Palapye is a developing town in Botswana. It is situated midway between Francistown and Gaborone. Morupule Colliery Coal Mine which is the Botswana’s principle electricity source is located here.
Palapye was originally known as Phalastwe that meant “the place for Impalas (Impala antilope)”
Tourist attractions in Palapye are
- Khama Rhino Sanctuary: Sanctuary of endangered black and white Rhinos.
- Tswapong Hills: Historical significant areas and the Moremi Gorge
- Old Palapye: Remains of Phalatswe, the capital of the Bamangwato people under Khama III from 1889 to 1902
1. Khama Rhino Sanctuary:
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a commonly based wild life project in Botswana to protect the extinction of endangered Black and White Rhinos. This was established in 1992 in a land covering 8585 hectares of Kalahari Sandveld. Along being the prime habitat for White and Black Rhinos, there are over 30 other animal species and more than 230 bird species living here. Animal species includes Zebra, blue wildebeest, giraffe, eland, springbok, impala, gemsbok, steenbok, duiker, red hartebeest, leopard, African wildcat, caracal, small spotted genet, black backed Jackal, bat-eared fox, brown hyena. Most rare of bird species in the sanctuary includes Abdim’s Stork and the bearded woodpecker.
2. Tswapong Hills:
Tswapong Hills are located in the east of the Central District near the town of Palapye. These hills are 15 km wide and above 400 m from the surroundings. The rocks of these hills are formed within a major surrounding basin consisting of horizontal layers of sandstone, ironstone, conglomerate of rounded water-worn pebbles and quartzites. The capping of these hard and resistance rock prevented from erosion. They are typically flat topped hills with striking vertical cliffs.
Deep gorges have been carved into the hills resulting in natural springs where absorbed rain water seeps through porous rocks ultimately giving rise to waterfalls with deep moss-edged pools. Moremi Gorge is a widespread attraction of these Tswapong Hills. Lotsane river flows to the north of the mountain range.
These hills are sacred for Bapedi people living in the villages surrounding these hills. Bapedi tribe bore testimony to living traditions that ancestors live in the area and control the area particularly with rain, fertility and harvest. The shrine is locally known as Komana located in Moremi village and they are secretly guarded by Komana elders.
Diverse forms of ecological habitats live here including endangered Cape Griffon Vultures, small bovids, fish, crabs and over 345 butterfly species. There is a vast archaeological source that includes rock paintings, iron smelting sites and long lasting cultural practices reflecting the heritage of the Moremi village.
3. Old Palapye Ruins:
This is an important multicultural historical site consisting of artifacts belonging to the Middle Stone Age, Late Stone, Early Stone Age and in contemporary times, the 19th Century capital of the Bamangwato, also knowns as Bangwato. The Bangwato rule was led by famous ruler Khama III who occupied the area from 1889-1902. When the water supplies went insufficient, all the people with their ruler moved their capital and established a new capital, Serowe. Hence the remains of the land formed the Old Palapye Ruins. Old Palapye was gazetted as National Monument in 1938 and is situated near the village of Malaka where there are ample waterfalls.
Stone walls, middens (the stone remains of rondavels), rock paintings, the remains of prison, market Centre, historic graves (both of Europeans’ and Botswana’s) provides the historical evidence and culture of Early Botswana. Of all the ruins, the magnificent outstanding structure of the London Missionary Society Church built between 1891 and 1894 form the main attraction with the still standing remains of the front and back of the burnt brick structure that gives the proof of untarnished skill & effort of the construction behind it.
It is also a natural habitat for wild animals like baboons, Vervet monkeys, porcupines, rock dassies and leopard. More than 200 breeding pairs of Cape Vulture could be found in Cape Vulture breeding colonies. Before you visit this site, you have to approach the village headman to seek his permission and you should take care as not to disturb the birds.
Palapye facilitates in providing the enjoyable trip to have a great day with its natural resources, historical ruins and never to forget, the rare forms of endangered species.
If you are planning to visit Palapye, you could book your stay from Booking.com in
Peacon Wood Boutique Guest House
that is 14.8 km from Lupani & 37 km from Lechen and is located at Palapye