440 mm (GoB)
The old farmer’s answer “it can rain in any month with an “R” in it. In my experience we expect the rains to start properly late October through to mid April predominantly December through early March.
Ghanzi is on the Ghanzi ridge, which is a limestone geological feature, which stretches from Kuke in the NE through to Mamuno in the SW. It’s roughly around 400 km long and 75 kms wide. Ground water is plentiful and abundant and readily available on the ridge. This is the reason that the Ghanzi farms are where they are, the old trekkers were aware of the ground water availability. No one is sure where the water comes from and how it is replenished, credible theories are from the Okavango or from rainfall, all I can say is that in the 100+ years that groundwater has been utilised here it’s never run dry – maybe tempting fate, so say no more !
All our freehold farms are on the ridge and potable water is abundant. The water is “hard” due to the limestone aquifer. Wells are typically 40m deep with standing water at 15m
We need rain for grass and bush for animals to eat.
Ghanzi is on the Trans Kalahari Highway. It has modern tar road links to Gaborone, Lobatse, Mafeking, Gobabis / Windhoek and Maun.
There are regular bus services to Gaborone, Lobatse, Maun and Windhoek.
There is an airport in the centre of Ghanzi - FBGZ
Coords: S 21 41 33 E 021 39 29
Elevation 3 700 ‘
Runway 06/24, length 1500m width 18m tar
Ghanzi airport: 124.60
Manned during normal working hours
Customs & Immigration by arrangement.
Major urban areas have “normal” African security problems, petty theft predominantly but not nearly as bad as RSA. Very few instances of personal violence and / or hijacking. Police have zero tolerance.
Rural towns / villages (Ghanzi would fall into this) virtually crime free but not wise to tempt fate by leaving high value items such as laptops, cameras etc. on open display in vehicles. Common sense.
On our farm we don’t lock doors in fact don’t have keys .
Grazing is sweet veld. All animals thrive. We are surprised how well rhino, giraffe and waterbuck amongst all the other more obvious species thrive.
Bat eared fox common
African wildcat common
Honey badger common
Brown hyena common
Spotted hyena rare
Lion transient occasionally
Elephant transient occasionally
Probably in excess of 100 different species, some of the more interesting
Lappet faced vulture
and many more
Since we’ve provided permanent surface water we see water birds, such as white faced ducks, various storks and even a few resident fish eagles.
We have a regional Government hospital this is very modern and has state of the art facilities, however the staff tend to struggle with the available technology.
There are two good private GPs and a well equipped and knowledgable pharmacy.
Sprint couriers offer a good daily service to Gaborone and beyond.
There are 4 or 5 modern supermarkets incl. Spar and Choppies which stock all necessary incl. fresh veg, meat etc. 4 or 5 bottle stores one of which is particularly well stocked for the more selective customer. There is a general wholesaler from which most dry goods incl. booze can be purchased. There are 3 or 4 hardware shops which stock almost everything you will need on the farm or personally. There are two modern tyre shops providing all the normal services. There are three fuel service stations Shell, Engen and whatever they call BP these days. There are several cheap furniture stores aimed mostly at the local market as well as Pep Stores etc.
There are 3 service providers in Botswana: Orange, Mascom and BeMobile all of which offer roaming to international customers.
Signal is available all over the farms. Orange and BeMobile provide the best service in this area. We have a signal booster at the farm HQ so no problem at all there.
Yes we have Broadband at HQ, which is beamed from Ghanzi – generally satisfactory service. Cell phone companies provide access Orange in our locale give 3G.
We have three banks
All offer full services and have ATMs etc.
The Kalahari Arms is in central Ghanzi and is to an internationally acceptable standard we also have Tautona which is also an international standard hotel about 10 kms out of Ghanzi on a game reserve and Thakadu 10 kms out of town, more of a rustic, good value, backpackers place, has a convivial bar and restaurant popular with the locals. There are other B&Bs and less formal lodges.
Botswana runs a very enlightened forex system. The Pula is freely convertible without restriction.
It fluctuates with international markets but generally over the last year has ranged from SAR 1.5 = BWP 1.0 to the current SAR 1.3 = BWP 1.0
It fluctuates with international markets but Oct 2016 1 BWP = £ 0.077 and 1 BWP = 0.095 US$
Labour is freely available. The local labour is mainly bushmen some of whom are exceptionally talented and skilled. We’ve also taken advantage of the availability of Zimbabwean agricultural labour, they tend to be better educated and make good foreman level employees. Permits for non-citizens are obtainable.
Diesel P 7.30 / litre
Petrol P 7.75 / litre
Paraffin P 6.70 / litre
Climate is similar to the South African Highveld i.e. hot and dry desert climate – summer rain, dry winters, sometimes frost on clear winter nights.
local Ghanzi gossip would be the general carrying capacity as 1 LSU to 14 hectares this for extensive poorly managed farms. Our cattle farm with highly developed holistic management infrastructure would be 1 LSU to 5 hectares and improving. The game farms are difficult to quantify with the wide spectrum of grazers / browsers.