style (again,
region. An abridged
desert-like interior); the Namib Desert; freshwater areas (rivers, marshes,
version, Illustrated Guide easier said than done).
lakes, pans and their adjoining shores); and seashore areas (including areas of
to the Birds of Southern  Most importantly, don’t let the above scare you! Wildlife viewing just requires a bit of common
brackish water where fresh water meets salt water in lagoons and estuaries).
Africa, concentrates on sense, and by following a few simple guidelines you’re sure to have a trouble-free experience.
All the national parks and reserves are home to a great range of bird life,
commonly observed Remember that viewing wildlife in their natural habitat may present dangers not associated
especially Mana Pools (p705), Victoria Falls (p618) and Hwange (p723)
species. with a zoo, but it’s a large part of what makes a visit to Southern Africa so special, and is
National Parks in Zimbabwe; Etosha (p332), Mudumu (p345) and Mamili
(p345) National Parks in Namibia; and Chobe National Park (p101) and incomparable to seeing an animal in a cage.
virtually any part of the Okavango Delta (p106) in Botswana. Mozambique
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and chanting goshawk, as well as secretary birds, rollers, vividly coloured 5m in length. The puff adder, which inhabits mainly mountain and desert areas,
bee-eaters, sunbirds and rainbow-flecked kingfishers. grows to about 1m long. Like all reptiles it enjoys sunning itself, but it is very slow
Bird-watching is good all year round, with spring (August to November) and sometimes trodden on by unwary hikers – with very unpleasant results.
and summer the best. Other seriously dangerous snakes include the fat and lazy gaboon viper;
For information on
the black mamba; the boomslang, which lives in trees; the spitting cobra,
campaigns to save
REPTILES which needs no introduction; and the zebra snake, which is one of the world’s
elephants and the fight
Southern Africa’s most notable reptile is the Nile crocodile. Once abundant most aggressive serpentine sorts. If you’re tramping in snake country, be
against the illegal inter-
in lakes and rivers across the region, its numbers have been greatly reduced sure to watch your step.
national trade in wildlife,
by hunting and habitat destruction. Female crocs lay up to 80 eggs at a time, Lizards are ubiquitous from the hot and dusty Kaokoveld in Namibia to
see the International
depositing them in sandy areas above the high-water line. After three months’ the cool highlands of the Nyika Plateau in Malawi, and from the bathroom
Fund for Animal Welfare
incubation in the hot sand, the young emerge. New crocs are avocado green in ceiling to the kitchen sink. The largest of these is the water monitor, a docile
(www.ifaw.org).
colour; as they age, they darken to nearly black. Many live up to 70 years. creature that reaches over 2m in length and is often seen lying around water
Southern Africa has a complement of both venomous and harmless snakes, holes, perhaps dreaming of being a crocodile. Two others frequently seen
but most fear humans and you’ll be lucky to even see one. The largest snake – are chameleons and geckos – the latter often in hotel rooms; they are quite
although generally harmless to humans – is the python, which grows to over harmless and help to control the bug population.

IVORY & ELEPHANT CULLING CONTROVERSY


A major issue all over Southern Africa concerns the emotive issue of elephant conservation. culling to return the population to around a manageable 7000 (down from the current 12,500).
In the West people generally hold a preservationist viewpoint, that elephant herds should be This has caused an outcry from some conservation groups such as the International Fund for
conserved for their own sake or for aesthetic reasons; however, the local sentiment maintains Animal Welfare (IFAW), as culling has been banned for 10 years in South African parks. In early
that the elephant must justify its existence on long-term economic grounds for the benefit of 2006 the South African government decided to postpone a decision regarding a cull, but it
local people, or for the country as a whole (a conservationist view). In fact, the same arguments wasn’t known for how long.
can be applied to most other wildlife. This is an issue sure to generate much debate, with proponents citing the health of the parks,
Since the 1970s various factors (especially the value of ivory) led to an increase in elephant including other wildlife and the elephants themselves, and organisations such as IFAW appalled
poaching in many parts of Africa. By the late 1980s the price of 1kg of ivory (US$300) was three at such a solution, which they claim is cruel, unethical and scientifically unsound. IFAW believes
times the annual income of over 60% of Africa’s population. Naturally, the temptation to poach aerial surveys of elephant numbers are inaccurate, that population growth has not been accurately
was great, although the real money was made not by poachers – often villagers who were paid surveyed and, further, that other solutions have not been looked at carefully enough, including
a pittance for the valuable tusks – but by the dealers, who acted with the full knowledge (and more transfrontier parks crossing national borders.
support) of senior government figures. The number of elephants in Africa went from 1.3 million Southern African countries such as South Africa and Botswana currently have large ivory stock-
to 625,000 between 1979 and 1989, and in East Africa and in some Southern African countries – piles due to natural attrition and through the seizure of illegal ivory hauls. Culling obviously
notably in Zambia – elephant populations were reduced by up to 90% in about 15 years. But in provides large quantities of legal ivory too. In the past this could have been sold to raise funds
other Southern African countries where parks and reserves are well managed, in particular South for elephant management; however, the CITES ban stopped that.
Africa, Botswana and Namibia, elephant populations were relatively unaffected. In March 1999, however, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe were permitted by
In 1989, in response to the illegal trade and diminishing numbers of elephants, a world body CITES to resume strictly controlled ivory exports. Despite these measures, opponents of the trade
called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) internationally banned warned that elephant poaching would increase in other parts of Africa, as poached ivory could
the import and export of ivory. It also increased funding for antipoaching measures. When the now be laundered through the legal trade. Sure enough, 1999 saw an increase in poaching all
ban was established, world raw ivory prices plummeted by 90%, and the market for poaching over Africa, from Kenya to Gabon, and in late 1999 a Zimbabwean newspaper reported that 84
and smuggling was radically reduced. elephants had been poached in Zimbabwe that year.
Although elephant populations recovered in some ravaged areas, Southern African human At the 2002 CITES conference Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe re-
populations continued to grow, and another problem surfaced. Elephants eat huge quantities of quested limited sales of their existing ivory stockpiles. Botswana, Namibia and South Africa had
foliage but, in the past, herds would eat their fill then migrate to another area, allowing time for only a one-off sale of 60 tonnes of ivory approved in principle, once certain conditions were met.
the vegetation to regenerate. However, an increasing human population pressed the elephants However, this plan was put on ice by CITES in 2004 as the conditions set down in 2002 had not
into smaller and smaller areas – mostly around national parks – and the herds were forced to been met; particularly concerning was a solution on how to conduct sales without triggering
eat everything available. In many places, the bush began to look as if an atom bomb had hit. poaching in vulnerable countries. Poaching is still a problem in Malawi for example – it was
This also leads to human/elephant conflict: in far-north Mozambique, for example, elephants are hurting the elephant population so badly in Kasungu National Park that the British military was
eating and destroying crops, while drought in Zimbabwe has led to conflict between humans called in 2005 to train game rangers in anti-poaching strategies.
and elephants for water resources. There is much dispute about whether controlled ivory sales should be reintroduced, with
Increasingly across the region, park authorities are facing elephant overpopulation. Botswana, Southern African countries with excessive elephant populations and large ivory stockpiles push-
parts of Namibia’s Caprivi region, Zimbabwe and South Africa’s Kruger National Park are particularly ing hard for a relaxation of the ban. Some argue that Southern Africa is paying for the inability
affected. Proposed solutions include relocation (whereby herds are permanently transplanted to of other African countries to manage and protect their wildlife, and that the ban on the ivory
other areas) and contraception. The only other alternative is to cull herds, sometimes in large trade is an unfair punishment to these countries.
numbers; this seems a bizarre paradox, but illustrates the seriousness of the problem. The issue is It remains to be seen whether the ban will be lifted, but meanwhile debate about the ivory
currently being debated in South Africa. In Kruger, park authorities have recommended elephant trade, and the culling solution to overpopulation, rages on.
64 E N V I R O N M E N T • • N a t i o n a l Pa r k s lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com ENVIRONMENT •• Environmental Issues 65

Plants The beauty of the parks and reserves is that they all have an individual
The following rundown of major vegetation zones (arranged roughly south identity – a unique character born from the varied landscapes, wildlife
to north, and from the coasts to the inland areas) is greatly simplified, but and vistas. Happily, this means you can spend a lot of time visiting parks
provides a useful overview. and never get bored!
Southern Africa’s distinctive fynbos zone occurs around the Cape Penin- Most parks in Southern Africa conserve habitats and wildlife species and
sula and along the south coast of South Africa, interspersed with pockets of provide recreational facilities for visitors. South African parks are among
Trees of Southern Africa
temperate forest, where you’ll find trees such as the large yellowwood, with the best managed in the world, and most of the rest are very good, although
by Keith Coates Palgrave
its characteristic ‘peeling’ bark. Zimbabwean parks have declined and those in Mozambique are still being
provides the most
The west coast of Southern Africa consists largely of desert, which receives developed.
thorough coverage of the
less than 100mm of precipitation per year. Vegetation consists of tough In most parks and reserves harbouring large (and potentially dangerous)
subcontinent’s arboreal
grasses, shrubs and euphorbias, plus local specialities, including the bizarre animals, visitors must travel in vehicles or on an organised safari, but several
richness, illustrated
welwitschia (a miniature conifer) and kokerboom (a type of aloe). do allow hiking or walking with a ranger or safari guide.
with colour photos and
Along the east coast of Southern Africa, the natural vegetation is coastal Nearly all parks charge an entrance fee, and in almost all cases foreign-
paintings.
bush, a mixture of light woodland and dune forest; high rainfall has also ers pay substantially more than local residents or citizens. This may rankle
created pockets of subtropical forest. some visitors – and some parks are seriously overpriced – but the idea is that
In South Africa’s Karoo, typical vegetation includes grasses, bushes and residents and citizens pay taxes to the governments that support the parks,
succulents that bloom colourfully after the rains. Much original Karoo veg- and therefore are entitled to discounts.
etation has been destroyed since the introduction of grazing animals and
alien plants (see below). Park Accommodation
To the east lie the temperate grasslands of the ‘highveld’ and to the north, a Most parks and reserves contain accommodation, so you can stay overnight
vast arid savanna, characterised by acacia scrub, which takes in most of cen- and take wildlife drives in the early morning and evening. Accommodation
See www.peaceparks.org
tral Namibia, much of Botswana and the northern parts of South Africa. ranges from simple camp sites to luxury lodges run by companies that have
for all the latest news on
To the north and east is the woodland savanna, consisting of mainly concessions inside the parks. Prices vary to match the quality of facilities.
the transfrontier parks
broadleaf deciduous trees. Dry woodland, dominated by mopane trees, In some countries you can just turn up and find a place to camp or stay; in
in the region, includ-
covers northern Namibia, northern Botswana, the Zimbabwean lowveld other countries reservations are advised (or are essential at busy times). For
ing a map of the Great
and the Zambezi Valley. In wetter areas – central Zimbabwe, northern details, see individual country chapters.
Flowers of Southern Africa Limpopo Transfrontier
Mozambique and most of Zambia and Malawi – the dominant vegetation is
by Auriol Batten is less a
field guide than a large-
moist woodland, or miombo. A mix of the two, which occurs in northeast- ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Park.
ern South Africa and central Mozambique, is known as mixed woodland, All over Southern Africa, an ever-growing human population places demands
format celebration of
or ‘bushveld’. on the land and other natural resources. To conserve these resources – and
major flowering species,
Small pockets of high ground all over the region have a vegetation zone the region’s wild areas and ecosystems – most experts agree that population
illustrated with colourful
termed afro-montane, which occurs in highland areas where open grasslands growth must be contained by improving education (especially for women)
paintings.
are interspersed with heathland and isolated forests. and raising living standards by fostering economic growth. Human–elephant
conflict, for example, is becoming a problem in areas such as Mozambique
INTRODUCED SPECIES (p245), where elephants eat and destroy crops in large areas of Niassa
Introduced plant species present a real threat to Southern African ecosystems. province, as well as in coastal sections of Quirimbas National Park and
There are more than 700 alien plant species in the region, and about 10% of elsewhere in the north.
these are classed as invasive aliens – that is, they thrive to the detriment of Land degradation is a serious regional problem; about one quarter of South
endemic species. For example, Australian wattle trees and Mexico mesquite Africa’s land is considered to be severely degraded (see p413). In former
flourish by sinking their roots deeper into the soil than indigenous trees, the Homeland areas, years of overgrazing and overcropping have resulted in
The Southern African
latter suffering from lack of nourishment. The Australian hakea shrub was massive soil depletion. This, plus poor overall conditions, is pushing people
regional office of the
introduced to serve as a hedge, and is now rampant, displacing native trees to the cities, further increasing urban pressures. Lesotho has severe land
International Conser-
and killing off smaller plants. Areas such as South Africa’s unique Cape erosion (see p140) due to large-scale ploughing and introduced merino
vation Union (www
fynbos floral kingdom are threatened by Australian acacias, which were sheep and mohair goats.
.iucnrosa.org.zw) has
introduced for their timber products, or to stabilise sand dunes. Water is another issue and droughts are common in the region (see
plenty of detail on
Many rivers and dams are also clogged with invasive species and intro- the boxed text, p43). To meet demand rivers have often been dammed or
projects involving wet-
duced European grasses, especially on sand dunes, are also a threat. Recog- modified. While this has improved water supplies to some areas, it has also
lands, forests, biodiversity
nition of these problems means that alien plants, originally introduced as disrupted local ecosystems and caused increased silting.
and plenty more.
commercial plants or as ornamental garden plants, may often not be grown Deforestation wreaks havoc across Southern Africa, especially when indig-
on public or private property. enous trees are replaced by more aggressive introduced species. In Malawi
(p166) the level of use of wood for fuel is very high and because of food insecu-
NATIONAL PARKS rity, people increasingly rely on woodlands to serve their needs. Illegal timber
The term ‘national park’ is often used in Southern Africa as a catch-all term practices are more difficult to combat, with entrenched interests at every level.
to include wildlife reserves, forest parks, or any government conservation An illustration of the challenges is seen in northern and central Mozambique,
area; there are also several privately owned reserves. where tropical hardwoods are felled with little or no regulation.
66 E N V I R O N M E N T • • N a t i o n a l Pa r k s i n S o u t h e r n A f r i c a lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com E N V I R O N M E N T • • N a t i o n a l Pa r k s i n S o u t h e r n A f r i c a 67

NATIONAL PARKS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA


Southern Africa’s national parks are simply outstanding. Facilities, geography and wildlife-viewing  Tsitsikamma (p466) – a lovely coastal park with forests, fynbos, beaches, rocky headlands and
opportunities vary considerably across the region though. World-famous national parks such as a world-renowned hiking trail.
Kruger, Etosha, South Luangwa and Chobe offer excellent wildlife viewing, usually with a dazzling  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi (p512) – near the Zulu heartland, this bushland park is best known for its
array of accommodation options, while lesser-known parks and reserves such as Hlane Royal rhino populations.
National Park (p611) or Mkhaya Game Reserve (p612) in Swaziland are real gems. The latter are  Kruger (p528) – South Africa’s most popular national park covers an enormous area and offers
usually smaller and often quieter than their more famous counterparts, with rewarding wildlife- the classic wildlife experience, while boasting top-notch facilities.
viewing and bird-watching opportunities. Below is a sample of the parks in the region:
 Pilanesberg (p569) – protects an unusual complex of extinct volcanoes with towering rocky
Botswana outcrops and an impressive variety and number of wildlife, including wild dogs.
 Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans (p100) – vast and remote, this is the site of Southern Africa’s last Zambia
great wildlife migrations.
 Kafue (p666) – massive and genuinely wild, with an impressive range of habitats and wildlife.
 Chobe (p101) – a large and varied park with both a wildlife-rich riverfront and broad savanna
plains. It’s particularly known for its large elephant herds.  Kasanka (p651) – pioneering, privately managed park, noted for sightings of the rare
sitatunga antelope.
 Moremi (p114) – this beautiful park takes in a portion of the expansive and stunning
Okavango Delta.  Lower Zambezi (p655) – spectacular setting, escarpments and plains, plus the great river
itself. It’s best appreciated on multiday canoe trips.
 Central Kalahari (p119) – Botswana’s largest national park takes in the widest horizons you’re
ever likely to see.  South Luangwa (p658) – this wild and pristine wildlife park is growing more popular, but
many still consider it ‘Africa’s best-kept secret’.
Malawi  Mosi-oa-Tunya (p625) – taking in both Zambia’s portion of Victoria Falls and a small game
 Liwonde (p206) – a magical lowland park with wonderful bird life, including a stunning park, this park is one of the country’s most visited attractions.
rainbow-flecked kingfisher population, excellent elephant and hippo viewing, and plans to
reintroduce lions and rhinos. Zimbabwe
 Mt Mulanje (p219) – the ‘island in the sky’, with sheer peaks and excellent hiking.  Matusadona (p705) – with both lakefront and mountain habitats south of Lake Kariba, this
rewarding wildlife park is known for its enormous buffalo herds and lion populations.
 Nyika (p181) – unique montane grassland area, with endless views and splendid horse riding.
 Nyanga (p710), Bvumba (p708), Chimanimani (p714) – these three parks in the misty Eastern
 Lengwe (p224) – this lovely park in southern Malawi protects a range of antelopes (including Highlands offer mountain retreats and excellent hiking opportunities.
the rare nyala), as well as diverse bird species.
 Hwange (p723) – Zimbabwe’s best-known wildlife park holds one of the most dense wildlife
Mozambique populations in Africa. It’s conveniently close to Victoria Falls.
 Bazaruto Archipelago (p267) – a tropical paradise of reefs, islands and beaches, and  Mana Pools (p705) – combines the Zambezi Escarpment, a swathe of bushland and beautiful
opportunities for sailing and diving. riverine scenery to create a varied wildlife experience. Canoe safaris are popular.
 Great Limpopo Transfrontier – the former Limpopo National Park (p260) has been combined Transfrontier Peace Parks
with South Africa’s Kruger (p528) and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou (p717) parks to form this In addition to national parks there are several transfrontier parks at various stages of completion.
enormous conservation area. Mozambique’s portion was devastated by war, but has now been These mammoth ventures cross national borders and are flagship conservation ventures designed
stocked with wildlife from elsewhere. to re-establish age-old migration routes. They include the following:
Namibia  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (p462) – combines Northern Cape’s old Kalahari Gemsbok National
 Waterberg Plateau Park (p328) – this sky island features walking tracks and a repository for Park with Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park
endangered wildlife.  Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – this spreads nearly 100,000 sq km (larger than Portugal)
 Fish River Canyon (p385) – Africa’s grand canyon presents one of the most spectacular scenes across the borders of South Africa (Kruger; p528), Mozambique (former Limpopo National
on the continent and Namibia’s most popular hiking track. Park; p260) and Zimbabwe (Gonarezhou; p717)
 Etosha (p332) – this vast park is one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife-viewing venues – and  Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – incorporates the spectacular desert mountain scenery
deservedly so. It features an enormous pan and numerous water holes, and is one of the best of Ai-Ais Hot Springs Game Park (p385) in Namibia and the Richtersveld National Park (see the
places in the region to see black rhinos. boxed text, p465) in South Africa
 Namib-Naukluft (p367) – one of the world’s largest national parks, this stunning and magical  Limpopo/Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area – a proposed conservation area straddling
desert wilderness takes in world-famous sand dunes and wild desert mountains, with excel- the borders of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe
lent hiking.  Maloti/Drakensberg Transfrontier Project – a project (with a completion date of 2007) to
South Africa protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains

