This blog shares opinions, regional news, views and stories related to beautiful Botswana and some of its neighbouring countries. Special emphasis is given to tourism in Botswana and the amazing affordable vacation and safari packages that are currently on offer in the country. IT'S SO EASY... you should try it sometime!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Only 6 signatures – how successful was the Botswana Elephant Conference?

"Current elephant poaching in Africa remains far too high, and could soon lead to local extinctions if the present killing rates continue."
Image by: Reuben Goldberg

By Clarissa Hughes - 24 December 2013

In the wake of the Elephant Summit held in Botswana in early December where urgent measures to halt the rampant illegal ivory trade were adopted one is left asking if it is enough?

Against a backdrop of ever increasing levels of poaching across Africa the Summit was called to tackle the onslaught that threatens this iconic species. Statistics released at the summit indicate that 22 000 elephants were poached in 2012, an improvement on the estimated figure of 25 000 elephants poached in 2011, however ivory seizures in 2013 signal that elephant deaths in 2013 may reach 40 000.

“We have gathered to secure demonstrable commitment to undertake those measures that have been deemed urgent across range, transit and consumer countries,” said H.E Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana, at the official opening of the Summit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Botswana’s ban on hunting can impact South Africa

San bushmen, Gudigwa, Botswana.
Botswana's controversial decision not to issue hunting licences as from next year can be a push for the South African economy, but - on the other hand - it can also place the country's wildlife in the sight of poachers from this neighbouring state.

“President Ian Khama said the decision not to issue hunting licences was taken to protect Botswana's fauna, because hunting licences encourage poaching. However, the problem is that it is going to have a reversed effect,” says Prof Melville Saayman of the North-West University's (NWU) Potchefstroom Campus.

“Kenya followed the same path. They also banned hunting and currently have a huge game poaching problem, so much so that some of their species face total extinction. The strategy proposed by Botswana is short-sighted and is not going to work. Game numbers will decline and this will have a serious impact on the hunting and game farm industry in the country.

"Case studies from South Africa have shown that as soon as the hunting of a species is allowed, it leads to the breeding as well as conservation of the particular species. Botswana's policy is definitely going to lead to job losses, since it affects professional hunters and other related professions."

According to Prof Saayman it may, in the short term, benefit South Africa and Namibia, since professional hunters will have to find their means of livelihood elsewhere. However, the long-term picture does not look as rosy.

"As the wildlife in Botswana declines, poachers will also look for another means of livelihood, and they can find it in South Africa. This can place immense pressure on our game industry. Game poachers from Zimbabwe and Mozambique are a big headache. Add poachers from Botswana and it might become a nightmare."

At a hunting indaba recently held at Sun City, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, said that the government commits itself to the growth and expansion of South Africa's hunting industry.
  
"This is a very positive step, especially seen in the light that the value of this industry is approximately R6 billion per annum and that it still has a lot of growth potential," says Prof Saayman.

Sourced from: www.nwu.ac.za

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SPANA lights up Christmas for Botswana donkeys

SPANA lights up Christmas for Botswana donkeys
One thousand donkeys in Botswana are to sparkle in the night this Christmas thanks to SPANA and partner charity MAWS

Every year, countless donkeys die on the roads of Botswana, where nearly ten per cent of all road traffic accidents are caused by domestic animals like livestock and donkeys.
SPANA has funded Botswana’s Maun Animal Welfare Society (MAWS) to attach reflective tags to the ears of 1000 donkeys in rural villages.


In Botswana donkeys are used to transport people and goods, pull carts, and for agriculture.  Thousands of poor families rely on the income generated from working donkeys for their livelihoods, but many have no choice other than to let their donkeys roam freely in search of food.

The project aims to reduce the number of road traffic accidents involving the animals at night by making them more visible to motorists. Donkeys and livestock in Botswana commonly roam free on roads in search of grazing. However, at night, drivers are often unable to see the animals on the road in time to brake.

