- Khama spent his last day as President in the CKGR
- Flew his friends and associates for camping in CKGR
- BDF and DIS personnel deployed to the camp site
Officially, former President Ian Khama’s last goodbye was at his home village of Serowe but privately, the adventurous Khama had his last farewell party in the middle of the bush in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).
The Botswana Gazette team happened to be in the CKGR on Saturday 31st March, Khama’s last day as president and arrived at Kori plains just in time to witness Khama take off in the luxurious presidential Supa Puma helicopter. The presidential helicopter made two trips, first taking Khama and some of his close friends before coming back for his close associates who had spent the night with him in the heart of the CKGR where a large contingent of BDF and DIS personnel had been deployed to set up camp. The camp was fully equipped, with the BDF having brought a mobile clinic truck, water tanker truck, refrigerator, camping equipment such as tents and chairs. A caravan was brought to the bush for Khama and was towed back to Gaborone by one of his bodyguards after the camping on Saturday.
A pleasantly surprised Khama could be seen in the cockpit waving to a group of local tourists who were in the company of The Botswana Gazette team. Some tourists from Europe who also happened to be in the area at the time of Khama’s departure couldn’t help but watch in awe as local tourists waved frantically at Khama just after take-off, with one tourist later asking, ‘‘So you guys love your president so much?’’
A connoisseur of aviation, Khama reportedly ensured that the luxurious Puma helicopter was fixed before he retired. This was after he allegedly blew its twin engines during a rendezvous in Gchwihaba caves last year in December. According to media reports, government spent P56 million in replacing the twin engines of the EC225LP Super Puma helicopter, which ranks as the most expensive business helicopter in the commercial market.