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  • Tsodilo: An adventure with the ancestors

    Wed, Mar 24, 2010


    Do you love to explore the ancient world full of rocks where history is carved on those giant rocks? Then Tsodilo is one of the best places for you. This place was inscribed in the year 2001 because of its unique religious and spiritual significance to the local peoples. Tsodilo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies in the northwestern Botswana in Africa. The best part of this place is that it gives unique record of human settlement of more than millennia.

    Tsodilo is comprised of more than 4,500 rock paintings within an area of nearly 10 square kilometers. This could be found within the Kalahari Desert. No wonder, the striking old age paintings that depict deep history of the civilization will fascinate you a lot. Recently, the discovery of 70,000 years old artifacts and a python’s head that has been carved out of stone seems to represent the first known human rituals. Right inside a cave in the Tsodilo hills, the archaeologists discovered a huge stone sculpture of a python. This sculpture was worshipped during 70,000 years ago. The sculpture has a height similar to the height of a human being and is measured close to 20 feet long.

    Tsodilo today is a well-known tourist destination where people from every corner of Africa and the world visit just to take a glance of the ancient paintings. While exploring the area, you will feel like living those precious moments that was once lived by the first settlements. It is so great to see something that was made by the people dating back to 70,000 years ago. They might just want us to trace the presence of their civilization and so they formed spectacular rock art.

    Six to seven hours drive from Maun will take you to explore the beauty of the highest concentrations of rock art in the entire world. This magnificent attraction is situated in the harsh landscape in the district of Ngamiland. Many people describe Tsodilo as the Louvre of the Desert. It is a home to a rich inheritance of 100,000 years of human activity. In fact, Tsodilo has been honored as a spiritual place by the local people of present generation. Locals say that this place is been visited by the souls of ancestors.

    To reach to this ideal and historic destination, you have Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. For accommodation the place offers a variety of options that suites every pocket. All you need is to book completely prepared expedition style 4WD vehicles and explore the area entirely. You will get total four chief hills out of which the highest is the 1400 metres AMSL. It is the highest point in the entire Botswana. All of the four hills are commonly depicted as the Male, but the highest one is the female, chile and an un-named knoll.

    You will get managed campsite that is located between the two largest hills. Along with that, showers and toilets are also available. This campsite is situated close to the most renowned of the San paintings at Laurens van der Post Panel. You can reach to the hills through good graded dirt road that lies at a distance of 40 kilometres from Shakawe. Close to the campsite, there is a museum and you can also enjoy an airplane ride, as the place boasts an airstrip.

    If you want to experience most of the San rock paintings then head to the Female hill. Here you will get to see the paintings of Whale, Two Rhinos, and the Lion on the Eastern face of the Father. Few of the paintings are dated back to some 24,000 years ago. There are a variety of breathtaking paintings to explore, but could be found comparatively less on the outlying hills. You will get plenty of paintings in the obscure places that are likely to be discovered by the present generation.

    The area has been developed for the tourists so that they can explore the area properly. Trails and signs have been installed, but you should explore the paintings with a knowledgeable guide, as the paintings are quite difficult to find out. So enjoy the environment to the fullest and make a real adventure with the ancestors in Tsodilo.

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