Bobirwa Sub District
Wildlife and tourism attraction areas
The Letsibogo Dam is part of the massive North-South Carrier (NSC) Water Project, which saw the construction of several dams, water transmission systems and water treatment works. This was in effort to develop water resources in the northeast of the country and boot out tight water demand from the southeast, particularly in the capital.
NSC links Letsibogo and major wellfields to Gaborone via a large, 400 kilometre pipeline. A major leisure venue for residents of, or visitors to, ‘Phikwe,’ the Letsibogo Dam is situated near the nearby village of Mmadinare.
Letsibogo Dam has the latent of being a globally recognised tourism and leisure destination of choice. Through the tourism development, the dam has the potential to be a tourism destination which prides itself in sustainable sport fishing and adventure tourism appealing to the domestic and international market. Looking at its natural resources and all of its mouthwatering landscapes, it is with no doubt the area endures a conducive environment for business and other opportunities, a tap in expanding the tourism sector and diversifying the economy.
Situated approximately 25 kilometres northeast of the Bobonong village, the magnificent Lepokole Hills are composed of immense stonework blocks often piled one on top of the other, giving way to a fanciful conceptions of rock, trees, vegetation and sky. The Hills are in fact the southernmost extension of the Matopos Hills in Zimbabwe, which feature similar terrain.
Hiking, climbing and fabulous scenery are some of the main attractions here, with incredible views from atop the highest hills. And the area is extremely rich in archaeological and historical treasures making it overly ideal for tourism.
Rock paintings at Lepokole Hills
San rock paintings can be seen in the rocky overhangs of kopjes, and some tell the story of their retreat from encroaching peoples into these hills as a hiding heaven from oncoming enemies during wars. Walled ruins in the style of the Great Zimbabwe era can also be seen, as can the remains of ancient village settlements and Iron Age sites. Their evidence including stone arrangements, granaries, pottery and Iron-Age tools are all evident at the great Mapungubwe Ruins.
A community based tourism project for the development of Lepokole is being administered through the Mapanda Conservation Trust. Plans are underway to fence the area surrounding the hills, restock it with indigenous wildlife, and offer nature walks and wildlife viewing, as well as guided hikes up the hills. The Trust has built camping facilities with modern ablution blocks thus travelers come only with their food staff and tents. It is proper courtesy to request permission to camp at the Lepokole hills from the village headman.
Botswana Tourism Organisation is assisting the communities in the Lepokole Conservation Area to promote local conservation, generate important income for rural residents, and diversify their tourism product in efforts to enable the communities to achieve the maximum tourism potential of this rich and diverse area. Proposed development projects include activities such as nature walks, sunset moments, insects and bird watching, camping, game viewing and hiking.
Located in the North Eastern part of Bobirwa is the most amazing natural feature in the Tuli Block. The wall is made up of a 30-metre high and 10-metre wide basalt dyke, which at some point formed a steep-sided natural dam wall across the Motloutse River. The wall is said to have once held back a magnificent lake, with water spilling over the dyke and evidence of that can be seen in some of the semi-precious stones found along the Motloutse River. It is an absolute marvel to just stare at and be one with nature.
The Mighty Shalimpo
Shalimpo is situated at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo Rivers, within Botswana's Northern Tuli Game Reserve and forms an integral part of the Shashe/Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, opposite the world renowned heritage site of Mapungubwe. This marvel has created beautiful islands as the giants meet and forces of water tumbles in combat for a route to continue the flow.
The greatest Mapungubwe heritage trail covers a larger area of the eastern Botswana which is well known to many as the Tuli region covering mostly the Bobirwa sub district. This massive trail hooks along the many heritage sites greatly occupied by the Babirwa tribe and some white settlers on the Tuli farms. The abundant herringbone neatly orientated decorations and check found on the valley and hilltop ruins at Majande near Lepokole have amazingly striking similarities as the Zimbabwean ancient sites especially the Mambo. The artfully heaped stones which liven up the dense forest still stand strikingly intact in spite of their years of existence.
Tobane Ruins, Sojwane hill ruins and Mmatau sacred hill
The village of Tobane which is located right on the footstep of the copper nickel town of Selibe Phikwe is home to Batlokwa ba ga Machaka who split from Batlokwa of Tlokweng during the Mfecane wars. Tobane, a name after the nearby river was jubilant home to the first Batlokwa inhabitants whose graves can be found atop the hill which is south of the now settlement and the historic Tobane ruins.
