Johannesburg to Botswana

Among the list of tasks to accomplish while in Johannesburg: collect our South African visa extension.

You get three months on arrival. We knew that we wanted to spend more than that in the area, so we applied as soon as we got here.

This turns out to be expensive, time-consuming, and vexatious. At long last, we pick up our passports with the much-desired extension.

Let me in…Immigration Man…

The day we leave Johannesburg, we spend a large part of the day at the Cradle of Humankind Information Centre and nearby sites.

Justin Trudeau might say ‘the Cradle of Peoplekind’

Among other things, we learn that ‘Lucy‘, one of our unimaginably-distant ancestors, is named after ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds‘.

(Cultural tip: good (but a bit violent, like most Luc Besson films) sci-fi film from 2014, ‘Lucy‘, with Scarlett Johansson. It has a barely-there, tangential connection with the fossilized Lucy, too.)

A nearly-complete Australopithecus Africanus skeleton was found in the Sterkfontein caves.

Little foot‘ was big news in 1997.

Besides the paleoanthropological interest, the cave is wonderful in itself

Interior, Sterkfontein cave

This is where the boffins do their work. (But not today, because it’s Saturday.)

Digging in the Dirt

Next day, a few more hours of driving brings us to the Botswana frontier post.

Once across, we spend the night in the small town of Kanye. Then we drive 875 kilometres to Maun.

Lucky for us the the roads are good

This is the longest single-day drive we’ve ever done, including in Australia, the usual home of the marathon driving session.

Sight or Insight of the Day

‘Pula’ is an interesting setswana word. Besides being the name of the local currency, it also means ‘good fortune’ and ‘rain’ (which is good fortune in this often-dry country.)

‘Pula’ means rain

Pula also features prominently in the Botswana coat of arms.

Zebras? Or horses in pajamas?