 Drakensberg (p516) – this mountain region may be low on the Big Five, but it’s high on Malawi and Zambia have agreed to set up the first transfrontier park outside South Africa. The
awe-inspiring mountain scenery, rock art and extensive hiking opportunities. proposed area combines the Nyika Plateau on both sides of the border, Malawi‘s Vwaza Marsh
 St Lucia (p513) – this coastal wetland in a remote part of the country presents a unique Wildlife Reserve and Kasungu National Park, with Zambian forest reserves, Musalangu Game
ecosystem of global significance. Management Area and Lukusuzi National Park.
© Lonely Planet Publications
68 E N V I R O N M E N T • • E n v i r o n m e n t a l I s s u e s lonelyplanet.com

HUNTING – ANIMAL WELFARE VS ECONOMICS


In some parts of Southern Africa, areas of land are set aside for hunting, and hunters are
charged ‘trophy fees’ to shoot animals. This is abhorrent to many people – especially in Western
countries.
On the one hand it is argued that trophy or sport hunting is a form of tourism that stimulates
local economies and thereby fosters ‘conservation-minded’ attitudes. For people who lack other
resources the trophy fees are large (thousands of US dollars for animals such as elephants or
lions) and an invaluable source of income. Paradoxically, the financial benefits of hunting tourism
encourages the management and protection of these animals and their environment. Hunting, it
is argued, provides an enticement to landowners to maintain the natural habitats that provide
a home for the hunted animals.
On the other hand, killing an animal for fun is simply morally and ethically wrong to many
people, and this is accentuated once the beauty, grace and intelligence of many African animals is
witnessed in the wild. Can killing for fun ever be justified in a modern society? Hunters claim that
killing is not the purpose of hunting; instead, it’s all about outwitting and learning behavioural
patterns of their prey. Then why not take a camera instead of a rifle?
It is also argued that slaughtering wildlife in order to raise conservation funds to save it is a
twisted way of thinking. Further, improperly managed, trophy hunting can have seriously detri-
mental effects on wildlife, especially threatened and endangered species.
Although conservation organisations do not agree on policy towards hunting, the World Wildlife
Fund (WWF) has a pragmatic attitude, stating that ‘for endangered species, trophy hunting should
only be considered when all other options have been explored…and that trophy hunting, where
it is scientifically based and properly managed, has proven to be an effective conservation and
management method in some countries and for certain species’.
In 2004, CITES lifted a ban on hunting the black rhino, once a potent symbol of endangered
African animals, allowing an annual hunt quota of five each for South Africa and Namibia. Con-
servationists opposed to the move say that the rhino is still a target for poachers, with its horn
being highly valued in Asia and the Middle East. It is claimed that hunting quotas would make it
far easier to cover up the illegal trade of rhino horns from poached animals. Also, the black rhino
remains critically endangered in most countries outside Southern Africa. Namibia and South Africa
have pledged to spend the substantial revenues to improve conservation in their countries.
In 2006 South Africa proposed a new law that would end the practice of ‘canned hunting’,
in which wildlife bred in captivity are killed by tourists in sealed reserves. The law would make
breeding predators like cheetahs, lions or leopards specifically for hunting illegal. The average
price paid for canned hunting of a white rhinoceros is US$25,000.

Poaching is still a problem in countries such as Malawi and has increased


dramatically in Zimbabwe since the land seizures where world-class parks
and anti-poaching policies are under threat.
Many Africans believe conservation for its own sake is a luxurious Western
notion that the people of Southern Africa simply cannot afford. To concede
the benefits of conservation, locals need to see some of these benefits, and
that’s where tourism comes in. If the money earned from visitors coming
to enjoy the animals and the environment stays in the pockets of locals (or
in the country as a whole), then this will encourage wildlife and environ-
mental protection.
Income is also generated by the jobs that hunting and wildlife tourism
create, such as guides, game rangers, tour guides and various posts in the
associated hotels, lodges and camps. Further spin-offs include the sale of
crafts and curios.
For community initiatives and projects designed to combat local issues,
as well as examples of ecotourism, see the Environment section in country-
specific chapters.
© Lonely Planet Publications
69

Wildlife Guide
Southern Africa’s animal kingdom will captivate, mesmerise and provide you with an un-
forgettable experience of the region. Thanks to its varied terrain, Southern Africa hosts an
amazing diversity of species and you’re practically guaranteed to see plenty of hoofed, tusked,
winged and other creatures, not to mention the fabled big cats and great herd animals.
The beauty of the wildlife is not just the Big Five (lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, black rhino
and elephant) either. You may be entertained by the clownish antics of the dwarf mongoose,
captivated by the speed and grace of a cheetah, awed by the beauty of a gemsbok, outraged
at the cheek of a curious baboon or startled at the rippling power of a hippo.
Habitat plays a big role when watching wildlife in Southern Africa – the animals are a
part of this land, and when you see their interactions with the temperate grasslands, dry
woodland or arid savanna, you’ll know that you’re seeing Africa.
As wildlife tourism is one of the main sources of revenue for conservation efforts in South-
ern Africa, the money you spend in national parks and reserves is often ploughed back into
these areas, thus ensuring the protection and sustainability of these magnificent creatures.
The following tips will help you get the most out of wildlife watching:
 Wildlife viewing is generally best in the dry season, when sparse vegetation opens up the
view and thirsty animals congregate around water sources.
 Be patient – take time to notice the environment. After spotting an animal, stop to look
around and you’ll usually notice a lot more activity. Staking out a water hole for several
hours will almost always reward you with a greater understanding of what’s going on.
 Warthogs, baboons, zebras, giraffes and many antelope species happily associate with each
other, so it’s common to see several species at once. However, the presence of feeding herbi-
vores doesn’t preclude the possibility of a predator nearby, so be alert for stalking lions.
 Don’t forget your binoculars, which will allow you to turn a speck in the distance into
something much more interesting, and will enhance bird-watching opportunities.
LEANNE LOGAN
70 71

DENNIS JONES

African Elephant
The largest land mammal is also one of the
most social, and it is very common to see
tremendous herds of elephants in Botswana
and Namibia. Elephants drink an average of
65 litres of water per day, so it’s usually safe
ANDREW PARKINSON
to assume that they’re congregating near a
water source.

Lion
Size: Shoulder height up to 4m (male), 3.5m
ANDREW PARKINSON
(female); weight 5 to 6.5 tonnes (male), 3 to 3.5
tonnes (female). Distribution: Widely distributed in
the region, though large populations occur only in
Lions are surprisingly easy to spot in South- protected areas.
ern Africa. They have a wide habitat toler-
ance, spend most of their days lying about and
largely ignore the sounds of camera shutters ANDREW PARKINSON

snapping. To see this massive predator in top


form, arrange for a guided night drive – lions
prefer to hunt under the cover of darkness.
Size: Shoulder height 1.2m; length 2.5m to 3m, including
tail up to 1m; weight up to 260kg (male), 180kg (female).
Distribution: Largely confined to protected areas and
present in all savanna and woodland parks in the region.

ADRIAN BAILEY

ANDREW PARKINSON
72 73

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African Buffalo
The African buffalo is regarded as the most
dangerous of the Big Five, primarily because
it will incessantly pursue a perceived attacker.
Furthermore, solitary males employ the ‘at- lonelyplanet.com/hotels
tack is the best defence’ tactic, though large

Leopard
herds are fairly relaxed and unlikely to charge.
Buffalo herds have fairly predictable move-
ments, seeking out good grazing and water
during the early morning and late afternoon.
Size: Shoulder height 1.6m; weight 400kg to 900kg; horns Africa’s most common cat, the leopard, is also
up to 1.25m long; female somewhat smaller than male. its most difficult to spot. True to their feline
Distribution: Widespread, but large populations occur roots, leopards spend most of their days sleep-
only in parks. ing in the tree tops (which is where they also
store kills). The services of a well-trained guide
DAVE HAMMAN are invaluable if you want to spot a leopard.
However, rare sightings do occur in the open,
particularly in woodland-savanna mosaics.
Size: Shoulder height 50cm to 75cm; length 1.6m to 2.1m,
including 70cm to 1.1m tail; weight up to 90kg; male
larger than female. Distribution: Widely spread through-
out the region, they also persist in human-altered habitat
due to their adaptability.

DAVE HAMMAN
DAVE HAMMAN

CHRISTER FREDRIKSSON
74 75
lonelyplanet.com
The latest travel information and advice from the global travel community.
The hippopotamus is found close to fresh
Your place to dream, plan, book and talk about independent travel.
water where it spends the majority of its
day before emerging at night to graze. It is
distantly related to the domestic pig.
CAROL POLICH

Black Rhinoceros
Black rhinos are edgy and nervous animals. ANDREW PARKINSON

When disturbed, they are quick to flee, though Steenboks are one of seven small species of
they will confront an aggressor head-on, par- antelopes that operate in monogamous pairs. They
ticularly if offspring are present. As a result, usually graze by day but will raid crops by night
they are difficult to observe in the wild, and are with astonishing stealth.
fewer in number than white rhinos. Black rhi-
nos can be identified by their triangular (rather
than square) lip and the lack of a neck hump. The world’s fastest land mammal, cheetahs can reach speeds over 105km/h, but become exhausted
Size: Shoulder height 1.6m; length 3m to 4m; weight after a few hundred metres and therefore stalk prey to within 60m before unleashing their tremen-
800kg to 1.4 tonnes; front horn up to 1.3m long. DENNIS JONES dous acceleration. On average, only one in four hunts is successful.
Distribution: Restricted to relict populations in a few DAVE HAMMAN

reserves (highly endangered).

MITCH REARDON
© Lonely Planet Publications
76
Zebras are dependent on water and are rarely
found more than an easy day’s walk away. Lions
converge on water holes to lay ambushes. Single
lions are able to take down a zebra, but it’s a
dangerous task; zebras defend themselves with
lethal kicks that easily break a jaw or leg.
ANDREW PARKINSON

© Lonely Planet Publications. To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally
JASON EDWARDS restricted. In return, we think it’s fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes
Meerkats have refined keeping a lookout only. In other words, please don’t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass email it to
to a dedicated art. While the troop forages
for scorpions, insects and lizards, a lone
everyone you know, or resell it. See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying
sentinel watches for eagles and jackals. the above - ‘Do the right thing with our content.’
One shrill alarm shriek from the guard and
the band rushes for cover.

Baboons live in troops of eight to 200; contrary to popular belief, there is no single dominant male.
Social interactions are complex, with males accessing only certain females, males forming alliances to
dominate other males, and males caring for unrelated juveniles.
DAVE HAMMAN
© Lonely Planet Publications
BOTSWANA 76 lonelyplanet.com 77

BOTSWANA
Botswana
Botswana is an African success story. After achieving democratic rule in 1966, three of the
world’s richest diamond-bearing formations were discovered within its borders. Today, the
country enjoys a high standard of economic stability, education and health care, which, with
the exception of South Africa, is unequalled elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Its modern
veneer, however, belies the fact that much of Botswana remains a country for the intrepid
(not to mention relatively wealthy) traveller. This largely roadless wilderness of vast spaces
requires time, effort and, above all else, lots of cash to enjoy it to its fullest.

Landlocked Botswana extends 1100km from north to south and 960km from east to west,
making it roughly the same size as Kenya, France or Texas. Most of the country is covered
with scrub brush and savanna grassland, although small areas of deciduous forest thrive
near the Zimbabwean border. With vast open savannas teeming with free-ranging wildlife,
Botswana is truly the Africa of your dreams.

Because the Okavango Delta and the Chobe River provide a year-round water supply,
nearly all Southern African mammal species are present in the Moremi Game Reserve and
in Chobe National Park. In the Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pan National Park, however, herds of
wildebeest, zebra and other hoofed mammals migrate annually in search of permanent
water and stable food supplies.

FAST FACTS

„ Area: 582,000 sq km
„ Capital: Gaborone
„ Country code: %267
„ Famous for: Okavango Delta, Chobe
National Park, the Kalahari
„ Languages: English, Setswana
„ Money: Pula (P)
„ Phrases: Dumela? (How are you?); dankie
(thank you)
„ Population: 1.61 million
ὄὄὈὄὄὄ
BOTSWANA 78 B OT S W A N A • • H i g h l i g h t s lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com B OT S W A N A • • H i s t o r y 79

BOTSWANA
wetlands, followed by a wildlife-viewing BOTSWANA 0
0
200 km
120 miles
HOW MUCH? trip through Moremi Game Reserve (p114).

