Kgale hill (1287m) lies just south of Gaborone. There are several challenges which must be overcome for a successful summit. The first of these challenges is the troop of baboons at the foot of the hill. Just like so many other beautiful places in this city, Kgale hill has been used roughly. Steps from the trailhead lie huge mounds of refuse, stacks and piles of garbage reaching the lowest hanging branches of the nearby trees. The baboons live here, scavenging the rubbish, Gaborone’s small version of Mozambique’s trash city. When we arrived, some scampered across the trail, while deeper in the brush they barked at us from every direction.We strode quickly through the scrub trees and tall grass, peering nervously into the impenetrable bush.
The next and most important challenge is navigating the trail. According to Wikipedia, there are three trails to the summit. None of these are marked. All roads lead to the quarry, and a confrontation with the guards, and a taxi home. At least so I had been told by my flat mates on arrival.
We successfully navigated the trail, avoided a foray to the quarry, and managed to scramble the final 100 feet of elevation. The vista was the sort inducing quiet reflection even in those not prone to self examination. We sat for some time, gazing out over the Gaborone dam, at the massive reservoir at its nadir at the end of the long dry season, at the miniscule cars racing down the black two lane highway stretching off into the horizon, and idly thought about the tiny fragment of the universe that our lives represent, and the tiny blip in time that our years comprise. Which is to say that we, or at least I, made the facile observation of our own inconsequence in the face of such majesty. And then I turned around and saw the mammoth boulders, littered with childish scrawl and inane drivel and I was jarred back from my reverie. But it was really pretty.
On the way back home we stopped at Game City, another of the many malls of Gaborone, for a much needed breakfast. We stopped in to the pharmacy afterwards. Next the herbal remedy for fever formulated primarily from belladonna, above the panoply of condoms in assorted flavors colors and sizes, were the cans of Mr. Big. In the pharmacy.