I have no idea of the temperature but definitely a hot day in Gaborone. A very strange capital city in that it has this CBD under development with the usual large financial service company’s RMB, Barclays etc..in prime spots with huge capital investment. 2 million population in the whole of Botswana not a rich country but not in debt. There are no beggars on the streets and people are peaceful and friendly, very little litter around and it comes across as a transition town for people to get to other parts of the country and Africa. The bus terminal is a hive of activity from early morning until after dusk and looks chaotic but people wait peaceful in long queues for buses and taxis. I guess that is our turn on tomorrows journey north to Francistown about 4 hours away.
We visited the Natural History Museum and were somewhat disappointed as it is a little run down and not a soul in sight.
Our walk through and around brought us out at the President’s Residence a huge white walled fortress set in a residential district, interspersed with High Commissions from around the world and forming a gateway to a new looking UN building in the heart of the city. The enclave of parliament is accessible for walking through with little fan fair or security to be seen, it all feels so laid back and easy.
The local mall is dominated with South African retailers and people seem happy to spend time browsing through. We will be glad when we stop seeing PEP and Woolworths and Edgars stores, which may be a few more miles into our journey than we imagine. As soon as we hit the more rural areas Africa will come into its own. The locals we chatted with are friendly and tell us how much they look upto the South Africans in terms of culture and living standards, interesting conversations ensued about “the grass not always being greener on the other side”. The manners and politeness of the local people is wonderful and others can learn from these humble people.