|Mokolodi Private Nature Reserve |
Botswana Game Reserves: Mokolodi is a private reserve managed by the Mokolodi
Wildlife Foundation, which is dedicated to wildlife preservation and environmental
education. Just 10km south west of Gaborone, the park was established in mid-1994 as a
3,000ha conservation area.
For the first few years an intensive re-stocking campaign brought many species of wildlife
into the park including white rhino, cheetah, mountain reedbuck, giraffe, zebra, red
hartebeest, sable, gemsbok and a team of hand reared elephants. This range of wildlife
joined the indigenous game, such as kudu, impala, hyena, leopard and water buck, which
were already living in the area, making the park a rich and varied ecosystem, literally
just ten minutes drive from the city.
The elephant walk enables guests to spend a few hours walking through the park literally
with the elephants. One of the added advantages of the elephant walk is that the other
game is not threatened by a human presence, so with care you can walk remarkably close to
the other game in the park.
For the more adventurous Mokolodi also offers the chance to track the endangered white
rhino. With so few of these majestic creatures left, Mokolodi is one of the only places in
the world where one has the chance to track these impressive animals in their own
environment, and it is certainly an unforgettable experience.
The park has a well-developed network of 4x4 tracks, although some are still being
repaired as a result of the flood damage caused in the 1999/2000 wet season, although most
saloon cars can reach the over-night chalets set on a hillside overlooking a waterhole
some 5km from the Mokolodi restaurant and park entrance gate.
Over weekends there are numerous game drives. The early morning and late evening drives
are the most rewarding as during the heat of the day most animals retreat into the shade.
The evening drives, can incorporate an amazing "bush-braai" dinner, under the
usually clear canopy of stars, punctuated by very good traditional dancers from the local
village. It is also good for spotting the more unusual nocturnal creatures such as the
small cats, porcupines and spring-hares.
Mokolodi has been visited by two US presidents: George W Bush and Bill Clinton, two
Botswana presidents: Festus Mogae and Quett KJ Masire and three princesses: Princess
Benedikte of Denmark, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Princess Anne.