Khama Rhino Sanctuary

The Khama Rhino Sanctuary is only a short 20 kilometer (12 mile) drive from the town of Serowe. The people who manage and work in the park are local residents, and they offer game drives, bird watching, safari walks, and arts and crafts shopping to tourists.

The Khama Rhino Sanctuary was established in 1989 as a response to the then alarming poaching of rhinos in the country. Both the black rhino and white rhino species were in danger of extinction due to these poaching activities, even though the rhinos were granted a protected status since 1922.

The sanctuary received its first four white rhinos in 1992, transported from Chobe National Park. An additional eight white rhinos came from South Africa’s North West National Parks.

The black rhino, likewise highly endangered, was reintroduced in 2002.

Now, the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is thriving. The park is currently the source for rhinos that would be reintroduced to other reserves in the country. Additionally, the first baby black rhino was born in 2008, signaling the start of the species’ resurgence.

Gaborone

Gaborone was once referred to as Africa’s fastest growing city. The capital city of Botswana has been continuously expanding since the country gained its independence in 1966.

Gaborone has its roots as a small administrative town. There used to be only a small settlement area near the railway, and a small administrative center not far off. Now, it is a sprawling metropolis, with development fast tracked by the foreign experts who helped build the city since day one.

The Gaborone of today now has four huge American-style shopping malls with massive cinema complexes, a bevy of hotels and guest houses for travelers, restaurants for every taste, an international airport, night clubs and discos, a cultural center, an art gallery and national museum, and sports facilities such as two complete golf courses.

However, a unique characteristic of Gaborone is its very close proximity to the rural side of Africa. While tourists can enjoy the familiar conveniences from back home in the city, a short drive of a couple of minutes will take you right into the heart of the desert and wildlife of Botswana.

Francistown

Francistown is one of the oldest towns in Botswana and was formerly the center of the first gold rush in South Africa. It is located roughly 436 kilometers (271 miles) north of Gaborone.

Africans living in the region around Francistown have been mining gold for centuries before the Europeans arrived in the mid-19th century. Named after British miner and prospector Daniel Francis, the original settlement was erected near the Monarch Mine in 1897.

Today, Francistown is Botswana’s second largest city. It has developed into a hub for industry and transport, featuring a railway that leads up north all the way to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

There is an economic boom in Francistown, fueled by the revival of gold mining in the area. The transport and property sectors of the city are given new life with all the activity, along with all the developments and improvements in infrastructure.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was founded when Botswana and South Africa signed a treaty in 1999 for its formation. It is Africa’s first transfrontier park and was officially opened in 2002.

With a land area of 37,000 square kilometers (14,286 square miles), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a joint project of the two countries, with both of them having managing duties on the park. There are no fences in the entire park, leaving the animals free to roam for their survival in the desert.

Facilities for customs and immigration in the park have been designed to allow you to gain entry to the park from one country and then leave on the other side, into the other country.

Tourists have three main areas to explore in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: the Nossop River Valley, which is located along the border between the countries; the wilderness trails in the Botswana area of the park; and the northeastern part of the park, which was once the Mabuasehube Game Reserve.

Baines’ Baobabs

Baines’ Baobabs are one of the highlights of the Nxai Pan National Park. They are located roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from the park’s entrance.

Despite the distance, all tourists take time to see these towering structures.

This spectacle is a collection of seven massive baobab trees, which are named after Thomas Baines, a 19th century explorer.

Baines was also an artist, cartographer, and naturalist. Over a hundred years ago, Baines stood on this site and made paintings of these baobabs.

Baines’ records of his journey are resplendent with appreciation of Africa. His diaries, drawings, sketches, and paintings provided a unique glimpse of the Africa of old – an Africa that we still admire to this day.

 

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