This very large fishing village stands on the northern banks of the Panhandle of the Delta, some 281km north of Sehithwa and 13km south of the Mohembo border post on the Caprivi Strip. Driving into the village always used to feel like entering a maze of reed walls, each surrounding a small kraal, as the track split countless ways between the houses. The odd trap of deep sand was enough to stop you for an hour, and thus serve up excellent entertainment to numerous amused locals.
However, with the arrival of the tarred road, visiting Shakawe is less fraught than it has been previously. In the village you'll find a major police station, and a significant base for the army (the Botswana Defence Force), as you'd expect in one of the country's more sensitive border areas. If you're going to be doing anything unusual here, then stopping to ask at the police station if it is OK to proceed is always a good idea.
If you've the time, take a walk along the river that is just behind the police station. Sometimes there's a mokoro ferry shuttling local people to and from the eastern side of the river, full with their wares to sell or recent purchases to take back home.
There are also a few shops here, many concentrated within the small shopping centre around the bus stop. On the west side of town, just 400m off the tarmac, you'll find a good paved airstrip, with a very neat, round thatched terminal building.
If you can't leave the modern world behind you then Shakawe has cellphone coverage which usually extends to Drotsky's, but not much further.
Getting there and getting away
If you're not driving here, then there are good daily bus services to Maun via the rest of the western Panhandle from the centre of town. Alternatively, hitchhiking is relatively easy.