Sourced from: spana.org

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Poaching critical as Botswana opens Elephant Summit

"Current elephant poaching in Africa remains far too high, and could soon lead to local extinctions if the present killing rates continue."
Image by: Reuben Goldberg
As many as 20 percent of Africa's elephants could be killed in the next 10 years if illegal poaching continues at the current rate, according to new data released at the opening of the Elephant Summit in Botswana.

An estimated 22 000 elephants were illegally killed across Africa in 2012, slightly lower than the 25 000 elephants poached in 2011, according to a report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES.

The elephant killings took place at 42 sites across 27 Africa countries, said the CITES report.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

No Survivors in Bwabwata Plane Crash

Location of Bwabwata National Park where the plane is said to have crashed
Bwabwata is situated in the Zambezi and Kavango regions, extending along the Caprivi Strip. It is bounded by the Okavango River to the west and the Kwando River to the east. Angola lies to the north and Botswana to the south.
The Namibian Police coordinator in the Kavango Region, Willie Bampton has confirmed that they have found the burnt wreckage of the missing Mazambican plane. There are no survivors.

A Mozambique Airlines plane carrying 34 people that went missing yesterday might have crashed, a senior police officer told The Namibian this morning.

Flight TM470 took off from Maputo early yesterday and was due to land in the Angolan capital, Luanda, at 13H10 GMT, but never arrived.

Kavango Regional Police Crime Coordinator Willie Bampton confirmed that they were informed by officials in Botswana that they saw smoke in the air and heard explosions yesterday afternoon. The police is now searching in the Bwabwata National Park where the plane is said to have crashed.

Bampton, who is part of the search team in the Bwabwata National Park, said the area is inaccessible and the rain that fell yesterday in the area is not making it easier for them.

"We are still searching. There are no proper roads, you have to go through the bush, slowly and its making our job difficult," he said. Bampton said the Namibian police were first informed about the incident around 15h00 by officials from Botswana who initially thought the plane crashed in their country.

Additional reporting: AFP - Sourced from: allafrica.com

Friday, September 27, 2013

Holidaymakers urged to boycott Botswana

Bushmen at Haina Kalahari Lodge
Tourists have been urged to avoid Botswana in protest at the alleged mistreatment of the country's Bushmen.

By Jolyon Attwooll
3:37PM BST 26 Sep 2013

Survival International, which supports the rights of tribal groups around the world, accused the Botswana government of thwarting attempts to restore the Bushmen's free access to their ancestral homeland.

In a press release, it said the government’s behaviour on the issue was “disgraceful”, reserving its harshest criticism for Ian Khama, the Botswana president. Stephen Corry, Survival’s director, described his treatment of the Bushmen as “illegal, inhuman and degrading.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reprieve for Botswana Bushmen

Bushmen at Haina Kalahari Lodge
June 19 2013 at 07:49pm
By SAPA

Gaborone, Botswana - Hundreds of Botswana Bushmen who have won a temporary reprieve against eviction from their land are now calling on the government to recognise their settlement, a rights group said on Wednesday.

Speaking after a court barred President Ian Khama's government from removing around 600 bushmen from a compound in Ranyane, in the north east of the country, the group vowed to press for further recognition.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Exploration Specials in Botswana, Namibia and Malawi


Only one month of booking time left on these great value Exploration Specials:

BOTSWANA
Migration Routes – 9 nights/10 days
Green Desert Expedition – 6 nights/7 days
Great Wilderness Journey – 10 nights/11 days
Botswana Summer Encounter – 9 nights/10 days

NAMIBIA
Great Namibian Journey – 11 nights/12 days
Diverse Namibia – 9 nights/10 days

MALAWI
Rift of the Valley - 9 nights/10 days
Landscapes of Malawi - 7 nights/ 8 days

For more info contact:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Outbreak of Asian Fruit Fly in Eastern Botswana

Image source
Botswana is facing a serious shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables in the coming weeks following an outbreak of Asian Fruit Fly in Eastern regions of the country, an official at the country’s Ministry of Agriculture announced on Thursday.

