I thought I’d write about one of my nights out in Gaborone in Botswana today as it was a really great travel memory. Having arrived at the border into Botswana from South Africa at Tlokweng, my bus took me onwards to the capital city of Gaborone. As it was late at night I had arranged to stay central in the Brackendene Lodge – a great place but ultimately it’s not as cheap as the recommended Mokolodi Backpackers so costs a bit more. Once I arrived I had a message for me at the reception – my old university mate Allan Molefhe had called by to see me! Of course we had arranged to meet but I was slightly delayed and I don’t travel with a phone so wasn’t sure exactly how and when we were going to meet. I knew I wanted a night out in Gaborone as an intro to the country though…
It was around 9.30 pm I think so I got a quick shower and Allan called to my hostel to pick me up in his car and take me out to the pubs and clubs! We started by heading to Linga Longa which is based at the Riverwalk Shopping Centre. It was actually past last orders so plan B was to visit the News Cafe. It was a Friday night incidentally so the vibe in trendy Gaborone was good.
Allan drove us to the News Cafe (also with his mate Rems) which is situated in a posh car park. It was totally what I didn’t expect! What’s more I was well into my backpacking journey at this point so I had a beard, and was wearing ripped shorts. I had no long trousers with me! The only way I could dress up slightly was to put on my work shirt from PJ’s Irish Pub in Australia which I did. Even then they were going to refuse me entry to News Cafe because of my shorts! I simply couldn’t believe that of all places, I was being refused entry to a bar in Africa. We chatted to the staff, explaining we were old university mates and all that and they finally let me in!
Botswanese beer is excellent. I got onto the St. Louis once inside the News Cafe and was immediately loving it.
I got chatting to Allan and Rems about their daily lives and they were surprised to learn that I was backpacking round the world and had no plans at all to settle down, find a permanent job or indeed change my lifestyle in any way! At the time my plan after Africa was to move back to Australia which I did. Soon last orders had been called in the News cafe but not to worry – we headed to the Bull and Bush where a huge surprise was in store!
The Bull and Bush was packed. It was like a complex with three different drinking zones. A British style pub, a crazy dancefloor nightclub and an outdoor bar which looked typical of Africa. So the outdoor bar it was!
And on arrival at the outdoor bar on glancing at the straw made shack of a bar in front of me, I saw a hanging Northern Ireland flag – I stood there quite stunned in fact!
I had my own Northern Ireland football flag in my pocket and while sipping the beers I was posing with the flag and loving it.
Within minutes lots of local girls were over chatting away and asking for photos with the flag.
I was officially single at the time but wasn’t in a flirty mood at all. As I chatted away to some girls at the bar and loved it, I was simply enjoying the moment and the Botswanese hospitality. This is a country with very friendly, warm and kind people. Plus in Botswana most people speak really good English so it’s easy to get by! I just loved it. It’s a great country and Gaborone is a very safe and relaxing city – I thoroughly recommend it!
A few more beers and Allan and Rems drove me back to my hotel where I didn’t get much sleep before a day ahead of sightseeing the Botswanese capital and sorting out some money problems. I totally recommend a night out in Gaborone! My thanks to Allan, Rems, Louis and Fingi for an awesome few days in the Botswanese capital. I loved Gaborone and sadly didn’t get up to the north of Botswana to see the Okavango Delta – a trip for another time my friends…
A few of my videos from a night out in Gaborone
My arrival in Botswana:
Driving around Gaborone in Allan’s car in Botswana:
In the News Cafe in Gaborone:
Seeing the Northern Ireland flag in the Bull and Bush bar in Gaborone:
Loud music and dancefloor of the Bull and Bush in Gaborone:
Thirsty Thursdays is an ongoing regular feature on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel. If you have a bar, pub, drink, restaurant, brand or idea that you would like featured on Thirsty Thursdays, please get in touch via my contacts page or my advertising page. I’d love to hear from you, and I’d also love a free tea or a beer! Cheers! If anyone from St. Louis are reading, send me some samples please 😉