The Tswapong hills, located 40km south of Palapye, are about 15km wide and rise 400m above their surroundings. These hills have their own micro-climate with considerably more rainfall than the regional average resulting in rich biodiversity. The water in the hills is its main attraction and it was this that led the to the formation of Phalatswe in the Phothophotho valley. This 30,000 strong settlement moved on as the water source dried up, perhaps due to the high demand. A number of villages still exist at the foot of the hills with the surrounding area being a good source of water and grazing land for livestock.
The flora and fauna of the hills can be spectacular with some plant species found here that are not found anywhere else in Botswana. The hills are home to a number of mammals including leopard, brown hyena, kudu and porcupine though these are seldom seen due to the pressures of hunting in the area. Rock dassies are commonly seen as are Baboons and this is one of the few areas in Botswana where Jameson's Rock Rabbit is found. The streams and pools contain small fish and crabs and the birdlife is abundant with over 330 species being seen. There are two Cape Vulture colonies in the Hills - one at Gootau and the other at Moremi. These birds are a protected species and therefore tourists are required to take care not to disturb these birds especially during the breeding season.
Places of Interest
The Tswapong Hills contain many deep gorges with seasonal and some permanent springs giving rise to streams which form cascading waterfalls in places with deep pools. The most accesible and perhaps most spectacular waterfalls can be found in the Moremi Gorge - now a conservation area due to the protected Cape Vultures which breed here. This area is part of the Moremi Community Trust project and an entrance fee is charged for this area. There are many unexplored gorges due to the prevalant fear of ancestral spirits which are believed to dwell in the hills. As a result the area remains unspoilt and contains many hidden treasures for the intrepid explorer.
Click on the images below to explore this spectacular environment.