One of my goals in 2018 was to collect more passport stamps in African countries, so when I saw the advertisement for the Lobatse Beef fest it caught my attention. Let me start by saying I LOVED the people in Botswana. They were so welcoming from the minute I stepped off the plane. The lady at the Mascom store where I got my local SIM card was an absolute gem and wanted to make sure I got well sorted on my entry into town.
I stayed at an Airbnb so I could have an experience with a local family and this proved to be the best decision ever. WHY?! For starters I had to call my Airbnb host because I didn’t have the address for the taxi. She told me not to worry about a taxi she would send her son for me. GREAT, one less time I had to worry about being hustled as a tourist. Second, I thought Lobatse was just a suburb of Gaborone, I didn’t realize it was an hour drive away. Well Kopo told me don’t worry myself he would drive me there. YAY! Saved once again! When I arrived to the house Martha greeted me with such a warm welcome I felt like I was coming home to visit family. I knew this was going to be a wonderful experience.
I didn’t have an itinerary beyond the meat festival and I went in knowing that most people visit Botswana for the safari’s and since I had no intentions of doing that my expectations were low. I did manage to get around Gaborone to see The Three Digkosi Monument, The BDF Monument, Sir Seretse Khama Statue, The Main Mall and the Village Arts Center so I feel like it was time well spent.
The Lobatse Beef Festival is an experience I will NEVER forget! For starters this is the first time in my life I have ever entered a festival where you are given a raw pack of meat to Braii (BBQ) yourself. I was expecting to walk around and try meat that other people was cooking. Once again the people were so welcoming! I got hugs from people I had just met at the festival. The entertainment was lovely. They had several DJ’s that played a wide variety of music and the live entertainment was great also. I really just wish this was a summer event or was held during a time when the temperatures don’t drop so low at night. It got really cold around 8:30 so I didn’t make it to the end. This is an event I would definitely travel back to Botswana for.