ὈὈὈ ὄ

ὅὅ
Katima

„ One-day mokoro trip US$66 „ One Week Combine your visit to the delta Mulilo
ZAMBIA
ANGOLA Lake
with a safari through Chobe National Park

ὅὅὅὅὅὅ
ὅὅ

Kasane Kariba
„ Ostrich egg-shell bracelet $5 Okavango
River Kongola Rv
Victoria Falls
(p101), one of the world’s top safari ex- o be
Ngoma
Kazungula
Zambe
zi Rive
r
Rundu
„ Stalk of sugar cane $0.25

ὅὅὅὅ
ὅ ὅ
periences. Either go overland through the Mohembo Ch Bridge Hwange

O anh
ka a
Kachikau

P
Shakawe
rugged interior of the park, or cruise (or

va nd
„ Foreign newspaper US$1.65 Nxamaseri Savuti Chobe Pandamatenga

n g le
NP

ὅὅὅὅ

o
Sepupa
boat) along the wildlife-rich waterfront. Moremi

ὄὄὈὄὄὄ
ὈὈ
Tsodilo
„ Night in a budget hotel US$24.75 Hills GR Kwe Kwe
„ One Month With a month (and lots of The Etshas
Chiefs
Mababe
Depression

ὅὅὅὅ
Gumare
LONELY PLANET INDEX money), you can hire a 4WD or use a Ngamiland Okavango
Island
Makgadikgadi & ZIMB ABWE
Gweru
Delta
reputable safari company and see the best Aha Hills
Nokaneng
Shorobe
Nxai Pans
NP
„ 1L of petrol US$0.75 of the country: do a mokoro trip in the Nxainxai
Tsau
Maun Gweta Nata
Bulawayo
Nata
„ 1L of bottled water US$0.50-1 Delta (see the boxed text, p112); safari Gcwihaba Toteng Sanctuary Plumtree
NAMI B I A Caverns Sehithwa
in Moremi and Chobe; camp and hike Ntwetwe Thabatshukudu
Ramokgwebana
„ Bottle of beer US$1 Pan Sowa (Sua) Pan

ὈὈ Ὀ
in the Tsodilo Hills (p117); cruise on the Rakops Kubu
Gwanda
„ Souvenir T-shirt US$5-10 Okavango Panhandle; and explore the Orapa Island Francistown
Shashe
„ Snack US$1-2 furthest reaches of the Kalahari (p118). D'kar Lethlakane Shas
he R
iver
Selebi-
To Windhoek Ghanzi Phikwe Bobonong
Serule
CLIMATE & WHEN TO GO (298km)
Khama Rhino North-East Tuli Pont Drift

HIGHLIGHTS Although it straddles the Tropic of Capricorn, Mamuno


Charles Hill
Central Kalahari
GR
Sanctuary
Serowe
Game Reserve
li
Tu ck Baines
Beitbridge
Drift

Tr
Buitepos

ὈὈ Ὀ
„ Okavango Delta (p106) Glide through the Botswana experiences extremes in both tem- Palapye Bl o

an
Zanzibar

s -K
watery expanses in a mokoro, a trad- perature and weather. In the winter (late May Martin's Drift

ala
Shoshong Sherwood

h ar
Mahalapye
itional dugout canoe. to August), days are normally clear, warm and Groblersbrug

i
Hw
Tropic of Capricorn v er
Chobe National Park (p101) Spot the Big sunny, and nights are cool to cold. Wildlife never

y
„ Ri
Khutse Polokwane

opo
Kang
Five at Botswana’s premier safari park. wanders far from water sources so sightings Kgalakgadi
GR
Kopong
(Pietersburg)

Limp
Wilderness Letlhakeng
„ Central Kalahari Game Reserve (p119) Test are more predictable than in the wetter sum- Trail
Hukuntsi Tshane
Molepolole Mochudi
the limits of your survival instincts on a mer season. This is also the time of European, Kaa Jwaneng

ὈὈ
GABORONE Odi
4WD camping expedition. North American and – most importantly – Mabuasehube-
Nossob Wilderness
Khakea Thamaga
Tlokweng
Mabuasehube Gabane
„ Makgadikgadi Pans & Nxai Pan National Park South African school holidays, so some areas Trail
Section Kanye
Ramotswa

No
Werda Lobatse
(p100) Follow the herds of migrating can be busy, especially between mid-July and Mokolodi

sso
Tr ac k NR
c ce ss Zeerust

bR
zebras and wildebeests in this baobab- mid-September. In summer (October to April), P ubli Ac Rustenburg
PRETORIA

v
Ramatlabama
Kgalagadi
dotted salt-pan complex. wildlife is harder to spot and rains can render TP Mafikeng
Tshabong
„ Off the beaten track (p117) Wander through sandy roads impassable. This is also the time (Two Rivers SOUTH LEGEND Johannesburg

r
ve
the ‘Wilderness Louvre’ of ancient San of the highest humidity and the most stifling Section) AFRICA GR Game Reserve

Ri
NP National Park Ermelo
paintings at Tsodilo Hills. heat; daytime temperatures of over 40°C are Molop
o Vryburg NR Nature Reserve
TP Transfrontier Park
common. See p742 for more information on Bokspits To Kimberley WR Wildlife Reserve
ITINERARIES the climate in Southern Africa. (136km)

„ Three Days Botswana’s tourist highlight


is the Okavango Delta (p106), and if you HISTORY The Boers & the British Britain, though, already had its hands full
have only a few days, this is where you’ll For a detailed account of the pre-colonial In 1836, feeling pressured by the British in the in Southern Africa and was in no hurry to take
want to focus. Choose Maun (p106) or the history of the whole Southern African region, Cape, about 20,000 Boers set out on the Great on and support a country of dubious profit-
Okavango Panhandle (p116) as your base including Botswana’s precolonial history, Trek across the Vaal River into Batswana and ability. Instead, it offered to act as arbitrator
and organise a mokoro trip through the see p37. Zulu territory, staking out new farms for in the dispute. By 1877, however, animosity
themselves and displacing local villagers. against the Boers had escalated to such a dan-
Bent on establishing trade links with the gerous level that the British conceded and an-
TRAVEL TIPS Dutch and Portuguese, the Boers set up their nexed the Transvaal – thereby starting the first
Travelling cheaply in Botswana isn’t impossible, but if you can’t afford a flight into the Okavango, own free state ruling the Transvaal – a move Anglo-Boer War. The war continued until the
a day or two at Moremi Game Reserve or Chobe National Park, or a 4WD trip through the Kalahari, ratified by the British in the Sand River Con- Pretoria Convention of 1881, when the British
you may want to think twice before visiting. Safari lodges – especially those in the Okavango vention of 1852. This effectively placed the withdrew from the Transvaal in exchange for
Delta and Chobe National Park – are for the most part exclusive haunts of the wealthy, and you’ll Batswana under the rule of the so-called new Boer allegiance to the British Crown.
rarely find anything for less than US$300 for a double. Hotels, camping, car hire, domestic air South African Republic and a period of rebel- With the British out of their way, the
flights, meals, alcohol and self-catering prices are comparable to those in Europe, North America lion and heavy-handed oppression ensued. Boers once again looked northwards into
and Australasia, and although buses and trains are quite economical (US$1 per hour of journey Following heavy human and territorial losses, Batswana territory and pushed westwards
time), they won’t take you to the most interesting parts of the country. the Batswana chiefs petitioned the British gov- into the Molopo Basin. In 1882, the Boers
ernment for protection from the Boers. managed to subdue the towns of Taung and
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BOTSWANA
Mafikeng and proclaimed them the republics to the British public. Fearing that the BSAC
of Stellaland and Goshen. They may have gone would allow alcohol in Bechuanaland, the THE SAN
much further if it wasn’t for a significant event LMS and other Christian groups backed the The Past
that was to change regional politics radically. devoutly Christian Khama and his entourage. Traditionally, the San were nomadic hunter-gatherers who travelled in small family bands (usually
This was the annexation of South West Africa The British public in general felt that the between 25 and 35 people) within well-defined territories. During the driest parts of the year
(modern-day Namibia) by the Germans in Crown should be administering the empire, these groups camped together at seasonal water holes; then in the wet season they’d scatter
the 1890s. rather than the controversial Cecil Rhodes. over the country. They had no chiefs or hierarchy of leadership, and decisions were reached by
With the potential threat of a German- When Chamberlain returned from holiday, group consensus. With no animals, crops or possessions the San were highly mobile. Everything
Boer alliance across the Kalahari, cutting public pressure had mounted to such a level that they needed for their daily existence they carried with them.
them off from their expansionist dreams into that the government was forced to concede to Initially, the San’s social flexibility enabled them to evade conquest and control. But as power-
mineral-rich Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), the Brit- the chiefs. Chamberlain agreed to continue ful tribes with big herds of livestock and farming ambitions moved into the area an inevitable
ish started to look seriously at the Batswana British administration of Bechuanaland, ced- conflict arose over the land. The San’s wide-ranging, nomadic lifestyle (some territories extended
petitions for protection. And in 1885 they ing only a small strip of the southeast (now over 1000 sq km) was utterly at odds with the settled world of the farmers and soon became a
proclaimed a protectorate over their Tswana known as the Tuli Block) to the BSAC for the source of bitter conflict between the two groups. It was a trend widely accelerated by European
allies, known as the British Crown Colony of construction of a railway line to Rhodesia. colonists who arrived in the mid-17th century. The early Boers hatched an extermination campaign
Bechuanaland. that lasted 200 years and killed as many as 200,000 indigenous people. Such territorial disputes,
Colonial Years combined with modern policies on wildlife conservation, have seen the San increasingly disen-
Cecil John Rhodes By 1899, Britain had decided it was time to franchised and dispossessed. What’s more, in the modern world their disparate social structure
To alleviate them of the heavy burden of co- consolidate the Southern African states and has made it exceedingly difficult for them to organise pressure groups to defend their rights
lonial expense, British expansion in Southern declared war on the Transvaal. The Boers were and land as other tribes have done.
Africa came in the form of a private venture overcome in 1902, and in 1910 the Union of
under the auspices of the British South Africa South Africa was created, comprising Natal, the
Company (BSAC), owned by millionaire busi- Cape Colony, Transvaal and the Free State – The Present
nessman Cecil John Rhodes. with provisions for the future incorporation Unlike most other African countries, where the San have perished or disappeared through war and
By 1889 Rhodes already had a hand in of Bechuanaland and Rhodesia. interbreeding, Botswana and Namibia are privileged to retain the remnants of their San communi-
the diamond-mining industry in Kimber- By selling cattle, draught oxen and grain to ties, barely 55,000 individuals in total. Of these around 60% live in Botswana (the !Kung, G//ana, G/wi
ley, South Africa, and he was convinced that the Europeans streaming north in search of and !xo being the largest groups) and 35% in Namibia (the Naro, !Xukwe, Hei//kom and Ju/hoansi),
other African countries had similar mineral farming land and minerals, Bechuanaland en- with the remainder scattered throughout South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
deposits just waiting to be exploited. He aimed joyed an initial degree of economic independ- Today, the San are unequivocally impoverished. Many work on farms and cattle-posts or languish
to do this through the system of land conces- ence. However, the construction of a railway in squalid, handout-dependent and alcohol-plagued settlements centred around boreholes in
sions that companies could obtain privately in through Bechuanaland to Rhodesia, and a western Botswana and northeastern Namibia, as debate rages around them as to their ‘place’ in
order to colonise new land for the Crown. The serious outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease modern African society and the practicality of their lifestyle.
system was easily exploited by the unscrupu- in the 1890s, destroyed the transit trade. This Nearly all of Botswana’s and Namibia’s San have now been relocated from their ancestral
lous Rhodes, who fraudulently obtained large new economic vulnerability, combined with a lands to new government settlements such as New Xade in the central Kalahari. It’s the biggest
tracts of land from local chiefs by passing off series of droughts and the need to raise cash political hot-potato that the Botswana government currently faces (see the boxed text, p119). In
contracts as treaties. For their part, the British to pay British taxes, sent many Batswana to March 2006 this resettlement programme earned the government a stinging reprimand from the
turned a blind eye as they eventually hoped to South Africa to look for work on farms and UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, who advised them ‘to pay particular
transfer the entire Bechuanaland Protectorate in mines; as many as 25% of Botswana’s male attention to the close cultural ties that bind the San to their ancestral land’. The Botswana govern-
to the BSAC and relieve themselves of the population was abroad at any one time. This ment maintains that their relocation policies have the San’s best interests at heart (see the section
expense of colonial administration. accelerated the breakdown of traditional land- ‘Relocation of Basarwa’ on the government website, www.gov.bw). Development, education and
Realising the implications of Rhodes’ as- use patterns and eroded the chiefs’ powers. modernisation are their buzz-words. The trouble is, many San actively reject the government’s
pirations, three Batswana chiefs, Bathoen, The British government continued to regard version of modernisation if it means giving up their ancestral lands and traditions.
Khama III and Sebele, accompanied by a the protectorate as a temporary expedient,
sympathetic missionary, WC Willoughby, until it could be handed over to Rhodesia or The Future
sailed to England to appeal directly to the the new Union of South Africa. Hence invest- The outlook for the San people is uncertain, whatever happens. One of Africa’s greatest dilemmas
British parliament for continued government ment and administrative development within in the 21st century is how to preserve old cultures and traditions while accepting and adapting
control of Bechuanaland. Instead of taking the territory were kept to a bare minimum. to the new.
action, Colonial Minister Joseph Chamberlain Even when there were moves in the 1930s to Historical precedents like Native Americans, the Innu of Canada and Australian Aboriginals certainly
advised them to contact Rhodes directly and reform administration or initiate agricultural don’t bode well. But the groundswell of protest generated by grass-roots organisations like WIMSA
work things out among themselves. Cham- and mining development, these were hotly (Working Group for Indigenous Minorities of Southern Africa; www.san.org.za) is gaining ever more international
berlain then conveniently forgot the matter disputed by leading Tswana chiefs, on the attention, increasingly so now that Survival International (www.survival-international.org) has joined the
and went on holiday. grounds that they would only enhance colonial campaign of Botswana’s First Peoples of the Kalahari (FPK) for the restitution of their land rights in
Naturally, Rhodes was immovable, so the control. So the territory remained divided the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR). The High Court of Botswana ruled in favour of the San
delegation turned to the London Missionary into eight largely self-administering ‘tribal’ in December 2006, but the government appears to be obstructing their return to the CKGR.
Society (LMS) who in turn took the matter reserves, five white settler farm blocks with
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BOTSWANA
the remainder classified as ‘crown’ (ie state) the giant to the south, from where they im- to coordinate the disparate economies of the and the future that is rare in post-colonial Af-
lands. Similarly, the administrative capital, ported the majority of their foodstuffs and region. rica. Admittedly this faith in government and
Mafikeng, which was actually situated outside where many Batswana worked in the dia- But the diamond boon also has its dark side progress has been facilitated by Botswana’s
the protectorates’ border in South Africa, re- mond mines. Nevertheless, Khama refused and with a lifespan estimated at only 35 years, incredible diamond wealth, which has allowed
mained where it was until 1964. to exchange ambassadors with South Africa the Botswana government is looking at a bleak for significant investment in education, health
and officially disapproved of apartheid in future if they fail to find alternative revenue and infrastructure.
Independence international circles. streams. With diminishing reserves the min-
The extent of Botswana’s subordination to the ing of diamonds is set to become increasingly Daily Life
interests of South Africa during this period Modern Politics contentious, as the court case brought by Traditional culture also acts as a sort of soci-
became clear in 1950. In a case that caused Sir Seretse Khama died in 1980 (not long the First Peoples of the Kalahari against the etal glue. Respect for one’s elders, firmly held
political controversy in Britain and across after Zimbabwean independence), but his government has proved (see the boxed text, religious beliefs, traditional gender roles and
the Empire, the British government banned Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), formerly p119). One of the allegations against the gov- the tradition of the kgotla (a specially desig-
Seretse Khama from the chieftainship of the the Bechuanaland Democratic Party, contin- ernment is that the San were resettled to free nated meeting place in each village where
Ngwato and exiled him for six years. This, as ues to command a substantial majority in the the way for a Debswana mining concession. grievances can be aired in an atmosphere
secret documents have since revealed, was in Botswana parliament. Sir Ketumile ‘Quett’ In her evidence, Pelonomi Venson, Minister of mutual respect) create a well-defined so-
order to appease the South African govern- Masire, who succeeded Khama as president for Wildlife & Tourism in 2002, stated, ‘That cial structure with some stiff mores at its
ment which objected to Seretse’s marriage to (1980–98), followed the path laid down by development may take place…I cannot say core. But despite some heavyweight social
a British woman at a time when racial segrega- his predecessor, and continued to cautiously conclusively. Should the state discover min- responsibilities the Batswana have an easy-
tion was enforced in South Africa. follow pro-Western policies. erals anywhere, they will be mined for the going and unhurried approach to life, and
Such meddling only increased growing Over the last 35 years the BDP have also benefit of Botswana’. the emotional framework of the extended
political agitation and throughout the 1950s managed the country’s diamond windfall family generally makes for an inclusive net-
and ’60s Batswana political parties started to wisely. Diamond dollars have been ploughed THE CULTURE work. As the pace and demands of modern
surface and promote the idea of independ- into infrastructure, education and health. The National Psyche life increase this support is becoming ever
ence. Following the Sharpeville Massacre in Private business has been allowed to grow Proud, conservative, resourceful and respect- more vital as men and women migrate to
1960, South African refugees Motsamai Mpho and foreign investment has been welcomed. ful, the Batswana have an ingrained feeling of cities to work in more lucrative jobs, usually
of the African National Congress (ANC), and From 1966 to 2005, Botswana’s economy has national identity and an impressive belief in leaving children behind to be cared for by
Philip Matante, a Johannesburg preacher affili- grown faster than any other in world. Yet their government and country. Their history – other family members.
ated with the Pan-Africanist Congress, joined cabinet ministers have not awarded them- a series of clever manoeuvres that meant
with KT Motsete, a teacher from Malawi, to selves mansions and helicopters, and even they avoided the worst aspects of colonisa- Population
form the Bechuanaland People’s Party (BPP). the current president, Festus Mogae, has been tion – does them proud and lends them a Botswana’s population in 2006 was estimated
Its immediate goal was independence. seen doing his own shopping. All in all, it is confidence in themselves, their government at 1,640,000 people, a figure that takes into
In 1962, Seretse Khama and Kanye farmer an impressive record.
Ketumile ‘Quett’ Masire formed the moderate
Bechuanaland Democratic Party (BDP). The Diamond Dementia MOVERS & SHAKERS: SERETSE KHAMA
BDP formulated a schedule for independ- Following independence, Botswana ranked When Bangwato chief (kgosi in Setswana) Khama III died in 1923, he was succeeded by his son,
ence, drawing on support from local chiefs as one of the world’s poorest countries with Sekgoma, who died only two years later. Because the next heir to the throne, Seretse Khama,
such as Bathoen II of the Bangwaketse, and a shocking GDP per capita below US$200. was only four years old, the job of regent went to his 21-year-old uncle, Tshekedi Khama, who
traditional Batswana. The BDP also called Educational facilities were minimal, with left his studies in South Africa to return to Serowe.
for the transfer of the capital into Botswana less than 2% of the population having com- Uproar in the Khama dynasty occurred in 1948 when Seretse married an Englishwoman, Ruth
(ie from Mafikeng to Gaborone) and a new pleted primary school and fewer than 100 Williams, while studying law in London. As a royal, Seretse was expected – and required – to
nonracial constitution. students enrolled in university. And in the take a wife from a Batswana royal family. Indignant at such a breach of tribal custom, Tshekedi
The British gratefully accepted the BDP’s entire country there was only one 12km-long stripped his nephew of his inheritance. Seretse was exiled from Serowe by Bangwato leaders, and
peaceful plan for a transfer of power, and paved road. Hardly surprising then that the from the protectorate by the British, who assured him that he’d be better off in London.
Khama was elected president when general country played no role in either regional or However, Tshekedi lost his regency when an overwhelming majority of the Bangwato backed
elections were held in 1965. On 30 September continental politics. Seretse over his uncle, forcing Tshekedi to gather his followers and settle elsewhere. Subsequent
1966, the country – now called the Republic of Then, in 1967, Botswana effectively won breakdowns in Bangwato tribal structure prompted Tshekedi to return to Serowe in 1952 with
Botswana – was granted full independence. the jackpot with the discovery of diamonds a change of heart. Seretse was still being detained in Britain though, and it wasn’t until 1956,
With a steady hand, Seretse Khama steered at Orapa. Two other major mines followed when he renounced his claim to the Bangwato throne, that he was permitted to return to Serowe
Botswana through its first 14 years of inde- at Letlhakane in 1977 and Jwaneng in 1982, with his English wife.
pendence. He guaranteed continued freehold making Botswana the world’s leading pro- While in Serowe, Seretse and his wife began campaigning for Botswana’s independence. Even-
over land held by white ranchers and adopted ducer of gem-quality stones and catapulting tually, Seretse was knighted for his efforts, and became the country’s first president, a post he
a strictly neutral stance (at least until near the country from a poor, provincial backwater held until his death 14 years later. In a final act of reconciliation, Sir Seretse Khama was buried
the end of his presidency) towards South to a regional player of some substance, able in the Royal Cemetery in Serowe. His son, Ian, is still chief of the Bangwato and currently vice
Africa and Rhodesia. The reason, of course, to form the Southern African Development president of Botswana.
was Botswana’s economic dependence on Community (SADC), whose function it is
BOTSWANA 84 B OT S W A N A • • A r t s lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com B OT S W A N A • • F o o d & D r i n k 85

