In a bid to curb the high volume of people visiting the Gaborone Game Reserve (GGR), located just behind the Special Support Group (SSG) camp in Maruapula, the government has announced stringent entry requirements with immediate effect.
As from next month, a maximum number of 300 people and 60 cars will be allowed per afternoon of each Saturday and Sunday.
“This development comes about as a result of the high number of visitors that we receive over the weekends,” partly read a communiqu├® widely circulated in state media on Monday. More so, the government says as per the Educational Game Reserves Regulations of 2004, “playing music will no longer be allowed with immediate effect.”
In the same communiqu├® the government further stated that entry into the Game Reserve during weekends would be through pre-arranged booking.
Although the communiqu├® is silent on the consumption of alcohol at the game reserve, elbow benders are likely to feel the pinch the most. Most alcohol consumers living in and around Gaborone have been using the Game Reserve as a “picnic site” and come together spot.
The latest development has been interpreted as one of the strategic moves made by government to control alcohol consumption in the country. The government has over the years introduced controversial laws and rules that governed consumption of alcohol including the traditional beer trade as well as the controversial alcohol levy. The latter is revised almost every year and currently stands at over 50 percent.
However the government insists that the decision has been taken in a bid to ensure that the area serves its intended environmental education purpose without compromise.
The reserve was originally established to enhance conservation awareness amongst city dwellers but has since turned into a day club for elbow benders who usually converge there for picnics.