Tourist Activities and Attractions to West Botswana
Approximately 15 kms from Gaborone, this lovely village set amongst hills is wonderful for walking and exploring on foot. It is home to the Pelegano Village Industry, a development estate that houses a number of different village ventures, including a glass factory, metal works and a sorghum milling plant.
The pottery factory and shop feature uniquely designed tableware, vases, and decorative items. The Veld Products Research centre welcomes casual visitors. This is an innovative research and development organisation that promotes the sound management of veldt products in SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries, as well as investigates the potential for domesticating indigenous plants for sale.
This picturesque village, situated southwest of Gaborone, is set amongst large granite boulders. It is best known for its very beautiful pottery, of the same name, and its factory has been in operation for more than 30 years. A wide range of top-quality products is available, from tea and coffee sets, to platters, to candle holders, to full tableware sets, all in keeping with its inimitable designs.
The site of David Livingstone’s third and ﬁnal mission station was Kolobeng, approximately 20 kms west of Gaborone, past Gabane. Here he built the house and church where he and his wife Mary would work to convert the local Bakwena to Christianity. Their daughter Elizabeth, who died at the age of six weeks, is buried here. What remains now is the foundation of the house. Kolobeng is gazetted as a National Monument, and you can only gain entry through the custodian.
This delightful diversion is a recreated Hurutshe village offering accommodation (in traditional rondavels), arts, crafts and dancing, and Sunday brunch with local cuisine. Educational cultural tours for schoolchildren are frequently conducted.
Perhaps the most visited rock painting site in the Gaborone area, the paintings are spread over ﬁve separate areas of rock cliff face. Images include giraffe, antelope, human ﬁgures and geometric designs, all of which date from between 1100 and 1700AD. They were in all likelihood made by Khoe (click-speaking) herders.
Gazetted as a National Monument, the site is fenced, and you can only gain entry through the custodian. At the south end of the village stands Livingstone’s Tree, under which the great explorer is said to have preached. This old, massive ﬁg tree – now fenced off – rests on its branches that now touch the ground.
Often referred to as ‘Gateway to the Kalahari,’ Molepolole is the last major settlement one passes on the way to Khutse Game Reserve. Home to the Bakwena people, on and off for the past four hundred years, their tradition of building stone walls around their courtyards is still practised by some families.
A modern façade covers the bustling town centre, now full of every manner of shop. The Kgosi Sechele I Museum is one of the major points of interest in the village. Housed in what once was the colonial police station (1902), its exhibitions seek to preserve the fast disappearing culture of the Bakwena people. The Museum offers an arts and crafts programme, educational programmes for schoolchildren, and guided tours of the village.
The Scottish Livingstone Church, situated on the main road is still a very prominent landmark. It was built early in the 20th century, and in the 1930s established the Scottish Livingstone Hospital, situated further down the main road. Just outside Molepolole, on the Thamaga Road, is Livingstone’s Cave. Despite warnings from the Kwena tribal magician that he would die if he entered the cave, Livingstone did so and emerged alive. It is believed that Chief Sechele’s brief conversion to Christianity was prompted by this event.