Ministry spokesperson Geoffrey Pheko said that the ministry have this week quarantined farms and banned imports following the outbreak of the fly at Botalana, Fairfield, Seleka and AR5 farms in the Tuli Block area in Eastern Botswana.

He said restrictions had been put in place to prevent the fly from spreading. He also stated that, though the Ministry is aware of the need for local produce, controlling the pest is of primary importance.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Discover Botswana - A new video clip by the Botswana Tourist Board



Exciting video clip done by the Botswana Tourist Board highlighting the animals and landscapes that Botswana offers as an African safari destination.

Haina Kalahari Lodge
 Reservations or Enquiries: e-mail: res@africa.co.bw Skype: wollaw

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Minister calls for shoot to kill policy in Botswana

Botswana Rhino
The Deputy Speaker of the Botswana Parliament, Pono Moatlhodi, has called for the immediate introduction of a shoot to kill policy to tackle poachers targeting rhino and elephants in the country. His call for a new tougher stance against the poachers comes just days after Mozambique declared that the Limpopo National Park lost its last 15 rhino to the poachers.

With the rising demand for rhino horn and elephant ivory from China and Vietnam there is the real fear that the loss of rhino from the Limpopo National Park could just be the first in a line of national parks that will lose their populations.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Botswana no longer accepts Emergency Travel Documents for routine visits

11 Apr 2013

The Department of Home Affairs wishes to advise South Africans wishing to travel to Botswana, that the government of Botswana has notified governments that it no longer accept emergency travel documents for routine visits to their country.


In a diplomatic note to governments including the South African government, the Botswana government said “the Republic of Botswana wishes to communicate a notice from the Immigration Department informing that travellers using emergency travel documents will not be admitted to the Republic of Botswana for routine visits. Only those travelling under circumstances of emergency will be admitted under the authority of an emergency travel document.”

The use of emergency travel documents will be limited only to emergency situations, which must be supported by documentary proof, which will enable Botswana authorities to allow such visitors to their country.

The Department of Home Affairs calls upon South Africans wishing to travel to Botswana to make the necessary arrangements to acquire travel documents that will enable them to enter Botswana without any hindrance.

Issued by: Department of Home Affairs (South Africa)
11 Apr 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Solar Energy - A Sun-Powered Communications Revolution in Botswana


Most of the off-grid cell towers that service remote communities are powered by diesel generators, which can be expensive, unreliable, and dirty to run. But a different approach is powering these base stations with wind and solar power, and then developing 'micropower' or community power grids, which can then offer extended access to clean, reliable, and cheap electricity... Visit treehugger.com for more info.

Air Botswana ditches Cape Town – Maun route

Going Your Way - Sometimes ;-)
Air Botswana (BP) has dropped its 4x weekly Cape Town - Maun route effective 31 March, just 10 months after its début. The route originally launched with daily flights back in June 2012 and predominantly catered for the leisure market.

The route currently operates with an Avro RJ85.
"We will now look to develop our Cape Town – Gaborone route, which is already performing well and possibly attracts a better leisure/business mix,” said Airport Services Manager: Johannesburg, Nada Phoosolo. – Source [TIR]
According to the airline, from 1 April, passengers between the two cities will instead be routed via Johannesburg under an agreement with BA Comair.

Airlink, however, is still operating daily scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Maun with its fleet of ten Embraer ERJ 135 regional jets – each configured with 37 economy seats.

Airlink's JHB - Maun daily flights operate as follows:
  • Departs JHB 11:45, arrives Maun 13:15
  • Return flights depart Maun 14:00, arrive JHB 15:40
Source [flyairlink.com]

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lion sniffs cameraman's crotch (Video)

Earth Touch cameraman Graham Springer was in Okavango Delta, Botswana photographing a pride of lions.

After a while the pride decided to walk off, but one lioness took a different route and walked right past Springer. It then stopped, turned, got curious about the camera bag at his feet, and walked off to sniff the camera bag. That’s when it noticed Graham.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Botswana arrests 28 terrorism suspects

By Mtokozise Dube
The logo of al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda.

