UNESCO World Heritage Site: Tsodilo, Botswana

Situated in the Ngamiland District of North-West Botswana, Tsodilo is an ancient and fascinating site.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an archaeological treasure trove, giving insight into both human and environmental activity from over 100,000 years into the past. However, the defining feature of Tsodilo is actually the huge quantity of rock art it contains. With over 4,000 impressive, individual rock paintings, which have been beautifully preserved, this stunning site is akin to an ancient art gallery. Here is a guide to this truly marvellous and eye-catching World Heritage Site.


Tsodilo boasts an array of incredible rock art. 

A Gateway to the Past

The rich collection of rock paintings in the Tsodilo area has given archaeologists a rare glimpse into the lives of human settlers from many thousands of years into the past. The cultural clues provided by these breath-taking artworks are invaluable in helping to discover how humans lived in ancient times. From unique stone-age paintings within the caves that ancient peoples once made their homes, to more modern depictions from as late as the 19th century, there is little doubt as to the historical significance of this place. The rock paintings of Tsodilo really are a phenomenal gateway to the lives of people that have settled in the area across several millennia.

Cultural Hub

Tsodilo is of great cultural significance today as it was thousands of years ago. The rocky outcrops and formations of this World Heritage Site still maintain both their religious and symbolic importance to the modern-day inhabitants of the area. Although Tsodilo is a harsh environment in which to live, the communities here continue to persevere as their ancestors once did. Following old customs and traditions, the people of Tsodilo have a fascinating way of life and a rich culture.

A Nomadic People

The rich and well-preserved physical evidence left behind by communities from millennia ago suggests that the site was probably used on a seasonal or temporary basis. Archaeologists have discovered discarded materials within the outcrops that are not of local origin, suggesting that former inhabitants may have periodically travelled beyond the region. The tools and techniques used by the ancient inhabitants of Tsodilo also shed light on how they lived. The impressive collection of stone-age tools found at the site, such as stone blades and spears, indicates that freshwater fishing was a major source of food for the ancient communities here.

The rock paintings

With a few of the rock paintings dating back over 24,000 years, they are truly eye-capturing to behold. With over 4500 rock paintings in total in the Tsodilo Hills, which is situated in North-western Botswana, there is an unbelievable array of paintings to admire. A unique and intriguing attraction, Tsodilo boasts a history and culture which is undoubtedly one of a kind. With famous paintings such as the images of the ‘Two Rhinos’ and the ‘whale’ painting, there is much to see in this outstanding location. Visit http://www.africantrails.co.uk/ for more information about a variety of holidays in Africa.


The ‘Two Rhinos’ rock painting; a unique and intriguing sight.


A world heritage site rich in culture, art and history, Tsodilo is an incredible place to visit. From witnessing the selection of unique rock paintings to seeing the traditions and customs of the Tsodilo people, this location is truly one of a kind.

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