Travelling around Botswana

© Mule cart outside Ghanzi
Ghanzi is a town that's seeing an upturn in its fortunes. Although the Bushman and Bakgalagadi people were the original inhabitants, the first permanent settlement (a cattle station) was established here back in the 1890s, by the Boer Dorsland Trekkers.

By Ian Michler


They came to this area as it offered the only accessible underground water in the Central Kalahari. Many English-speaking families - mostly cattle ranchers and traders - followed in the early 1900s. After independence, and the downturn in the cattle industry, Ghanzi began to lose prominence, and by the 1990s it had become a forgotten backwater.
The revitalisation of the town came with the completion of the Trans-Kalahari Highway and a tar link to Maun, a lifeline that allowed Ghanzi to dust itself off and make a comeback as one of the new frontier towns.
The area is now touted as the 'Gateway to the Kalahari', and tourism and the game industry have started to revitalise the local economy. Because it lies close to the Gaborone/ Maun/Namibia fork in the Trans-Kalahari Highway, it is a convenient stopover for all three destinations.
Thirty-five kilometres north of Ghanzi is the small village of D'Kar, home to various extended family groups of Bushman people. Do take the time to stop here, as one of the best co-operative galleries displaying and selling Bushman art and crafts is situated here.
Every year, D'Kar also hosts the Kuru Traditional Dance and Music Festival during August. With all aspects of traditional Bushman culture on display, this event is well worth visiting.

Accommodation in Ghanzi

Kalahari Arms Hotel - The town's best-known landmark has had a facelift. Comfortable and convenient, it's the best place to stay. Camping and self-catering facilities are also offered.

Tautona Lodge - A game farm just outside town.

D'Kar Hostel and Campsite - Has very basic amenities.

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