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“Great for the Mma Ramotswe fan, with a generous dose of Botswana history as well”

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Tours
Ranked #1 of 2 Tours in Gaborone
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 April 2017

Tim Race of Africa Insight was our guide for this half-day tour. We met him at the Cafe dijo, and with lattes in hand, we boarded his stretch Land Rover.

Our first stop was the Three Dikgosi (Chiefs) Monument. Not a location from the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. Rather a fascinating primer on the history of Bechuanaland, renamed Botswana upon independence in 1966.

From there we toured a variety of places referred to in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. The corner house on Zebra Way (Zebra Road in the books), where Mma Ramotswe lived. Fictionally of course. The University of Botswana, where Mma Ramotswe had a number of cases that involved students and staff. The Notwane river, a scene in a case where a man was killed by a crocodile while being baptised. The Village, where Mr. JLB Matekoni lived. The car yard and workshop that was the model for Speedy Motors.

At each location Tim brought the characters from the books alive with tales of the real-life people after whom those characters were modelled. The tour was very interactive too, with Tim asking questions to check our knowledge of the stories and characters in the books.

We ended a fascinating and very enjoyable half-day with lunch at Cafe dijo.

A highly recommended activity when you visit Gaborone. And you don't have to be a Mma Ramotswe fan to enjoy this tour.

Thank AlchemyRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 8 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2016

Wonderful tour with a very knowledgable guide. This tour brings the beloved characters to life and gives you a chance to see them in their traditional setting. It also provides a great insight into Botswana's history and culture. Highly recommend this to visitors to Gabarone.

5  Thank Kavita Vr V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2015

We went on the half-day tour. The guide certainly knew his stuff and although we were expecting it to be more rural from the books, we visited all the major places and heard how they featured in the books. We said we were also interested in general history, so the guide took us to various places in addition to the Mma Ramotswe places, and gave us a good understanding of Botswana history. Very interesting it was too.

5  Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2012

The condition of the place is just a shame. It looks (and I assume it is) abandoned, the windows, doors and even some roofs of some of the buildings are broken, there is rubbish everywhere, the fence is also broken and you can freely enter and enjoy the perfect mess without paying. A true pity that this tourist attraction hasn't been taken care of, as the series/book of the Lady Detective are internationally known and should be the number 1 place to visit for tourists in Gaborone. I would be surprised if was still standing in a couple of years if nothing's been done to rebuild it.

11  Thank okavangowaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2009

It is a crying shame that so many visitors to Botswana visit only the game parks in the North and never set foot in Gaborone, the capital city and location of Alexander McCall Smith's beloved detective stories about Precious Ramotswe.

Africa Insight offers both full and half days tours to various sights associated with the stories in the books - and now TV series. In all honesty, many of them would mean nothing if you just drove down the road on your own, but at each stop on the route your driver/guide will read the appropriate section(s) of the story to make even a railroad crossing come alive.

I was the only passenger that day, so had the undivided attention of my guide, which was nice. And because of this I was also able to negotiate (when making the booking )to also be taken to a couple of places within a 20 mile radius of the city which were not associated with the !st Lady, but were on my wish list like the Tswana Place of Emergence.

Africa Insight is the company who has the author's permission to offer the tour bearing the name of the book. There are others who use the name without permission.

Gaborone is a very surprising city, it has some really inovative artists, is VERY clean and has NO litter!! You almost forget that you are in Africa!

36  Thank travgran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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