Friday, May 24, 2024

All set for the Khawa Sand Dune Challenge

The Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Botswana Motor Sports, Kgalagadi District and the people of Khawa, will host the 2nd annual Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival between August 23rd and 25th 2013 at Khawa village following a successful debut last year.

This year brings a bigger and better festival, promising participants and spectators a number of activities, including a 22-kilometre stretch for both novices and seasoned bikers.

The BTO Chief Executive Officer, Myra Sekgororoane, told a media briefing that it was part of their core mandate to diversify tourism by offering products beyond wildlife and include heritage sites, which are along the beautiful sand dunes of the Kgalagadi Desert.

Sekgororoane further said that the previous sand dune challenge attracted people from as far as South Africa and Namibia and that they will, in future, like to see it grow into a regional event and ultimately an international one.

“The Khawa Dune Challenge and Cultural Festival, now in its second year, is one of its kind in Botswana and adds a new dimension to tourism product development,” said Sekgororoane.

On behalf of the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, the Permanent Secretary, Ruth Maphorisa, pointed out the importance of cultural heritage in enhancing tourism, saying that the introduction of heritage could play a crucial role in economic diversification as well.

Maphorisa further stated that the combination of culture, heritage and arts could lead to attractive tourism destinations.

“Culture has always been a major object of travel, as the developments of the grand voyages of discovery by medieval European powers of the 16th century onwards attest,” she said.

The Dune Challenge will be far from complete without the input of partners, such as the Botswana Motor Sports (BMS) whose vice President ÔÇô Administration – Ivorene Wheeler, said that the number of biker entries was currently sitting at 16 and that there is still room for more participants to register for the challenge.

Wheeler promised a more challenging and enjoyable route for bikers this year.

On another note, Wheeler said that Botswana was the latest member of the F├®d├®ration Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body of motorsport worldwide and the representative┬áof 60 million road and track users from over 230 member clubs and will have the privilege of hosting this year’s African Congress for Motorists.

Botswana has also been awarded a Ôé¼70,000 grant to train marshals locally.

Participants of the Dune Challenge will be spoilt for choice regarding entertainment as there is a variety of performing artists who have been winners and runner ups in the past and current Presidents Day competitions.

Fine artists will also be showcasing their works in the form of beads and leatherworks. As part of empowering the people residing in the area, the Kgalagadi District will be awarding temporary vendor licences for the event and, through the Khawa Village Development Committee, they will be able to buy stalls to sell merchandise to the attendants.

Regarding safety and health issues, Sekgororoane said that they will be working hand in hand with the Botswana Police and the Ministry of Health to ensure that everything progresses accordingly.

With respect to the environmental impact, Sekgororoane stated that the sand dunes are self healing and gauging from the previous year’s monitoring, there has been no detection of living organisms and permanent damage. She further explained that they will continue with the monitoring process to ensure that there is no damage in future.


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