Debswana – Celebrating 45 Sparkling Years

Debswana plays a vital role in Botswana’s economy. It employs more than 4000 people along 4 mining sites. On top of this, Debswana also creates jobs for over 5000 fixed term contractors, but this large set-up did not happen overnight.

In 2014 Debswana celebrates 45 sparkling years, and here is a bit of insight into where it all started.

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Harare Nightlife

When the sun sets on Harare, the music gets turned up and the streets buzz with people taking advantage of the nightlife that pulses though the city streets.

Not too long ago, the sun was rapidly setting on Harare’s nightlife, and bars and clubs were closing down with alarming regularity.  Fortunately, with visitors from around the world returning to explore this part of the world once again, there has been a new injection of life into Harare at night, and exciting new clubs are being opened, while old favourites have been renovated and the restaurant silverware polished up once again.
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Africa States Bowling Tournament

The honour of hosting the 2014 Africa States Bowls Tournament has been awarded to Botswana. The African tournament is rated as one of the largest and most esteemed international competitions in Africa. The mining town of Jwaneng will host the tournament, which takes place in June, and seven African countries are taking part.

The countries taking part in the Africa States Bowls Tournament include Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The game will be divided in four categories, namely Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours.

The Botswana Bowling Association is the organiser of the events and are currently in the final stages of rebranding. This rebranding is mainly to make the association more relevant and attractive to the public and corporate world. The association’s public relations officer, John Gabourtwe, shared with the media that they are “happy and…look forward to hosting the African States tournament next year.

The rebranding is mainly to attract more local players to the Botswana Bowling Club. The process entails a new logo, motto and values. The association’s name will also change to Bowls Botswana (BoBo.). The new image associated with their Logo is a Woodpecker bird. This forms part of the entire new brand, which is should be launched soon. The Association will also adopt a school and run grassroots coaching clinics in an effort to draw in younger people.

Bowls is a universal game, not too expensive to take part in and also a game that people of any age can enjoy. It is a good game to bring people together and the African States Tournament would also be a good platform to improve the image of bowls in Botswana.

The Association’s chairperson, Kitso Robers, feels confident that they will finalise everything. If you plan to attend the Bowls Tournament, whether to support or to participate; or just to experience the festive atmosphere, remember to add a Botswana Safari Lodge to your trip, as well as a safari at the Jwana Game Park and a tour of Jwaneng Mine.  It is also a good opportunity to explore other highlights of Botswana, like Chobe National Park and the Chobe River.

Toyota Desert 1000 Race

The 2014 Toyota Desert 1000 Race promises to be filled with plenty of added thrills and spills with a revamped course and a brand new events team.

The Desert 1000 race started running in 1975 and has been hosted in Botswana since 1991. It is one of a kind as the only marathon event under the Donaldson Cross Country Championship flag. The Donaldson Cross Country organising team is made up of the South African National Off Road Racing Association (SANORA), who are hoping to strengthen bonds with Botswana Motorsport in order to ensure the success of all future events.

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HIFA 2014 Higlights

The HIFA, or Harare International Festival of the Arts, has become an international draw card. It brings six days of art, poetry, live music, dance, theatre, street fashion and even circus acts to Zimbabwe. The list goes on, but most of all, it is a festival where birds of a feather – art fundi’s and friends are drawn to celebrate the good stuff in life.

The largest festival yet, 2014 HIFA festival was rated as the biggest cultural event in Zimbabwe. Although some performances were better attended than others, there was no lack of enthusiasm and support.  From the Battle of the Guitarists to Jazz sessions – where some were even turned away due to sold out tickets.

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Visiting Palapye

Palapye is a relatively large town located between Francistown and Gaborone in Botswana.  It has an ideal location between Southern Africa’s main north-south rail and road route, which connects all the major towns and cities all over Botswana to each other.  Palapye is also the principal source of Botswana’s electricity, powered by the Morupule Colliery.

The town is believed to have been the first settlement of the Bamangwato people, ruled by Kgosi Khama III.  The capital of this settlement was Phalatswe, also known as Old Palapye.  Old Palapye forms one of the town’s main cultural attractions, where the ruins of its church, built in 1892, are still visible.  The actual name Palachwe or Palapwe, which became Palapye, refers to the Impala antelope.

The Old Palapye ruins site is one of many well-known tourist attractions in and around the town.  However, its best-known attraction is probably the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, only 15km outside of neighbouring Serowe, which is about 50km from Palapye.  Here you can view the endangered black and white rhino.

Other sites of historical significance are the Tswapong Hills and Moremi Gorge, where the Lotsane River flows.  The Moremi Gorge is a beautiful area with permanent waters running through it.  The Cascades connecting the pools at Moremi Gorge is also where raptors and vultures can be spotted in their cliff-top nests.  Although not considered safe for swimming, you can follow one of several rocky paths up the Gorge for spectacular views and raptor sightings.

Although Palapye may not be the best-known town in Botswana, it literally plays a central role in its infrastructure in terms of electricity and mining.  With its noteworthy historical sites as well as beautiful natural settings, it is worth your while to stopover in Palapye during your visit to Botswana.

Visiting Lusaka

Lusaka is an easily accessible city in Zambia that is often overlooked as a destination.  It is not rated as one of Zambia’s major attractions and most travellers do not spend a lot of time here.  It is however, one of Southern Africa’s fastest growing cities, with restaurants and shops popping up everywhere.  In fact, Lusaka is similar to most main urban centres in the developed world, except you will know you are in Africa by the cityscape of high-rise buildings, set against vibrant street sellers and informal shanties.

First things first, Lusaka was originally a relatively large village of the Soli people and was named after its headman Lusaka.  Records show that the village was located at Mandal Hill.  The ruins of the old village settlement can be seen at the Chakeluka Archaeological site.  And so, quite fittingly, today Lusaka is Zambia’s capital.
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Visiting Bulawayo

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, after the capital Harare.  It is also known as the ‘City of Kings’ or ‘KoNtuthu zyathunqua’, meaning ‘place of smoky fires’.

Bulawayo is one of Zimbabwe’s tourism centres that should not be overlooked.  It is a laid-back city, with its own sense of elegance, displayed in its very wide tree-lined streets and unpretentious refinement.  If you were to spend a day or two here, you would be surprised at how many interesting sights there are to enjoy here.  First off, this is a good place to replenish supplies and perhaps enjoy a movie, or dine at one of the modern restaurants.
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Visiting Gaborone

Following Botswana’s independence in 1966, Gabarone was planned and built in order to become the capital city.  It is well organised with a distinct city centre and residential areas.  There are a few shopping malls dotted outside of the centre, which dilutes the rigid structure of the city somewhat but Gabarone remains generally safe, clean and functional.

Today, Gabarone is home to around a quarter of a million people and is arranged into different sections called Blocks or Extensions.  However, most of these segments have earned nicknames, which can be confusing to first time visitors so check with the locals if you are not sure.

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