Legaga la ga Kobokwe

Livingstone Cave - Kobokwe Cave

Useful Information

Location: 5 km from Molepolole, western side of the Thamaga/Molepolole road, 50 km southwest of Gaborone.
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: none, bring own
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1880s visited by David Livingstone and King Kgosi Sechele I.


Legaga la ga Kobokwe is sometimes also called Kobokwe Cave. Another common name is Livingstone Cave given to the honour of David Livingstone, the 19th century Scottish explorer and missionary. The reason is that he once visited the cave, despite the local myth that the cave was inhabited by evil spirits. He even spent a night inside the cave with Kgosi Sechele I, a local king, to proof the spirits could not harm them. It was part of his efforts to convert Kgosi Sechele to Christianity. As a result Livingstone he became a part of the legends around the cave. It is told that Livingstone lost a coin inside the cave, which is now searched for by treasure hunters.

The locals still believe that this cave is a place of evil, visitors to the cave are doomed and will never return alive. Travellers who pass close to the cave during night are often stopped by ghosts. Bokgala potsane, big snakes which resemble human beings, live in the cave and engulf cave visitors. During the night locals often see a snake crossing from one hill to another. The base of this story is the fact that big snakes, such as the python, and several other creatures live at the cave.

It is believed that Bakwena chiefs often threw witches into the cave, and so the place is haunted by their spirits. Only spiritual leaders and Sangoma visit the cave to consult the divine powers, strengthen their powers and seek wisdom. Chiefs talk to ancestors on behalf of the tribe at the cave. A nearby place is called Execution Rock, today famous for illicit parties and taking wedding pictures, is a place were once witches were thrown from the cliff to kill them.

Some modern historians doubt that there ever were killings of witches, they think it is only a legend to keep people away. However, knowing about European and American witch crazes, it does not seem unlekely, in a time when people still beleived in magic. Obviously they do until today.

The cave is visited frequently by foreigners, but there is no kind of development. And of course there is the danger of wild animals. We recommend a visit as part of a safari or other guided tour with skilled guides, who will also provide the necessary equipment.