The sleepy little Kgalagadi village of Khawa comes alive yet again this weekend thanks to the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO), Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture and Botswana Motor Sport (BMS) collaboration which will see the Khawa Dune Challenge & Cultural Festival at Khawa held there from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th May 2017.
“Khawa was picked to host this event looking at its unique landscape which provides a number of opportunities for tourism growth. This event has established interest among the Khawa community who have seen value in partaking in the tourism business,” said acting BTO CEO, Zibanani Hubona.
The home-grown family oriented event which continues to grow in size and stature- returns to the remote village approximately 167 KM southwest of Tsabong- for the sixth year and will be a hive of activities including the quad and motor bike battle across the sand dunes, a camel race, Kgalagadi cultural activities as well as camel rides.
“In terms of numbers the event drew over 12 000 spectators last year, which is up from 6,000 in 2015 and 3,700 in 2014. And the positive tourism effects are not only during the event weekend with a 42% of spectators interviewed during the event saying that they visit the area outside of the event itself,” said Tourism minister Tshekedi Khama explaining the previous success of the event.
He says the economic impact of the event is evident in Khawa alone where as much as 2,1 million to 5,6 million pula exchanges hands in just one weekend. Its objective however remains the same-to encourage locals to travel more in their own country, he added.
BTO has developed a land use plan for Khawa and has assisted the village trust to secure a campsite plot for use in generating sustainable income for the community. These efforts are also intended to make the village a prominent tourism spot in Botswana.