There's a small nature reserve just outside of Gaborone called Mokolodi Nature Reserve. It used to be a farm, apparently, but the land was donated to the nearby town of Mokolodi and is now open to the public. It boasts an education center, self-catering chalets, camp sites and a restaurant. You can take a 2 hour game drive in the morning or late afternoon, and a few weeks ago we did the morning game drive and then ate lunch at the Mokolodi restaurant. Many of the game drives, or safaris, that one could do in Botswana and South Africa do not allow children. We opted to forgo one of those this time around and just go to some local, smaller-scale places. It was great for us, and Edwin seemed to enjoy bouncing around in the back of a truck for a couple hours. We went again this past Friday afternoon, but I'll post those pictures later. Here are just a few from our first trip.
I wore Elena in the Moby while on the truck. There are no seat belts and the ride is really bumpy, so it was safer to wear her than to try and keep a hold of her carseat on the truck. Climbing in and out was a bit precarious, but I didn't have any trouble.
We saw a bunch of ostriches.
The males are dark like this one, while the females are brown.
Can you see the doe?
We drove to the top of a hill and had a snack break. This was the view.
This part of Botswana is mostly flat,
but then you will see random hills jutting up here and there.
Botswana's national animal.
Also the name of their soccer team.
We didn't get to see the giraffes that live on this nature reserve, unfortunately.
But we saw a lot of warthogs, impala, wildebeast and heartbeast.
We saw a variety of birds as well.
After the ride, we ate lunch at the restaurant.
Here you can see Edwin getting ready to enjoy his pitcher of ketchup.
It's not uncommon for a restaurant to have a playground right next to it. It's a brilliant idea.
While we sat, chatted and waited for our food, Edwin could run around on the playground as opposed to having to be entertained at the table. We've been to a number of restaurants (none of them fast-food) that have playgrounds right next to the outdoor tables. While we were in South Africa, we even ate at a place that had an indoor play area where the kids could watch a movie on a large screen, play video games, ride some small kiddie rides, jump in something like a moon bouncer and make their own pizza. There were some adults in there specifically to watch the kids and help them make the pizzas. Dan made the comment that such places wouldn't work in the US because we're just to quick to file a lawsuit. Too bad. We have all enjoyed the presence of a playground next to the tables.