Serowe is the birthplace of the country’s founding father – and first president – Sir Seretse Khama. And much of the drama of his controversial marriage to an Englishwoman, Ruth Williams, was played out in this village. Today their graves are situated near the Ngwato totem, the duiker (phuti in Setswana) in the royal cemetery. (You must obtain permission to visit these sites).
Khama III Memorial Museum
Keen historians, who want to find out the full story of their role in Botswanan history, can visit the Khama III Memorial Museum in town– named after Seretse’s father, who died when Seretse was young – is housed in a red Victorian building, recently restored, and containing a fascinating collection of furniture, uniforms, correspondence and photographs that chronicle the legacy of the Khama family, and the history of Serowe.
The Khama Rhino Sanctuary
The Khama Rhino Sanctuary is another 40 kilometres further on and, with a campsite and comfortable chalets, it is the best overnight stop along this route. Established in 1993 as a trust by residents and leaders alike of the community, the sanctuary has served a crucial role in the conservation of Botswana’s rhino population. At least 22 rhinos and a single black rhino inhabit the location, as well as a variety of other game species such as springbok and hartebeest.
In 1880s, under the Bechuanaland protectorate, Serowe was a settlement for European missionaries and traders. Today visitors can visit the London Missionary Society (LMS) church, its tall steeple still an important landmark for the town, as it was for missionaries, prospectors and explorers who came from far and wide. The massive church was reconstructed with the original stones it had first been built with in Old Palapye
At the kgotla – the traditional meeting place and customary court, situated below Serowe Hill, there stands an impressive statue of Sir Seretse Khama, erected to mark the tenth anniversary of his death.
For arts and crafts lovers, there are shopping opportunities at the Boithselo project where the Bakgalagadi and San peoples manufacture attractive and unique products.