In 1867, Southern Africa’s first gold rush was ignited as gold was discovered along the Tati River. An Englishman came to stake his claim and, after having negotiated a deal with the Ndebele king, laid out the small town which now bears his name – Francistown. This former mining town is one of Botswana’s oldest settlements and sits at a crossroad of routes making it an ideal stopover for travellers en route to the northern and western territories.
The town’s history is embedded in the abandoned mines flecking the surrounds. Birds & Game Botswana is a refuge for injured and orphaned wild animals and is only a few minutes away. Housed in the 100-year-old Government Camp, the Supa-Ngwao Museum hosts fascinating displays about the local culture and town’s history.
Sharing the eastern pocket of the country with Francistown is the swath of freehold farmland and conservation areas of the Tuli Block. Located along the northern bank of the Limpopo River, the area is home to the Mashatu Game Reserve. Kudu, impala, wildebeest, elephants, and hippos, as well as lions, leopards, cheetah, and hyena play a game of cat-and-mouse among the rocks and kopjes littered with remains of the Stone Age. More than 350 species of bird can be found in the area.
- One of Botswana’s oldest towns and the location where Southern Africa’s first gold rush was ignited
- An ideal stopover for travellers en route to the country’s northern and western territories
- Town is surrounded with the original abandoned mines
- Supa-Ngwao Museum has fascinating displays about the local culture, while Birds & Game Botswana is a refuge for injured and orphaned wild animals
- The Tuli Block is home to the Mashatu Game Reserve – a conservation area abundant in wildlife and dramatic landscapes