One of the most popular destinations on Botswana’s Makgadikgadi is Kubu Island, a rocky outcrop near the south-western shore of Sua Pan.
This crescent-shaped island is about one kilometre long, and its slopes are littered with fossil beaches of rounded pebbles, an indication of the prehistoric lake’s former water levels. Many rocks on the island are covered in fossilised guano, from the water birds that once perched here.
Fantastically shaped baobabs perch on the island, and they are surrounded by the white salt surface of the pan, making for a unique otherworldly atmosphere. Apart from the eerie isolation of this remote area – and its awesome beauty, Kubu is rich in archaeological and historical remains that chronicle both early human inhabitation and more recent history.
Stone-age tools and arrowheads can still be found today along the shorelines of this tiny island; and a circular stone wall and stone cairns suggest that Kubu Island may have been part of the outer reaches of the Great Zimbabwe empire that was centred at Masvingo in modern-day Zimbabwe.