One of the most scenic routes in southern Botswana is the Gaborone to Kanye drive (approximately 80 kms southwest of Gaborone). The road gently climbs and descends, giving entrance to gently rolling grasslands rich in trees and shrubs, quaint vistas of agricultural lands and grazing livestock, and tiny villages nestled between rock-strewn hills.
Home of the Bangwaketse people who settled in the area in the mid- 19th century, Kanye is the longest continuously occupied capital village in Botswana. There are a number of interesting places to see in Kanye, so plan on a full day excursion from Gaborone, or a night-over at one of its lodges or guest houses.
The Polokwe Viewpoint, situated about ten kilometres north of Kanye on the Thamaga road, gives a breathtaking view of the northern valley, particularly at sunrise and sunset. From the Gorge, near Seepapitso Secondary School, interesting, and very beautiful, walks can be taken – lush in vegetation, with good birding possibilities. Stone wall settlements are also visible along the way. According to oral history, the Gorge is the place where the Bangwaketse hid from Mzilikazi’s Ndebele raids in the area. Just north of the village and near the dam lies a bird sanctuary.
Kanye’s main kgotla (village meeting place and customary court) is full of interesting historical buildings, including the former residence of Kgosi (Chief) Bathoen I, the original tribal offices, built in 1914 by Seepapitso III, and nearby, the former residence of the late Kgosi Bathoen II. As well, there are several old churches to explore, the oldest being the London Missionary Church, built in 1894. The proper courtesy is to first go to the kgotla offices and inform officials that you wish to visit the kgotla, at which point you will be warmly welcomed, and shown around.
The delightful Motse Lodge houses a cultural centre, where traditional arts and crafts are being revitalised, and a museum, which holds artifacts from the area. Tel: +267 548-0363.