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Tourists visiting one of Ker and Downey’s camps in the Okavango Delta are never ready for a surprise treat on their last day in camp with one of the professional tour guides who has taken it upon himself to share the Mbukushu culture through song and dance.
Bonno Sehupe based at Shinde Footsteps, offers a unique activity to all his guests on their last day in camp as a farewell gesture and to also make sure they carry lasting memories beyond the incredible wildlife sightings of the area.
Those who have been a safari – especially a game drive will know that there is always a time when the guide stops at a strategic spot and allows the guests to disembark to stretch while he sets for a sundowner. Here the guests then have their favourite drinks and drinks while they watch the sun going down.
This is where Bonno plays his magic, as the guest are busy indulging – he gets into his Diware gear, and right there in the middle of Unesco’s 1000th World Heritage site – he showcases to these guests the Mbukushu Culture through song and dance.
There is nothing like Diware – a practice showcased on special occasions as the experience leaves lasting memories for Shinde footsteps – a little gem of a camp, which on its own is unique experience. For someone who has just shown you some of the amazing wildlife the area has to offer, to suddenly showcase an amazing cultural performance is more than amazing.
Making it even more unique is that – while traditionally Diware is showcased during special occasions by a group of men and women, Bonno has made it a one-man affair and dances to recorded songs, but still ensures he does on special occasions as a farewell to his guests.
The Ngami Times was recently at Shinde footsteps for immersion in best service, wildlife and on the cultural showcase by Bonno-who we immediately gave the name – The Dancing Guide of Shinde footsteps.
The journey with Bonno started at Shinde, another camp by Ker and Downey Botswana in the same concession for drive just over an hour to Footsteps. The drive was to be marked with incredible sightings of wildlife – infact, it was a complete game drive. By the time we got to camp we had seen enough for the day and though it was siesta time, we had to finish some newsroom work before heading out with Bonno on this very important experience.
Five minutes’ drive out of camp, Bonno pulled over at this spot, his favourite we guessed. We agreed that after donning his gear, we do an interview first before recording him as he showcased what he had to offer.
“Guiding is so routine, you know. Waking up to the same route every day, – like every other guide, you show and share with guests nature around you – wildlife – animals and plants, the environment and so on. What changes is the activities from ground to water based. So, I thought – maybe I should add on my schedule a cultural dance. So I could only think of my own culture –Mbukushu,” he said.
Bonno shared this with his employers, who let him be – so long as the guests liked it, and like they say the rest is history.
With the overwhelmingly positive feedback from his guests from all over the world, Bonno now basks in the glory of knowing that his culture in shared on place and destination so dear to and envied by many around the world – in the Okavango Delta. If you want to experience Shinde Footsteps and Bonno’s amazing guiding and dancing skills – contact Ker & Downey Botswana.