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KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY HISTORY

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One of the world’s conservation success stories must undoubtedly be that of the  Khama Rhino Sanctuary. This rhino park and eco-destination near Serowe, Botswana, was established in 1993 after the Ngwato Land Board gave the land around the Serwe Pan to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary Trust.

This former cattle post used to be home to large numbers of wildlife, and members of the Serowe community expressed a desire to return the area to its natural splendour.  It is a premier example of a community-based wildlife conservation project, where the local community derives direct economic benefit from tourism and the ecology is conserved in a sustainable manner. A Board of Trustees selected from the surrounding local communities governs the Sanctuary, while Botswana’s President Ian Khama, is Patron of the Trust. 

But why was this area chosen? The vicinity of the Serwe Pan is an ideal habitat for grazing animals such as white rhinoceros, while browsing animals, such as giraffe, favour the southern, denser region. In addition, the Sanctuary is close to a base of the Botswana Defence Force, making 24-hour security possible.

The Khama Rhino Sanctuary offers accommodation in 13 camps. The camps are linked with a series of well-maintained roads. A common site in all of the campsites are a huge, centrally situated Mokongwa tree. All campsites have two communal ablution facilities, braai facilities and water.

At Mokongwa camp, very close to the entrance gate to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, guests are accommodated in rustic chalets, in addition to camping facilities. Each chalet can house 4 guests, and is en suite. Braai facilities and basic cooking equipment are provided, but the chalets do not have a stove or fridge. You are advised to book early to avoid disappointment, because the chalets are very popular with visitors. A restaurant caters for visitors to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary as well as residents of Serowe, while a swimming pool is a recent addition.

At the Boma camp, close to the Serwe Pan, guests are accommodated in one A-frame chalets (sleeping 6 people) or 3 square-davels (sleeping 2 people), with bush toilet, ablution block and braai facilities. The Boma camp is ideally suited to backpackers.  

The success of the venture is evident in the current white rhino population of 34. The Sanctuary is keen to re-introduce the highly endangered black rhino species, and up to date 2 animals (one a pregnant female) have been established. The Sanctuary is also home to 30 other animal species and more than 230 bird species.

The Khama Rhino Sanctuary opens at 8:00 am and closes at 19:00 pm. The Sanctuary is ideally suited for self-drive expeditions, but guests can also book guided day or night game drives, rhino trails and nature walks. The guides at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary are well-trained and very knowledgeable.

A visit to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary near Serowe in Botswana will not only be an unforgettable experience, but will ensure that this fine rhino park and eco-destination is preserved for generations to come.
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