Palapye is a town in the east of Botswana on the road between the capital Gaborone and Francistown. The Morupule Colliery coal mine is situated here, which together with the Morule Power Station provides a large part of the electricity supply in Botswana. Palapye is a fast growing city with an increasing significance for industry, economy and education in Botswana.
In the beginning of the 20th century / end of the 19th century the Bamangwato people settled on the ground where now Palapye is located. The Bamangwato called it Phalatswe and today there are still ruins of the settlements of these first inhabitants about 20 kilometers away from the center of Palapye. The Phalatswe ruins, also called Old-Palapye, are located about 20 km south-east of Palapye. This ‘capital’ of the Bamangwato was inhabited from 1889 to 1902 by the tribe led by Khama III.
Palapye itself does not offer much for tourists except that it is a good place to stay for those traveling through Botswana and a place to shop. The area of Palapye, however, offers a number of options that are worth a visit during your holiday in Botswana. Khama Rhino Sanctuary is about 50 kilometers from Palapye near Serowe. As the name suggests this is a good place to see rhinos (both white and black) during a safari, but also giraffes, zebras, jackals, wildebeests, impalas and more antelopes live in this reserve. You can make a 2-hour game drive with a ranger or you can explore the reserve yourself using a map that is available at the entrance.
To the east of Palapye you can see the imposing mountains of the Tswapong Hills. Many archaeological finds have been made here that prove that people lived in these hills long ago. Large game is no longer present in Tswapong Hills, but rock dassies, monkeys, brown hyenas and leopards and more than 350 different bird species still live. Special about this area is that it is a relatively wet area with small waterfalls and streams with associated green vegetation.