Chobe National Park Local Customs

  • Giraffe Teapot not from Chobe,but tea happens here
    Giraffe Teapot not from Chobe,but tea...
    by glabah
  • Toilet Tiki? Carvings popular among tribes in area
    Toilet Tiki? Carvings popular among...
    by glabah
  • detail view of statue in entryway at Chobe Lodge
    detail view of statue in entryway at...
    by glabah

Most Recent Local Customs in Chobe National Park

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    Tea: Every Day, Anywhere

    by glabah Updated Sep 15, 2008

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    I'm not sure if this is just part of the package that I traveled on, or if it is considered part of life necessities here. However, I can tell you that it seems like anywhere you go, there will always be tea in the afternoon. This even includes all of the game drives I rode in: at a certain time in the afternoon, it was absolutely vital to stop at a convenient picnic area. Tea servings were pulled out of a temperature controlled compartment in the vehicle, and tea was served. Certainly, tea was also a vital meal at the Chobe Game Lodge as well. In fact, it was my first meal there after arriving: "After you get your bags to the room and wash up, you MUST come to the patio at the end of the dining area for tea."

    So, when planning your regular food intake and packing your supplies, keep in mind that there will most likely be an afternoon "snack" in just about any location, even in the middle of chasing elephants.

    The giraffe tea pot (yes, it does work) and tea cups pictured here have nothing to do with Botswana, except they were designed to hold tea and you will probably see at least one giraffe in Chobe. The teapot and tea cups were made in Portland, Oregon by artist Elizabeth Cook Sullivan, who makes a number of other teapots shaped like animals (African and non-African) and various other art works.

    Giraffe Teapot not from Chobe,but tea happens here

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    Local Traditional Artwork on Exhibit: Chobe Lodge

    by glabah Written Sep 8, 2007

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    The Chobe Game Lodge has a lot more to it than just staying overnight in the middle of an African national park. The artwork that decorates the walls (and other locations!) in the lodge are, in many cases, traditional artwork from local tribes. This may not necessarily be a Chobe National Park tradition, but is a local custom that has made it into the park and earned a display location in the Chobe Game Lodge.

    In the lobby, there is a large carved door that is a tradition among one of the local tribes. Almost an entire typed page describes the traditions of this wood carving tribe.

    A man-eating sculpture is designed to chase away evil spirits, and is a specailty of another local tribe. Again, detailed descriptions are available about this

    Then, there was this thing above the toilet in my room. The Toilet Tiki? To scare away bad smell? I'm not sure I can even call it a carving because it was formed in ceramic and glued right into the wall with the rest of the ceramic tile. Was it cast in ceramic? How?

    Unfortunately, unlike the art work in the main lodge, the artwork in the rooms do not have descriptions of what they are or where they came from, or the traditions behind them. Then again, in some cases that might be a good thing!

    However it is obvious from the decorations in the rooms, in the main building of the lodge, the artistic bathroom sinks, and even the light fixtures in the lodge dining hall, that the local tribes contributed a great deal to the artwork here, and have a fine tradition of wood carving.

    Toilet Tiki? Carvings popular among tribes in area detail view of carving on wall at Chobe Lodge detail view of statue in entryway at Chobe Lodge detail view of carved light sconce at Chobe Lodge detail view of carved light sconce at Chobe Lodge
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

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