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Selling Botswana through its people

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Mothelesi believes that there is so much beauty in Botswana PIC: HAPPY SOUL ADVENTURES
All of the famous wonders of the world are definitely worth checking out, but sometimes people get a bit off the beaten path and encounter undisclosed places that also bring out the cultural and instinctive side of the world.

In Botswana specifically, a country known for its rich tourism, the best places to visit are not limited to the same old hot spots but there are many places around to find unique experiences of your own.

That is what inspired Cynthia Mothelesi when she came up with her Happy Soul Adventures idea last year. The lady who worked for Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) for seven years in the public relations and marketing department told Arts & Culture this week that it was at BTO where she identified the gaps and how to improve tourism in Botswana looking at what is already there.

“I appreciate culture, I like meeting people and every time I traveled because of work, I used to meet people who shared their stories and culture. After leaving BTO I felt that we have already sold Safari model enough so I looked at people based experiences,” she said.

Mothelesi added that it may not be new but the interesting part is that she is selling what she is already living today. She said today’s travellers do not want to do the same things but rather want to experience what the local people live.  Mothelesi said currently she offers cycling tours outside Gaborone like Manyana, Mogonye, Oodi, and Notwane. “We also offer city tours for clients who want to experience Gaborone through the locals,” she said.

Mothelesi who is running the business alone was quick to highlight that most people go to the same places with the same people during weekends when they could have instead opted for

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something different. “This can bring out other passions that you have,” she said.

The self-confessed art lover said she likes working with local entrepreneurs on things that are authentic Botswana.  Mothelesi said she also hosts her clients at her house and take them on tours. “I make sure that they experience everything that is authentic Botswana, I recently took my client to Main Deck Gaborone, Bee 6 Bar in Mochudi, Chilli Bar in Matebele and the newly-opened local cuisine Size 10 in Main Mall.

I even took some American ladies in their 50s to a Trompies show at Botswana Craft,” she said.

Mothelesi’s mission is to sell Botswana through the people but going forward, she needs support from local businesses. She said she wants the local people to know that there is so much beauty in Botswana.

“My dream now is honeymooners, instead of going to Seychelles and Mauritius, how about we explore other places here in Botswana.”

The lady from Tsabong noted that South Africans are warming up to the idea of coming to Botswana for a weekend.

“My services are tailor-made to what a client is looking for,” she highlighted.  She said after doing the Desert Race and Makgadikgadi Epic she is now heading to Kuru to experience Basarwa culture.

Many cool places in Botswana are amongst some of the most hidden, but with Happy Soul Adventures it seems like stumbling upon such pretty places is not as difficult as it seems. Everyone has their own secret vacation spots, but giving other places deserved publicity is something long overdue.



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