On The Run

Top Five Friday | Favourite Towns/Villages to Run in Botswana

Welcome to another “Top Five Friday” where I share my Top Five anything in running and blogging! Today, I’m sharing my favourite towns/ villages to run in Botswana. Factors that were important to me in creating this Top Five list were scenery, terrain, interesting sights, personal connection, and whether the town/ village has some historical and cultural elements.

1/ Lobatse. Nestled in a valley, surrounded by several hills sits Botswana’s second oldest town. Over the years, it has garnered several unfortunate descriptors – neglectedforgotten, stagnant which is sad given its immense historical significance to the country and region. It is home to Botswana Meat Commission, the first High Court of Justice and the first referral psychiatric hospital. Lobatse was also the safe temporary refuge for many prominent liberation fighters including Nelson Mandela, Samora Machel and Sam Nujoma – all of whom eventually became Presidents of their respective countries. Lobatse holds a special place in my heart as it is where my parents met, where I went to primary school and where I met many friends. A race has been planned for early-2023, and I can’t wait to race here. Click here for my run in Lobatse.

2/ Kanye. Located around 85km from Gaborone, Kanye is the eighth-largest village in Botswana and the administrative capital of the Southern District. Steeped in cultural, traditional and political history, Kanye is also well-known for its rolling hills, beautiful gorges and stunning scenery. The hills in Kanye make running so much more interesting… and challenging! With hills come views, and Kanye puts on quite a show. In the last race I did here, we were treated to the most spectacular views – the Syringa trees showed off their pinks, and the Jacaranda trees, their purples, not to mention a host of other trees with bright yellow, white, red and orange blooms. It is such a beautiful place to run. For my runs in Kanye check out this and this.

3/ Oodi. Oodi is an unassuming village in Kgatleng District, 20km north-east of Gaborone. The village offers several different terrains for runners – tarred road, pavement as well as trail. There are gentle slopes throughout the area and for those looking for hill repeats or a stiff climb, Oodi Hill beckons with a concrete path all the way to the top and spectacular views of the village as your reward. When you run into the village itself, you immediately feel a sense of community that’s often lost when you live in a city. Click here for my run in Oodi.

4/ Molepolole. Molepolole is an urban village about 50km from the city and the official gateway to the Kgalagadi Desert. Named after the Molepolole River, Molepolole is the capital of the Bakwena tribe. The totem of the Bakwena is the crocodile (kwena) and this symbol resonates throughout the village, depicted on various buildings, signs, shop names, and boundary walls. Five things stood out on my run here: the old Molepolole Congressional Church UCSSA built in 1907, the Kgari Sechele II Secondary School established in 1958 as one of the first secondary schools in the country, the street markets, the Mopenwaeng Postal Tree and the beautifully painted silos behind the kgotla. Click here for my run in Molepolole.

5/ Thamaga. Thamaga is the third largest village in Kweneng District and is located about 40km west of Gaborone. A significant amount of archaeological research has taken place in and around Thamaga by various local and international institutions. Its undulating terrain and incredible rocky outcrops make it a beautiful place to run. It is also home to Thamaga Pottery where women have, for the last 50 years, created beautiful pottery with a very distinct pattern and style. Worth stopping over after your run! Click here for my run in Thamaga.

If you could narrow your Top Five places to run in your country, what would they be? If you’re from Botswana, what is your favourite town/village to run in? Do any of my favourites make your list?

I’m so excited to be linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With AttitudeRun Laugh Eat PieRuns with Pugs, and Zenaida for Fit Five Friday

4 thoughts on “Top Five Friday | Favourite Towns/Villages to Run in Botswana

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