BOTSWANA
account the fact that Botswana has one of the and poetry of the San, Tswana, Herero and the otherwise dry savanna, nearly all Southern When booking, include the name of the
highest rates of HIV infection in the world. other groups has been handed down orally African mammal species, including such rar- park, the camping ground, the dates of arrival
Since the early 1990s, the annual birth rate and only recently written down. ities as pukus, red lechwes, sitatungas and wild and departure, the total number of camp-
has dropped from 3.5% to about 2.3% and in Botswana’s most famous modern literary dogs, are present in Moremi Game Reserve, ers and whether they are citizens, residents
2006 the annual population growth rate was figure was Bessie Head, who settled in Sir parts of Chobe National Park and the Linyanti or nonresidents of Botswana. Payment in
estimated at –0.04%. Officially, life expectancy Seretse Khama’s village of Serowe and wrote Marshes. In the Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pan Botswana pula or by credit card must be re-
soared from 49 years at the time of independ- works that reflected the harshness and beauty National Park, herds of wildebeests, zebras and ceived within one month or you forfeit the
ence (1966) to about 70 years by the mid-1990s, of African village life and the Botswanan land- other hoofed mammals migrate between their booking.
and it’s thought that without the scourge of scape. Her most widely read works include winter range on the Makgadikgadi plains and
AIDS life expectancy in Botswana would now Serowe – Village of the Rain Wind, When Rain the summer lushness of the Nxai Pan region. Environmental Issues
be around 74 years, on a par with the USA. Clouds Gather, Maru, A Question of Power, While much of Botswana is largely wide open
Instead, today’s figure is a depressing 33 years The Cardinals, A Bewitched Crossroad and National Parks and pristine, it does face several ecological
of age and this is expected to decrease even The Collector of Treasures; the last is an an- Botswana’s national parks are among Africa’s challenges. The main one revolves around
further by 2010 to a devastating 27 years. thology of short stories. Head died in 1988. wildest, characterised by open spaces where its 3000km of 1.5m-high ‘buffalo fence’,
Welcome recent additions to Botswana’s nature still reigns supreme, and although officially called the ‘veterinary cordon fence’ –
Immigration & Emigration national literature are the works of Norman they do support a few private safari conces- a series of high-tensile steel wire barriers that
Due to the political and economic instability Rush, which include the novel Mating, set sions, there’s next to no infrastructure and cross some of the country’s wildest terrain. The
that swept through Zimbabwe in recent years, in a remote village, and Whites, which deals few amenities. fences were first erected in 1954 to segregate
the volume of illegal immigrants crossing with the country’s growing number of expa- The major parks include the Central Ka- wild buffalo herds from domestic free-range
into Botswana in search of work is on the triates and apologists from South Africa and lahari Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, cattle and thwart the spread of foot-and-mouth
rise. According to Botswana’s Department elsewhere. Khutse Game Reserve, Kgalagadi Transfron- disease. However, it hasn’t been proven that the
of Immigration, over 25,000 Zimbabwean tier Park (an amalgamation of Botswana’s disease is passed from species to species and the
illegal immigrants were apprehended and ENVIRONMENT former Mabuasehube-Gemsbok National fences not only prevent contact between wild
repatriated from Botswana in 2005 alone. The Land Park and South Africa’s Kalahari-Gemsbok and domestic bovine species, but also prevent
When interviewed, immigrants claimed that With an area of 582,000 sq km, landlocked National Park), Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pan other wild animals from migrating to water
their motivation for fleeing Zimbabwe was the Botswana extends 1100km from north to National Park and Moremi Game Reserve. sources along age-old seasonal routes. While
lack of opportunities for stable employment. south and 960km from east to west, making The North-East Tuli Game Reserve is not a Botswana has set aside large areas for wildlife
Furthermore, many Zimbabwean families it about the same size as Kenya or France. national park, but rather is cobbled together protection, they don’t constitute independent
survive on remittances from family members Most of the country lies at an average eleva- from several private reserves. ecosystems, and migratory wildlife numbers
working abroad, especially considering that tion of 1000m and consists of a vast and nearly Fees for parks (except for Kgalagadi Trans- (particularly wildebeests, giraffes and zebras)
the value of the Zimbabwean dollar is under- level sand-filled basin characterised by scrub- frontier Park) for nonresidents are US$22/13 continue to decline. Cattle ranching is a source
going hyperinflation. However, although covered savanna. The Kalahari (Kgalagadi), a (P133/79) per day for individual travellers/ of wealth and a major export industry, but all
most Batswana empathise with the plight of semi-arid expanse of wind-blown sand depos- licensed safari participants, plus US$5.50 (P33) exported beef must be disease-free, so under-
Zimbabweans, the situation is threatening to its and long, sandy valleys, covers nearly 85% per person for camping; foreign/Botswana- standably ranchers have reacted positively to
spiral out of control. of Botswana, including the entire central and registered vehicles pay US$10/2 per day. Chil- the fences, and the government tends to side
southwestern regions. In the northwest the dren and Botswana residents and citizens get with the ranchers.
ARTS Okavango River flows in from Namibia and substantial discounts (residents of Botswana Botswana also has water issues. From the
Arts & Crafts soaks into the sands, forming the Okavango pay US$6/4 per day to enter/camp and citizens time of the first European colonists, both
The original Batswana artists managed to Delta, which covers an area of 15,000 sq km. pay US$2/1). At Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, settlers and developers have been eyeing the
convey individuality, aesthetics and aspects In the northeast are the great salty clay deserts everyone pays US$4 per day to enter and non- Okavango Delta as a source of water to trans-
of Batswana life in their utilitarian imple- of the Makgadikgadi Pans. residents pay US$6 to camp plus US$37 per day form northwestern Botswana into lush, green
ments. Baskets, pottery, fabrics and tools were to use the wilderness 4WD tracks (see p118). farmland. Nowadays, pressure from popula-
decorated with meaningful designs derived Wildlife You can book accommodation in the na- tion growth, mining interests and increased
from tradition. Europeans introduced a new Most of the country is covered with scrub tional parks by post, phone; fax, email or in tourism – particularly around Maun – are
form of art, some of which was integrated and brush and savanna grassland, although small person up to one year prior to your intended straining resources and placing the delta at
adapted to local interpretation, particularly in areas of deciduous forest (mopane, msasa and visit. Contact the reservation office of the the crux of a debate between the government,
weavings and tapestries. The result is some Zambezi teak) thrive on the Zimbabwean bor- Department of Wildlife & National Parks (DWNP; Map ranchers, engineers, developers, tour oper-
of the finest and most meticulously executed der. The Okavango and Linyanti wetlands of pp88-9; %318 0774; fax 318 0775; dwnp@gov.bw; PO Box ators, rural people and conservationists.
work in Southern Africa. the northwest are characterised by riverbank 131, Government Enclave, Khama Cres, Gaborone; h7.30am- See p26 for information on what you can
and swamp vegetation, which includes reeds, 12.45pm & 1.45-4.30pm Mon-Fri). You can also book do to travel responsibly in Botswana.
Literature papyrus and water lilies as well as larger trees through the Maun office (%686 1265; fax 686 1264;
As indigenous languages have only been writ- such as acacia, jackalberry, leadwood and PO Box 20364, Boseja, Maun), beside the police sta- FOOD & DRINK
ten since the coming of the Christian mis- sausage trees. tion. Chobe National Park bookings are also Food
sionaries, Botswana lacks an extensive literary Because the Okavango Delta and the Chobe available from the Kasane office (%625 0235; Although eating out isn’t particularly exciting –
tradition. What survives of the ancient myths River provide an incongruous water supply in fax 625 1623). Botswana has no great national cuisine to knock
BOTSWANA 86 GABORONE lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com GABORONE •• History 87

BOTSWANA
venient gateway to overland travellers arriving this considerably more modern, but expensive, hospital,
TRADITIONAL FOODS IN BOTSWANA from South Africa, and it’s a good supply stop opposite Broadhurst Mall.
Traditionally, the Tswana staple was beef, the Yei depended on fish, and the Kalanga ate mainly before heading out to the national parks.
sorghum, millet and maize; while the Herero subsisted on thickened, soured milk. Nowadays, Money
most people get their food from agriculture or the supermarket, but before South African imports HISTORY Major branches of Standard Chartered and
arrived, people herded animals and looked to the desert, which dished up a diverse array of wild In 1964, when the village of Gaborone (named Barclays Banks have foreign-exchange facili-
edibles to augment their staple foods. for an early Tlokwa chief) was designated as ties and ATMs, and offer cash advances. The
Historically, Batswana men were responsible for fishing or tending the herds, and lived mainly the future capital of independent Botswana, few bureaux de change around the city offer
on meat and milk, while women were left to gather and eat wild fruits and vegetables. In remote the task of designing the new city was assigned quick service at better rates than the banks,
areas, people still supplement their diets with these items. A useful desert plant is the morama, to the Department of Public Works, which but charge up to 2.75% commission.
an immense underground tuber that contains liquid and is a source of water. Above ground, never envisaged a population of more than Barclays Bank (%355 3411; Khama Cres)
the morama grows leguminous pods that contain edible beans. Other desert delectables include 20,000. By 1990, however, the population was Edcom Bureau de Change (%361 1123) Near the
marula fruit, plums, berries, tubers and roots, tsama melons, wild cucumbers and honey. six times that, and Gaborone is now amongst train station.
A fungus that grows on the Grewia flavia bush is related to the European truffle. In San mythol- the fastest-growing cities in Southern Africa.
ogy, these so-called Kalahari truffles are thought to be the eggs of the lightning bird because Post
their presence is revealed by rings of cracked soil around the bush after electrical storms. The ORIENTATION In addition to the central post office (The Mall),
bush itself produces a small shrivelled berry, used locally to make kgadi wine. The nutritious and Although it now has a distinct skyline, Gabor- there is also a post office located across the
protein-rich mongongo nut, similar to the cashew, is eaten raw or roasted, and has historically one lacks any real central business district, road from Broadhurst Mall.
been a staple for some San groups. and the action focuses on its shopping malls.
Traditional people – mainly the San – still gather wild animal products, such as birds and Most government ministries and offices are Tourist Information
their eggs, small mammals and reptiles and even ant eggs. Mopane worms, caterpillar-like in- concentrated around the Government En- Department of Tourism (%355 3024; www.gov
habitants of mopane trees, are normally gutted and cooked in hot ash for about 15 minutes. clave along Khama Cres, at the head of the .bw/tourism; 2nd fl, Standard Chartered Bank Bldg, the
Alternatively, they’re boiled in salt water or dried in the sun to be later deep-fried in fat, roasted main mall. While several shopping centres Mall; h7.30am-12.30pm & 1.45-4.30pm Mon-Fri) Has
or eaten raw. serve local neighbourhoods, the enormous greatly improved over recent years.
Kgale Centre and Riverwalk Malls pro- Department of Wildlife & National Parks (DWNP;
vide the widest range of retail outlets and %318 0774; dwnp@gov.bw; Government Enclave,
your socks off – self-caterers will find the pick- drink it fast enough to feel it). You’ll also restaurants. Khama Cres, Gaborone; hreservations 7.30am-12.45pm
ings among the best in Africa. Restaurants nor- find Castle, Lion and Windhoek Lager (from & 1.45-4.30pm Mon-Fri) One of the two accommoda-
mally serve up decent, if unimaginative, fare. Namibia), as well as a growing range of spirit INFORMATION tion booking offices (the other is in Maun; see p107) for
Vegetarian and international cuisines haven’t coolers. Some of the more popular traditional Bookshops national parks and reserves run by the DWNP.
really caught on, but in Gaborone, Francistown alcoholic drinks are less than legal, including Exclusive Books (Riverwalk Mall) This reader-
and Maun, you’ll find Chinese, Indian, French mokolane wine, a potent swill made from recommended bookshop has a wide range of literature, SIGHTS
and Italian options. In smaller towns, expect distilled palm sap. Another is kgadi, made nonfiction and travel books. The National Museum & Art Gallery (%397 4616;
little menu variation: chicken, chips, beef and from a distilled brew of brown sugar and ber- Kingston’s Bookshop (Broadhurst Mall) Has a huge Independence Ave; Private Bag 0014; admission free; h9am-
greasy fried snacks are the norm. ries or fungus. Other home brews include the array of novels, postcards, books and maps about 6pm Tue-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat & Sun) is a repository of
Forming the basis of most traditional Bat- common bojalwa, an inexpensive, sprouted Botswana and the region. stuffed wildlife and cultural artefacts, includ-
swana meals are mabele (sorghum) or bogobe sorghum beer that is also brewed commer- ing displays on San crafts, material culture and
(sorghum porridge), or the increasingly popu- cially; a wine made from fermented marula Emergency hunting techniques, traditional and modern
lar imported mielies (maize) and mielie pap fruit; light and nonintoxicating mageu, made Ambulance (%997) African and European art, and ethnographic
(maize porridge). All of these are typically from mielies or sorghum mash; and madila, a Central Police Station (%355 1161; Botswana Rd) and cultural exhibits.
served with some sort of meat relish and eaten thickened sour milk. Opposite the Cresta President Hotel. The Gaborone Game Reserve (%358 4492; admis-
with the fingers. Fire (%998) sion US$0.25, plus per vehicle US$0.50; h6.30am-6.30pm),
Open markets aren’t as prevalent here as Police (%999) 1km east of Broadhurst, is accessible only by
in neighbouring countries, but Gaborone,
Francistown and Maun do have growing in-
GABORONE Internet Access
private vehicle (no bikes or motorcycles), and
is home to a variety of grazers and browsers.
formal markets where you’ll find inexpensive pop 250,000 Aim Internet (Botswana Rd; per hr US$3) Next to the Access is from Limpopo Dr; turn east imme-
produce and other staples. Botswana’s diminutive capital, Gaborone Cresta President Hotel. diately south of the Segoditshane River.
(normally affectionately shortened to Gabs), Sakeng Internet Access Point (The Mall; US$3 per Orapa House (%395 1131; cnr Nelson Mandela Dr &
Drinks is little more than a rambling village suffering hour) In the Gaborone Hardware Building. Khama Cres), owned by Debswana, is designed to
A range of 100% natural fruit juices from from growing pains, drabness and a lack of make use of natural daylight – without direct
South Africa are sold in casks in supermarkets definition. For most international travellers Medical Services sunlight – for the purpose of sorting and
in the major cities and towns. You’ll also find flying into Botswana, the bustling town of Gaborone Hospital Dental Clinic (%395 3777) Part grading diamonds from the world’s largest
a variety of tea, coffee and soft drinks. Maun (p106), located on the banks of the of the Gaborone Private Hospital. diamond mine at Jwaneng. If you have time
Botswana’s main domestic drop is the very Okavango Delta, serves as the principal port Gaborone Private Hospital (%360 1999; and aren’t put off by red tape, you can muster
light St Louis Special Light lager (you can’t of entry. However, Gaborone serves as a con- Segoditshane Way) For anything more serious, head to a group and arrange a tour.
ὈὈ
BOTSWANA 88 GABORONE lonelyplanet.com Book
l o n eaccommodation
l y p l a n e t . c o monline at lonelyplanet.com GABORONE •• Activities 89

