Tsodilo Hills
Botswana, Kalakhari

The Tsodilo Hills, known worldwide as one of the most significant collections of prehistoric cave art in the world, are located in northwestern Botswana, in the Kalahari desert, near the border with Namibia. The Tsodilo Hills are a group of four rock formations towering in the middle of sand dunes. The highest (1400 meters above sea level) was called "man", there are hills "woman", "child" and nameless. Among locals, the hills of Tsodilo are considered a sacred and mystical place in which the spirits of their ancestors live. In ancient times, religious ceremonies were held here, people came to the hills to ask the gods for the long-awaited rain, for successful hunting and healing from diseases. The most sacred place is considered the top of the "male" hill, where, according to legend, the imprints of the knees of the First Spirit, who prayed here after the creation of the world, are still preserved. Archaeological research shows that people settled on these hills at least 100,000 years ago, which allows us to consider the Tsodilo hills one of the oldest historical places on Earth. The main "treasure" of the hills is more than 4000 ancient cave paintings depicting scenes from the life of tribes, hunting and ritual rites. There are many drawings depicting wild and domestic animals, geometric patterns and symbols. Most of the drawings are made with red ocher made from hematite, the deposits of which contain local rocks (red drawings), there is also a group of white drawings. Most of the cave paintings are located on the slopes and in the cave of the "female" hill, on the eastern side of the "male" hill are the most famous drawings "whale", "two rhinos" and "lion". Some drawings are more than 2000 years old, others about 1000 years old, the most recent dates from the 19th century. Tsodilo Hills are called the “Louvre of the Desert,” in addition to rock art, ceramic, iron and copper products, glass beads, carved bone ornaments and figures are found here. The Tsodilo Hills were given the status of a National Monument, in 2001 they were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an object of great historical and cultural significance." Near the hills of Tsodilo there is a campground with a runway, a small museum, tourist routes are developed, local guides conduct fascinating excursions.