WCKA Bushmen dance festival, Kgalagadi, Botswana

Their song sounds the same if you don’t listen deep enough. The first time I experienced their song and dance, I thought all the 20 groups sang only one song for two days. We drove back on that lonely Trans-Kalahari Highway with, uwee.. uwee… echoing in my ears. Man, you just need to experience it (you don’t watch it) to understand.

It’s on this weekend, we’ be dancing with the communities of the Kgalagadi and Gantsi districts at Kang village along the Trans-Kalahari Highway. If you want to meet and experience Basarwa, Bakgalagadi, the Hua, and the San, get to Kang this weekend. Arrive before 7pm on Friday so that you don’t miss the famous healing rituals.

Mmadikola – along the B300 road, Botswana

Mmadikola Along the B300 road

Mmadikola Along the B300 road

It is on the western end of the mighty Makgadikgadi Pans at a small village called Mmadikola near Rakops. Passing here heading to Maun in the Ngamiland District feels like you have achieved something. A friend of mine even called it a “gateway to Ngami” even though it is about 150km away from the Ngami. We passed here last week just before these menacing clouds poured down rain.

Xaka Waterhole – Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR), Botswana

Xaka Waterhole

Xaka Waterhole

I wish you could hear the sounds and smells of this place. It’s an oasis in the middle of the harsh desert. How it formed is a sensitive political question. It’s so lonely but really refreshing to be here. There are plenty of birds, antelopes, giraffes and if you’re lucky you could spot the big black mane Kgalagadi desert lion. At night the stars threaten to fall. While we were chilling around the campfire at night, drinking beer, talking about politics, relationships, love and life, elephants came by. We rushed into our tents hoping the thin canvas would be enough a shelter to hide our intrusion on their land.

Postcards from Chobe

Here are some pictures from my recent visit at the Chobe National Park in Botswana. I was there at the invitation of Chobe Game Lodge and the Botswana Tourism Organisation during the launch of Africa’s first game drive electric vehicle.

Chobe Game Lodge is the only lodge inside the Chobe National Park. A very beautiful place, indeed. It is a certified eco-friendly Lodge. They have since introduced an electric vehicle and boats that allow tourists to silently sneak on animals. You should try it. Oh… and they got game, lots of game. This is Chobe

Skinny dipping in the River Nile

Memories of this liberating experience came last week after reading a report about Ugandan men who were reportedly complaining about the size of condoms. Apparently condoms are too small for them.

The story, which quoted the MP, made world headlines and Tweeter went crazy too. One tweet asked “How endowed are Ugandan men?” This reminded me of my Ugandan tour at beginning of this year. I remembered the day I skinny dipped in the River Nile at Bujagali Falls near Jinja. This is still the most liberating thing I have ever done this year.

Children bathing in the River Nile at Bujagali near Jinja, Uganda

Children bathing in the River Nile at Bujagali near Jinja, Uganda

I walked inside Bujagali Falls park. There is entry fee so I pretended I was just a regular khat chewing local guy like those I found at the gate. A guard with an old rifle stopped me about 50m inside the gate and demanded payment. Mxm, I didn’t totally cut it as local, there must have been some ‘new guy’ in my pose. I didn’t protest though, I walked back to the guard and confidently gave him 2,000 Ugandan shillings ($1), an entry fee for the locals. He gave me a receipt and I proceeded inside. This is one of the few benefits of touring Africa if you’re black. No Mzungu price for a black man.

The River Nile at Bujagali Falls, the waterfalls have died

The River Nile at Bujagali Falls, the waterfalls have died

Inside. I met guys by the riverside trying to sell me a boat ride. But I was not really interested. I have done many of those. Then I saw some guys swimming at some rocky river bank. They were skinny dipping. And I immediately wanted to join them. When I approached them, they seemed to be little uneasy because I was holding a camera. I then packed it inside the bag and started slowly undressing.

They were boys, they looked quite young, possibly mid teens. For a while they covered their groin area when they got off the water. But after a while, they got used to me and began to be free to swim without worrying about exposing their packages to this stranger.

The tallest guy was the first to freely hang it. I must add, ‘proudly’ hang it. Ok, get me right, the River Nile water was cold and this boy was like he just woke up from a warm bed in the middle of a wet dream. I wondered what will his future look like. Actually I think the Ugandan MP is speaking for that guy. Then the other small boys followed. Hanging them. Proudly. They were gifted young men. Athletic ribbed dark skinned. These boys were not really good for my ego. So I never dropped the pants because I was thinking I couldn’t come all the way from Botswana to Uganda for this embarrassment.

My little friends from Bujagali

My little friends from Bujagali

So I went further by the riverbank where the kids were skinny dipping in shallow waters. But the kids were quite small and I decided against joining them for fear of being viewed as some kind of child predator preying on these little happy skinny dipping kids. I then returned back to the ‘big’ boys’ section. I kept reassuring myself saying, they don’t know me anyway. I’m not dating their sisters. I’m a tourist.

Water fun in the River Nile

Water fun in the River Nile

I took off all my clothes and ran into the water. The ‘big’ boys cheered and laughed. I was cleansing in the waters that has just began a 6,853km journey to the Mediterranean. I focused my mind on this thought and forgot about the “men sizes” of these ‘gifted’ boys.

Quite liberating, if catch my drift.

Natives Bonfire Sessions

A jam session at Block 9, Gaborone featuring Tomeletso Sereetsi, Tshireletso Motlogelwa, Conscious Reggae Band, Chantty Natural, Kabo Leburu, Kayzee, Tshipa and others. It was a night of poetry, music and drinks.