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Gaborone - A travel report by Devin
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Gaborone,  Botswana - flag Botswana -  South-East
8031 readers

devinhunt's travel reports

out and about in gabs

  8 votes

Most travellers to Botswana tend to stick to the touristy nothern region of the country, visiting places like the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. Cities like the capital, Gaborone, are often overlooked by your average holiday maker - which is good if you want to do something different. Gabs, as it is affectionately known, is one of the fastest growning cities in the world and was described by my trusty guidebook as being 'expensive', 'having very few sights' and 'nothing to go out of your way for.' It sounded like a laugh so my cousin and I decided that we'd head there for a day or two so that we could check it out.

Favourite spots:
The city spreads out over the countryside for as far as the eye can see - an endless mass of dilapidated dwellings, red dust, rubbish and stray animals. The best way to see Gabs is to jump in a cab and offer the driver a bit of money for a few hours of his time. The cab driver that took James and I for a tour of Gaborone had never been to a safari park before so paid for him to take us around a reserve on the edge of town. The Gaborone Game Reserve isn't the greatest place to view animals as more wildlife can be found rummaging through piles of garbage in the city itself, however it's cheap to get to and a good way to pass the time. We saw plenty of monkeys, a few antelope and a number of ostrich running through the thorny scrub - and the taxi driver had an absolute ball going off-road in his banged-up little car.

What's really great:
The Botswanan people wonderful and race of people who are always laughing and enjoying life. I met a boy called Fanuel Guwa on an overcrowded bus whilst travelling though Botswana late last year. He was no more than 15 years of age but the way he spoke gave me the false impression that he was a lot older than he actually was. Fanuel worked hard to support his family and told me that his parents and siblings were very proud and happy that his wage ensured that they had three square meals a day. I was therefore quite taken back when I recieved a letter from him after I returned home. He'd lost his job and could no longer support his family so was asking me for some cash to help him out. Unfortunately a lot of Botswanans, like Fanuel, are hard done by but they still manage to smile from ear to ear. Fanuel was smiling when i met him and although i didn't give him any money, I'm hoping that he has is still smiling today - just as I remember him.

A taxi was phoned from our hostel to take us to a seedy pub on the edge of Gabs. The cab driver was such a nice guy that he even came in and had a few drinks with us, introducing us to a few ladies of the night that had been looking us up and down. Another guy soon sat down at our table and said, The girls in here they like to fuck. This is my sister. Do you like my sister? I looked around the bar, which was full of heavily made-up drunk girls draped over a handfull of ageing white guys. James and I soon realised that the taxi driver had taken us to brothel so we finished our beers and left. It appeared that white males have a reputation for shagging anything with a pulse in Gaborone, although we weren't interested in shagging any hookers like the dirty old men who were out on the prowl!

As we were only in Gabs for one night, our aim for the evening was to get pissed. Ironically, we headed to a club which was called Night Shift. It was a Friday night and there were a total of twelve people in the club. Nine of these people were asleep on the floor and the rest were trying to find somewhere to bed down for the evening. The music was crap and buying drinks was an impossibility as even the staff were catching some shut-eye behind the bar. It wasn't the liveliest of nightclubs but we were certainly given an taste of what the nightlife in Gabs is like - absolute shite. Gabs is a lot more interesting by day than it is by night.

Published on Wednesday December 4th, 2002

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