PALAPYE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY

MOREMI GORGE

 

Moremi gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the country. It consists of a number of pools with waterfalls and outstanding natural scenic beauty. The gorge is part of the geological features that developed as a result of the weathering of the resistant quartzite of the Precambrian rocks (about 1700 million years old) of the Tswapong Hills. Moremi village, which moved to its current location in the 1940’s, is the ancestral village of Bapedi/Batswapong of the Tswapong Hills. The village, which was ruled by Kgosi Mapulane, was originally (in the early 1800s) located at the site where this gorge is found. The spring served as a source of water for Bapedi and their livestock.

The Bapedi/Batswapong believes that this gorge is a home for their ancestral spirits and its exact location is a closely guarded secret of the Komana. The Komana is a process of mediation between the ancestors and the community. It remains a powerful force in the daily social and spiritual life of the village.

Found in the area around the gorge are historical remains such as the grave of Kgosi Mapulane and his immediate successive sons as well as the original village and school. Another historical feature that is in the vicinity of the gorgets the legendary “Tshekedi’s Road” which was meant to connect Moeng college to Palapye, but was abandoned after the spirits denounced its construction. Mononnye Gorge is a nesting place for the Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres and the Black eagle (Aquila verreauxil), which are protected wildlife species.

Moremi-Manonnye gorge is a Monument administered by the Botswana National Museum and protected by the Revised Monuments and Relics Act (2001).

Cultural and Spiritual Beliefs

The gorge has formed part of the Goo-Moremi community’s life for many years being a place where ancestors spirits (Badimo) stay. Traditionally and even today, communication with the Badimo has always taken place with the use of Komana (community members living in the village similar to sooth servers) who are responsible for interpreting the wishes and concerns of the Badimo.

  • One important rule interpreted by the Komana that you should be aware of is that the pools in the gorge are reserved for the ancestors (Badimo) and swimming is not allowed in them.

Vulture Breeding Sites

The Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres) and White Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) are the two most dominant species breeding here. The Cape Vulture is classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the gorge is one of only two breeding sites in Botswana. In order to protect this sensitive site pleas follow two simple rules:

  • Reduce noise levels at all times when in the gorge

  • Do not leave the trail unless guided by a registered guide

Vegetative Habitats

Moremi Gorge has a unique and diverse vegetative habitat with many large beautiful tree species. Visitors are encouraged to preserve these tree species by refraining from carving and cutting of the vegetation.

 

OLD PALAPYE MONUMENTS

 

Location

Old Palapye is situated towards the north western end of the Tswapong Hills in the eastern, Botswana site located at 23 0 37’ 30” S and 27 0 17’ 20”. The place is called Old Palapye because was original called Phalatswe “the place full of impalas ‘ The place is about 45 kilometres west of Palapye (present) it was inhabited by Bangwato and chieftainship from 1889 – 1902. It is a multi-cultural material site which relicts from middle Stone Age, later Stone Age up to the 19th century remains. The monument includes the following sites; LMS church, settlements, Burials, Gorges etc.

Cultural heritage sites

  1. LMS Church

London Missionary Society (LMS) Church was the idea the Bangwato Chief Khama III who was first chief to be converted to Christianity to build a church when he arrived at Old Palapye. He wanted to convert his tribe to Christianity. He was against the Tswana custom of Bojale, Bogwera, Badimo, etc. The church was built from 1892 to 1894 with materials of traditional moulded brick, metal sheet, and window frames imported from overseas.

  1. Traditional settlement.

The landscape is full of stone wall which are remains of the traditional house with granary bases and compound (lelwapana).

c) Prison, Market, and school.

The site also has remains of a prison whereby people committed offence or crimes were kept in the place for punishment. Market place was used by Europeans wagon traders from exchange of goods and service that was used for buying and selling of goods. There is an elementary school where a basic subject was taught on how to read and write for the Bangwato by the Europeans.

  1. Burials.

Europeans graves and African burials including of Khama III wife Mmabesi are situated at the site.

  1. Gorges and Waterfalls.

The site includes Phothophotho, Motetane, Bakwena spring, and Boretalatshwene waterfalls and pools at the site which are one of the initial attractions as it provides water for the inhabitant. The gorges are used as scared and ancestral place. The water is used for healing as they belief it is a spiritual place

  1. Paintings- At the Motetane gorge there are painting depicting drawings the by the settle.