Africa

Moremi Gorge and night safari at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary

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Serowe It is known for being the cradle of chief Khama III and it houses a museum, the Khama III Memorial Museum, where we can know its history, as well as the royal cemetery, where it is buried. He was the king of the most important tribe in the area before the arrival of the European colonies and agreed to turn his lands into a protectorate of the United Kingdom to defend against the boers and other tribes. Later, in 1966, when the country achieved independence, his grandson was the first president of the Republic of Botswana. However, that morning we decided to go to the nearby town of Palapye to visit the tourist office and see what other options we had in the area.

It took us a bit to find the exact location of the tourist office, since in Botswana (outside the big cities) there are hardly any named streets and most establishments line the roads. We knew that the office was somewhere on the main road between Francistown and Gaborone, so, after several laps, we found the small branch that the Botswana tourist office has in Palapye (just next to the Wimpy, before crossing the railroad track).

Long way to Moremi's throat

Like the travelers traveling for free In this country there are still few, the tourist offices do not have so many resources for them, but the girl who attended us proposed two plans for that morning: to visit Old palapye (the ruins of the first settlement in Botswana) or the Moremi Gorge. On a wall in the office was a large painting of a beautiful waterfall in Moremi's throat, so we decided to go visit it. The girl from the tourist office told us that if it had rained it was not possible to access without a 4 × 4, since the last kilometers were dirt tracks. As we had no way of knowing if it had rained or not in that area, we decided to go and try our luck.

The GPS could not find the little one population of Moremi, but we followed the instructions they had given us and, upon leaving Palapye in the direction of Francistown, we saw that it was well marked. It took almost forty minutes to reach the village of Moremi and there the paved road ended. There were still seven kilometers to the entrance to the gorge, but what direction should we take? A few meters before the end of the road, at a crossroads, there was a sign indicating the direction, but it was located so strategically that we were not clear in which direction we should go, right? left? Continue until the end of the road? In the tourist office they had told us to ask in the kgotla, which is the point where you can find the head of each botsuano people. But while we were in doubt, a man approached us who had been contemplating our indecision for a while from the door of his house and told us that, if we wanted, he would get in with us in the car and teach us how to get there.

This is the chalet room for two in Moremi

Luckily, it had not rained that night and one could drive with relative ease along the sandy road. When we were on our way, the man told us that he was already getting off to walk home and, after gratification for the inconvenience, we continued driving to the entrance of Moremi's throat.

Perhaps because I still had many aspects of trip to UgandaI was surprised by the facilities they had in Moremi Gorge. They consisted of a new entrance, where to pay the entrance, with bathrooms designed and decorated with very good taste. The entrance to visit the Moremi Gorge costs 56 Pula per person and the different waterfalls of the gorge are visited accompanied by a guide. When paying, the ticket office asked us if we also wanted to pay for the car to go to the picnic area on wheels and from there walk to the gorge. When I asked him how far he was, I understood that they were about 3.5 kilometers, but it seems that at that time of day he had a fried head because I understood that all the way from the box office to the gorges and back was a total of 3, 5 kilometers And I thought, with what we drove, that it was not a very long distance, and that we could use a little walking. Therefore, despite the guide's reluctance and that it was midday and a sun of justice was falling, we started the march armed only with a liter and a half bottle of water.

Centennial Baobab

The landscape of the area is quite desert and you have the feeling of walking on the beach. The month of November is the hottest in Botswana and that day we should be about 38 degrees. At first, everything was going very well because, despite walking on the sand, the terrain is quite flat. Along the way, the guide showed us some points of interest, such as the tomb of an old village chief or the rock where knives and spears used to sharpen. We also pass through the camping area, which is very well equipped with running water and barbecue furniture. In addition, later we saw very new and well-equipped villas that look like four-star hotels inside that are managed by the Moremi community. It is surprising because the landscape that surrounds them is a shallow valley very wild and you have the feeling of being a little at the end of the world. There was an overwhelming peace. If we had known that these villas existed, we would certainly have stayed there (it is preferable to approach by car).

The second waterfall of Moremi

From there the journey became quite painful, because fatigue and heat began to affect me. We had been walking for an hour and it was at that point that I realized that the path actually stretched for 10 kilometers. Luckily, when we finally reached the entrance of the gorge, next to a huge baobab, we could rest in an area prepared with benches covered with awnings, where a very refreshing air was blowing. And when we started to get into the throat itself, the orography began to change completely. Deys, the guide, told us that the throat has always been sacred to the inhabitants of Moremi because according to legend, it is where the souls of ancestors live. We soon understood why ancestor spirits settle in that narrow gorge.

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