The Khama Rhino Sanctuary in central Botswana is a nature zone that feeds the soul. It is good Karma. It makes you feel calmer.
Just west of Serowe on the road to Orapa, we have passed the gate many times and wondered, craning our necks to see beyond the fences and into the open pans.
This time we found ourselves on the road, at that time of day, when the sun is making long shadows and the choice is to find a stopover – or to push on and drive in the dark along the donkey infested roads. We pulled up at the gates – we were unprepared for camping. Yes! They have chalets – and a restaurant!! Perfect.
The reception ambiance was efficient and welcoming. We followed directions to our quaint little A frame chalet, set in a clearing beneath a benevolent Mongongo tree. The air alive with bird calls and squirrels made it feel like a fairy tale landing after the roar of traffic and the rush of road hazards – many narrowly missed.
I loved that the bed had been turned down neatly – as if some maternal figure had prepped the room for us.
But it was still early so we took a drive to look for rhinos. We didn’t have to go far. At the first pan a female white rhino and calf were sleeping – the calf playing dead and the cow snoozing on her feet. A gigantic bull wandered past on the far side. Caked in dried clay they looked like a gathering of ghost dinosaurs.
At the main pan, a group of six white rhinos grazed peacefully below a giant dome of evening sky. It felt so good looking at these ancient ponderous beasts – to know that here in the heart of Botswana, is at least one place where they are safe and protected properly.
I salute the efforts of those whose vision has created this unassuming sanctuary in a world where rampant destruction of our natural treasures seems to be the order of the day.
We slept like babies in our cosy chalet and woke early to the clarion call of crested francolins. Opening the door to the fresh morning, brought birds and squirrels to our feet looking for scraps. Making a mental note to always carry a small pack of wild bird seed on our travels, we packed the car feeling rejuvenated and restored, ready to hit the road again.