Every year Karowe Diamond Mine, where Sue works, holds a Wellness Day at one of the villages in our Boteti District.This year the chosen village was Mopipi.
Mopipi is a small village about 80 km from Letlhakane in the direction of Maun. It is a place we have often passed on our way to Central Kalahari, Khumaga, the Boteti River and so on. But we hadn’t really explored this little village.
It used to be fed by the Boteti River, but for 28 years odd the rivers waters haven’t made it this far. There was even a sailing club here at one stage.
The wellness day was well attended and included aerobics, different health talks, traditional dancing, football, netball and running races. Somebody even conned me into running 100 m. Of cause I had to let Sue’s boss beat me.
After most of the events Sue and I decided that while we were in Mopipi we should go and explore the village.
One thing we do see from the main road when passing through Mopipi is a tourism sign indicating a “Taxman’s Tree”. We had on a few occasions tried to find the tree, but with no luck. So we asked a local resident, who had no clue either.
The village is much bigger than one imagines seeing it from the main road. We went all the way through and out onto the pans outside the village and soon had the powder like dust covering our car.
We headed back and drove through the village which is very quaint and incredibly clean. Apparently it has won the cleanest village for the last 3 /4 years. Something else was that there were no TV dishes, even looking through all my photo’s I can’t see one.
It was early afternoon when we headed home and I was in adventure mode, so shortly after town we turned off the main road pointed the car in the general direction of home and followed whatever track that went in that direction.
When we moved to Botswana we were told that you only travel if there are two vehicles and you had told somebody exactly where you were going – oh well.
The start was pretty open with some lovely big trees, but this changed and soon we were in thick bush, with over grown tracks. We just had to go with what we had, but the “road” we were on was going north when we were meant to be going east.
It was 3 o’clock, so we still had 3 hours of light, but we didn’t have a clue where we were or where we would come out and how long that would take us.
A bit a head of us was a building and we were concerned that it was somebodies house and we would have to turn around and go all the way back. Then I noticed that right at the house was a vet fence. So we hoped that this was a gate post and we could get through. At the worst we could always follow the fence back to the main road.
It was a gate and the young man, manning it, could not believe to see us “whities” on this route and asked us hundred’s of questions. Where had we come from, where were we going, why this route and so on. His response to all our answers was “great”.
We had moved out of thick bush and onto grasslands which was very beautiful.
Dotted every now and again were salt pans and before long we were on the pans themselves, which were just magnificent.
We travelled through the pans for about half an hour, past a broken down car, before we recognized exactly where we were – at the exact area that we normally come in and leave from.
It had been a lovely day and one of the reasons why we love Botswana so much.