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Maun gears up for Okavango Cultural and Heritage festival

GABORONE, Botswana, August 2019 — Preparations are at an advanced stage for the annual Okavango is calling Cultural and Heritage festival scheduled for Maun from the 4th – 7th of September 2019. The event organised by Ghetto Urban Designs (GUD) aims to celebrate and showcase the Okavango Delta as the 1000th World Heritage Site.

Endorsed by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the event hopes to promote inter-cultural exchange, tourism and cuisine of 22 countries which have embassies in Botswana including non-governmental organizations, parastatals and local SMMEs. According to the organisers, more than 22 foreign missions based in Botswana are expected to converge in the country’s lucrative safari town of Maun for a celebratory and worthy fiesta dubbed Okavango Cultural and Heritage festival.

Steve Boyes explores, protects and restores some of the most remote wildernesses in Africa, including the threatened Okavango Delta, one of our last remaining fresh watersheds. FILE PIC

The highly anticipated festivity is the brainchild of a local company called Ghetto Urban Design. Although initiated in 2015, the idea was halted in 2016 and 2017 due to minimal support. Armed with nothing but the unrelenting zeal to prosper, the company gathered all strengths last year, 2018 where they managed to raise over P2 million to see their project through.

Mekoro rides in the offing

“Our initial projections were to raise around P4.3 million but we only managed half of that. We are happy with the support we’ve gotten thus far, as this year our idea will come to fruition.  The show returns and it is expected to attract over 22 foreign missions based in Botswana who are expected to showcase their cultural elements and further sell their respective countries’ tourism attractions and activities,” said Managing Director of Urban Ghetto Design, Vincent Selati.

Maun Cresta Hotel

Speaking during a press conference at Hilton Hotel in Gaborone on Tuesday, Selati urged all the foreign missions that honoured the media briefing to bring their respective countries’ different cultures at the festival, as the event seeks to accord them a lucrative platform of promoting their cultures, even though the main focus is to promote the Okavango Delta.

“For us as a company, we are extremely proud that Botswana’s Okavango Delta became the 1000th site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, thus it was upon us as the young people to share the responsibility with the government and show our sheer patriotism. The delta might be greater in Botswana but the streams are from other countries so this festival is a collective effort hence the need to bring the world to the delta and share our different cultures,” said Selati.

UNESCO has endorsed the festival saying it further promotes eco-tourism and sustainability of the Okavango Delta.

“Botswana National Commission for UNESCO supports the efforts by GUD to organize this event, as it seeks to continue promote Okavango delta as a tourism destination of choice. The first ever event by GUD in 2018 resulted in the production of a documentary which was proudly used to enhance public educations on the site, therefore the commission appreciate all the support given to GUD.” The four-day festival is expected to be officially opened by Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conversation and Tourism, Kitso Mokaila.

Calendar of events: 
September 4th
Official opening
Stall exhibitions
Venue: Potential Gardens 
Dress code: Traditional attire

September 5th 
Official tour of the Okavango Delta by boats and dug-out canoe (mekoro), scenic flights and hiking 
Dress code: Hiking clothing
Venue: Meet at Buffalo fence Boro 1

September 6th 
Food festival, arts and craft expo
Dress code: Traditional Attire 
Venue: Potential Gardens 

September 7th
Music festival from 8am to 18:00, local and international groups 
Venue: Potential Gardens
Evening session
Gala dinner at Cresta Matlapana Maun  Dress Code: Black tie

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Moagi Madisa

"Although journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information and also the product of these activities; for me its science - our sorroundings"

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BOTSWANAUNPLUGGED is an exclusive online news and lifestyle magazine created for upwardly mobile citizens with distinguished tastes. Based in Gaborone, Botswana; UNPLUGGED is a quintessential online news and lifestyle medium (platform) which strives to speak to the soul of the country’s upscale lifestyle by setting its sights on the passion that permeates our region.

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