S.Gao. Kwalate from BOTSWANA writes:
Otse hill climbing access is on the side of Mokateng farms side. Its on the route to the Manganese Mine ruins.
<br/>Accommodation is across teh village on a hill adjacent Otse hill called Malladiepe.
<br/>It is a holiday or weekend getaway accommodation called Villa Greenhills. A five bed house, fully furnished.
<br/>In addition to Otse hill climbing, weekend and holiday getaways enables the visitor on short stay to discover climbing up Malladiepe hills at sunrise or sunset to enjoy the beautiful sight not only of the sun but of teh village and hills further unfolding to Lobaste on A1 road.
<br/>To discover more about the scenic village of Otse see the description below
<br/>Otse is a village in South-East District of Botswana and a village of exceptional beauty - small, but breathtaking village that nested between the hills. It is home to the Balete people who are related to those in Ramotswa, Gabane and Mogobane.
<br/>The village is known as Otse but the villagers and historians call it Letsekele. The name comes from the tributaries of rivers that passed (tsekela) through the village to the South-East where they met a bigger river.
<br/>On any day, people go about their day to day business, cattle mooing, birds singing - only punctuated by a few stereo sounds. All this suggests a simple orientation. Conversely and lest you be deceived, Otse is far from that simple.
<br/>PLACES OF ATTRACTION
<br/>The village attraction rests in the gigantic hills wrapping around the village as the unique feature distinguishing it from other villages.
<br/>Flanked by the Otse Mountains, including the country’s highest – Otse Peak (1,491m) – the picturesque village of Otse has a number of attractions, not the least of which are the many wonderful climbing and hiking options in the area.
<br/>The hills are known for their living history and great importance
<br/>- Mannyelanong Hill - Manyelanong (Game Reserve) Heritage Site is the main attraction for travellers in Otse This reserve is an important breeding centre for the endangered Cape Griffon vulture, which nests in the cliffs. (In case you were wondering, Mannyelanong means ‘where vultures defecate’ in Setswana.)
<br/>The cliffs have a distinct white patch, which is actually the accumulation of centuries of bird droppings
<br/>- Otse Hill - A Lovely world. The highest hill at 1489m, and Botswana’s highest point.
<br/>There are many written and unwritten stories about the hill - named Lentswe la Baratani.
<br/>- Lentswe la Baratani (Baratani Hill) - the most prominent hill on the west side of the road, about 40 kilometres from Gaborone’s Game City. Called the ‘Lovers’ Hill,’
<br/>It has spiritual connotations and carries a legend about two young lovers who were refused permission to marry. Despondent and in protest went up the hill, never to return after their families disapproved of their seeing each other. Legend also has it that the two are now ancestors and do not allow anyone to climb the hill or that if one goes up the hill they will disappear. Therefore hill is regarded as sacred; and historically Batswana would neither climb the hill, nor point to it.
<br/>From the villagers’ perspective, it will be shocking to doubt the enormous powers the hill possesses; hence climbing it is considered distasteful, disrespectful and dreadful.
<br/>- Malladiepe motswedi and caves which Villa Greenhills is perched on, towering the village and with views of all the hills sorrounding the village.
<br/>Apart from the mysterious sophistication of the hilsl, Otse also boasts of the following;
<br/>• Segorong Gorge - a shallow stream which attracts religious groups and tourists.It begins on the slopes of Otse Hill and forms very scenic woodland with a small waterfall in the rainy season. A permanent spring emanates from the side of the gorge, just below a large cave which is used for spiritual gatherings.
<br/>The fresh spring water is used by some who believe it has healing properties.
<br/>Other, smaller caves occur on the northern side of the gorge.
<br/>• Refuge Cave - North along the western side of Manyelanong Hill.
<br/>• Manganese Mine Ruins
<br/>The right turn to the Police Academy at the foot of Lentswe la Baratani Hill (Lovers’ Hill) leads you to the bird sanctuary on your left, six kilometres after the turn bordering the dam to the west.
<br/>The reservoir is home to a variety of bird life, with as many as 70 specie, including 11 species of herons and egrets, 14 species of ducks and geese and 24 species of waders.
<br/>For more information, contact
<br/>Owner: Villa Greenhills