Boat cruise comes to Gaborone

PHEMELO RAMASU - BG REPORTER
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Boat cruise comes  to Gaborone

The first boat safari cruise in the southern part of the country is offering the public an experience worth sharing. Officially opened for business in February, the Crocodile Pools River Safaris is selling and offering its clientele the opportunity to experience a boat cruise right on their doorstep without taking the drive to either Kasane or Maun.

Located in the exclusive Notwane suburbs, a two-hour drive offers thrill seekers with a chance to learn and appreciate the beauty of the Notwane river as well as experience the rich bird life in the area, and wildlife. Guests have an opportunity to take either the morning or afternoon cruises. The Notwane areas and Crocodile pools are home to a wide variety of bird species. In total, there are close to 229 bird species out of a total of 593 bird species in Botswana.

The diverse Notwane area offers low woodland, rocky kopjes, river side woodland, river islands as well as reed swamps, which are perfect for the hundreds of birds that call this place home at different times of the year. Besides the birds, depending on the time of, guests can spot animals such as Kudu, Bush buck, Impala, waterbuck, brown hyena, black backed jackals, grey duicker, vervet monkeys, chacma baboons, lesser bush baby, leopards, warthogs and more. Most interestingly, one might spot the Nile Crocodiles, water monitor lizards, and the Southern African python.

For city dwellers, time at the river is the best therapy. The minute that the guide, Melawana Nature Kenosi starts the engine, you start to breath a new, fresh air. The atmosphere this side is different. Residents of this side of the neighbourhood really enjoy and love tranquil peace. You are instantly taken on a short-lived adventure, and your thoughts just take over. Also, the excitement and anticipation of seeing animals such as the Nile Crocodiles just adds to the fun. Along the 4 kilometre stretch of the river, we excitedly spot the crocodile even just for a brief second as it dips its head back into the water.

Mike Brook, tells this publication that they wanted to open up the Crocodile pools to the general public. The idea, he says, came to life following one of the books that he published. The book is none other than the Crocodile Pools Botswana – History and Biodiversity. The book tells the story of the flora and fauna of the area as well as the rich history of the area.

Besides this book, he has other books under his belt including the Botswana’s Diamonds – Prospecting to Jewellery”, The Journey of Botswana’s Diamonds”, Wild about Botswana”. He also says that since the official opening, all of the weekends have been fully booked, and that they have hosted close to 25 nationalities from countries that include Russia, India, and South Africa. Brook is an avid bird watcher, and his knowledge on the bird species is very handy for those who wish to know more about the birds in the area.

His wife, Dudu Brook explains that the Crocodile Pools River Safaris is a family owned business. She also says that they wanted to share with the public a bit of Notwane as most of the public do not have access to the area which is privately owned.
“Our target audience is everyone, including students, and the general public,” she says. She also notes that beyond experiencing a river cruise, they wished to educate the public about the environment of Notwane and its history.

“For some people, Kasane and Maun are far, so they can experience a boat cruise twenty minutes from Gaborone,” she explains. Prices are P250 for adults, and P200 for children between 5 and 12 years. To assure the public about their safety, she notes that they provide life jackets and that they also have an emergency boat in case there is an emergency. Besides the cruise, the public can nibble on finger foods and snacks on sale. They also have a shop that sells a few items including Dudu’s famous quilts, and various merchandise, as well her husband’s books.

Following up on suggestions from the public, she says that they are looking into having chalets to offer accommodation, as well as have a small coffee shop. For those who wish to do photo shoots, and have birthday parties, and showers with a difference, they are taking bookings.

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