BOTSWANA
GABORONE 0
0
1 km
0.5 miles
ACTIVITIES
Visitors are welcome at the 18-hole Gaborone

ὈὈ
A B C 38
D E F Golf Course (%361 2262; Chuma Dr; hclosed Mon).
To Broadhurst
To German Temporary membership, which includes use

Pillane St
22 Mall (400m);
Dr Sir Seretse Khama Embassy (500m);
u se 8 of the swimming pool, bars and restaurants,
Ho International Mochudi (32km)
Ku Airport (11km);
11
costs US$10 per day. Green fees for 9/18 holes
e

1 Pula Circle
at

bu Francistown (425km) 1
St

Queen's Rd 10 Rd 15

Rd
18 43 Broadhurst
are an extra US$3/6, and equipment is avail-

Limpo
5 20

tse
34 17 Broadhurst Dr
The Mall

ba
7 able for rental at the pro shop. The National

Lo
Park cle

po
ir
27 1 Pula C
Stadium (%395 3449; Notwane Rd; tickets from US$1)

Dr
Botswana Rd45
s
a Cre

13
plays host to matches between teams in the

Independence Ave
6

Tati Rd
St

Robinson
Kutlwano Cl
Kham

countrywide Super League as well as the oc-


at

Segoditshane River Mohatha Rd


e

Ho
Khwai Rd

Selemela
us 25 To Gaborone
e
Dr GR (100m) casional international game. Matches start

Segoditshane Wa
4
Rd
at 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and are
24 0 400 m usually advertised and publicised in the local

Rd
EATING
3 0 0.2 miles
2 40 25º East.................................(see 41) English-language newspapers.

wn
33 2

cisto
35 Bull & Bush Pub.......................33 C2
Sebo Nyerere Dr

y
Equatorial Cafe......................(see 41)
Rd ni 39

Fran
Metsemasweu Rd
Fishmonger............................(see 41)
King's Takeaway.......................34 B1
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Madibeng
Maharaja Restaurant................35 C2 The national holidays of Sir Seretse Khama Day,
Milano's Chicken & Pizza.......(see 42)
President’s Day and Botswana/Independence Day
Rd

Terrace Restaurant.................(see 27)


To Grand Palm Hotel
(see p125) are always cause for celebration in
atse

Casino Resort (5km); Gabane


(23km); Kolobeng (33km); ENTERTAINMENT
the capital. Details about these events are ad-
Lob

Dr

Thamaga (48km); Alliance Française.....................36 E4


ndela

Molepolole (50km)
Bull & Bush PubXXXEnt..........(see 33) vertised in local English-language newspapers
Keg & Zebra..........................(see 41)
n Ma

Phologolo
Dr 29 and in the ‘What’s On’ column of the Bot-
t's
To Kgale Centre Mall (500m);
St

en

3
Nelso

Mt Kgale (6km); Gaborone SHOPPING 3 swana Advertiser. Gaborone also plays host to
id
rcial

Ind
INFORMATION Mokolodi Nature
es

2 Golf Course
African Mall............................. 37 D4
Pr

Reserve (13km)
a number of local festivals and events:
epe
e

Aim Internet...................................1 B1 State

Nyerere Dr
omm

House Botswelelo Botswana Craft......................(see 27)

nde
Angolan Embassy........................... 2 C3
Craft Workshop.......................38 D1 Maitisong Festival Established in 1987, the Maitisong
rn C

Barclays Bank.................................3 A2 Kh
nce A

North Ring
am Jewel of Africa.......................(see 37)
a
Botswana Telecom.........................4 A2 Festival is the largest performing arts festival in Botswana,

Hospital Way
National
Easte

ve Maru-a-Pula (No Mathatha)


Cr

British High Commission & British Badiri Stadium


Centre..................................39 E2 and is held annually for seven days during the last week of
es

Council.......................................5 A1 To National
See Enlargement Nyere Shopping Centre............40 D2
Central Police Station......................6 B1 Stadium (250m)
March or the first week of April.
Rd
Riverwalk Mall..........................41 F5
Central Post Office.........................7 B1 Mo
lepo Queens Rd Notwane Rd South Ring Mall....................... 42 D5
Department of Immigration Head lole
Rd
The Mall
Mosque Boitshoko Traditional Dance Competition Late March.
Office.........................................8 A1 Dilalelo
Department of Surveys & Mapping..9 C4
44 Market Botswana Rd TRANSPORT Industry & Technology Fair Held at the Gaborone
Stalls
South Ring
Air Botswana............................43 B1
Show Grounds in May.
Embassy

Department of Tourism.................10 B1 28 30
21 University Bus Station...............................44 B4
4 Department of Wildlife & National Parks 46
(DWNP)...................................11 A1 19
Selemela of Botswana Combi Stand..........................(see 46) 4 International Trade Fair Also held at the Gaborone

Mobutu Dr
Intercape Mainliner................(see 18)
Show Grounds, in August.
Dr

Edcom Bureau de Change............ 12 C4 12 36 Taxi Stand................................45 B1


Rd

Exclusive Books..........................(see 41) Train Station 23 Taxi Stand............................... 46 C4


French Embassy............................13 B1 Ka
Gaborone Club.............................14 F4
Gaborone Hospital Dental Clinic..(see 15)
Station Rd
9
un
da
37 31
SLEEPING
Gaborone Private Hospital............15 E1
Market Mmaraka
Stalls
Rd Jawara
Rd
14 Budget
Namibian High Commission.........16 C5 The best camping in the Gaborone area

Okwa Rd
Sakeng Internet Access Point........17 B1
Standard Chartered Bank ATM.....18 B1 ve 42
32
Mophato
is at the nearby Mokolodi Nature Reserve

ὈὈ
A Rd
Standard Chartered Bank...........(see 10) ce adiba (p93).
Old Lobatse Rd

US Embassy................................. 19 C4
Macheng Rd en Marat
Sekgwa nd
Zambian High Commission...........20 B1 Ind
epe Boiketlo Lodge (%355 2347; Khama Cres; s/d with
5 Zimbabwean High Commission.... 21 C4 5 shared bathroom US$18/30; p) The most afford-

Rd

River
Bontleng
SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES 16
Village
able hotel in town is dirt cheap and centrally

e
ash
National Museum & Art Gallery....22 C1
located, though grungy rooms and question-

ne
Sh
Orapa House............................... 23 C4

wa
es able security are serious drawbacks. Boiketlo is
Cr

ot
Tlokweng Rd

Ng
SLEEPING on
lis 41
poorly signed, though it can be found opposite

ὈὈ
Boiketlo Lodge.............................24 A2 Al
Brackendene Lodge......................25 B2 the Botswana Post building.
Cresta Lodge............................... 26 C6
Cresta President Hotel..................27 B1 oBrackendene Lodge (%361 2886; Tati Rd;
Gaborone Hotel...........................28 B4 Babusi
To Lonaka Inn (1.3km); s/d from US$24/45; pa) Although there are a few
Gaborone Sun Hotel & Casino......29 E3 r Gaborone South African
Lolwapa Lodge.............................30 E4 he
l D Show Grounds Border (2km) recently renovated rooms located in the main
6 ac
Planet Lodge................................ 31 D4
r aM 6 building, the Brackendene is more a collection
South Ring Lodge........................ 32 D5 mo
Sa of small houses than an organised lodge. The
Rd
e main building is a good choice if you want
fok
26
Se

To Gaborone Dam (1km); to be centrally located, though the houses do


Waterfront (1km)
feature full kitchens.
BOTSWANA 90 GABORONE •• Eating Book accommodation online
l o nate lonelyplanet.com
lyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com GABORONE •• Enter tainment 91

BOTSWANA
Midrange this Las Vegas–inspired resort complex boasts ENTERTAINMENT and Kasane (US$155). The office also serves as
Lolwapa Lodge (% 318 4865; 2873 Mobutu Dr; s/d a mini-city complete with restaurants, bars, a Bull & Bush Pub (%397 5070) This popular res- an agent for other regional airlines.
with shared bathroom US$27/34, s/d US$36/45; pa) casino, cinema and spa. You’ll pay to stay, but taurant is also the centre for expat nightlife. For information about international flights
Although basic and decidedly lacking in it’s the swishest accommodation in town. There’s a good selection of cold beers on tap, to/from Gaborone, see p127.
character, carpeted rooms are clean and well and if the conversation is lacking, you can
furnished. Unfortunately, Lolwapa is on a EATING always turn your attention to the international Bus
noisy road and convenient to nothing except Equatorial Cafe (Riverwalk Mall; mains from US$2) The sports telecasts on satellite TV. Intercity buses and minibuses to Johannes-
the university. best espressos in town are served here, along Keg & Zebra (Riverwalk Mall) This popular bar burg (US$12, seven hours), Francistown
South Ring Lodge (%318 5550; 3487 South Ring with fruit smoothies, falafel and gourmet packs in the crowds for its Sunday-night sing- (US$5, six hours), Selebi-Phikwe (US$6, six
Rd; s/d with shared bathroom US$30/35, s/d US$37/42, suite sandwiches. They even have real bagels. along jam sessions, though there’s fun to be hours), Ghanzi (US$10, 11 hours), Lobatse
US$42/47; pa) Shabby rooms are offset by the King’s Takeaway (The Mall; meals US$2-4) This local had here most nights of the week. (US$1.50, 1½ hours), Mahalapye (US$2.50,
convenient location (right next to the South favourite serves up inexpensive burgers, chips Nightspark (Broadhurst Mall; weekend admission US$2) three hours), Palapye (US$4, four hours) and
Ring Mall). Splurge for the ‘suite’, which is and snacks to hungry office workers. Features all sorts of musical acts and is popu- Serowe (US$4, five hours) depart from the
highlighted by a massive bathtub (a rarity in 25º East (Riverwalk Mall; sushi US$2-4, mains US$5-10) lar with middle-class Batswana youth. main bus terminal. The main bus terminal
these parts). If you can believe it, there is in fact a sushi Waterfront (Gaborone Dam) South of the city, it also offers local services to Kanye (US$1.50,
Planet Lodge (%390 3295; 514 South Ring Rd; s/d restaurant on the edge of the Kalahari. Asian- occasionally hosts live performances. two hours), Jwaneng (US$4, three hours),
from US$36/43; pa) A short walk from the inspired mains are probably a safer bet, though Alliance Française (%395 1650; Pudulogo Way) Fre- Manyana (US$0.80, 1½ hours), Mochudi
city centre brings you to this relaxed lodge, it’s hard to say no to nigiri-zushi. quently screens classic films. (US$1, one hour), Thamaga (US$0.80, one
which offers attractive rooms featuring TVs, o Kgotla Restaurant & Coffee Shop hour) and Molepolole (US$1.25, one hour).
stereos, air-con and fridges. Rooms are priced (Broadhurst Mall; meals US$4-6; hclosed Monday) This SHOPPING To reach Maun or Kasane, you’ll need to
according to size, and kitchen facilities are deservedly popular expat hang out above For shoppers, Gaborone is a series of shopping change in Francistown. Buses operate accord-
available to guests. Woolworth’s is renowned for its hearty break- malls, headed up by the lovely Riverwalk Mall ing to roughly fixed schedules and minibuses
oGaborone Hotel (%362 2777; gabhot@info fasts, vegetarian fare and coffee specialities. and the enormous Kgale Centre. Lesser op- leave when full.
.bw; s/d US$45/60; pa) This large and modern Caffe Prego (Broadhurst Mall; mains US$4-6) This tions include Broadhurst/Kagiso Centre, the The Intercape Mainliner to Johannesburg
complex will never win any awards for beauty, charming little café specialises in healthy Mall and the increasingly seedy Maru-a-Pula (US$25, 6½ hours) runs from the Kudu Shell
but it’s conveniently located next to the bus breakfasts and homemade pastas. (No Mathatha), Nyerere Shopping Centre and petrol station beside The Mall. For more in-
and train stations. The rooms are large, sur- Milano’s Chicken & Pizza (South Ring Mall; mains African Malls. formation, see p128).
prisingly quiet and well furnished with cable US$4-7) This popular chain of Italian restaurants Botswanacraft (www.botswanacraft.bw; Warehouse
TV and air-con. is your top spot for, well, chicken and pizza. %362 4471; The Mall %355 3577; Airport %361 2209) Hitching
There’s also an outlet at Broadhurst Mall. Botswana’s largest craft emporium sells tra- To hitch north, catch the Broadhurst 4 mini-
Top End Maharaja Restaurant (%393 1870; Seboni Rd; mains ditional souvenirs from all over the country, bus from any shopping centre along the main
Cresta President Hotel (%355 3631; www.cresta-hos US$4-8) The ‘stylish’ décor is a bit dated, though including weavings from Oodi and pottery city loop and get off at the standard hitching
pitality.com; The Mall; s/d US$107/133; pas) The the large selection of Indian dishes (including from Gabane and Thamaga. If you’re de- spot at the northern end of town. There’s no
first luxury hotel in the city is located smack- vegetarian options) is perfect if you’re looking ficient at bargaining, fear not – prices are need to wave down a vehicle – anyone with
dab in the middle of the Mall, which pretty for relief from pap and stew. fixed. space will stop for passengers. Plan on around
much justifies the heavy price tag. oBull & Bush Pub (%397 5070; mains US$5- Jewel of Africa (%361 4359; jewel@global.bw; African US$6 to Francistown, where you can look for
Gaborone Sun Hotel & Casino (%355 1111; www 10) This long-standing Gaborone institution Mall) This attractive shop offers an eclectic onward lifts to Nata, Maun and Kasane.
.suninternational.com/resorts/gaborone/; Chuma Dr; standard/ is popular with expats, tourists and locals range of carvings, sketches, shawls and other
luxury d US$115/140; pas) Once known for its alike. There’s something on the menu for assorted African knick-knacks. Although not Train
highbrow atmosphere, the seemingly aban- everyone, but the Bull & Bush is renowned for everything is made in Botswana, prices here The day train departs for Francistown daily
doned Gaborone Sun fails to compete with its thick steaks and cold beers. On any given are reasonable (and fixed). at 10am (club/economy class US$4/8, 6½
its upmarket rivals. Still, it’s not a bad choice, night of the week, the outdoor beer garden is Craft Workshop (%355 6364; 5648 Nakedi Rd, Broad- hours). The night train departs nightly at
especially since guests can take advantage of buzzing with activity, and you can bet there’s hurst Industrial Estate) This small complex of shops 9pm (economy/1st-class sleeper/2nd-class
on-site restaurants, a casino, swimming pool always some sporting event worth watching sells crafts and souvenirs, and also plays host sleeper/US$5/20/25, 8¼ hours). Coming from
and golf course. on the tube. to a flea market on the morning of the last Francistown, the overnight service contin-
Cresta Lodge (%367 5375; www.cresta-hospitality Fishmonger (Riverwalk Mall; mains US$5-10) So long Sunday of each month. To get there take the ues to Lobatse (US$1, 1½ hours) early in the
.com; Samora Machel Dr; s/d US$119/139; pas) as you don’t think about where the nearest ‘Broadhurst Route 3’ combi. morning, with only economy-class seats avail-
Located 2km outside the city centre, the at- ocean is, you’re going to enjoy the fish here. able from Gaborone. For current information,
tractively landscaped Cresta Lodge is a good oTerrace Restaurant (%395 3631; The Mall; GETTING THERE & AWAY contact Botswana Railways (%395 1401).
choice if you’re looking for a quiet night’s mains US$6-10) On the terrace of the Cresta Presi- Air
rest in a three-star setting outside the urban dent Hotel, this eclectic restaurant is a good From Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, GETTING AROUND
sprawl. spot for surveying the passing Mall scene 14km from the centre of town, Air Botswana To/From the Airport
oGrand Palm Hotel Casino Resort (%361 below. The Terrace serves up a variety of (%390 5500; Botswana Insurance Company House, The Mall) Taxis rarely turn up at the airport; if you do
2999; www.grandpalm.bw; Molepolole Rd; d from US$120; dishes including curries, grilled meats, contin- operates scheduled domestic flights to and find one, you’ll pay between US$4 and US$10
pas) Located 5km west of the city centre, ental cuisine and a few local specialities. from Francistown (US$100), Maun (US$155) per person to the centre. The only reliable
BOTSWANA 92 GABORONE •• Around Gaborone lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com E A S T E R N B OT S W A N A • • S e r o w e 93

