The No.1 African Destination

Anyone who has read any of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith will know that feeling, that unmistakable urge to visit Botswana, the country that the main protagonist, Mma Ramotswe is so proud of.

In this series, the brave and thoughtful female detective (and of course her assistant) solve mysteries, answer questions and fight crime all against a charming backdrop provided by the lovely country of Botswana. Why not head for a themed holiday, seeking out all the places in the book? I might even be tempted to see if I could hire a tiny white van to make the tour, although a gaining a traditional build might be taking it a little too far!


photo by Athena Lao

Home to Mma Ramotswe and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency you can see the town, drink red bush tea and enjoy a stroll alongside the river that leads to the dam. Head to the markets to buy some souvenirs or why not search for the Double Comfort Furniture Shop? There is even a real Tlokweng Road which I think I would have to drive along in search of Speedy Motors and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni!

Mochudi and Molepolole

photo by FirstBaptistNashville

These are traditional villages, home to local tribespeople and many cattle, such as the ones that Obed Ramotswe used to look after. A visit here will introduce you to the local culture away from the citified Gaborone. Look out for the giant’s footprints near Mochudi and the rock carvings in the Kopong Hills. Be careful when driving on the rural roads though, particularly at night, as animals don’t know the difference in where they choose to stand!

Kalahari Desert
photo by untipografico

The desert covers 70% of the country so you’ll be missing out on a big part of the experience if you don’t venture at least a little way in! There are plenty of game reserves if you want to seek out creatures great and small, and making a trip with some of the native bushmen is an exciting way to do so.

Okavango Delta

Hippo, Kwhai, Moremi Game Reserve
photo by Obliot

In the north of Botswana you’ll find the setting for one of the more recent adventures of Mma Ramostwe and Mma Makutsi, Moremi National Park on the Okavango Delta. The wildlife here is diverse and river trips are a popular way to see the sights. You might even see the endangered African Wild Dog if you are lucky, or unlucky, depending on your preference. Just be sure to wear the right shoes and all will be well!

top image by