A kind of Gaborone ‘Queenhenge’, but this is Botswana, amazing sunsets are customary

As I turned from the Independence Avenue into Pula Road, where it connects with Queens Road, from my rear view mirror I saw the bright red ball of sun setting. It was perfectly aligned with the Queens Road, right from the Government Enclave to the Gaborone Museum. It was beautiful.

Sunset over Queens Road in Gaborone's Main Mall

Sunset over Queens Road (named after Queen Elizabeth II) in Gaborone’s Main Mall

It reminded me of Manhattanhenge in America, which I learnt about it last July — a circumstance which occurs twice a year, during which the setting sun aligns with the east–west streets of the main street grid in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The wording is derived from Stonehenge in England, where the sun aligns with the stones on the solstices with a similarly dramatic effect.

Queenhenge is derived from Stonehenge, in England where the sun aligns with the stones

Queenhenge is derived from Stonehenge, in England where the sun aligns with the stones

Even though I was rushing for my Chinese class at University of Botswana, I knew I had to stop so that I can enjoy the spectacle and take few pictures. But stopping to watch the sunset in Botswana, especially in the city is odd. People look at you like you’re crazy. Stopping to watch the sunset! I think it is because in Botswana we are used to these amazingly looking phenomena. It’s nothing special. It will happen again the following day, it happened the previous day and that’s how we do not even take note of sunsets.

The stretch from Queens Road to Pula Road

The stretch from Queens Road to Pula Road

But nonetheless I love sunsets. So while there taking few shots some lady passed by and said to me, “oseka wa ba wa ntsaya senepe” (Don’t take a picture of me). I did not even see her until she said those words. I smiled, which is my usual response to this rather threatening order, and politely added, “Yes, I’m just shooting the sun”. She turned, looked at the sun and asked, ‘Le rileng?’ (What’s the problem with it?). She just kept walking not interested in my answer, probably thinking, “mxm he is lying, he was taking pictures of me, why would he take a picture of the sun”

And I only stopped shooting after this Merc gave me a nice lights effect to add to the setting sun

And I only stopped shooting after this Merc gave me this nice lights effect to add to the setting sun

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