BOTSWANA
transport between the airport and town is in the hills. In 1871 came the Kgatla people, Minibuses run frequently from the main bus Kanye Gorge, where the entire population of
the courtesy minibuses operated by the top- who had been forced from their lands by terminal in Gaborone (US$1, 1½ hours). the town once hid during a Ndebele raid in
end hotels for their guests. If there’s space, northward-trekking Boers. The Cape Dutch– the 1880s. A short, 1.5km walk along the cliff
nonguests may talk the driver into a lift, but style Phuthadikobo Museum (%577 7238; fax 574 Mt Kgale face from the eastern end of Kanye Gorge
you’ll have to pay about US$8. 8920; admission free, donations suggested; h8am-5pm The ‘sleeping giant’, Mt Kgale, overlooks Gab- will take you to Kanye Ruins, the remains of
Mon-Fri, 2-5pm Sat & Sun), established in 1976, is orone, and you can easily hike to the summit an early 18th-century stone-walled village.
Combis one of Botswana’s best, with displays on the for a sweeping view over the capital. Take any Buses regularly travel between Gaborone and
Packed white combis, recognisable by their village and its Kgatla history. After visiting Lobatse bus or head out along the new Lobatse Kanye via Thamaga (US$1.50, two hours).
blue number plates, circulate according to set the museum, it’s worth spending an hour ap- road to the car park (opposite an obvious sat- The bus station is 1.5km west of the main
routes and cost US$0.50. They pick up and preciating the variety of designs in the town’s ellite dish, just beyond the Kgale Centre Mall). shopping centre.
drop off only at designated lay-bys marked mud-walled architecture. Cross the white concrete stile and follow the
‘bus/taxi stop’. The main city loop passes all Buses to Mochudi depart from Gaborone track through a shallow gully to the trail of
the main shopping centres except the new
Riverwalk Mall and the Kgale Centre, which
when full. By car, head north to Pilane and
turn east; after 6km, turn left at the T-junction
whitewashed stones that lead to the summit.
Due to recent robberies, it’s wise not to walk
EASTERN BOTSWANA
are on the Tlokweng and Kgale routes, re- and then right just before the hospital, into the alone or carry anything of value. Eastern Botswana is largely comprised of
spectively. Combis can be hailed either along historic village centre. granite-strewn scrubland that is amenable
major roads or from the combi stand. Mokolodi Nature Reserve to agriculture and human habitation. Along
Thamaga This 3000 hectare private reserve (%316 1955; the borders with South Africa and Zimbabwe,
Taxi The delightful but unexciting village of www.mokolodi.com; h7.30am-6pm) was established there are a number of large towns that subsist
Taxis, which can also be easily identified by Thamaga is home to the Botswelelo Centre in 1991, and is home to giraffes, elephants, primarily on seasonal farming and ranching.
their blue numberplates, are surprisingly dif- (%499 9220; Molepolole Rd; tours US$0.50; h8am-5pm), zebras, baboons, warthogs, hippos, kudus, Although the majority of these population
ficult to come by in Gabs. Very few cruise the also called Thamaga Pottery. This nonprofit impalas, waterbucks and klipspringers. The centres are of little interest to tourists, the re-
streets looking for fares, and most are parked community project was started by missionar- reserve also protects a few retired cheetahs, gion is also home to a number of private game
either in front of the train station or on Bot- ies in the 1970s and now sells a wide range leopards, honey badgers, jackals and hyenas, as reserves that serve as a refreshing alternative
swana Rd. If you manage to get a hold of one, of creations for good prices. Tours must be well as over 300 different species of birds. Park to the heavily trafficked national parks.
fares (negotiable) are generally US$3 to US$5 booked in advance. Buses run frequently from entry fees are US$2 per person per day and
per trip around the city. the main bus terminal in Gaborone (US$0.80, US$4 per vehicle per day. If you’re not self- SEROWE
one hour). driving, two-hour day or night wildlife drives In 1902, Chief Khama III abandoned the Bang-
AROUND GABORONE cost US$28 per person. There is a number of wato capital in Phalatswe, and built Serowe on
Kopong Molepolole other activities on offer including guided walks the ruins of an 11th-century village at the
Country Horse Safaris (%721 34567; Lentsweletau Rd) The tongue-twisting name of this hillside vil- (US$12), rhino tracking (US$80), cheetah pet- base of Thathaganyana Hill. Serowe was later
is a friendly, Swedish-run ranch specialising lage (pronounced mo-lay-po-lo-lay) is often ting (US$48), horse safaris (US$24) and a visit immortalised by South African writer Bes-
in horse riding, though it also offers cheap sensibly shortened to ‘Moleps’. The main to the popular elephant baths (US$3). sie Head, who included the village in several
and tranquil accommodation. Camping costs attraction, the Kgosi Sechele 1 Museum (%592 Though pricey, the camp sites (2 people US$24) of her works, including renowned Serowe –
US$5 per person, while double rooms with 0917; Gaborone Rd; h9am-noon & 2-4pm Tue-Fri, 11am- at Mokolodi are secluded and well groomed, Village of the Rain Wind.
private bathrooms in the rustic guesthouse 4pm Sat), is housed in the 1902 police station and feature braai (barbecue) pits and thatched Although the modern town centre is drab
costs US$20. Take the road from Gaborone and features traditional housing, paintings, bush showers (with steaming hot water) and and of little interest to travellers, it’s worth
towards Molepolole, then head to Kopong historic photos and David Livingstone mem- toilets. If you want to safari in style, there are visiting the Khama III Memorial Museum (%463
and follow the signs. orabilia. It’s reputed that Chief Sechele was also 3-person chalets (US$120) and 8-person 0519; admission free but donations welcome; h8am-5pm
the only person the missionary Livingstone A-frames (US$198) situated in the middle of the Tue-Fri, 10am-4.30pm Sat), which was opened in
Odi ever managed to convert to Christianity. This reserve. Advance bookings are recommended. 1985 and outlines the history of the Khama
This small village (pronounced Oo-dee) is was accomplished after Livingstone visited If you don’t have a vehicle, staff can drive you family. The museum includes the personal
best known for its internationally acclaimed the Kobokwe Cave (5km from town along to the camp site and accommodation areas for effects of Chief Khama III and his descend-
Odi Weavers (%339 2268; h8am-4.30pm Mon-Fri, the Thamaga road) and survived, despite dire a nominal charge. ants as well as various artefacts illustrating
10am-4.30pm Sat & Sun), which produces and sells warnings from local shamans that to approach The entrance to the reserve is located 12km Serowe’s history. The museum is about 800m
a range of locally made weavings, tapestries, the cave would bring about a speedy death. south of Gaborone. By public transport, take from the central shopping area on the road
bedspreads and cushions. Take a northbound You may also want to visit the Schacter & a bus to Lobatse-bound combi to the signed towards Orapa.
minibus from Gaborone and get off at Odi Namder Diamond Factory (%592 0815; Thamaga Rd), turn-off. From there, it’s a 1.5km walk to the Before leaving town, hike up to the top
Junction; from here, you’ll probably have to which is Botswana’s only diamond-cutting entrance. You can also phone ahead for trans- of Thathaganyana Hill where you’ll find the
hitch the final 7km to the workshop. facility. fers from the city centre/airport (US$28/44 Royal Cemetery, which contains the grave of Sir
Mafenya-Thala Hotel (%595 0522; ciaron@mega.bw; for four people). Seretse Khama (see the boxed text, p83) and
Mochudi Gaborone Rd; s/d US$37/48) offers comfortable and Khama III; the latter is marked by a bronze
Mochudi, one of Botswana’s most fascinating well-decorated rooms. Camping is also spo- Kanye duiker (a small antelope), which is the Bang-
villages, was first settled by the Kwena in the radically possible and the attached restaurant Built around the base of Kanye Hill, the capi- wato totem. Be advised that police consider
mid-1500s, as evidenced by ruined stone walls serves up classy meals. tal of the Bangwaketse people is home to the this area to be sensitive, so visitors need to
ὄὄ
BOTSWANA 94 E A S T E R N B OT S W A N A • • K h a m a R h i n o S a n c t u a r y lonelyplanet.com Book
l o n eaccommodation
l y p l a n e t . c o monline at lonelyplanet.com E A S T E R N B OT S W A N A • • F r a n c i s t o w n 95

BOTSWANA
EASTERN BOTSWANA 0
0
80 km
50 miles
ary protects the country’s last remaining Ebrahim Store (%241 4762; Francis Ave) The place to
To Nata (47km); To Bulawayo To Bulawayo population of rhinos – thirty-two white and buy camping gear.
A
Kasane (377km); Tutume (39km) (48km)
9 one black rhino currently reside in Khama. Nyangabgwe Hospital (%241 1000, emergency

Shas
Maun (391km); Plumtree
Dukwe

Chav
Tim

Insiza
Victoria Falls (449km) Ramokgwebana
an Mw The sanctuary is also home to zebras, gir- %997)

hani
da

ezi Rv
en
affes, wildebeests, impalas, kudus, elands, Police (%241 2221, emergency %999; Haskins St)

ezi
Mosetse ezi

River
Riv
Riv

Ri

Rive
er ostriches, hyenas, leopards and over 230 Polina Laundromat (Blue Jacket St)

Ingw

ve

er
A

r
7

r
Ingwizi Gwanda
species of birds. Post office (Blue Jacket St)
Dam
The main roads within the sanctuary are

Ὀ ὈὈ

To Orapa
(99km) normally accessible by 2WD in the dry sea- Sights

Ta
Francistown ZIMBABWE Bu
bia

li
Shashe
See Makgadikgadi & na son, though 4WD vehicles are necessary in The main site of tourist interest is the cultural

Rive
Dam Ta Madzilobge Ri

Umz
Nxai Pans National
ti ve

Sim
Tlalamabele Parks Map (p98) r the rainy season. However, all vehicles can and historical Supa-Ngwao Museum (%/fax 240

r
R
Shashe iver

ingw
uk
A
Tonotha reach the camp site and accommodation areas 3088; snm@info.bw; off New Maun Rd; admission free but

we
6

ani
River
Motloutse
To Letlhakane (88km);
in any weather. The office at the entrance donations suggested; h8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat).

Ri
Foley Sha
sells useful maps of the sanctuary as well as It’s housed in a 100-year-old Government

ver
Orapa (117km) she
River

ὈὈ
Lepokole
Mo tloutse River
Hills
Gubajango LEGEND basic nonperishable foods, cold drinks and Camp, which includes a prison and a police
Mmashoro Serule
Bobonong
Mashatu Tuli Circle
Game
GR Game Reserve
NR Nature Reserve
firewood. canteen. Displays include local and regional
Mmadinare Selebi-Phikwe
Thu
Reserve
Molalatau
Park entry fees are US$2 per person per culture and history, as well as visiting art
North-East Tuli GR
Mabeleapudi Sefophe
ne
River Matlhabaneng Pont Drift L
impopo River day and US$3 per vehicle per day. If you’re exhibitions.
Khama
Rhino
Paje Mogapi
Mathathane Soloman's Wall &
Beitbridge
not self-driving, two-hour day/night wildlife
Lentswe le Muriti Motloutse Ruins
Sanctuary
Mogorosi
Serowe
Mawana
NR Limpopo River
Messina
drives cost US$55/80, and can accommodate Sleeping
Mogapinyana Tsetsebjwe Lodge
Tlhabala
Morupule
ck Saambou Platjanbridge
up to four people. Nature walks (US$8 per Marang Hotel (%241 3991; marang@info.bw; Matsiloje
Lotsan Blo
Moijabana Palapye
Tswapong
eR
i Tu
li Baines
Drift
person) and rhino tracking (US$20 per adult) Rd; camping per person US$5, 2-person rondavel US$40, s/d
ve

Maunatlala Zanzibar
can also be arranged. US$80/95; ps) Superbly situated on the banks
r

Mosolotsane Hills Alldays r


ive
k R
Shoshong
Bra Shady camp sites (per person US$9) with braai of the Tati River, the Marang Hotel is a long-
Hills Kalamare Tewane Sherwood pits are adjacent to clean toilets and steaming standing favourite among travellers. The serene
Shoshong Lose Sefare Martin's Drift hot showers. If you’re looking to splurge for a setting and relaxed ambience make this an
Mahalapye Groblersbrug
Makhado
night or two, rustic 4-person chalets (US$50) and excellent choice, regardless of your budget.
Shakwe Machaneng (Louis Trichardt) 6-person A-frames (US$85) have basic kitchen From the Cresta Thapama roundabout, Marang
Sand River

Dinokwe
Makwate
Parr's Halt
facilities and private bathrooms. If you don’t Hotel is about 3.5km along Matsiloje Rd.
Mogol Riv

er
have a vehicle, staff can drive you to the camp Tati River Lodge (%240 6000; trl@info.bw; camping
Dovedale Riv
Mmamabula
op
o N
1 site and accommodation areas for a nominal per person US$5, s/d from US$70/85; ps) On the
N
charge. other side of the Tati River from the Marang
mp

er

11
Li

Ellisras
r Buffels Drift
Dibete
Ri
ve SOUTH AFRICA The entrance gate to the sanctuary is about Hotel, this newer place lacks the character
Ma

an 26km from Serowe on the road to Orapa (turn of its rival, though it’s perfectly acceptable if
e

Polokwane
tla

o tw (Pietersburg)
ba

River left at the unsigned T-junction about 5km you’re just looking for a place to crash.
Ng

Artesia
northwest of Serowe). Khama is accessible by Satellite Guest House (%241 4665; s/d US$28/36;
To Gaborone (106km) any bus or combi heading towards Orapa, and p) This walled compound of motel-style
is not hard to reach by hitching (see p131 for units is uninspiring, though it’s certainly
seek permission (and possibly obtain a guide) north of Palapye, and catch a shared taxi or information on hithing in Botswana). cheap if you’re counting every pula. Unfor-
from the police station in the barracks house. combi to Serowe. Combis and shared taxis tunately, it’s located out in the suburbs, and
To reach the station, follow the road opposite also depart for Orapa (US$7, 4 hours) when FRANCISTOWN can get noisy if there are a lot of guests.
the Dennis petrol station until you reach the full (this combi passes by the entrance to pop 95,000 Grand Lodge (%241 2300; s/d US$35/40; pa)
kgotla and the surrounding barracks; one of the Khama Rhino Sanctuary). Most buses, Although the second-largest city in Botswana This is an excellent choice if you want to stay
the buildings houses the police station. combis and taxis leave from a spot near Eller- is known primarily for its wholesale shopping, in the city centre. Standard rooms become
The small but quaint Tshwaragano Hotel ines furniture shop in the central shopping it’s a useful (and often necessary) stopover something special when you add air-con,
(%463 0377; s/d US$26/30; p) is built on the area, while the mammoth bus station nearby on the way to/from Kasane, Nata, Maun or cable TV, a fridge and a hotplate.
slopes of Thathaganyana Hill, and boasts remains empty. Victoria Falls. Cresta Thapama Lodge (%241 3872; www.cresta
greats views of the town. The attached bar- -hospitality.com; Thapama roundabout, cnr Blue Jacket St
restaurant is usually the most hopping place KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY Information & Doc Morgan Ave; s/d with breakfast from US$132/166;
in town. Tshwaragano is located above the In response to declining rhinoceros popula- The Barclays and First National Banks along pas)Francistown’s most upmarket hotel
shopping area on the road to Orapa. tions in Botswana, the residents of Serowe Blue Jacket St, among other banks, have ATMs boasts a 4-star rating, though the overall ambi-
Buses travel between Serowe and Gaborone banded together in 1989 to establish the and foreign exchange facilities. ence is bit stuffy. But, if you’re fan of luxury
(US$4, four hours) about every hour. Alterna- 4300-hectare Khama Rhino Sanctuary (%463 Copy Shop (%241 0177; Northgate Centre, Blue Jacket and formality, you’ll revel in the colonial-
tively, from Gabs catch a Francistown-bound 0713; fax 463 5808; krst@botsnet.bw; per person US$2, per St; per hr US$2; h8am-8pm) For internet and email inspired rooms, and unwind in the casino or
bus, disembark at the turn-off to Serowe just vehicle US$3; h8am-6.30pm). Today, the sanctu- access. on the squash and tennis courts.
BOTSWANA 96 E A S T E R N B OT S W A N A • • F r a n c i s t o w n lonelyplanet.com Book
l o n eaccommodation
l y p l a n e t . c o monline at lonelyplanet.com MA K G A D I K G A D I PA N S 97

BOTSWANA
FRANCISTOWN 0
0
500 m
0.3 miles
Marang Hotel (Old Gaborone Rd) Even if you’re per person from US$48; p) This lovely riverside
To Bulawayo
not staying here, it’s worth the trip to the retreat is the most affordable accommoda-
A B C (184km) D Marang for a drink in their popular garden tion option in Tuli Block, though the wildlife
INFORMATION bar overlooking the Tati River. along the river can be as rich as anywhere
New Barclays Bank...........................1 B3
7
Ma
un Copy Shop...........................(see 18)
else. The lodge is located 12km northeast of
1
Rd
Ebrahim Store..........................2 C3 Getting There & Away Baines Drift.
First National Bank...................3 C3
Nyangabgwe Hospital.............4 D4
Air Botswana (%241 2393; Francis Ave) flies between Tuli Game Reserve (%264 5303; www.tulilodge.com;
Police.......................................5 C2 Francistown and Gaborone (US$100) at least tent camp per person with full board & game drives US$57,
Polina Laundromat...................6 B2
once daily, except Sunday. standard/executive/luxury per person with full board & game
From the main bus terminal, between the drives US$210/255/299; pas) The Tuli Game

St
SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES

s
5

in
Supa-Ngwao Museum..............7 B1
train line and the Blue Jacket Plaza, bus and Reserve is situated in a riverine oasis, and sur-

sk
Ha
SLEEPING minibus services connect Francistown with rounded by red rock country that teems with
ve Cresta Thapama Lodge &
t A Nata (US$3, two hours), Maun (US$7.50, wildlife. Advance reservations are strongly
Firs Casino.................................8 C4

