Did you know that just 3.5 hours away from Gaborone is the world’s best and largest sandpit? Well there is, or at least my 16 month old son thinks so!
To the rest of Botswana it’s known as the wonderful Khama Rhino Sanctuary. Here is the story about my family’s night away.
We set off on a swelteringly hot Botswana morning. I did wonder if we’d made a very silly mistake going away for just one night; the temperature was rising by the minute. The journey up was uneventful. Except we had to stop at the new shopping mall in Palapye to pick up a magwinya (fat cake) or three on the way. A journey is never complete in my family without a little grease.
We arrived, easily signed in, and headed for Chalet G. The chalets need some TLC but if you set your expectations that they’ll be basic then they are great! Staying in a chalet also beats putting up a tent for the night and it had two working fans. Hooray!
The chalet we stayed in is a four sleeper. It has two rooms with single beds and bathroom. There’s a small bar fridge, a kettle and table in the one room. Be warned: the wall between the rooms is thin and doesn’t reach the thatch. So if you have a snorer in your group they’ll be hated by morning!
Having dumped our stuff into the chalet we quickly got around to doing… nothing. We put our camp chairs under a tree, read magazines and drank tea. My son on the other hand spent a good two hours digging in the sand. He really was ecstatic, thinking we had driven him to the world’s greatest sandpit. He also loved the resident glossy starlings, although he called them dogs. My child clearly needs to leave the city more often.
The next step was to head out on our intrepid game drive. Khama Rhino Sanctuary is not a huge game park but rather a smaller (8585 hectares) sanctuary for rhino and plains game. There are maps at reception but be warned they don’t include the new section of the park.
We were all excited for the rhino. And they are everywhere! It was incredible! We also had a brilliant time looking at crimson breasted shrikes, giraffe and a multitude of zebra. The eland were as majestic as ever, holding their heads high and looking like kings surveying their people. My son is still a little young to appreciate the diversity of animals and birds that we saw; all he wanted was to get back to digging.
After a couple of sundowners overlooking a water hole we set off to the restaurant for supper. We were the only diners which was lovely. Although the food took a while it was delicious when it arrived. I had a T-bone steak and chips and it was fantastic.
The next day we ventured out for a morning game drive. We saw fewer rhino as they were clearly munching away in less visible and cooler areas. We did see two giraffe having an argument as well as endless impala, munching warthogs and a splendid European roller.
Our game drive had built up our appetites so we headed back to the restaurant for a big brunch. After eating far too much we sadly headed home. It was a fabulous night away but I would recommend that you stay for two nights instead of one, like we did. I am also not sure my son has forgiven me yet for taking me away from all of that soft sand.
-You need to book and pay in advance. For an updated list of their prices have a look here.
– The campsite has nearby ablutions with hot and cold running water.
– Bring your own camp chairs; it’s nice to sit under a tree in a comfy chair. Plastic chairs are provided.
– Pots, pans and braai tongs are no longer provided. So bring your own.
– I personally prefer Chalets C and D. The other two four sleepers are by the restaurant.
– Bring along a bucket and spade set for your kids.
– The restaurant doesn’t have a high chair or a kids menu. However the omelette is a winner.
– The curio shop does sell firewood, soft drinks and normally has ice.
– There are various activities but I’m told the guided night drive is a winner.
Contact information for Khama Rhino Sanctuary