One of the highlights of my last trip was discovering the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (KRS) where I had the best rhino sightings in Botswana. The sanctuary situated a few kilometers outside the village of Paje is home to a large number of white as well as black rhinoceros.
A convenient one-night stop on my way from Gaborone, the capital, to the western side of the Makgadidadi Pans National Park the sanctuary overdelivered on my expectations. Rhino sightings are one of the most sought after and rare. I was not ready for what happened next.
You can book directly on the KRS website (click here) and costs at the time of writing are:
The Gaborone traffic delayed me. Do not leave the city between 7-8am. Then the numerous stops for photos, refreshments, potholes and animals. A proper mix of colorful delays. Regardless, I made sure I arrived with sufficient light left in the day to allow me to do at least some exploring in the sanctuary.
I checked in for my nights camping, purchased a map at the very thinly stocked shop, mainly an assortment of beer and toothpaste, and proceeded to set-up my camp. Pitching my tent didn’t take to long and very soon I was on the road exploring. I’d actually managed to loose the map of the sanctuary I purchased 30mins earlier. So Frank and I went in blind.
Exploring the Sanctuary
Seemingly, blind is the way to go as we stumbled upon the Malema pan where four rhino were lazily hanging around the waterhole taking turns to drink water, sleep and roll around in the mud. A few minutes later a fifth and much larger rhino joined them passing a mere 20meters from my vehicle. After quenching its thirst, it commenced a playful rolly polly in the mud. The waterhole was buzzing with activity as giraffe, impala, zebra and warthogs decided to join in on the fun.
After the initial excitement subsided, I explored more of the sanctuary. I stumbled upon the second pan, Serowe, but not before sighting at least another five rhino on my way there. Stumbled is an overstatement as the sanctuary only has two pans and the roads are pretty well marked. Regardless, I arrived at Serowe Pan to find seven rhino wandering in the area including a mother with a calve.
The best rhino sightings in Botswana!!!
Very little compares to a real-life sighting of a rhino calve. It is incredible to believe that animal so large with no natural predators can start life out so small and vulnerable. It is near comic as the baby rhino hurtles around following his mother everywhere. Seemingly it is always at the point of falling over as its body seems to heavy for its skinny knock-kneed legs.
Two more rhinos passed close to my vehicle. This broke the spell that was cast upon me by the spirited antics of the baby rhino. The second rhino got a freight and in an accelerated jump raced away from my vehicle. How is it possible that such a gigantic beast can be so light-footed?
Eventually I forced myself back to the camp. The sites are basic and sandy as they tend to be in Botswana. Each has a fire pit, tap and a bin. Ablutions are a few meters away and at least has hot water albeit under extremely low pressure. Do note that as is the case in Botswana there is no fence around the campsite. You are truly camping in the bush amongst, in this case, the rhinoceros.
Truly, my most amazing rhino experience ever in Africa and I would recommend the sanctuary to everyone visiting Botswana.