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The Khama rhino Sanctuary is located in the eastern part of Botswana and compared to other parks, it is relatively small. It is a community based program which was set up in the year 1992 to help save the Rhinos in the country that had been poached almost to extinction. The Khama rhino sanctuary is a home to other wild life animals including a various number of birds although the main animals to see are the black and white rhinos. The savannah vegetation that is found in area makes it easy for you to spot the different animals that are located in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary has goals that it wants to carry out but the most important one is to create a safe haven for both the white and black rhinos from the poachers and anyone who is found poaching is persecuted immediately. It is well protected with armed rangers and whatever fees that are paid at the entrance by tourists helps in the maintenance of the sanctuary.
It is a top tourist attraction in Botswana especially for those who love rhinos although there are other things that you can do while here that will make your visit to the Khama Rhino sanctuary worth it and we are going to look at these so that you plan your trip perfectly before travelling to Botswana.
Game drives through the sanctuary
The game drives that are carried out in the Khama rhino sanctuary can either be done during day or night for as long as you have the permission for night drives from the sanctuary administration. In most cases, the day game drives take about two hours and a half and within this short period of time, you will be rewarded with a view of many wild life that roams within the sanctuary.
The drives in most cases are not done alone but with a ranger and tour guide who will explain everything that you will see and they also take you to some of the best places within the sanctuary to view the animals. The best time to go for these game drives is always during the dry season because the vegetation will be scarce and this will allow you to spot the animals easily. Before you go for game drives through the sanctuary, some of the things that you need to know include:
The drive normally starts at 6:00 very early in the morning to catch some of the animals that are early birds.
Remember to carry appropriate clothes and shoes while going for these game drives and lots of snacks and water.
Some of the animals that can be seen while on a game drive through the Khama rhino sanctuary include the black rhino, white rhino, zebras, elephants, the bat eared fox, the blue wildebeest, duikers, the red hartebeest, the brown hyena, the black backed jackal, the spotted genet, Impala, African wild cat and the Kudu.
Birding within the Khama Rhino sanctuary
The sanctuary has a recorded number of bird species that amounts to 230 and these are best viewed in the wet season which is also known as the green season. Some of the bird species that can be seen in the sanctuary include the bearded woodpecker, the Abdim’s stork, the grey go away bird, the secretary bird and many more other species. When going for birding, make sure that you carry your birding equipment like binoculars, cameras, recognition books and hides.
The hides will help you carry out birding without the birds noticing that you are indeed watching them, the camera will help with taking still photos of the birds that habitate within the sanctuary, the binoculars help in seeing all the birds that are far away from you and the recognition book will help you when it comes to identifying all the new bird species that you will see.
Rhino trekking in the sanctuary
This is the most carried out activity in the sanctuary and it is always done with the help of a ranger who knows the ins and outs of the place so as to avoid any attacks or tourists getting lost. There are a few rules that govern the rhino trekking in the sanctuary and the major two are:
All those who want to for Rhino tracking should note that it can only be done in a group of eight people only and the Rhino tracking can only be carried by people who are between the ages of 16 and 60 and the rest are exempted.
The rhino trekking normally happens in the morning hours and while on this trip, you will also learn more about survival instincts when you are in the wild and you will need to put on appropriate clothing and foot wear as you head out for the trekking and do not forget your camera.
Take nature walks through the sanctuary
Nature walks within the sanctuary are allowed but only if you are with an armed ranger and tour guide. The nature walks are normally taken when the walk paths are accessible that is during the dry season and in the morning or evening to avoid the heat that comes in the afternoon. While on your nature walk, you will be able to see many small animals running around the park but all in all you need to be careful because once the animals are provoked, they turn out to be dangerous.
Self-drives through the Khama rhino sanctuary
The Khama Rhino sanctuary allows self-drives by tourists but you will need to inform the authorities on time. When you get to the entrance of the sanctuary, you will need to buy the maps that are sold so that you do not get lost and all you need to do is stay at the clearly marked roads in order to stay safe and keep the animals safe as well.
Go to the education center
The rhino sanctuary has an education center where educational tours are given to groups of people so that they get to understand the meaning of preserving the wild life in the country. They have a staff that helps with the educational bit and for all those that want to stay until the lessons are done, there are rooms which are provided and this is one of the many ways to view the animals at a close range for both the students and tourist.
At the moment there are about 24 students who are living within the sanctuary in order to get to know more about the animals that habitate in the sanctuary, how to take care of the animals and anything that is connected with wildlife and this has greatly reduced on the poaching in the area as many of them are well educated about the animals.
Camping within the sanctuary
There are several camping sites that are located within the rhino sanctuary and it is a good activity that tourists can carry out especially those that love the wild. There are several camp equipment that is for hire or if not you can come with your own camping tents and the authorities within the sanctuary will be able to show you the safe places to camp from. Camping will give you a chance to enjoy the wild and see the wild life that roams at night.
The Khama Rhino sanctuary is opens every day from 7:00am to 7:oo pm and unless you are planning to come later than that, you will need to inform the authorities so that they have someone waiting for you after the closing hours or before the official opening hours. Before gaining access to the sanctuary, you will need to pay fees and below is a rough estimation of what you can actually pay at the entrance.
- Vehicles coming in and weigh more than five tones pay 183 and those weighing more than five tones pay 73 tones Botswana currency.
- Children between 6 to 12 years pay 44 Botswana currency.
The Khama Rhino sanctuary is easy to get to since it is just a few kilometers away from the Serowe village. It is the perfect way to spend a weekend away from the crowded cities enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with viewing the animals.
When to visit the Khama rhino sanctuary
The Khama Rhino sanctuary is an all year round place for all those that want to visit but the activities that you want to carry out while here will highly determine the time when you should visit the sanctuary. The best time for all those that love camping, Rhino trekking and wild life viewing is between the months of April to November. This is the dry season and it is best for these activities because the roads are accessible and the animals can easily be spotted due to the thinning out of the vegetation and the best time to go to the sanctuary for birding is during the wet season from June to August.