In the shadows of baobabs
In the vast expanse of the great Makgadikgadi salt pans in the northern Kalahari, lies a granite crag known as Kubu Island. Its slopes are rich with pebbles and fossils, evidence that a prehistoric lake once covered this region. crowned with gigantic baob
The moon rose through the baobabs and the pan became a pale mirror, a light backdrop for the bodies who danced inside the stone walls in an age- old ritual, practised from here to Great Zimbabwe. Thousands of years ago, young initiates arrived as boys and left as seasoned shamans.
Kubu Island ( or Lekhubu Island) is a dry granite rock island located in the Makgadikgadi Pan of Botswana. It’s about one kilometre long and 20 metres high. But more than the slight elevation or distant mirages, it is the trees – baobabs and African star chestnuts – and the rock formations that catch your eye.
The road to Kubu is easy for a Landy with some sand here and there. However, keep to the slightly darker indentations caused by tyres when driving on the pan. Follow the signs up to the edge of the pan, but to add a sense of security, trust the GPS, and make sure that the pan is dry. Kubu Island becomes inaccessible during certain periods of the year. It’s the kind of mud that can swallow a vehicle.
We camped under a large mokakata, or African star chestnut with its slightly pink bark. The sunsets at Kubu are spectacular. Colours are painted on the canvas of the sky and the dusk settles fast, bringing the chill of the Kalahari night.