Our pride our culture - 7 days

This tour is an adventure into the cultural heart of Botswana. Explore the ancient hills and caves, on the edge of the Kalahari, with rock art of the Bushmen and frozen waterfalls, with dramatic stalagmites and stalactites.

Operated by: Marvelous Mobile Safari
Add to my   • Product ID: 161432
  • Duration: 7 Days
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • Pickup available
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Description

This tour is an adventure into the cultural heart of Botswana. This is an unusual and special Safari.  You spend 7 days exploring the hills and caves, the rock art, the spiritual and religious places of the local people.  This is a journey into the forgotten time of the early Bushmen that lived in this area.  You will enjoy walks, game drives, cave exploring and rock climbs on this exciting escapade.

The Tsodilo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, consisting of rock art, rock shelters, depressions, and caves. It gained its WHS listing in 2001 because of its unique religious and spiritual significance to local peoples, as well as its unique record of human settlement over many millennia.  You will enjoy rock climbing with a tour guide who is a Bushman and very knowledgeable about the traditions and history of the area.  Guided walking trails into the hills and along ancient paths, where shy steenbok and duiker, and curios Kudu are resident will enthrall you.  There are many birds species to watch out for.  Unexpected large rocks rise from the dry expanse of the desert.  

In western Botswana, beneath the dry Kalahari landscape, is Gcwihaba Caves – an underground network of exceptional beauty and unusual assembly. From the floors of its gigantic chambers, stalagmites rise up between colossal flow stones, eerie frozen waterfalls and intricate time-forged formations. Exploring them is a challenge for the brave – the caverns are heavy with stale air, thousands of bats hang from the ceilings.  Nestled within the undulating dunes of the Kalahari, below a nondescript low ridge of rock they could easily be missed, however what lies beneath is quite spectacular. The Labyrinthian cav system spreads out below the area, generously littered with the most incredible and unusual stalagmite and stalactite formations. There are mammoth obelisks of naturally formed rock, sweeping hallways and chambers, some up to 10 metres in height,  beautiful inlets and apertures, all awash in myriad subtle colours.   Gcwihaba caves demonstrate the passage of time in all it’s petrified glory.

You will mix with locals and learn about the culture and traditions of the Botswana people while exploring an amazing landscape.

Highlights

  • Tsodilo Hills
  • Gcwihaba Caves

Itinerary

DAY 1:

Arrive at Maun International Airport. You will be met at the Airport by a safari guide holding a sign board that reads “MARVELOUS MOBILE SAFARI”. The guide will take you to your place of accommodation where you will stay for 1 night on a bed and breakfast basis at your own expense. Lunch and dinner will be served at your own expense. The safari officially begins in Maun with a pickup from where you will be lodged, in the morning.


DAY 2 & 3 - TSODILO HILLS:

You will drive to Tsodilo Hills with a packed lunch that will be served on the way. Arrive in Tsodilo Hills and head for a guided walk on the hill then back to camp for dinner. Each morning, the day begins with a shower, breakfast, and then start your safari with a resident guide all the way to the hills to do rock climbing. Tsodilo Hills is a rare and unique place with an atmosphere of intrigue and mystery. The word Tsodilo is derived from the Hambukushu word 'sorile' which means sheer. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in north-western Botswana. It gained its World Heritage Site listing in 2001 because of its unique religious and spiritual significance to the local people, as well as its unique record of human settlement over many millennia. It is believed that Bushmen painted more than 4500 rock paintings against the magnificent stone faces of the hills. The Hills consist of four large pieces of rock, rising unexpectedly from the dry expanse of the desert. The Bushmen referred to the bigger rock as the 'male', the smaller one is known as the 'female', and the smallest one as the 'child'.

The people of Hambukushu believe that their god, Nyambe, originally lowered their tribe and livestock to earth on the female hill. There is nothing much to see, especially game, but leopard trails are often spotted but not easy to be seen as they hide out in the bushes. Steenbok, Kudu, and duiker are the most common wildlife spotted around and within the bush. Bird watching is reasonable especially when you spend some time in the area doing your checklist. Common birds species include Yellow-billed Hornbill, grey louries, melba finches.

Activities which can be done in Tsodilo are rock climbing with a guided tour with the legendary bushmen who are knowledgeable about the history of the area. Later during the day, you will come back to the camp to have lunch as well as a siesta. Later in the afternoon, you will transverse and explore the area to have time to interact with the local people. Later in the evening after dinner, you will sit around the fire chatting and exchanging cultural lifestyle experiences. Time for bed will depend on the clients.


DAY 4-6 - GCWIHABA CAVES:

Today we will drive to Gcwihaba with a packed lunch which will be served en route. Upon arrival, you will have time to relax and then later afternoon you will have a game drive. The following days after a fresh shower, you will have breakfast and begin your morning activity such as exploring the unique caves and plaques within the hills. You will see small wildlife creatures that live in the rock caves of Gcwihaba. See the waterways within the caves that offer a spectacular safari experience. After lunch, you will have time to relax and prepare for the afternoon safari where you will drive around the salt pans to see the beautiful landscape from a distance, however, not forgetting to take good pictures for this memorable experience. Not much wildlife to see in the area but rather to explore the landscapes and feel the fresh breeze of the environment. After your afternoon safari, you will have dinner and then sit around the fire to share your safari experience and cultural exchange.


DAY 7:

Today we will drive back to Maun with a packed lunch which will be served as you drive along. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the airport to continue with other travels arrangements.

Important information

Operated by: Marvelous Mobile Safari

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