The Botswana Government has arrested 28 terrorism suspects in an operation aimed at cracking down groups suspected of fundraising for Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant groups.

According to a Botswana weekly, Telegraph, a series of sweeps across Francistown and Dukwi, a refugee camp, netted scores of Somali car dealers and their compatriots suspected to be smuggling operatives.

The paper quotes a source as saying: “They arrested a majority of them recently in Block One location in Francistown while others were arrested at Dukwi Refugee Camp.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chinese companies not favoured in Botswana

Chinese companies not favoured in Botswana

By: Nicholas Kotch

If Ian Khama has any say in the matter‚ and he most certainly shall‚ Chinese companies may not be collecting many more government contracts in Botswana in the near future.

Since he is the president of the thinly-populated and resource-rich country and since the party he leads is dominant in parliament‚ the prospects for Chinese bidders for infrastructure tenders are not looking great.

"You know‚ we have had some bad experiences with Chinese companies in this country‚" Khama said in a recent interview.

"The best way I can put it is that we are very‚ very particular now‚ we are going to be looking very carefully at any company that originates from China in providing construction services of any nature‚" he told Business Day in Gaborone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

'Rude' tourists arrested

Zimbabwe police said Wednesday they had briefly detained seven "extremely rude" French tourists in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The group - aged between 55 and 66 - were detained for sneaking into a game park and refusing to stump up the $15 entry fee.

"They were extremely rude and they even tried to drive off from the police station, but we managed to arrest them," Jairos Chiona, police chief superintendant in Victoria Falls, told AFP.

"They refused to pay to watch game at Zambezi national park," he said, adding that they were released after paying a $20 fine.

Chiona said the group used an illegal cross-border entry from Botswana and were apprehended by game rangers.

Victoria Falls is a popular tourist resort with the world renowned waterfall and several game parks which has the big five - elephants, lions, buffaloes, rhinoceros and leopard.

Source: news.iafrica.com

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thousands of Crocodiles on the Loose!

Captured Croc - Rakwena Crocodile Farm
One of the captured crocodiles
Photo: Nicolene Olckers
Thousands of crocodiles that were washed away during this week’s freak floods at Pontdrift in Limpopo are still on the loose in and around the Limpopo River.

Now the owner of the Rakwena Crocodile Farm fears they might attack refugees from Botswana and Zimbabwe who cross the river every day.

Johan Boshoff was dismayed when he told City Press that 15 000 of his crocodiles had been washed down-river, released because of the rapidly rising water level.

He said he had never seen anything like it in his 18 years of crocodile farming.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bushman children arrested under renewed government repression

Kalahari Bushman Child
The recent arrests of children by paramilitary police are the latest sign of a renewed government crackdown in the CKGR.
Picture: © Survival - www.survivalinternational.org
Three Bushman children have been arrested by paramilitary police in Botswana. The arrests are the latest signs of a new government policy to intimidate Bushmen who have returned to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

The children were jailed last week for being in possession of antelope meat in the CKGR. All have since been released, but further reports of harassment and intimidation have surfaced, and there have been a growing number of Bushmen arrests.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Did Google run over a donkey in Botswana?

(No, it's just walking backwards)

By Claire Porter, Technology editor news.com.au January 15, 2013 3:08PM

Commentators on the web claim that this Google Street View image claim that the car allegedly ran over the donkey. Source: Supplied

Street View image shows donkey allegedly being runover
Google Street View has denied harming the donkey

DID Google run over a donkey in Botswana?

That's certainly what its Google Street view cameras seem to suggest.

Twitter user @TheRealSheldonC tweeted a picture yesterday of a donkey - presumably dead - lying on the road in Botswana.

The Google Maps image reveals a puff of dust flying up from the injured donkey, suggesting that the image must have captured the donkey as it was falling rather than just lying on the road.

Popular Posts

TOUR OPERATORS : BOTSWANA
Wanda Wolmarans (L) & Adriaan Barnard (R)
@
CONTACT INFO
e-mail: res@africa.co.bw | Website: www.africa.co.bw | Skype: wollaw