Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thamaga Pottery

We headed to Thamaga this Sunday, to visit Thamaga Pottery. Thamaga is about 40 km west of Gaborone on the road to Kanye. From Kanye one can pick up the Transkalahari Highway and head to Namibia, which we will do in May. Unfortunately, my least favorite though very common southern African driving conditions prevailed: a wet two lane road with a 120 km/hr speed limit which most drivers exceed, except for the 80 and 60 km speed limits when passing (frequently) through villages, an abundance of goats, cattle and stubborn donkeys on the side of the road as well as men on bicycles and other pedestrians, often women carrying loads on their heads or boys carrying firewood on their heads or in wheelbarrows, the occasional donkey cart (ok, the donkey cart was in Thamaga), heavily laden small, old white bakkie traveling 40 km/hr or huge lorry or bus traveling 130 km/hr, high grass along the roadside making visibility poor and hiding animals, and the odd cattle grille or pothole. Other than all of that, no problem.

We passed through a few villages on our way to Thamaga - Mogaditshane while still close to Gabs, then Kumakwane and Gabane. We had actually been out this way on the weekend of our Cultural Excursion and today saw the turnoff to the Livingstone Memorial in Kolobeng (which we have not visited) and the Baharutshe Cultural Village. To get to Thamaga Pottery one takes the first turnoff to Thamaga and then the first turnoff to Molepolole and it is about one km up on the right. In Thamaga people were streaming out of their churches, though in the one next to Thamaga Pottery the singing was still going strong. Thamaga Pottery has been in existence for nearly 40 years now. It employs about 20 villagers and is supervised by a village committee. A distinctive 'Thamaga' pottery style has developed and is known throughout Botswana and even other parts of the world. The shop is open daily 8 to 5 though the potters do not work on the weekends. We think the bowls, especially, will make lovely gifts!


  1. Just found your blog while searching on Thamaga Pottery. Thank you for the directions! I plan to visit there soon! Can't wait.

  2. After reading the #1 ladies detective story, Tea Time for the Traditionally built, and being a potter myself on the way to a reenactment of early american pottery, I wanted to learn more about the Tamaga pottery mentioned in the book.

    Thank you for your insights into the area!