KASANE, BOTSWANA — Recently, I was privileged to be part of the just ended Kasane #ElephantSummit that brought together the five member states of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) which are Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Just to put it under context, the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) is situated in a region of Southern Africa where the international borders of five countries converge. The initiative was created in cooperation with Peace Parks Foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature. It developed from the Okavango–Upper Zambezi International Tourism Initiative (OUZIT) and the “Four Corners” Transboundary Natural Resource Management.
I was happy to join the Government of Botswana, who through the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism were hosting the Kasane Elephant Summit at Mowana Safari Resort and Spa in Kasane, which was officially opened by His Excellency the President of Botswana, Dr. Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi.
The goal of the KAZA TFCA is “To sustainably manage the Kavango Zambezi ecosystem, its heritage and cultural resources based on best conservation and tourism models for the socio-economic wellbeing of the communities and other stakeholders in and around the eco-region through harmonization of policies, strategies and practices.”
Travelling by road anywhere in Africa particularly in the safari peripheries, the journey is bound to shake one’s soul out, what the natives have now termed an ‘African massage’. The roads are bumpy, rocky and uneven to say the least thus the users are likely to arrive extremely tired. The trip to Kasane from Gaborone by road was a staggering 12-hour drive
We was however happy to check into Chobe Marina Lodge thanks to Chemonics International (Resilient Waters Program) – the sponsors of the summit. Lying on my bed, knackered AF I reminisced about the enduring trip here. Despite the long distance the road to Kasane was fun and lit. The crew (fellow scribes) kept us entertained all the way. What a vibe you were Kasane, and here’s a few things to do as a visitor to Botswana’s tourism hub…
GAME DRIVE (0500 – 0800)
If you planning on doing boat cruise later on the day, its better you indulge in a game drive first thing in the morning. Game drives in Chobe National Park offer excellent game viewing opportunities! By allowing yourself ample time, nearly all the major species can be spotted: giraffe, elephant, zebra, impala, tsessebe, roan, sable, wildebeest, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, warthog, eland, lion, hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox, cheetah and wild dog. The game guides are quite knowledgeable as they will stop at every animal and give thorough explanation.
SPA TREATMENT (0830 – 1100hrs)
If you travel by road to Kasane, the first item after breakfast has to be a spa treatment, placed knowledgeably by the hotel owners in this region. I was ready for breakfast at 6am and finished by 7am to be able to check their spa. From facials to hands and feet, The Kwa Maningi Beauty Spa offers a full menu of pampering treatments comprising restorative body services conducted by a team of carefully selected professional beauty therapists. The Beauty Mobile Spa was created to ease tension, inspire rejuvenation and revive mind, body and spirit. I tell you what, you leave their outlet fresh to kick start you day
MARKET (1300- 1400hrs)
For a tourist like me, obviously I will want to get something locally to fit into the system of the local people. Kasane is the cornerstone of Zambia and Namibia so one can get staff from Namibia and Zambia respectively, it’s an open market that sells jewelry, fabrics, and local food. However for those who prefer to stay inside their hotel base can check out the curio shops. I checked the Chobe Marina Lodge curio shop which offer guests well-stocked diverse selection of handpicked arts and crafts from the surrounding areas. This is the ideal spot to shop for the ultimate ‘out of Africa’ gifts for loved ones or for yourself.
BOAT CRUISE (1530 – 1800hrs)
A boat cruise here is Kasane’s flagship. A historic roundabout of the famous Sedudu Island is autonomous enough to suggest why there was a tussle between Namibia as to who should own the small island, which was eventually won by Botswana. All the wildlife comes inland; from buffaloes, giraffes, impalas, elephants, lions, hippos, and crocodiles among others. Ideally placed towards sunset to enjoy the African sunset.
NIGHT LIFE (2200 – 0000hrs)
Kasane doesn’t have a night club. Some of the local pubs also close early, so for