Ghanzi Botswana Travel infomation
Ghanzi is a small cattle farming town in the north western area of Botswana, and is a good stop over for travelers who may have crossed over the Namibian boarder in the late afternoon and wish to break their journey to Maun which is only 280km north east of Ghanzi. In addition the town of Ghanzi offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the nomads of the Kalahari the San Bushmen and there is even a small local curio shop that sell the beautifully crafted ostrich egg shell jewellery that is still made by hand in the traditional way by the San people. Just 30km out of Ghanzi on the road to Maun is the little village of Dekar it's here that one can find a small museum that highlights the history of the San, this is also the home of many whose style of painting continues in the little workshop adjacent to the museum. Of interest too is the name Dekar itself, the name was created by putting two initials together D.E and K.R the initials were found carved into the trunk of an old Marula tree, although I am told the tree does still exist I failed to find it.
There are a few places to stay in and around Ghanzi, old travelers of the past used to stay at the Kalahari arms hotel and this old hotel is still in operation and can be found to the right opposite the spar shopping complex right in the centre of town. Tau Tona Lodge is another great place to spend the night, Tau Tona which means when translated big lion or big chief, this is a very appropriate name for this lodge as they have a few lions in cages by the entrance and even if you not staying its worth going by just to see these amazing cats up close, although it's never nice to find big cats behind bars, in this case there is a kind of logical reason, in 2005 The government put a ban on the killing of lions throughout Botswana, this ban has been key in bringing back the numbers of lions in Botswana. So in the past when lions attacked the cattle in the area they were shot and that was the end of the problem for the farmer, although not for the lions. So when the lion hunting ban was introduced in 2008 the question was what to do with the "cattle stealing lions", so instead of shooting the lions as they did in the past, now the farmers took to catching these cattle thieves and putting them in cages, these days things have kind of changed, cattle farmers (or Botswana wildlife department) still catch these lions however they are then handed over to the Botswana Wildlife department and they then transport these lions back to the Kalahari from where they have come. So the lions at Tau Tona, well, they are the old cattle thieves from the past now in retirement although they continue to give an education to many young school children from Ghanzi who may never have seen a lion before.
There is also a very well run butchery simply named "Ghanzi Butchery" not only is their biltong (beef jerky) amazing, there meat is well priced and very good quality. You can find them next door to the puma fuel station, or just ask anyone they will know.
Opposite the bus station is a private general doctor as well as a well-stocked pharmacy they also sell bulk bottled water.
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