Botswana

Kgale Hill, Nyangabwe Hill, Tsodilo Hills, Okwa Valley and Tswapang Hills
Vases planted by Niall and Richard Campbell, Robyn Sheldon, and friends, May, 2001.

“We agreed on fives sites around Botswana for burial of the vases.  The first was on Kgale Hill, Gaborone, overlooking the capital of Botswana.  Because of the rains, climbing up the hill included a few hours of bush-bashing.  20 doves flew away from the spot we chose so we took that as a sign to plant it there.  The soil was moist and friable, unusual for this part of the world.

The next place was Nyangabgwe Hill, Francistown.  It was a golden afternoon, warm and sunny.  It took 5 hours to get there.  Ngangabgwe means ‘he aimed (with a bow at a buck) but the buck turned out to be a rock’.  The suitable spot we found was just below the summit which overlooks Botswana to the south and Zimbabwe to the north, and that was good because the two countries could do with a bit of peace boosting.

Then about two days journey from Francistown, we went to Tsodilo Hills in the north west.  We set up camp at a place called ‘Female Hill’, part of a row of four low lying hills in the area.  This area is flat undulating Kalahari desert.  It is a place of immense power where settlers from all over southern Africa have come for centuries.   We decided to bury the vase at the Mbukushi rain-making site near Male Hill, the cliff of Male Hill is 400 metres high!  Some of us returned at dusk to the camp site to be met by a large python, a powerful sign that the Spirits approved of our undertaking.

The final destination of our trip was to Okwa Valley where 4,000 years ago, a river flowed.  At this place, there is a dramatically sloping dolomite slab with a number of small eroded depressions in its surface which create grooves.  Apparently, these grooves are supposed to symbolize female fertility and women wishing to become pregnant will run a finger along the groove and then lick off the dust.

Later, we planted our final vase at Tswapang Hills in East Botswana, considered a rainmaking place, and 1 km east of old Palatswe, now an archeological site, the original capital Bechnanaland, before it became Botswana.”