The Accompanying Persons Programme which is organised by Chain of Events includes:
- All six conference evening dinners - Sunday 17th to Friday 22nd September 2016 (see Social Programme) with the following special events Icebreaker (sponsored by Lucara Diamond Corporation), Botswana Bush Night preceded by talks celebrating 50 Years of Diamonds in Botswana, and the Farewell Dinner.
- A four day tour package – Monday 18th, Tuesday 19th, Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd September 2016 (see below).
All four of the day tours will start from, and finish at, the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) immediately adjacent to the onsite Walmont Hotel and Metcourt Inn. Transport will be in luxury buses.
Day 1: Monday 18 September 2017 - Gaborone City Tour
Field Trip 9: Rough Diamond Sorting: accompanying persons have the unique opportunity of participating in the first (only) of these trips (departing 8am). Important Note: these tickets must be purchased separately, on a first come, first serve basis, with conference registration. The first day of the tour package will start late morning after the first Field Trip 9 returns to the GICC.
Gaborone Yacht Club: lunch is at this charming location with a scenic view of the Gaborone Dam.
City Tour: Botswana’s government and economic capital city including (i) the Three Chiefs Monument located in the Central Business District which comprises 5.4 m tall bronze statues of the Three Dikgosi/Chiefs who played important roles in Botswana’s independence and (ii) the lively pedestrian Main Mall, the official centre of the city flanked by the government enclave, where Batswana sell their locally produced goods.
Day 2: Tuesday 19 September 2017 – Mokolodi Nature Reserve
This 5km2 reserve comprises riverine terrain, rocky hills and Lake Gwithian and is approximately 15 km south of Gaborone. Wildlife resident in the reserve include kudu, warthog, duiker, giraffe, steenbok, zebra, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, ostrich, impala, springbok, waterbuck, baboons, vervet monkeys, mountain reedbuck, eland, bushbuck and leopard. A highly successful white rhino reintroduction and breeding programme now puts the white rhino population in the reserve at eight. A mid-morning two hour game drive is followed by lunch at the Mokolodi Restaurant and a visit to the Reptile Park where a variety of reptiles, birds, lizards, and tortoises amongst other animals can be seen.
Day 3: Thursday 21 September 2017 - Cultural/Historic Tour Around Gaborone
Thamaga Pottery: located at the Botswelelo Centre in the large rural village of Thamaga amidst large rock formations approximately 40 km west of Gaborone. The pottery was started by missionaries in 1976 and now employs about 20 women who produce crafts that have unique Tswana decorations and are sold internationally (e.g. traditional pots, vases, coffee sets, wine goblets and dinner sets).
Bahurutshe Cultural Village: a delightful cultural experience in a recreated Hurutshe village with traditional rondavels, arts and craft, dancing, local cuisine and cultural educational tours.
Livingstone Memorial Site: David Livingstone was a missionary and explorer of Africa and here 25 km west of Gaborone are the remains of his 1847 third and last mission, the Kolobeng Mission. The site includes Botswana’s first Christian church (under the tree), the first clinic, Bible school and first western style irrigation system as well as the home of the Livingstone family. The visit includes the remains of the Livingstone house, clinic and family graveyard down the perennial Kolobeng river. Lunch will be a picnic under the trees.
Day 4: Friday 22 September 2017 - Gaborone Highlights
Diamond Cutting and Polishing: a tour of the diamond cutting and polishing factory of Shrenuj Botswana, a subsidiary of Shrenju and Company, a jewellery company established in India in 1906. The factory opened in 2009 and their core business is to source rough diamonds, cut and polish them into premium polished diamonds for use in the manufacture of jewellery in Botswana and India and for export to buyers worldwide.
Botswanacraft: get another taste of Botswana culture while browsing and shopping local Tswana crafts. This lovely shop was established by the Botswana Development Corporation in 1970 to develop the rural based handicraft industry of the country. The company has been privately owned since 1993 and is now Botswana's largest retailer and exporter of handicrafts. It creates work for numerous rural craft producers throughout the country and is dedicated towards improving the quality of life for rural Batswana and the management and utilisation of our natural resources. Botswanacraft complements locally made products by importing handicrafts from the southern African region and other developing countries. There is also a restaurant where you could enjoy a drink or explore local food.
Sanitas - The Green Diamonds of Botswana: Botswana’s oldest nursery and garden centre is located on a 10ha farm in the Ngotwane valley close to the Gaborone Dam. Sanitas is an oasis in the semi-arid countryside and Green Diamonds of Botswana ® is their registered trademark. With more than 40 years’ of growing experience, the use of indigenous and water wise plants is promoted and they cultivate new plant species and varieties to suit local conditions. They export plants and flowers around the world and fruits and vegetables are offered to local markets. Lunch will be in the beautiful lush Tea Garden. On the way in and out you can browse the nursery and garden shop.