The Khama Rhino Sanctuary is a small park protecting the last rhinos in Botswana, a great place for a stopover and short game drives.
How to get to Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is on the main road between Serowe and Orapa in central-eastern Botswana. It’s well-signposted. From Maun it’s about 515 km and at least 6 hours drive on good tarred roads. We came from Kubu Island, 250 km directly north. From Kubu it was 50 km on obvious sandy tracks followed by 200 km on good tar.
From Johannesburg and Pretoria it’s about 600 km and at least 7 hours drive (plus the border crossing, 30 mins – 1 hour). The quickest and nicest route is via the R33, turning north off the N1 just past Bela Bela. The other option is to continue on the N1 to Mokopane and take the N11 north to the border. The border itself is called Martin’s Drift on the Botswanan side and Groblersbrug on the SA side. Once past the border, it’s about 2hrs30 along a good tarred highway until the park.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary Map
Tips for Khama Rhino Sanctuary
- The campsite fills up fast, especially during South African holidays, so book in advance.
- The Tracks4Africa Botswana Map* is very useful in Botswana.
- The tracks within the park are all decent, most vehicles with high clearance should be fine
- Find the best books to read while in Botswana.
- We stopped at Khama Rhino Sanctuary near the end of our two-month Botswanan road trip which you can read more about in my book*.
The Khama Rhino Sanctuary was created in 1992 to save the last remaining rhinos in Botswana. It both preserves wildlife in the region and provides locals with income through job creation within the park. Today the park contains many rhinos, as well as other game such as antelopes, zebras and giraffes.
The rhinos here are all heavily guarded, with a double perimeter fence punctuated by watch towers, and park security vehicles that drive around the small park 24 hours a day to make sure poaching doesn’t happen. For me, the highlight of the park was obviously the rhinos, plus the cute bushbabies we saw near our campsite. You can read more about our time in this park in the travel adventure book I wrote, No Footprints in the Night: On Safari in Botswana*.
Facilities in and near the Park
There’s fuel and shops in the towns north (Letlhakane) and south (Serowe) of the park, and a basic shop in the park itself. It’s not a remote park like others in Botswana, and if you’re coming from South Africa you can bring everything with you from there.
The nearest fuel to Khama Rhino Sanctuary is in the town of Serowe, 30 km down the A14 highway to the south of the park (Engen, Caltex, Shell). To the north on the A14, the next fuel is in the small town of Letlhakane, 165 km away (Puma, Caltex, Shell). The park is not that big so you won’t use too much fuel, but it’s best to always keep a fairly full tank.
The nearest shops are also in Serowe to the south (Spar and Choppies) and Letlhakane to the north (Choppies). There is a small shop at the park reception, selling wood, ice, cold drinks, maps, and other basic items. There’s also a good restaurant with a waterhole and swimming pool 1km from the reception. A picnic area with braai stands is available for day visitors.
Gate Opening Hours and Park Fee
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is open from 7am to 7pm every day. If you want to arrive late, you can contact reception in advance and they can make arrangements for you.
Entry fee to the park is P45/75/100 for citizens/residents/non-residents. Children are half-price. You also have to pay a vehicle fee of P75/120 for Botswanan/non-Botswanan plates.
Park Reception Contact Details
Phone: +267-463-0713,+267-460-0204, +267-739-65655
Email: [email protected]
Road Conditions in Khama Rhino Sanctuary
The tracks are all fairly good within the park. There’s some sand but not too much, most of the tracks are hard mud and quite compacted. There are not any inclines or rocky sections. High-clearance 2×2 cars would be fine within the park except after heavy rain when the tracks can get quite muddy. We drove about 50 km within the park over an afternoon and morning game drive.
Activities in Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Game drives are offered by the park staff. There are normally three a day, at 6 am, 4pm and 7pm for a night drive. These game drives last roughly 2 hours and you’ll explore most of the park.
Rhino Tracking is also offered, starting at 6am. For this you must be 16-60 years old, and wear dull-coloured clothing. You’ll not just see the rhinos (which are very easy to find anyway) but you’ll learn more about them, how they survive, and you’ll also learn some tracking techniques.
Self-Drive safaris are the main activity within Khama Rhino Sanctuary. The pans area in the northeast of the park are where most of the game can be found. There are waterholes in both Malemas Pan and Serwe Pan (the two main pans). Khama Bird Hide is also worth a visit to see birds in a dense bush area.
You’ll almost certainly see rhinos, though the black rhinos are often shy and hide in the bush. Apart from rhinos, there are antelope, giraffes, zebras, jackals and much more. It’s easy to see the game because the park is small and they concentrate on the pans. At the campsite, we saw an owl and a pair of bushbabies in a nearby tree.
Accommodation in Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Khama Rhino Rest Camp (Makongwa Camp)
The rest camp is at the southern end of the park and has 13 camping sites and 3 chalets. The chalets each have two rooms and can accommodate four people each.
The campsites are fairly private with a large, central shade tree. Sites also have a water tap, braai stand and fireplace, but no electricity. The shared ablutions have flush toilets and hot showers and are fairly clean. Campsite rates are roughly P90 for Botswanans, P110 for residents and P120 for others. These are per person per night. Children 6-12 years are half-price and under 6 are free.
Khama Rhino Chalets
There are quite a few chalets in Khama Rhino Restcamp. Most are just inside the park gate by reception (2 people). Two more are by the restaurant (up to 4 people), and there are three in Makongwa Camp (up to 4 people) where the campsite is in the south of the park. Each of the chalets are ensuite and have a braai, a small fridge and a kettle. There are no utensils or other cooking apart from the braai.
Within the park there’s also a two-story A-frame near Serwe Pan. This hut has room for 6 people. There’s no fridge or kettle, and the bathroom is outside.
Other Accommodation near the Park
Paje River Camp (Website) is a campsite 7 km southeast on the main road from Khama Rhino Sanctuary. The shared ablutions have flush toilets and donkey-boiler showers. They also have 2-bedded tents available to book.
Paje Bush Hotel (Website) is on the other side of the road from the campsite and offers accommodation in decent rooms with WiFi.
I hope you enjoyed our guide to Khama Rhino Sanctuary in Botswana. If so, check out other parts of the country in our Guide to Botswana.
Guidebooks & Maps to Explore More of Botswana
The Lonely Planet Guidebook* covers all of Botswana, but not in much detail. The Bradt Guide* has a wealth of information and is great for planning a safari around northern Botswana, but doesn’t cover southern Botswana. The Tracks4Africa Map* is an essential item for driving around the country and its national parks. For more information, see our Best Botswana Guidebooks article.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary was a stop in Botswana near the end of our two-month road trip. Find out more by reading the travel book I wrote, No Footprints in the Night: On Safari in Botswana*.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is the only place in Botswana where it’s easy to see rhinos.
Gate and reception hours for Khama Rhino Sanctuary are 7am to 7pm every day.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is on the main road between Serowe and Orapa. It’s well signed, on the east of the road.
Khama Rhino Sanctuary is roughly 10 km by 5 km, making it one of the smallest parks in Botswana. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from one end to the other, and two hours drive lets you see most of the park.