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Town Small Tsodilo Hills

ID: w189457 View large map

Located in Botswana :: Okavango/Moremi  :: Tsodilo Hills
Category: Places :: Town Small


With over 4 500 rock paintings found in an area of just over 10 km², Tsodilo Hills boasts one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world. Archaeological explorations have found evidence of human activity here stretching back over 100 000 years. Tsodilo Hills was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001.

Traveller Description

The Hills consist out of four large quartzite hills which rise sharply out of the surrounding landscape; the word 'Tsodilo' is derived from the Hambukushu word 'sorile' which means sheer.

The San and Hambukushu communities who live in the area believe Tsodilo to be a sacred place visited by their ancestral spirits. The largest hill is named 'The Male', the second largest, 'The Female', and the smallest, 'The Child'. According to local legend, the fourth, unnamed hill, which stands separate from the rest, is the man's first wife, whom he left for the younger female.

At over 1 200m, the male rock is the highest point above sea level in Botswana. The San believe that the gods live in the
caves found on the female hill and that they will haunt anyone who hunts there.

The rock paintings include drawings of whales and penguins, people and trance dancing, and animals such as the eland. While the majority of the paintings are only a century old, some of the paintings date back over 20 000 years.

The region is arid and while there are plenty of savannah birds in the area, there's little to no game in the area besides steenbok and duiker. That said, leopard tracks have been observed in the surrounding hills so travellers should take care when walking in the area.

The tall, spreading trees in the area with smooth bark and hand-shaped leaves are manketti trees (Schinziophyton rautanenii), associated with the Kalahari. Their fruits ripen from March to May and contain a nutritious nut contained in a layer of edible flesh. This supplements the diet of the San community, as it dries and stores easily.

Address :  Okavango/Moremi, Botswana
Host Website :  Click Here
Cellphone Reception :  Intermittent Main Cellular Network :  Mascom. Orange

Destination Information
Lodging Camping Airstrip
Facilities :  Tour Services

Game Viewing Hiking Trails Guided Walks Swimming Bird Watching

Travelling Information

There’s a rustic campsite and basic chalet accommodation.

Using a guide from the village to explore The Hills is compulsory but well worth the expense. The fee is approximately BWP180 for the guide (not per person) but can be negotiated for individuals or shorter tours - a full day hike will cost more.

No food is sold at the site.

The site is managed by the local San community. The villagers sell handmade crafts and will take you on a guided tour.
The museum houses archaeological finds such as pottery, stone tools, metal spearheads, glass beads and fish bones.

The contact number for the office at reception is +267 687 8025.

Water availability can’t be guaranteed so travellers should bring their own drinking and washing water.

 Travel Tip!

The Tsodilo Thick-toed Gecko (Pachydactylus tsodiloensis) is a small gecko with brown and
yellow stripes, endemic here. Visitors will have to overnight at Tsodilo to spot this nocturnal creature on the rocky
outcrops. Generally you are allowed to take meat from Maun to the north, and to the west to Tsodilo Hills past the vet fence. Note that this depends on the outbreak of Foot And Mouth Disease.

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