Before I moved to Botswana seven years ago, I wasn’t much of an animal lover. I had a cat, I liked animals but that was the extent of things. My husband was already living in Gaborone when he called me in the UK and said he’d found an abandoned sick puppy. I looked online and found the details of the animal shelter, the BSPCA. That puppy never made it to the shelter.
Seven years on and she has been our constant companion, a loyal and loving member of our family. She’s been joined by two more rescue dogs from the BSPCA and two rescued cats. With five animals and two small children, the house can sometimes feel like a zoo.
So it was with great pleasure that my four year old and I set off on Saturday morning to have a bit of time out at the new Bark and Bite Café at the BSPCA.
The Bark and Bite is run entirely by volunteers and it has been made possible through the donations and the effort of the community that care about the welfare of animals in Botswana. It’s a great fundraising initiative and I think it will be successful, not only in raising funds but in drawing attention to the work of the BSPCA and hopefully it will encourage more adoptions from the shelter.
The décor is impressive. Housed under a cool lapa, the café interior wouldn’t look out of place in a stylish Jozi suburb. Black and white art work adorns the walls and there was a friendly, bustling vibe. The volunteer staff were friendly, helpful and all working hard.
There was a great selection of hot and cold drinks as well as a table of delicious looking cakes. The café operates through donations with a reasonable suggested donation of P20 for a coffee, P15 for soft drinks and P20 for a cake. I can vouch for the coffee: served in a percolator with its own cosy, and a jug of hot milk.
A Family Day Out
Aside from the café, the BSPCA has so much on offer for families who want to visit. The new play area will keep your little ones entertained and you can visit all the resident animals. Not just dogs and cats but some cows, a goat, some rabbits and a pen full of puppies. There is the option of volunteering to walk the dogs and the shelter staff are happy to arrange this for you.
If you haven’t been to the BSPCA bookshop, you are in for a pleasant surprise. They have a huge selection of books, well categorised and at bargain prices. The volunteer staff there are also happy to help you find what you need. There aren’t a huge amount of children’s books but we picked up some nice reference books with bright pictures that caught my daughter’s attention. We bought three books for only P40.
A visit to the Bark and Bite is a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. We were kept busy for nearly two hours at the BSPCA, only leaving when my daughter asked if we could adopt a puppy. It was time to go.
We’ll be back though!