Mokolodi Nature Reserve
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, hyaena, 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.
There are five self-catering chalets overlooking a waterhole in the reserve for overnight visitors, plus a gift and curio shop, a bar and indigenous botanical garden. Access to these facilities is free, but there is a modest entrance fee to the reserve. Mokolodi can also arrange special transport to collect visitors from any of the hotels in Gaborone.
The long-term vision for Mokolodi is for the park to continue expanding south until it's boundary reaches the Lion Park the other side of Crocodile Pools, to form one huge continuous conservation area.