Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC), Botswana Motor Sport (BMS) and Kgalagadi District was held on Friday 23rd to Saturday 24th August 2013.
The little village of Khawa, about 167 km from Tsabong in Kgalagadi South, was a beehive of activity over the weekend when they hosted the Khawa Dune Challenge & Cultural Festival, a family-oriented event involving a Quad and Motor Bike Challenge traversing the Khawa Sand Dunes, a Camel Race, cultural activities showcasing the cultures of the Kgalagadi, as well as fun Camel rides.
The Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) Myra Sekgororoane has revealed that the organisation spent an estimated P1.5 to P2 million in this year’s organisation of the Khawa Dune challenge event.
|Fast facts about Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival:|
|Dates||23rd – 24th August 2013|
|Venue||Khawa Village, Kgalagadi District|
|Involving||Motorbike challenges, Camel rides, cultural dance festival|
|Cost||Approx. P1.5 – 2 million|
Sekgororoane said that they had managed to cut costs in this year’s event which is in its second year running. She said that although she could not immediately give the total amount of money spent last year, this year’s budget was slightly less. She said, “This year we have engaged the private sector and this has helped in cost reduction measures”. Sekgoroane pointed out that in 2012 they spent more money because it was their first experience in organising the Khawa event.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture said the event will be an annual activity that will be held at Khawa as a way of assisting the people of Khawa to sustain themselves using the tourism industry. Ms Maphorisa said the people of Khawa benefited from the event in many ways and were also shown skills which could be used by their Trust to ensure sustainability.
The event was spiced up by song and dance from the different groups found in the area, some of whom had won prizes during this year’s President’s Day Celebrations Awards. There were also exhibitions by visual artists from the area where tourists were encouraged to buy the artists’ wares.
The success of the inaugral event was due to the support provided by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, the Botswana Tourism Organisation and Botswana Motor Sport. This will be an annual event which is expected to be bigger and better in 2014.
This event is one of its kind in Botswana combining both motorsport and culture adding a new dimension to tourism product development. Of particular importance was the introduction of Camel activities as part of the event in order to add value and to enhance the sustainability of the camel-centered tourism product. As the Camel Park in Tsabong is nearing completion, activities centered on camels as a tourism attraction are also meant to promote awareness of this park.
Date: 29 August 2013