What is it about this picture? What are you drawn to?

Is it the excitement of the wilds of Africa?

Is it the blank canvas on which to shoot and create your reality TV show and production? Where you stage starting points for 7 teams who then have to navigate, on their own, feeding off the land over 3 nights? Racing for the single end point? Dodging elephant and being genuinely petrified?

For us at Film Fixers, it was this oddly shaped border, separating Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Odd in that it was in fact symmetrical. As perfect a crescent as you could want:

Since most country borders follow geographic features, I was excited to discover that there is in fact no crazy geological scarring, thanks to the Great Rift Valley that slides past our game area’s northern border. Nor was there a funky ridge, similar to Solomon’s Wall, just south of us. So what made the border I hear you ask.

Well like many great border stories, there was a dispute. Somebody wanted this scraggly and remote part of Africa, with certain shaped rocks and pointy cacti. And for precisely that reason, somebody else wanted it. “Where the canon ball settles, a circle shall be drawn till it touches the Shashe River. The area within shall belong to Zimbabwe. The citizens and herdsmen of Botswana shall respect this boundary.” They fired the cannonball, drew the circle, and here it is, right next to our location for the adventure reality shoot and filming location, ok, they did that before we got there.

As part of 2 games for the French production house, we were hired to scout and produce in Botswana. This was at a time where film permits for filming in Botswana were not available. But such was the film production value, the Botswana government agreed to issuing the film permits to this production crew. Many local film students were hired and added great value to the production.

This was a dream shoot for us as location fixers and location managers. We had to get Botswana film permits for drones, we had to hire 4×4’s to access super remote areas. We needed to set up a fully functional base camp with professional meals, refreshments, hot showers and charging stations for the entire production crew. Quad bikes and GPS units were essential equipment. As was snake bite anti-venom kits. As well as sat phones.

But my lasting memory, is the cannonball border!