Botswana has 3 main sources of income – tourism, diamonds and animal husbandry.
They are extremely aware of Foot-and-Mouth Disease which, if it took hold, would kill the last of these sources of income and the one which most directly affects the general population. As a result, when one arrives in Botswana and, several times thereafte,r you are required to disinfect both the soles of your shoes and the tyres of your car by walking through and driving through a plastic lined ditch filled with disinfectant. Another means of doing as much as possible to prevent the disease, is the ban on meat which is not canned or hermeticlly sealed.
Here I am reminded of something I forgot to include in the article about our trip to Kariba. As we were there for just 3 days and all of these at Kariba Dam, we were met at the Harare Airport by Trevor’s Uncle Basil and his wife, Kathy. They brought with them a rubber mat for Trevor’s mother (Basil’s sister) and a about 3kgs of biltong wrapped in newspaper. For those who are South African you will understand when I say that we felt a bit like taking a flight to the Transkei as we boarded the plane with this mat and a parcel wrapped in newspaper! Anyway, we had our car searched at the Kazangula, Botswana border post but somehow they did not see the biltong.
I was unaware that as we drove South to Francistown where we would stay overnight, Trevor was becoming more and more nervous that we might be caught with the biltong and wondering what the punishment would be. He certainly did not want to end up in a prison in Botswana! We arrived at our hotel in Francistown in the late afternoon and found we had a really lovely and comfortable unit on stilts and with a thatch roof. We went for a walk around the area and then after a bath and change of clothes we went had an excellent buffet dinner. We met a delightful couple from England who were travelling all over Southern Africa. This is another of the joys of travelling – meeting people from all around the world. Then it was time for an early night.
In the morning Trevor had experienced a really bad night and was not feeling at all good so did not come to breakfast. I took him some light food as he had spent the night fretting about the biltong. He decided that we would not go any further with the meat on board and so he prepared a fire and burnt it. This took a long time but he was not leaving until it was all burnt.
Thereafter we had an uneventful trip to the border with South Africa and to our final stop over in Zeerust, Limpopo Province in South Africa.
A few years later the ferry was overloaded and sank and a number of people drowned. A beautiful modern bridge has now been constructed.