I’ve been in Gaborone, Botswana since mid-January, but I’ve only had a chance to explore the city and surrounding area for about 3 weeks. This is mainly due to the fact that we either have to take a taxi, combi, or walk to local areas. However, the weather here is almost always the same (hot and sunny) which means walking is sometimes out of the question.
Most of our shopping centres are located at the local Main Mall, convenient River Walk Mall, and the highly commercialized Game Mall. Game Mall and River Walk Mall have the most options, but are still very similar to any other, smaller mall in Gaborone. They basically have everything you would find in a local mall back in the States, except with an African touch to it. The Botswana ways and culture are different than American customs. Even customer service, buying items, and viewing items is different. Also, 90% of the items bought in department stores in Botswana come from South Africa.
The Main Mall
River Walk Mall
Game City Mall
In terms of restaurants, we have several here. Nando’s serves delicious wraps, pitas, and salads, etc. It’s equivalent to a sit-down Panera Bread with available wi-fi and they even bring the food to you. Tip: If you ask for french fries, the employees and locals will stare at you for what seems like an eternity. They call it “chips” and they’re just as good as they are in the states!
Nando’s is well known for their international sauces. Be careful when ordering because what we consider “mild” back home is actually very spicy and hot here. Nando’s is also known for hilarious billboards and signs across Africa such as the one below.
Believe it or not, they have KFC here. And yes, it’s delicious. However, the menu is completely different, but the secret recipe is the same and still a “secret,” so they say, even on the African continent. It’s very interesting to see the same KFC logo of Colonel Sanders smiling when walking by local vendors and local businesses as I would see back in Richmond, VA.
Chicken Licken is the equivalent to KFC, but the African version. It’s good food for the great price one would pay for a piece of chicken and chips. Interesting event: KFC sued Chicken Licken and took them to court. KFC claimed that the slogan “Finger Licken Good” resembled Chicken Licken’s company name and confused customers. Needless to say, KFC lost their claim in court.