“I’m hoping to inspire Batswana to appreciate their country. I want to help market tourist/travel experiences in Botswana, to promote local tourism industry in Botswana.”
Writer and photographer, Thalefang Charles will, this Thursday, release his travel coffee table guide book titled Botswana’s Top 50 Ultimate Experiences.
Charles says the book contains a “bucket list” of things to see, do, eat and attend in Botswana; it also includes his tribute to Botswana on her 50th independence anniversary- something he says he hopes will leave a lasting legacy of BOT50.
“It is Botswana’s ultimate itinerary presented with remarkable photographs and a language that travellers will relate to. The book is aimed at promoting Botswana as well as guiding travellers through the country,” he says.
Narrating the story of how the idea of the book came about, Charles said it was compiled from material collected over 10 years of traveling and from his media career. “Having extensively travelled Botswana, and seeing that all guides books are written by foreigners and mostly about wildlife I felt there is a need to tell authentic guiding stories by a Motswana,” he explained.
Despite this being a fulfilled life dream, Charles says it was difficult to get the book published. “It is disappointing at times but the process is also exciting. The problem is that we do not have a culture of publishing books and reading, so investors are hesitant on investing in publishing,” he revealed.
According to Charles, who is inspired by David Livingstone’s travel and Sihle Khumalo’s travelogues, will appeal to actual travellers curious about Botswana and “arm chair” travellers who prefer to travel through books. “I’m hoping to inspire Batswana to appreciate their country. I want to help market tourist/travel experiences in Botswana, to promote local tourism industry in Botswana,” he vowed.
Charles, who is a journalist with Mmegi newspaper, has, together with his photo journalist friend Pako Lesejane, cultivated a reputation for travel and photography and an enviable social media utility through which he has chronicled his travels over the years, also sharing books he reads and uploading some of the most breath-taking photos by any photographer in Botswana.
With the increase in digital migration, he believes coffee table books have to be hard copies because the experience of reading real books is totally different from the online experience. “It is about the experience and the design, not just the words and images. That is why I made sure that I lead the design and art direction of my book,” he said.
The book will be available at Exclusive Books Riverwalk Mall and selected bookstores from November 24 for only P320.