The Unesco World Heritage–listed Tsodilo Hills rise abruptly from the northwestern Kalahari, west of the Okavango Panhandle. Rare outposts of vertical variety in this extremely flat country, these lonely chunks of quartzite schist are dramatic and beautiful, distinguished by streaks of vivid natural hues – mauve, orange, yellow, turquoise and lavender. The hills are also a site of huge spiritual significance for the region’s original inhabitants, the San. The major drawcards are more than 4000 prehistoric rock paintings spread over 200 sites throughout the hills.
Excavations of flaked stone tools indicate that Bantu people arrived as early as AD 500, but layers of superimposed rock art and other archaeological remnants suggest that ancestors of the San have been here for up to 30,000 years.