Exploring Tourism in Botswana
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Tsodilo Hills

Maun, Botswana

Tsodilo Hills is a rare and unique place with an atmosphere of intrigue and mystery. The word Tsodilo is derived from the Hambukushu word 'sorile' which means sheer. It is believed to be the site of first Creation by the Bushmen who painted more than 3500 rock paintings against the magnificent stone faces of the hills. Some of the paintings date back to around 800 to 1300 AD. Perhaps that is why the site is held sacred by the locals.

Tsodilo Hills have a special significance to the Bushmen who have been living here for thousands of years. The Tsodilo Hills consist of four large pieces of rock, rising unexpectedly from the dry expanse of desert. The Bushmen referred to the bigger rock as the 'male', the smaller one was known as the 'female', and the smallest one was the 'child'. According to legends the fourth hill was the male hill's first wife, whom he left for a younger woman, and who now prowls in the background.

The Bushmen believe the hills are a resting place for the spirits of the deceased and that their gods live in grottos within the Female Hill, from where they rule the world. The most sacred place is near the top of the Male Hill. Legend has it that the first spirit prayed after creating the world. It is also believed that these gods will cause misfortune and bad luck if anyone hunts or causes death near the hills.

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