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BotswanaNorthern Region & Okavango



Dubbed the "Louvre of the Desert", Tsodilo possesses one of the world's highest concentrations of rock art in the world. In a 10 km2 stretch of the Kalahari Desert, almost 4,500 paintings have been preserved. The area's archaeological record spans at least 100,000 years, providing a historical account of human activity and environmental changes. Tsodilo is revered by local people in this difficult environment as a place of devotion frequented by ancestral spirits. 

The Tsodilo Hills are a tiny area of large quartzite rock formations that rise from ancient sand dunes to the east and a dry fossil lake bed to the west in the Kalahari Desert in north-west Botswana near the Namibian border in Okavango Sub-District. For over 100,000 years, the Hills have provided people with refuge and other resources. It now has a remarkable record, not just of this use but also of the evolution of human civilization and of a symbiotic nature/human interaction through thousands of years, in the form of archaeology, rock art and continuous customs. 

Large and magnificent rock drawings can often be found in the shelters and caves, and although not precisely dated, they appear to date from the Stone Age to the nineteenth century. Furthermore, there is a great deal of information on the paleo-environment in the site sediments. This combination sheds light on early human lifestyles and how individuals interacted with their surroundings over time and geography. 

Tsodilo is revered by the local populations as a place of devotion and a haven for ancestral spirits. The Hambukushu and San communities regard its water holes and hills as hallowed cultural landscapes. 

Tsodilo was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its historical and cultural value, in 2001. (Source UNESCO)


  • BotswanaNorthern Region & Okavango

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