Khama Rhino Sanctuary was our “real” first stop on our trip to Botswana after crossing the border. I recommend it both to practice off-road driving, both to learn how to pitch a tent both for sightings of animals.
It is a reserve located near Serowe in the south of the country, an area often overlooked by tourists who prefer the north, but which instead has o lot to offer.
This park was created to protect the last remaining rhinos in this country.
In addition to rhinos, this park is home to wildebeests, impalas, ostriches, giraffes, hyenas and many species of birds. Here is the only place where we see the rhinos, we had a close encounter with two very big rhinos.
As I said, this park is excellent for getting comfortable with off-road driving, the Sanctuary’s road are unpaved but not sandy so you won’t risk being covered up in sand. During the dry season the roads inside the park are passable with two-wheels veichle, but in the rainy season an off-road veichle is necessary. If you don’t like drive, you can book one of their guided drives, morning drives start at 6am, afternoon drives at 4pm and night drives at 7pm. It is also possible to hire a guide to drive your veichle for you but you will not have problems in driving if you go during the dry season.
The park is open every day from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, at the entrance you will find the reception where you can pay the entrance, both in cash and by credit card, book the activities, rent binocular and buy the map of the park. The staff is available to answer all your questions and give you some advices. Next to the reception there is a curio shop where you can buy “old-fashioned” souvenirs, postcards, local crafts, as well as ice, cold drinks and non-perishable items basic necessities and the firewood.
Before the trip I wondered what the firewood could be used for and why it was so important, everyone advised to buy it. During the trip I understood why……… A fire will be very useful for you to warm up on African nights, they are very cold: talk around the fire is very pleasant ad warmy. The fire also is used to keep animals away, the campsites are without fences therefore the animals are free to move, the fire shuold keep them away.
There are 22 campsites, the central feature of each site is a large Mokongwa tree which provides both character and shade. There is also a fireplace, braai stand with grill, and tap with birdbath. The campsites are served by two communal ablution with hot water. All campsites have no power points. We had a 4×4 car with two roof tents, we booked in advance (we wrote an email at the address: firstname.lastname@example.org), not all pitches were busy, the reservation was probably not necesseray, but if you had planned all the stops like us, I recommend you book to avoid the risk of find everything busy.
In addition to the pitches, there are eight chalets located in different areas.
Inside the park there are many roads that you can use in search of animals. In the middle of the park there is a pool of water, if you have the patience to wait you can be rewarded. You can have the opportunity of seeing black rhino, leopard, caracal, porcupine and brown hyena as well as the more frequently seen animals such as white rhino, zebra, blue wildebeest, giraffe, eland and kudu.
The entrance to the park Khama Rhino Sanctuary is located about 26 km north-west of Serowe, along the road to Orapa. You can reach the park also by buses traveling to and from Orapa.
We reached the park from the border (about 180 km), the road is weel maintenead, paved, without traffic. During the road you will see cows, donkeys, goats. The big cities that you meet during the road are Palapye and Serowe, there is a petrol station and there are some markets, you will find also pasta, the prices are like italian prices.
These were the prices valid until 31 December 2019
PARK FEES **
adults: P86.50 per adult per day
Children 6-12 years: P43.25 per child per day
Children 0-5 years: Free
Vehicle under 5ton: P106.50 per vehicle per day
Vehicle over 5 ton: P312.80 per vehicle per day
adults: P108.00 per person per night
Children 6-12 years: P54.00 per child per night
Children 0-5 years: Free
TOURISM LEVY***: P10.00 per person per night
SUNSET/SUNDOWN GAME DRIVE * *: Minimum Fee: P750.75 (up to 4 people)
NIGHT GAME DRIVE**7pm: Minimum Fee: P877.80 (up to 4 people)
GUIDED DRIVE (hire guide, use own vehicle): P288.75 per guide
NATURE WALK** (Adults-16-60 years): P288.75 per person
RHINO TRACKING** (Adults-16-60years): P462.00 per person