Located 15km between Gaborone and Boatle, Mokolodi Nature Reserve does not only offer game drives and wildlife viewing. It is also a rehabilitation centre for orphaned, sick, injured or abandoned animals.
It was established by the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation in 1994.
The nature reserve serves as a protected environmental and conservation education area, placed in trust for the children of Botswana.
Mokolodi Marketing Coordinator and Tour Guide, Kabo Bakyddy Makutu, told this newspaper that the centre offers animal vet services, feeding them and releasing them to their natural habitat upon recovery.
“We are currently caring for a few, such as cheetah, hyena, vervet monkey and vultures; in fact, most of them are birds,” said Makutu.
He also revealed that funds sourced from tourism are used to subsidise wildlife conservation and environmental education in Botswana.
“Mokolodi Nature Reserve is a charitable, non-profit making organisation,” said Makutu.
He also confirmed that they do collect animals outside the park if transport is available and they keep a record of the affected animals, which helps in rehabilitating, treating and caring of animals.
Makutu stated that individuals are also welcome to bring animals to the park for rehabilitation. He said that the public is encouraged to assist with the program, called Sponsor An Animal.
Makutu said that the program is whereby an individual selects one species, either injured or abandoned animal, then provides them with food until they recover and are returned back to the wild.
Mokolodi records show that the approximate wildlife population from September 2010 was 1170, excluding small mammals, such as duiker, steenbok, klipspringer, scrub hare, as well as nocturnal animals, such as aardvark, porcupine and leopard.
Mokolodi also houses the white rhino, the second largest species and one of the most endangered in the world, and also the python.
The centre is also famous for hosting British royals, William and Harry, last year in June.
Former United States of America presidents, George Bush and Bill Clinton, also visited and experienced Mokolodi scenery.
The park offers tourism facilities, such as nature walks, accommodation, self catering chalets and camping.
One of its key aims is Environmental Education and Makuti encouraged members of the public to become members of Mokolodi to learn more about nature and conservation.
The Botswana Tourism Organisation and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks are the key stakeholders in the country’s tourism and wildlife management.
Currently, the number of wildlife has increased and has contributed positively to the country’s economy after the mining industry.
The country is, however, still recovering from veldt fires that destroyed wildlife in some parts of the country.