The annual #MakgadikgadiEpic; organised by Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) in partnership with #BOTASH, the Nata Community Trust and SkyDive Botswana kicked off with a bang yesterday (Thursday). The event takes place in the premier and prominent Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, at the Nata Bird Sanctuary in Sowa Town and offers Sports skydivers and the general public four days of epic skydiving in one of Botswana’s last great unspoiled wilderness venues – The Makgadikgadi salt pan in central Botswana.
BTO is mandated to market and promote Botswana as a Premier Tourist destination of choice, to grade and classify accommodation facilities, as well as to promote Botswana as a tourism investment destination of choice, and the ongoing Makgadikgadi Epic which started from 9-12 August 2017 is just one of those events that help the organisation promote and sell the Botswana tourism product to the rest of the world.
Makgadikgadi Epic is a social and sporting event for the domestic and regional tourism market including corporates, families, friends and adventure-lovers alike.
The event feature sky-dive demonstrations as the main activity, but will also include other activities such as Tandem Skydives, Helicopter flips, Horse riding, Cycle tours, Go Carts and fun quad bike rides that are open to the general public and enthusiasts.
The setting is just right, amazing and truly breath-taking with well oriented tents and other serving marquees, one will truly forget they are out in the bundus.
The camps are set behind the BOTASH conservation park which houses many wildlife attractions such as rhinos, flamingos and wildebeests just to name a few.
Quizzed why an event of this magnitude, the Minister of Environment Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama said through the Makgadikgadi Epic initiative, they are working on diversifying the tourism industry because Botswana tourism is not only competing with the region but with the international community for tourists.
Minister Khama said his ministry together with Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) came up with the adrenaline filled event in order to bring something different from the already existing initiatives such as the Tour de Tuli, Kgalagadi 1 000 Desert race and Khawa Dune challenge, which incorporate both arts and culture as an effort to up their game in the tough tourism industry.
Having left Gaborone in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, we arrived here around night time where we were warmly welcomed by the BOTASH top brass including the Managing Director, Montwedi Mphati who together with his team ushered us to our Makgadikgadi Epic place of abode – the well lined outdoor tents.
We are truly home and dry as we gathered around the warm fire where the gossips, African stories including the global Botswana moment of the 400m sprinter Issac Makwala flowed with ease.
On Thursday, we woke up to one of Botswana’s most serene locations, Sowa Town where BTO’s PRO, Samuel Lephalo gave us a brief on the day’s activities. A few skydive instructors from EP skydiving tutored on some of the key skydiving procedures.
Some of the key activities here include boat cruising, horse riding, quad biking, tandem jumps and helicopter flips and we are raring to try everything under the sun. Until then, please remember all roads lead to the Makgadikgadi epic and you should also get yourself here pronto!