Airport: A Brief Review
I recently flew to Maun from Gaborone over the festive season. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the changes to the new Sir Seretse Khama Airport. I hadn’t been to the airport for about three years.
Although small, the new airport is more open, airy and well sign posted. It’s also very clean and well kept. I can only hope that this is maintained; that it’s not left to fall into a state of disrepair. All the staff, from the security personnel through to various airline staff were very polite and pleasant.
There’s a Mugg and Bean, which comes in handy if you’re feeling peckish or want to grab a drink before your flight. If you are feeling a little hungry, you may just want to grab a little snack because (sorry Air Botswana), you may not be able to eat whatever you are served on your flight.
I was very happy to see that Botswana Craft, which I’m a huge fan of, has a small store at the airport. Visitors to Botswana will be able to buy some souvenirs and postcards, should they wish to. The postcards cost exactly the same as what you’d pay at the local Gaborone branch. By comparison, the airport branch is much smaller than the Gaborone store, so you’re limited.
The Botswana Police and Med Rescue also have a presence, which is comforting. Other than that, there are no stores at which to while away the time before your flight as with most international airports. There is a duty free store available to international travellers, but I have yet to see it to give any feedback.
For me, the elephant ivory sculpture that stands boldly between the departures and arrivals gates facing the main entrance is a thing of beauty. Interestingly, it has drawn mixed reviews both at home and around the world. Reportedly commissioned by the Office of the President, the sculpture took about six weeks to construct. It was unveiled to coincide with the 2015 African Elephant Summit that was held in Kasane.
President Khama said at the time,
“The placement of the sculpture here at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport is highly symbolic as it represents the international dimension or magnitude of the illegal ivory trade.”
Click here to read more about the elephant ivory sculpture.
To get back to the Sir Seretse Khama airport; I’m content with it and feel that the revamp was a success. The interior is a lot better than the exterior, which is why I’m baffled as to why most Google images of the airport show the roof, which to me looks rather odd. In my honest opinion, it’s the least attractive part of the airport.
The toilets were a bit of a let down!
My excitement over the new airport soon fizzled out when I visited the bathroom. Although they were not outright dirty; there’s certainly room for improvement. There were bits of tissue scattered all over the floor. Both the men’s and women’s toilets had no toilet roll. Just to be clear; I know about the former not because I went snooping, but rather because my husband confirmed it. Additionally, there were no plastic bags available for ladies to dispose of their sanitary waste!
I also thought it was inexcusable that some of the fixtures were rattling around in a sorry state of disrepair. That is far from cool and the maintenance/facilities team needs to jump on this ASAP and FIX it because it paints Botswana in a very, very bad light! It’s time whoever is in charge cracked the whip and addressed this.
Overall, the Sir Seretse Khama airport was a very pleasant surprise. Now we can only hope the long-awaited revamp of the Maun airport will soon follow.