Since its inception in 2013, Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival continues to grow, attracting thousands of revellers from across Botswana and beyond.
Notable activities at this year’s edition (10 – 11 May) included quad bikes and motorbike challenge, cultural festival and craft exhibition, as well as camel and quad bike fun rides.
In the past, a common complaint was the poor network. However, there was no such connection problem’s this time around, as network providers increased their broadband.
Indeed, the Kgalagadi was awash with smart-phone wielding patrons taking selfies and live-streaming their experiences, recording the activities as they happened, much to the envy of unfortunate friends unable to attend.
During the cultural festival, the Polka Dance proved especially popular, the agile, quick-footed dancers transfixing the crowd with their elegant moves.
Last year, organisers provided a fuelling station with a single tanker, which ran out. This time they doubled the tankers and there was enough fuel to go round.
The bumpy 60km gravel road from Middlepits to Khawa remains a challenge, causing a sizeable collection of small cars to break down.
The two-day event provided a huge financial boost to the area, a point Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) CEO, Myra Sekgororwane was quick to highlight.
“Khawa contributes immensely to the business sector according to our economic surveys. It shows that sales from businesses in the Kgalagadi district increased from P2.1 million on a normal weekend to P7.7 million on the weekend that this event is held,” she revealed, adding BTO are in the process of privatizing the Challenge, as well as other national spectacles, such as The Heart of The City, Carnival in Gaborone and Race for Rhinos.
“Some of them will be advertised for tender very soon. We are empowering the community to take over and run Khawa themselves through Kopanelo Development Trust. At BTO, a minimum of 18 projects have been tendered to the private sector with a value of at least P1.9 million,” said Sekgororwane.
Meanwhile, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi thanked his predecessor Dr Khama for establishing Khawa Dune Challenge.
He noted the event continues to grow and was a vital addition to the Kgalagadi District’s economy.
Masisi further stressed his government’s commitment to citizens’ economic empowerment, adding he wants Khawa natives to be at the forefront of their event.