Ancient Rock Art of Tsodilo Hills Mobile Safari

The spirit of Botswana

Like Australia’s Ayers Rock, the Tsodilo Hills rise abruptly from a rippled, ocean-like expanse of desert in Northern Botswana. The hills are a place of myth and legend, and of enormous spiritual significance for the San Bushmen living in the area. It’s thought that hills were first visited by the Bushmen almost 100,000 years ago and around 2,750 individual outline-style rock paintings have been discovered at 200 sites, as well as rare artefacts and hunting tools dating back 20,000 years.

This two-day mobile safari is your chance to discover this poignant and mesmerising part of Botswana. When you visit Tsodilo, come with your imagination alert and your senses prepared. This isn’t a merely a safari to see rock art, and wonder what it may mean, but a visit to a mysterious and unspoiled world, perfectly preserved in the pages of time, and an enchanting dip into one of the continent’s oldest cultures.

NB Please note that the Tsodilo Hills itinerary is only available as a two-night add-on to the Bushmen of the Far Western Kalahari mobile safari.

 

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Price from:

Enquire with reservations

Duration:

2 days/1 night

Departure Dates:

January to April

Min / Max Group Size

Enquire with reservations

Trip Begins / Ends

Western Kalahari / Maun

Includes Mobile Camping:

Yes

Details, Details

Highlights

  • A chance to experience a truly significant and poignant area of Botswana.
  • Visit the rock paintings and learn about the ancient mythology that surrounds the geometric designs.
  • Stand under rock overhangs that have sheltered foragers for 100,000 years, visit ancient mines, and walk across the remains of the super-lake.
  • Enjoy guided walks through the hills and search for ancient tools and pottery pieces in the prehistoric village sites.
  • Discover the meaning behind the ‘Male’, ‘Female’, ‘Child’ and ‘She-Who-Wants-to-Live-Alone’ hills.
  • Spend your nights camping under the stars, and wake up to the sun rising over the vast desert landscapes.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: Please enquire with reservations.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? No. The Tsodillo Hills itinerary is available as a two-night add-on to the Bushmen of the Far Western Kalahari mobile safari.

Extension ideas: Combine a trip to Tsodilo Hills and the Bushmen of the western Kalahari with a few nights at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari for the ultimate desert exploration.

When to Go & What to Pack

Botswana’s summer runs from December to April and is known as the ‘green season,’ and this trip may be booked (as an add on to the Bushmen of the Far Wester Kalahari mobile safari) during these months, from January to April. It’s a green and luscious time of year in the Kalahari, but you should also expect thunderstorms and relatively-high temperatures (it’s all part of the fun!) and come prepared. We highly recommend packing a light, waterproof jacket and waterproof shoes, as well as your usual safari kit.

Our Guides

Our mobile safari partners, Uncharted Africa, have passionately supported cultural tourism in Botswana since the company’s inception in 1993. The team work closely with the Bushmen community leaders to ensure a unique experience that combines both culture and wildlife in an educational, yet non-intrusive fashion. As a result, only the most highly-trained of guides are deployed on these cultural expeditions to Tsodilo Hills. Carefully trained by Ralph Bousfield, each qualified guide must have a minimum of at least two years guiding experience in the Kalahari, and a holistic understanding of this magical and pristine wilderness and its inhabitants.

Highlights

  • A chance to experience a truly significant and poignant area of Botswana.
  • Visit the rock paintings and learn about the ancient mythology that surrounds the geometric designs.
  • Stand under rock overhangs that have sheltered foragers for 100,000 years, visit ancient mines, and walk across the remains of the super-lake.
  • Enjoy guided walks through the hills and search for ancient tools and pottery pieces in the prehistoric village sites.
  • Discover the meaning behind the ‘Male’, ‘Female’, ‘Child’ and ‘She-Who-Wants-to-Live-Alone’ hills.
  • Spend your nights camping under the stars, and wake up to the sun rising over the vast desert landscapes.

The Essentials

Pricing Information: Please enquire with reservations.

Included: Travelling costs as per itinerary; activities (most!); entrance and park fees; accommodation as specified on a sharing basis; all meals and local drinks; road transfers; applicable tourism levies, taxes, and all relevant VAT.

Excluded: Expenses of a personal nature, such as telephone expenses & shopping; premium brand drinks; tips and gratuities; additional activities; scheduled flights and related taxes; Visa fees where relevant; cancellation, baggage, medical, and evacuation insurance.

Child Policy: Please enquire with reservations.

Disabled Access: Please enquire with reservations.

Wifi: Wifi is not available for the duration of this trip.

Can this itinerary be customised? No. The Tsodillo Hills itinerary is available as a two-night add-on to the Bushmen of the Far Western Kalahari mobile safari.

Extension ideas: Combine a trip to Tsodilo Hills and the Bushmen of the western Kalahari with a few nights at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari for the ultimate desert exploration.

When to Go & What to Pack

Botswana’s summer runs from December to April and is known as the ‘green season,’ and this trip may be booked (as an add on to the Bushmen of the Far Wester Kalahari mobile safari) during these months, from January to April. It’s a green and luscious time of year in the Kalahari, but you should also expect thunderstorms and relatively-high temperatures (it’s all part of the fun!) and come prepared. We highly recommend packing a light, waterproof jacket and waterproof shoes, as well as your usual safari kit.

Our Guides

Our mobile safari partners, Uncharted Africa, have passionately supported cultural tourism in Botswana since the company’s inception in 1993. The team work closely with the Bushmen community leaders to ensure a unique experience that combines both culture and wildlife in an educational, yet non-intrusive fashion. As a result, only the most highly-trained of guides are deployed on these cultural expeditions to Tsodilo Hills. Carefully trained by Ralph Bousfield, each qualified guide must have a minimum of at least two years guiding experience in the Kalahari, and a holistic understanding of this magical and pristine wilderness and its inhabitants.

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Arrive at Tsodilo Hills

You’ll start your visit to Tsodilo Hills with a guided walk to the more accessible paintings, before climbing to the summit to sit and watch the sun set over the enchanting landscape. In the evening, you’ll return to camp for a three-course feast under the stars.

Day 2: Overnight at Tsodilo Hills

Spend the day exploring the hills with your guide. Visit the Laurens van der Post panel, the dancing penises, and even an ancient penguin! You can also visit some of the sacred Bushmen sites or just sit in the shade of a rocky outcrop and enjoy the view of the woodlands.

Day 3: Depart Tsodilo Hills

Wake up with the sunrise and enjoy your last few hours in this mystical place. You’ll then transfer by private air charter to the next part of your adventure.

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Accommodations

Your night at Tsodilo Hills will be spent in a traditional walk-in Meru tent. Each exudes an old-fashioned charm, which befits a destination as historic as this one. Beds are draped in the finest cotton sheets, feather bedding and hot water bottles, and all tents have their own private bathrooms with flush loos and hot bucket showers. There are no electrical facilities available on our mobile safaris, but camera batteries can be charged in the vehicle using a car battery. You certainly won’t go hungry either, for we’re renowned for our delicious, fresh and original menus. Our plated meals look as pretty as they taste and our afternoon teas are always hit after a long day in the desert.

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