Botswana :: Makgadikgadi
:: Kubu Island
Category: Places :: Town Small
Rising no more than 20m above the Sowa Pan, this national monument with its fossil beaches, stunted baobab trees and mysterious stone walls, leaves an indelible impression upon all who visit its water-worn shores. This scrap of rock and its ghostly baobab trees is surrounded by the sea of salt. In cool weather, this bizarre sight can make visitors feel like castaways on an alien planet. The real name of the island, but less known, is Lekhubu (meaning ridge in Setswana). It is the most famous of all the rock islands in the Makgadikgadi. Most of the rock islands in this area are remnants of ancient sand dunes. Kubu Island is different in that it is one of the scatterings of granite islands. Many of Kubu's rocks are stained white with fossilized bird droppings. This ancient guano is called apatite and bears testimony to a large bird population that used to live on the island, feeding off the fish of the waters that surrounded their rocky knoll. There is a trig-beacon on the island's summit. The rocks on the north-eastern side are all smoothed by wave action, while on the opposite leeward side are thousands of small, rounded pebbles, which used to protrude as a tiny wave-washed beach. As the level of this immense inland sea rose and fell, there were times when Kubu was deep beneath the waves, others when it lay exposed in a sea of sand and others when it hardly showed above the surface, surrounded by 100km of sea. The island is littered with artefacts from other ages: Stone-Age cutting tools, shards of pottery at least 2000 years old, and the remains of a low, circular wall. The magnificent view over the pan from the island was perfectly described by Mike Main in his book 'Kalahari': 'All about you spreads the harsh glaring surface, but in the middle distance the pan is clothed in a sombre symphony of muted greys and whites, toned up or down by the shadows of passing clouds, and merging at the horizon into a simple harmony of cobalt blue and grey'. This island was also portrayed on canvas by the artist and hunter Thomas Baines. There are no camping facilities on Kubu or the other islands of south-western Sowa, but there are many idyllic spots overlooking the pan. Campers must bring their own firewood and must remove all their litter. A further 38km to the east is the seldom-visited Kukonje Island.
|Kubu Island - Babsy Mathapak, Makgadikgadi, Botswana
|Gaing-O-Community Trust, P.O. Box 54, Mmatshumo, Botswana
|Kubu Island - Babsy Mathapa
|+267 68 612 65
|+267 29 796 12
|Cellphone Reception :
|Main Cellular Network :
|Mascom. Orange. Be Mobile
|Game Viewing, Guided Walks, Swimming, Bird Watching
Kubu island is a dry granite rock island. Nearest village Tshwagong. No petrol, diesel or food available in the park.
Toll free numbers Police Services: 999, Fire Brigade: 998, Ambulance: 997. You will need a high clearance vehicle for the area.
“Camping for 8 persons total fee 897.6 Pula. Bank : Standard Charterd, Orapa Branch, Acc Name : Gaing-O Community Trust Account No : 0100140169801 Branch : 6618” - Janine Reyneke, 2009/06/17
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