Exhausted from my recent travels to Ghana and Kasane, I was looking forward to a rare lie-in this weekend. But Ditiro was quick to say, “We can’t miss the jacarandas. They are out in full bloom now!” Ah yes, my favourite time of year to run in the city…
The Jacaranda mimosifolia is a sub-tropical tree native to South America but has been widely planted in many parts of the world because of its vibrant violet flowers. In Africa, they are mostly found in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, and each year, from late September to November, they burst into bloom adorning different towns in a magnificent and magical display of colour. The purple looks spectacular against Botswana’s blue skies.
Where To Find The Best Jacarandas In Gaborone
Although there are Jacarandas around the city, the area where they are most abundant is downtown Gaborone. So this morning we parked the car in the Main Mall and started our 6km run from there, heading to Khama Crescent which offers a pretty purple row of Jacarandas.
We then took a small detour past the official residence of the Vice President opposite Thornhill Primary School to find a glorious canopy of purple blossoms in the roundabout as well as a lush carpet of fallen flowers with bees buzzing excitedly from one to the next.
We then headed back to Khama Crescent, hopped onto Morupule Road and joined Independence Avenue. From here, we turned left onto North Ring Road, taking a short detour onto Lengau Close to admire the Jacarandas interspersed with the ever-present Bougainvillea.
Next we turned onto Nswazwi Road, left onto Moemi Road, where we were in for another purple shower when we took the bend past Karong Clinics.
It was then back onto Independence Avenue for the last few minutes of our run. Before turning right into the Main Mall, we crossed Botswana Road briefly so we could appreciate even more jacarandas next to the Trinity Church.
As we arrived back at the car, we were welcomed by another majestic jacaranda next door to the Central Police Station, and just opposite the road from where we had parked.
There are many visitors to Gaborone who are quick to right it off as a dull and dusty town. And to be honest, I don’t blame them. The city doesn’t boast beautiful parks, historic monuments, interesting museums and art galleries, exciting tourist attractions and significant landmarks, or even a buzzing night scene. But once you stay a while you realise Gaborone has a subtle charm and quiet energy that slowly pulls you in. You start to appreciate the small things the city offers – the clean streets, the lack of crowds, the relaxed pace, the pockets of artwork, and at this time of the year, the beautiful jacarandas with their vibrant flowers welcoming summer.
Have you been out chasing Jacarandas? Are there Jacarandas where you live? Where would you recommend someone runs to see Jacarandas in your town or city?