Rut
Rd Grand Lodge............................9 B2 five hours), Gaborone (US$6.50, six hours), recommended. Rates include transfer from
un

herf
Ma
2 New Serowe (US$3, 2½ hours), Selebi-Phikwe the Limpopo Valley Airfield or the Pont Drift

ord
Mo
EATING
Ave

Feit

ffat
us Barbara's Bistro......................10 D4 (US$2, two hours) and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Border Post. The game reserve is located just

St
6 Selo

elb
Kha
To Nata (179km); Fruit & Vegetable Market.......11 B2

St
erg
Maun (490km) (US$2.80 to US$3.50, two hours). beyond the Pont Drift Border Post.
Blue

ma
9 Pizza House...........................12 C3
St
es

St
Shoprite Supermarket..........(see 17)
Bain Ave The overnight train to Gaborone (US$24/ Mashatu Game Reserve (%27-11 442 2267; www
Jack

St
Sam
Gem

ula
Ma

Spar Supermarket..................13 C3
Sain

eng
et S

Lob 20/5 1st/2nd/economy, 8¼ hours) leaves at .mashatu.com; luxury tent/chalet with full board & game drives
Has
Nujo
ka

11 Tina's Coffee Shop................14 C3


s bok

tP
dik

t
kin

Whistle Stop..........................15 C3
9pm and the day train (US$7/3.50 club/econ- US$180/300; pas) The largest private wild-
atric
ma
Ta

gad

1 ve
St

s S

is A
ti

c
St

Train Fran
i

omy, 6½ hours) leaves at 10am. life reserve in Southern Africa is renowned for
St

Station ENTERTAINMENT
St

19 Ave Cine 2000..............................16 C3


cis its big cats and frighteningly large elephant
River

Fran 16
15
3 SHOPPING
Blue Jacket Plaza....................17 C4
NORTH-EAST TULI GAME RESERVE population (current estimates are well over
3 14 Ave The Tuli Block is a 10km- to 20km-wide a thousand). The main camp is one of Bot-
ton Northgate Centre...................18 C3
Footbridge Tain 18 St
13 Guy swathe of freehold farmland extending over swana’s most exclusive resorts, though those
2
TRANSPORT
12
Air Botswana..........................19 B3 300km along the northern bank of the Lim- with lighter wallets can still indulge in luxury
To Nata (178km);
Maun (490km)
Bus Terminal..........................20 C3 popo River. Once owned by British South at the tent camp. Rates include transfer from
20
Africa Company (BSAC), the land was ceded the Limpopo Valley Airfield or the Pont Drift
Gem
mel
St 17
10 to white settlers after the railway route was Border Post. The game reserve is located just
shifted to the northwest. However, much of the beyond the Pont Drift Border Post.
Doc M
organ
Ave 8
land proved to be unsuitable for agriculture,
and has since been developed for tourism. Getting There & Away
4 Matsiloje The main attraction of Tuli Block is the Mashatu and Tuli support a scheduled Air
Rd
4 North-East Tuli Game Reserve, which is a Botswana flight between Johannesburg, Kas-
To Satellite Guest collection of private game reserves. This area ane and the Limpopo Valley Airfield, which
House (2km); Marang
To Gaborone Hotel (4.5km); Tati is rich in wildlife, and is home to elephants, is usually booked as part of a package with
River Lodge (5km)
(425km)
hippos, kudus, wildebeests and impalas as either of the reserves.
well as small numbers of lions, cheetahs and Most roads in Tuli Block are negotiable by
Eating they also serve a good variety of grilled meats, leopards. More than 350 species of birds have 2WD, though it can get rough in places over
Self-caterers have a choice of several well- fish, burgers and desserts. also been recorded in the North-East Tuli creek beds, which occasionally flood during
stocked supermarkets (including Shoprite Pizza House (Haskins St; pizzas from US$4) If you’re get- Game Reserve. the rainy season. If you’re coming from South
and Spar Supermarkets), as well as the fruit ting ready to head out to the wilds, savour every The landscape in Tuli Block is defined by Africa, note that the border crossing at Pont
and vegetable market on the corner of Blue last bite of the wood-fired pizzas served here. its unusual rock formations. The most famous Drift usually requires a 4WD, and can even
Jacket and Baines Sts. feature is Solomon’s Wall, a 30m-high doler- be closed when the river is too high.
Barbara’s Bistro (Francistown Sports Club; US$2-4) Entertainment ite dyke cut naturally through the landscape
This quaint, leafy spot is a good choice for To find out what’s going on, check the notice on either side of the river bed. Nearby are
inexpensive local specialities.
Tina’s Coffee Shop (Blue Jacket St; meals US$2-5)
board at the museum and the ‘What’s On’
column in the Northern Advertiser.
the Motloutse Ruins, a Great Zimbabwe–era
stone village that belonged to the kingdom
MAKGADIKGADI PANS
Whether you’re here for a cuppa with cake Cine 2000 (Blue Jacket St; US$2) If you need your of Mwene Mutapa. The Sowa (Sua), Nxai and Ntwetwe Pans col-
or a heavy plate of chicken and rice, you’ll Western-culture fix, this small cinema shows lectively make up the 12,000 sq km Makgadik-
enjoy the cosy atmosphere at this popular recent English-language films. Sleeping gadi Pans. In the sizzling heat of late winter, the
local shop. Cresta Thapama Hotel & Casino (Blue Jacket St) Advance bookings are recommended for all stark pans take on a disorienting and ethereal
Whistle Stop (Blue Jacket St; mains US$2-5) Start The bar here attracts mostly business travel- of these options. austerity. Heat mirages destroy the senses as
your day right with a hearty breakfast from lers, though there’s a good selection of hard Limpopo River Lodge (%72-106098; www.limpopo imaginary lakes shimmer and disappear, os-
the Whistle Stop. If you’re not an early riser, spirits here. riverlodge.co.za; camping per person US$12, chalet/rondavel triches take flight and stones turn to mountains
BOTSWANA 98 MA K G A D I K G A D I PA N S • • M a k g a d i k g a d i & N x a i Pa n s N a t i o n a l Pa r k s lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com MA K G A D I K G A D I PA N S • • N a t a 99

BOTSWANA
(141km)
To Francistown

ὈὈὈὄ

ὈὈὈ
ὄὄ
ὈὈὈ
ὄὄ
20 miles

Around Nxai Pan

6 miles
10 km
EXPLORING THE MAKGADIKGADI PANS
Game Reserve
National Park

13.5km
ce on

circuit
30 km

Fen ry Cord

Eastern Pan
Complex
a
erin
Vet It is important to stress that to explore the pans properly and independently requires more of
Chaichumtsha

km
a 4WD expedition than a casual drive. Lost travellers are frequently rescued from the pans, and

Kgama-
Kgama Pan

4.1km Distance

8.3
Interval
9.6km

River
there have been a number of fatalities over the years. Prospective drivers should keep in mind
F

Semowane
GR
NP

that salt pans can have a mesmerising effect, and even create a sense of unfettered freedom.
Didibakwe
km

Dukwe
4.7
Once you drive out onto the salt, remember that direction, connection, reason and common

Khalaphuduhudu

Tlalamabele
ὄὄὄ
ὄὄὄὈ

ὄὄ
ὄὄὄ
ὄὄ


ὄὄὄ
ὄὄὄ
ὄὄ
km
Xhongwane
River

1 .6 sense appear to dissolve. You should be aware of where you are at all times by using a map and

km
10

Lepash

8.4
8
compass (remember, GPS units are not foolproof ).
7
To Kasane

Tsiagake
(287km)

Sanctuary
Nata

5.5km 0
0
Nata

km
Old Cattle Trek Route
Kwadiba
It’s often safer (and sometimes cheaper in the long run) to explore the pans on an organised

10
to Pandamatenga

Hole
Bore
6.4
5.8km
0
0

tour with a knowledgeable guide. The pans can be visited on day trips or overnight trips offered

13
Baobab
Nata

Tree

1.5km
km
3.2 by the lodges listed in this region, or on an overnight trip from lodges in Maun (p109).
North Gate Restaurant

Baobab 12.6km
3.5km
Nata Delta

Headquarters

Observation
Point
Sowa (Sua)

4.1km

Nxai
Pan
Sowa (Sua) Pan

Park
ὄὄὄὄὄ
ὄὄὄὄὄ
ὄὄὄὄὄ
ὄὄ
ὄὄὄὄὄ
ὈὈὄὄὄὄὄὄ
ὄὄὄ
ὄὄὄ
Sowa (Sua)
E

9.1km

Tree
and float in mid-air. But, as the annual rains formed when the Nata River flows into the
Spit

Mosu
m
begin to fall in the late spring, depressions in northern end of the Sowa Pan. When the

5k
Thabatshukudu
Zoroga

the pans form temporary lakes and fringing rains are at their heaviest from December to
Tsigara

Tshwagong
grasses turn green with life. Herd animals ar- February, the pan is covered with a thin film

To Francistown
(203km)

Paephane
rive to partake of the bounty, while water birds of water that reflects the sky and obliterates

(Closed Town)
Ntsokotsa
Kubu Island
flock to feed on algae and tiny crustaceans. the horizon. Access is via a 4WD track from
5

Letlhakane
Pan


ὄ Mmatshumo
the village of Nata.

Tshitsane
Pan
NATA
Veterinary
Checkpoint

Checkpoint
Veterinary
Xarathiwa
Bojatau

The dust-bowl town of Nata serves as the gate- Nata Sanctuary


Pan

Orapa (Closed Town)


D

To Serowe
(178km)
way to the Makgadikgadi Pans, as well as an ob- This 230 sq km community-run wildlife sanctu-
Nkokwane
Pan ligatory fuel stop if you’re heading to Kasane or ary (%71-656969; admission per person per day US$4, per
Ntwetwe
Pan

Guquago
Maun. Be aware that elephants graze alongside vehicle US$2; h7am-7pm) was proposed in 1988
Odiakwe
ὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈὄὄ


ὄὄ
Pan
the highway in this region, so take care during by the Nata Conservation Committee, and
Chapman's
11
Tshauxaba

Baobab
Gweta
Aardvark

the day and avoid driving at night. established four years later with the help of
Baobab
Planet

Maditsenyane

10km southeast of Nata is the Nata Lodge several local and international nongovern-
Green's
Baobab

Gabatsadi

(%621 1210; www.natalodge.com; camping per per- mental organisations (NGOs).


MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PAN NATIONAL PARK

Island

Njare
Maano Restaurant

Rhysana

Pan
Gutsa
Pan

Chukutsa son US$10, d luxury tent US$105, d chalet US$120; s) a Nata Sanctuary offers several serene and
Pan
12

Pan
verdant oasis of monkey thorn, marula and isolated camp sites with clean pit toilets, braai
C

e
n Fenc
ὄὄ
ὄὄὄ



ὄ ary C
ordo
Veterin
mokolane palms. Luxury tents and chalets are
safari chic, and the open-air bar-restaurant
pits and cold showers. Camping here costs
US$5 per person, and all sites are accessible
Sokoro Katsha

Mopipi
Park Headquarters

and shady pool are perfect for unwinding after by 2WD if it hasn’t been raining heavily. From
Pan
See Inset

Gate
Park

touring the nearby pans. the camp sites, it’s possible to access the pan
Mopipi
9
Kudiakam

Dam

Hourly combis (minibuses) between Kas- on foot (7km), though you should bring a
Tamtiga
Makgadikgadi
Pan

Pans Game Reserve


Nxai Pan

to Makgadikgadi

ane (US$7.50, five hours) and Francistown compass with you, even if you’re only walking
2

Main Entrance

Pans GR

Lake Xau
NP

Phorokwe

(Dry)

(US$3, two hours), and Maun (US$5.50, five a few hundred metres into the pan.
Kaokare


Dzibui
Pan

hours) and Francistown (US$2, two hours), The entrance to the sanctuary is located
Nxai
Pan

pass by the North Gate Restaurant. 7km southeast of Nata.


Nxai Pan National Park)

Toromoja

Tswanatsha
Khumaga
(Main Entrance to
Makolwane Gate
B

Xorodomo
Pan
Morotobolo
Khumaga
Gate

SOWA (SUA) PAN Sowa (Sua) Spit


4

Sowa (also spelt Sua) Pan is mostly a single This long, slender protrusion extends into the
Rakops
6

sheet of salt-encrusted mud stretching across heart of the pan, and is the nexus of Botswana’s
Mabe Pan

Gidikwe
D3

D1
C2

C2

C2
2 B1

B2

B2
Entrance to Nata Sanctuary.......1 F1

F1
F2

E4

E4

ὈὈ
ὈὈὄ
the lowest basin in northeastern Botswana. lucrative soda ash industry. Although security
Mosemaoto

Gidikwe
Dikwalo
Nxwee

Tsoe 3
Khumaga Camp Site.................4
Kubu Island Camp Site.............5
Leroo-La-Tau...........................6
Nata Lodge...............................7
Nata Sanctuary Camp Site........8
Njuca Hills Camp Site...............9
North Camp...........................10
Planet Baobab........................11
San Camp..............................12
South Camp...........................13
Baines' Baobabs........................

Pan
Jack's Camp.............................
Matima

Xumo

Sowa means ‘salt’ in the language of the San, measures prevent public access to the plant,
Molosi

who once mined the pan to sell salt to the private vehicles can proceed as far as Sowa (Sua)
Senagom

Mabe
Matswere
SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES

Bakalanga. Today, it is mined by the Sua Pan village on the pan’s edge. Views of the pan from
Gate
er
Riv

Soda Ash Company, which sells sodium car- the village are limited, though it’s ideal if you’re
INFORMATION
ti

Kalahari
To Maun (82km)

Bote

Makalamabedi

Central

bonate for industrial manufacturing. travelling through the area in a 2WD.


A

GR
SLEEPING
Motopi

Nata Delta Kubu Island


During the rainy season, huge flocks of water Along the southwestern edge of Sowa Pan
2

3
1

birds congregate at the Nata Delta, which is is this ghostly, baobab-laden rock, which
BOTSWANA 100 MA K G A D I K G A D I PA N S • • G w e t a lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K • • K a s a n e & K a z u n g u l a 101