Sojwane ruins form part of the cultural remains left by different cultural groups that settled here during prehistoric times. Oral traditional history suggests the hills were named after a young herdboy, Sojwane, who was swallowed by a large snake that guarded the ancient hills. Several natural and cultural areas with a strong bearing on the socio-political aspect of Tobane are found here. Deep natural fissures and holes known locally as magopo which are known to be a reliable source of water for both domestic animals and people are found here.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of these hills is a winding snake-like engraving on a granite boulder which is interpreted as the remains of the mythic snake. Oral history suggests that Sojwane and fellow herd boys disappeared into a hole which used to exist at the lower end of the boulder. Just near this feature is a sacred cave where some people of Tobane, especially the elderly, make offerings of traditional beer to appease ancestors to bring rain.
The Tuli block
Lodging in Bobirwa
Sebata Kgomo Lodge
Serai Guest House
The Hive Guest House
Nitani Private Game Reserve
Mashatu Main Camp
Tuli Safari Lodge
Mashatu Tent Camp
Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris
Tuli Wilderness Trails
Nokalodi Tent Camp
Molema Self-catering Chalets
Just near the village of Lepokole, lies a scenery of world class granite rocks with a rich potential to produce quality granite products. The granite is harvested by the licensed miners with the community having a nil benefit from its resources. These rocks are used to make coffins, counter tops and a lot of other products.
Maibele North at Lepokole
Maibele North, a copper/nickel mine which was discovered long before BCL has now being found as a potential source to keep the mining of such minerals going. At a time of its discovery, Maibele was abandoned for the now BCL as it did not have a lot of copper and nickel when compared to its counterpart. This potential mine lies on the Limpopo belt which is chronically underexplored for copper/nickel. Currently BCL is moving rapidly with drilling, completion of the Feasibility Study and permitting that is aimed at commencement of Maibele North by the end of 2016.
Mothabaneng decorative rocks
The décor in both walls and the floors of most lodges around the Bobirwa area are of the mighty Mothabaneng origins. The area has these rocks in abundance which some harvest freely or the elite few benefiting from its sales. These rocks makes amazingly beautiful external floor and wall tiles though they can be polished to use internally. The magnificence of these rocks is evident at the village’s main Kgotla where they were patiently arranged.
Areas of Economic Comparative advantage
Agro farming – with its rich soils and the massive underground water, Bobirwa can be an agro farming haven which is evident from the Talana farms. This will entail employment creation and food security to the nation.
Commercial farming through the irrigation ponds
Major infrastructure and Economic Development
Expansion of the Platjan border post and the construction of the Platjan Bridge are on the pipeline with SPEDU spearheading the whole project. With the opening of this border, long journeys travelled from the neighbouring South Africa and Zimbabwe will be massively cut, tourism in the area will come into flower and create employment for the communities nearby as well as empower the local businesses stamping out poverty as most will be able to sustain themselves.
Opening of the Mabolwe boarder post on the 1st of June 2016 saw the creation of the shortest route to Zimbabwe by the area locals. This already has had an impact in the area economy as the neighbouring Zimbabweans come in to the country to purchase many goods including food staff, petrol and diesel to mention just a few. The route is also the shortest from Zimbabwe to South Africa through the Platjan Border Post which will in turn boost the tourism sector sited along this enormous path.
Resealing of the Lekkreport to Bobonong road is also on the process. This massive route which is the entrance and exist of
Establishment of Thune irrigation ponds which are wholly for commercial farming is a major part of the economic empowerment in the area
Talana farms in tuli Block is major source of employment for the area populace and food security for the intire nation.
Bokomo Richmark which is located at Moletemane has more than 300 employees mostly Batswana and it slaughters 10000 chickens per day. With such a company in place, there is an urgent need for government to construct the 18km road from Moletemane turnoff to the farm as they lose massively in terms of finance on truck maintenance from constant truck breakings.
Mane Holdings milling in Tsetsebjwe has given birth to the well-known brands like Mmelegi, Econo and Farmers Pride. It has 44 workers and supplies the Botswana nation with its products.