BOTSWANA
is entirely surrounded by a sea of salt. In Dam, which provides water for the diamond less developed with pit latrines and no run- 60km west of Gweta. The Park Headquarters
Setswana, kubu means ‘hippopotamus’, and mines in Orapa. Ironically, Ntwetwe is now ning water, but the surrounding hills boast is another 35.5km north along a terrible sandy
as unlikely as it may seem given the current famous for its extraordinary lunar landscape, staggering views of migrating wildlife. track. A 4WD is required to get around the
environment and climate, this desolate area particularly the rocky outcrops, dunes, islets, Leroo-La-Tau (%686 8407; www.kalahari-desert national park.
may have been inhabited by people as recently channels and spits found along the western .com/Leroo_La_Tau_Bush_Camp_Kalahari_desert.asp;
as 500 years ago. On one shore lies an ancient shore. s/d US$200/275; ps) This recommended sa-
crescent-shaped stone wall of unknown origin,
which has yielded numerous artefacts. Kubu
If you’ve got some serious cash to burn, the
highly recommended San Camp (s/d US$500/840;
fari lodge is comprised of several East Afri-
can–style canvas tents with private verandas
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK
Island is now protected as a national monu- p) and Jack’s Camp (s/d US$625/930) are among overlooking the Boteti River bed. Although Chobe National Park, which encompasses
ment (admission per person US$4.50, per vehicle US$5.50) the most luxurious lodges in the whole of the atmosphere is luxurious and the price is 11,000 sq km, is home to Botswana’s most
with proceeds going to the local community. Africa. Accommodation at either camp is in affordable (at least compared to other top-end varied wildlife. The riverfront strip along the
There is also a small camp site (%297 9612; per classic 1940s East African–style canvas tents lodges), Leroo-La-Tau is not as well known as northern tier, with its perennial water supply,
person US$5.50) with pit toilets, though you will furnished with regal linen and romantically lit other luxury lodges in Botswana. However, supports the greatest wildlife concentrations,
have to carry in your own water. by paraffin lanterns. The central ‘mess tent’ wildlife viewing in the surrounding reserve but when they contain water, the lovely Savuti
Access to Kubu Island (GPS coordinates: operates as a field museum where local guides is an awesome spectacle, and readers consist- Marshes of the Mababe Depression in western
S20°53’740 & E25°49’426) involves negotiat- and world-renowned experts deliver lectures ently rave about the spotless rooms, wonderful Chobe also provide prime wildlife habitat
ing a maze of grassy islets and salty bays. and lead discussions on the area’s flora and facilities and professional service. Rates in- and attract myriad water birds. Rarely visited
Increased traffic has now made the route con- fauna. Rates include full board, wildlife drives, clude full board, game drives, bush walks and Ngwezumba River, with its pans and mopane
siderably more obvious, but drivers still need a bush walks and a range of activities. Air fares a range of activities. Transfers from Maun cost forests, is the park’s third major region, and
4WD and a compass or GPS equipment cost US$150 per person one way from Maun. US$100 per vehicle (with six passengers). Chobe’s northwestern corner just touches the
Road transfer from Gweta costs US$110 per The main entrance to the national park is beautiful Linyanti Marshes.
GWETA person one way, and escorts (with your own 141km west of Nata and 164km east of Maun. The northern park entrance lies imme-
The dusty town of Gweta serves as another gate- 4WD) from Gweta cost US$165 per vehicle. Another gate is located at Khumaga to the diately west of Kasane and is accessible to
way to the Makgadikgadi Pans, and stop here west. A 4WD is needed to drive around the conventional vehicles. However, to proceed
for fuel if you’re heading to either Kasane or MAKGADIKGADI & NXAI PAN park, though the camp sites and lodge are through the park or approach from Maun,
Maun. The name of the village is derived from NATIONAL PARK accessible by 2WD. you need a high-clearance 4WD. Due to mud
the croaking sound made by large bullfrogs, West of Gweta, the main road between Nata and flooding, Savuti may be inaccessible from
which incredibly bury themselves in the sand and Maun slices through Makgadikgadi Re- Nxai Pan National Park January to March.
until the rains provide sufficient water for them serve and Nxai Pan National Park, which This 2578 sq km park lies on the old Panda-
to emerge and mate. protects large tracts of salt pans, palm forests, matenga Trail, which connected a series of KASANE & KAZUNGULA
About 4km east of Gweta, you’ll see a huge grasslands and savannas. Since both parks boreholes and was used until the 1960s for Kasane sits in a riverine woodland at the meet-
concrete aardvark (no, you’re not hallucinat- compliment one another in enabling wildlife overland cattle drives. The grassy expanse of ing of four countries – Botswana, Zambia,
ing) that marks the turn-off for Planet Baobab migrations, Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve the park is most interesting during the rains Namibia and Zimbabwe – and the confluence
(%72-338-344, camping per person US$8, s/d grass huts with and Nxai Pan National Park were established when large animal herds migrate from the of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. It’s also
shared bathroom US$34/52, s/d mud huts US$75/100; ps), concurrently in the early 1970s, and combined south, and predators arrive to take advantage the gateway to Chobe National Park and, as
one of the most bizarre lodges in the country. into a single park in the mid 1990s. of the bounty. The region is speckled with um- such, this town of just a few thousand people
Campers can pitch a tent beneath the shade brella acacias, and resembles the Serengeti in is a focus of activity in northern Botswana.
of a baobab tree while others can choose be- Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve Tanzania (but without all the safari vehicles). Immediately to the east, the tiny settlement
tween Bakalanga-style ‘mud huts’ or San-style This 3900 sq km park extends from the Boteti In the south of the park are the fa- of Kazungula serves as the border crossing
‘grass huts’ (both are much plusher than they River in the west to the Ntwetwe Pan in the mous Baines’ Baobabs (GPS: S:20°06’726 & between Botswana and Zimbabwe, and the
sound). The highlight of the lodge, however, is east. Although the Boteti River only flows E24°46’136), which were immortalised in landing for the Kazungula ferry, which con-
the funky open-air bar, complete with vaulted after good rains, wildlife congregates along paintings by the artist and adventurer Tho- nects Botswana with Zambia.
wooden ceilings, cowhide barstools, beer-bottle the river during the dry season when the flow mas Baines in 1862. Today, a comparison with
chandeliers and framed memorabilia celebrat- is reduced to a series of shallow pools, which Baines’ paintings reveals that in almost 150 Information
ing the glory days of African travel. are the only source of permanent water in the years, only one branch has broken off. EMERGENCY
Hourly combis travelling between Kas- reserve. During years of average to low rain- The DWNP runs two camp sites in the Chobe Private Clinic (%625 1555; President Ave)
ane (US$6.50, four hours) and Francistown fall, the Boteti experiences one of Southern reserve. South Camp (GPS: S:19°56’159 & 24-hour emergency service.
(US$4, three hours), and Maun (US$4.50, four Africa’s most spectacular wildebeest and zebra E24°46’598) is located about 1.5km east of the Kasane Hospital (%625 0333; President Ave) Public
hours) and Francistown (US$3, three hours), migrations between May and October. Park Headquarters, while North Camp (GPS: hospital on the main road.
pass by the Maano Restaurant. The DWNP runs two camp sites in the S:19°52’797 & E24°47’358) is 6.5km north of Police (%625 0335) Along the main road.
reserve. The Khumaga Camp Site (GPS: the Park Headquarters. Both have sit-down
NTWETWE PAN S:20°27’350 & E24°46’136) is well developed flush toilets, running (nondrinkable) water INTERNET ACCESS
Although the Ntwetwe Pan was once fed by with sit-down flush toilets, cold showers and and braai pits (though firewood is scarce). Kasane Internet (%625 0736; Audi Centre; per hr
the Boteti River, it was left permanently dry running water (nondrinkable). The Njuca Hills The entrance to the park is at Makolwane US$4; h8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm Sat) Internet in
following the construction of the Mopipi Camp Site (GPS: S:20°25’807 & E24°52’395) is Gate, which is about 140km east of Maun and Kasane is dead slow and unreliable.
BOTSWANA 102 C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K • • W i l d D r i v i n g i n B o t s w a n a 103

BOTSWANA
(32km)
To Victoria Falls
ZAMBIA

To Pandamatenga
40 km

(50km); Nata (262km)


ὈὈ
ὈὈ
ὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈ
WILD DRIVING IN BOTSWANA

ZIMBABWE
20 miles

Although there is an extensive network of both sealed and gravel roads throughout Botswana,

Kazuma
River

the thrill and adventure of bush driving is unequalled. Not surprisingly, Botswana is among the

FR
favourite destinations of veteran off-road enthusiasts. However, just because you’ve read a sur-
F

vival manual doesn’t mean that you’re ready to head out into the wilds – 4x4 driving is serious
Kazungula Map (p104)

business, and tourists have died in the past due to careless mistakes. Remember, real (and safe)
i
ὈὈὈὈὈ bez

ὈὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈὈὄ
ὄὄ
ὈὈὈὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈὈ
am

4x4 driving is nothing like what you see on the TV.


Kazungula Z

See Kasane &

Extension The following is a list of road-tested tips to help you plan a safe and successful 4WD
Matinos

Kasane
Kasane

FR

expedition:
Pan
Natanga Kasane
FR

„ Although a good map and a compass may be sufficient for navigating in your own country, it
Tambiko Pan
0
0

Maikaelelo
Nogatsaa Pan
2

Gokoni Pool
is strongly advisable to invest in a good global positioning system (GPS) before travelling in

Chuma Pan

Tshikando
FR
Tchinga Pan
Pan

Southern Africa. Although GPS units are not a substitute for a map and a compass, they are

Pans
iver Nogatsaa/




Poha Pool
Tchinga
E

useful for establishing waypoints and helping you determine which direction you’re heading.
Northern Gate &
DWNP Office

Area
Chobe Transit Route
3

As a general rule, you should always be able to identify your location on a map, even if you’re
navigating with a GPS unit.
pi Makumba
Pan
er
Riv

Nyomuga

a n n el
Tutlha Pan
u R

„ As a general rule, stock up on emergency provisions, even if you are going to be sticking
er Namuchira
Pan

Chinamba
Pans
e

of

Hills
hob

to the main highways. The distances between towns can be extreme, and you never know

Ch
ph

Gokori Zoma
C

a
Muchenje

where you’re going to break down (and when someone is going to pick you up). Petrol and
w

Pan

po

Potopoto
ὈὈ
ὈὈ
ὈὈ

ὄὄ


ola
diesel tend to be available in most major towns, though it’s wise to never pass a station
Mabele

M
Riv

l
Matabanelo

ne
Ngoma Bridge

Kavimba
1

an
Pool

without filling up. If you’re planning a long expedition in the bush, carry the requisite amount
Ch
Komane
Namuchira Pan

er
Kachikabwe
ὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅ
ὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅ
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ὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅ Riv
of fuel in metal jerry cans, and remember that engaging 4WD burns nearly twice as much
Seriba

bi
Pan

Chobe NP
m
D

Ghau tu
a
ha
b
s fuel as highway driving. In terms of water and food, a good rule is to carry five litres of water
Bietsha

Ka
Chobe FR

per person per day, as well as a good supply of high-calorie, nonperishable emergency food
Pan
ba
Nunga
To Katima Mulilo

ezum
Tiyendazi Pan

Makapa
NgwRiver

items.
Wei
Pan
(70km)

Kachikau

Pan
ὄ Satau


ὄ „ In terms of spare parts, garages throughout Botswana are surprisingly well stocked with basic
Kataba
Parakarungu
Ivuvwe

4WD parts, and you haven’t truly experienced Southern Africa until you’ve seen the ingenu-
Gcagcuaka
Pan
Zweizwei
Pan

ity of a bush mechanic. The minimum you should carry with you is a tow rope, shovel, extra
Liambezi

Chosoroga
Pan

Gcoverega
Gcoha
(Dry)
Lake

Hills

fan belt, vehicle fluids, spark plugs, baling wire, jump leads, fuses, hoses, a good jack and a
ὅὅὅ
ὅὅὅ
ὅὅὅ
wooden plank (to use as a base in sand and salt), several spare tyres and a pump (see also
Gubaatsa

Depression
Hills
Delta Map (pp108-9)

Mababe

p130 for some general advice on car travel). A good Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool
Marshes
Savuti

Mababe Gate
C

Gobabis

ὈὈὈὈ
ὈὈὈὈ
combined with a sturdy roll of duct tape will also do in a pinch.
Savuti

Hill
See Okavango
NAMIBIA

„ Although 4WD exploration and bush camping go hand in hand, Botswana remarkably offers
ge
Rid
d an extensive network of well-maintained camp sites, located even in the remotest of places.
San
To Shorobe (75km);

hwe ik Camping equipment varies according to personal preference, though the list of essentials
Maun (122km)

Magw
r
ve includes a waterproof tent, a three-season sleeping bag (you will need a warmer bag in the
5

Ri
i
nt a winter), a ground mat or Therm-a-Rest, fire-starting supplies, firewood, a basic first-aid kit and
ny
ὈὈ
ὈὈ 4

Li
a torch (flashlight) with extra batteries. Although some seasoned hikers stick to the adage
‘less is best’, again, it’s best to err on the side of caution, especially if you have extra room in
Buffalo Ridge Camp Site.....................1 D1

Savute Elephant Camp.....................(see 6)


Savuti Camp Site................................6 C3
King’s Pool Camp...............................4 B2
Linyati Camp Site................................5 B2
Savute Safari Lodge.........................(see 6)
nel

Chobe Game Lodge............................2 E1


Ihaha Camp Site..................................3 E1

ὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅ
ὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅ
ὅὅὅὅὅὅὅὅ
your 4WD.
B

Savuti Chan
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK

WR Wildlife Reserve
Forest Reserve

Marshes
Linyanti

Mamili NP

„ Sand tracks are most easily negotiated and least likely to bog vehicles in the cool mornings
National Park

and evenings, when the air spaces between grains of sand are smaller. To further prevent
bogging or stalling, move as quickly as possible and keep the revs up, but avoid any sudden
r
ive

r
ai R

e
LEGEND

Riv
Mudumu NP

acceleration. Shift down gears in advance of deep sandy patches or the vehicle may stall and
Khw
Lianshulu

bog. When negotiating a straight course through rutted sand, allow the vehicle to wander
NP

do
FR

an
Kw

along the path of least resistance. Anticipate corners and turn the wheel slightly earlier than
you would on a solid surface – this allows the vehicle to ski smoothly round – then accelerate
Lizauli

SLEEPING

Moremi WR

er
Riv gently out of the turn. Driving on loose sand may be facilitated by lowering the air pressure
do ay
Kwan llw in the tyres, thereby increasing their gripping area.
A

i
Sp
da
lin
Se „ Driving in the Kalahari is often through high grass, and the seeds it disperses can quickly foul
radiators and cause overheating. If the temperature gauge begins to climb, stop and remove
as much plant material as you can from the grille.
2

3
1

4
BOTSWANA 104 C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K • • K a s a n e & K a z u n g u l a Book accommodation online
l o nate lonelyplanet.com
lyplanet.com Book
l o n eaccommodation
l y p l a n e t . c o monline at lonelyplanet.com C H O B E N AT I O N A L PA R K • • C h o b e R i v e r f r o n t 105

BOTSWANA
KASANE & KAZUNGULA 0
0
2 km
1 mile
Garden Lodge (%625 0051; www.thegardenlodge.com; or a wildlife drive. The most obvious feature of
President Ave; s/d US$70/90; ps) The simple but the landscape is the damage done by the area’s
A B C D charming lodge is built around a tropical gar- massive elephant herds, but virtually every
INFORMATION SLEEPING
den, and features a number of well-furnished Southern African mammal species, except the
0
0
1 km
0.5 miles
Barclays Bank...............................1 A2 Chobe Chilwero Lodge............8 A2 rooms that exude a homey atmosphere. rhino, is represented here. You can also see
Botswana Immigration (for Kazungula Garden Lodge...........................9 B1
1 Approximate
Scale Only
Mowana
Golf Ferry to Zambia)......................2 D3 Kubu Lodge...........................10 C3 Kubu Lodge (%625 0312; kubu@botsnet.bw; Kas- pukus, a rare antelope species. In addition, the
Course Botswana Immigration (for Liya Guest Lodge...................11 B2 ane-Kazungula Rd; s/d/tr US$130/170/198; pas) abundance and variety of bird life in this zone
9 Zimbabwe).............................. 3 D3 Sedudu Guest House..............12 A1
NAMIBIA
Located 9km west of Kasane, this riverside of permanent water is astonishing.

Ὀ ὈὈὈὈ
Chobe National Park Entrance.....4 A4 Thebe River Camping.............13 B3
12
M
Chobe Private Clinic.................(see 12) lodge lacks the stuffiness and formality found
Department of Wildlife & National EATING
14
16
ab
ele
Rd
Parks (DWNP)........................(see 4) Spar Supermarket................(see 14) in most other top-end lodges. Rustic wooden Activities
Kasane Hospital...........................5 A2 The Old House......................14 A2 chalets are lovingly adorned with thick rugs A great way to enjoy Chobe is on a river trip
Ch
e
Av

Kasane Internet........................(see 15)


ilw

15 Police...........................................6 A2 SHOPPING and wicker furniture, and scattered around or wildlife drive. The best time to cruise is late
ero

1
Audi Centre...........................15 A2 an impeccably manicured lawn dotted with afternoon, when hippos amble onto dry land
Rd
nt

SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES


ide

Kasane
5 fig trees. and the riverfront fills with elephants heading
es

Kazungula Crocodile Farm...........7 C3 TRANSPORT


Pr

ὄὄ
2 Bus Terminal...........................16 B1
Chobe Chilwero Lodge (%625 1362; www.sanc down for a drink and a romp in the water. All
6
Mombova
tuarylodges.com; low/high season per person US$385/560; hotels and lodges arrange 2½- to three-hour
Ai
rp
or
11 Rapids pas) Chilwero means ‘place of high view’ wildlife drives and cruises in the morning and
t Za
mb in Setswana, and indeed this exclusive lodge afternoon for US$14 to US$22, plus safari
Rd

NAMIBIA ezi
8 Riv
er boasts panoramic views across the Chobe discounted park fees. Note that if you take
ZAMBIA River. Accommodation is in one of fifteen a morning wildlife drive you can also do an

ὈὈὈὈὈὈ
See Enlargement
Cho
elegant bungalows that feature romantic in- afternoon ‘booze cruise’ and pay park fees for
13 be R
iver
Mpalila Island Kakumba To
Livingstone door and outdoor showers, private terraced only one day.
Sand Bank (82km)
Kasa
ne-K
gardens and colonial fixtures adorned with
3 azun
gula
Rd 10
7
Kazungula
Ferry plush linen. Sleeping
Kasane
2
To Victoria For further options see also p344. Ihaha Camp site (Map p102) is the closest
Falls
Kazungula (72km) DWNP camp site to Kasane, located along
Eating the riverfront about 27km from the Sedudu

ὈὈὈὈὈὈ
3
Kasane is decidedly lacking in eating options, Gate.
Chob
e River though all of the restaurants in the upmarket Buffalo Ridge Camping (Map p102; %625 0430;
Airp

lodges are open to the public. If you’re self camping per person US$5.50; p) This basic camp-
ort
Rd

Rd

Sedudu/
Kasane Forest catering, there’s a Spar near Barclays. ing area is located immediately uphill from
D

per

Kasikile
r

Kasane
4W

ve

Island Reserve
Ri
Up

Airport
The Old House (mains US$5-10; closed Mon) Kasane’s the Ngoma Bridge border crossing near the
o
hom

4 only true restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere western end of the Chobe transit route. Un-
Rd

Les
er

Approximate
and a varied menu. There are a number of like Ihaha, Buffalo Ridge is privately owned,
Riv

Scale Only
4
To Chobe Game To Sedudu Gate (2km); excellent beef, chicken and fish dishes on so you do not need a reservation with the
Ngoma Bridge via Chobe ZIMBABWE
Lodge (1.5km);
Ihaha Camp Transit Route (51km); Buffalo To Nata order here, though there are also several vege- DWNP to camp here.
Ridge Camping (51km) (312km)
Site (29km)
tarian options. Chobe Game Lodge (Map p102; %625 0340; www
.chobegamelodge.com; low/high season per person US$250/
MONEY Sleeping Getting There & Away 325; ps) This highly praised safari lodge is
Barclays Bank (President Ave) Offers better