TUTUME SUB DISTRICT

 

  • NATA

The current Chief; Kgosi R. Rancholo and his two assistants Makgesi and Kgaswe

Nata is village located on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. It is 190km north of Francistown and 300km from both Kasane to the north and Maun to the west. It is a much-used crossroads to these towns and provides an important refuelling, refreshment and stopover service to travellers en-route to Kasane or Maun. The surrounding area is one of Botswana's cattle-farming regions.

The population is around 5,000 people and about 75% of the residents are from the Basarwa Tribe, also known as the Bushmen or San. Other tribes found there include Bakalaka and Banoka.Languages spoken include; Sesarwa, Sekalaka and Senoka. Most residents live from farming maize, beans, sorghum and melons, along with raising goats and cattle. A large percentage of villagers are without running water, but collect it from community stand pipes.

The Eastern Ntwetwe Pan, with its fascinating landscapes and beautiful sunsets, is also worth visiting.

Places of interest: Nata Bird sanctuary, which is a community based project with over 165 species of birds recorded. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are home to one of the worlds largest breeding grounds for the greater and lesser flamingo. Traditional Nata basketry can be bought in Nata village itself. Furthermor there is the Zibanani ponds in Sepako village, the ponds are unique in that they are evergreen and never dry out, hence attracting a lot of various wild animals.

The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San. The Sua salt pan is one of three large pans within the Makgadikgadi, the other two being Nxai Pan and Nwetwe Pan. One of the tributaries of the Sua Pan is the Mosetse River. The village of Mosetse is named for it and lies along the river

Mining: Sua Pan is also the site of a sodium carbonate (soda ash) mining operation. There is also the African Copper mine found in Dukwi and Matsitama villages.

Infrastructure: there is one senior school, one junior and a primary school. There is also a police station and a clinic. The ongoing project is of the Choppies store.

  • GWETA

Current Chief-Kgosi Lesupang Mapine

Gweta is a village that lies about 205 kilometres away from Maun and about 100 kilometres from Nata.

Gweta derived its name from the sound of croaking bullfrogs which bury themselves in the sand until the rainy season arrives and they emerge to mate.

In the area around Gweta are national monuments in the form of baobabs. Greens Baobab, 27 km south of Gweta was inscribed by the 19th-century hunters and traders.

About 11 km further south of Green's Baobab is the turn-off to the far more impressive Chapman's Baobab, which has a circumference of 25m and was historically used as a navigation beacon. It was also used as an early post office by passing explorers, traders and travellers, many of whom left inscriptions on its trunk.

People found in the village include:

  • Basarwa who speak sesarwa

  • Banoka who speak senoka

  • Bakalaka who speak sekalaka

Infrastructure: there are 2 Primary schools and a Primary hospital

  • TUTUME

Tutume Sub Council is a sub district found in Central district Council in the northern area, it is 50km away from the Zimbabwe border and 100km away from Francistown city in Botswana. The sub district comprises of 31 villages and is led by 31 Honourable Councillors. The people living in Tutume are of various tribes including Bakalaka, Basarwa and other tribes. The population currently stands at 13 000 and a majority of this populace speak the Kalanga language which varies from area to area and others speak Setswana and Sesarwa.

Tutume is made up of the wards:

  • Madikwe

  • Selolwane

  • Thini

  • Magapatona.

The main kgotla is located in Madikwe ward and the village was named after the Tutume river. This is Kalanga and in full, it goes like: "gwizi ngo tutuma," meaning that the river was overflowing.

Presently Tutume serves three constituencies namely Nkange, Nata Gweta and Tonota North. The vast sub district prides itself with 44 primary schools, 13 junior schools and 2 senior secondary schools. The people of Tutume like other Batswana are accustomed to ploughing and rearing domestic animals such as cattle, donkeys and goats, sheep are not so common. Elephants are found in some parts of the sub district and tend to be a troublesome. Other wild animals found in the sub district include; zebras, hyenas, lions, ostriches and wildebeest to mention but a few. Lifestyles for people found in the sub district include grass harvesting and phane harvesting.

Rivers found in Tutume sub district include the Tutume and Nata rivers. The flora commonly found in the area include; the mophane tree which is famous for its phane worms harvest.

The most common mode of transport today includes a variety of vehicles though the old fashioned bicycle is still holding strong in the sub district. Other types include the donkey cart and horses in other areas such as Gweta and Nata villages.

There are various places of lodging to accommodate the business person or people on leisure and these include; Shumba lodge, Mophane guest house, Shatha guest house found in Tutume village, Nata lodge, Northgate lodge, Pelican lodge, Nata inn, Maya guest house al in Nata while Uphumula guest house is found in Sebina and Baobab and Gweta lodge in Gweta.

Most common way of communication is through calling kgotla meetings in especially in remote areas while mobile phones are also common. The Botswana Telecommunications Nteletsa 2 caravans have also been installed and have since been useful due to the fact that people can access internet services.

Projects the sub district prides itself to date include the Nata Sepako road, Tutume Mosetse road, Tutume CBD toilets, libraries in; Sebina, Nata and Gweta villages as well as the Tutume Communal Parking.

  • MATHANGWANE

Current Chief-Itekeng Mongwaketsi Mathangwane

Mathangwane is a village located at the confluence of the Shashe and Vukwi rivers, 25 kilometres west of Francistown along the road from Francistown to Nata.

The population of the village was 5,075 in 2011 census.The village is characterised by many river valleys (tributaries to the Shashe river) most of which are the boundaries of the village wards (dikgotla).

Mathangwane is divided into wards or dikgotla. The main ones are:

  • Mathangwane (main ward),

  • Mpatane,

  • Nkuelegwa,

  • Matshegong/Matiwa (nicknamed 'Palamakuwe' for its residents' noisy unruly parting style in the early 1980s

  • Until recently, Hubona village, 10 km west of Mathangwane along the road from Francistown to Nata was one of the main and oldest wards of Mathangwane

The village is originally an ethnic kalanga. In the 1980s, Mathangwane was known for vehicle accidents that occurred on a one-lane narrow bridge across the Shashe River which linked the village to Francistown. It was widely believed that the accidents were caused by a ghost which deceived drivers into driving off the bridge at night. The old one-lane narrow bridge was replaced in the mid 1990s with a new dual-lane bridge that brought an end to those tragic accidents.

When Francistown became a city in 1997 and the political and economic instability of Zimbabwe, Mathangwane saw an influx of migrants from other tribes of Botswana who couldn't afford accommodation rentals in the new city and illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe who fled economic collapse and political persecution causing rapid growth to the village population.

Infrastructure: There are two primary schools and one junior secondary school. There is also a clinic with a maternity ward. The area around Mathangwane consists of crop and cattle farmland. There are also a number of poultry and vegetable farms who supply Francistown and the local market. Mathangwane does not have a major shopping center but has a cluster of shops and bars mostly along the Francistown-Nata main road, selling clothes, fast food, alcohol, building materials to car and bicycle parts.

General information on the sub district

The most common mode of transport today includes a variety of vehicles though the old fashioned bicycle is still holding strong in the sub district. Other types include the donkey cart and horses in other areas such as Gweta and Nata villages.

Mines found in the sub district include the Soda ash mine found in Sowa town, the African Copper mine found in Dukwi and Matsitama villages.

There are various places of lodging to accommodate the business person or people on leisure and these include; Shumba lodge, Mophane guest house, Shatha guest house, Barbet guest house found in Tutume village, Nata lodge, Northgate lodge, Pelican lodge, Nata inn, Maya guest house, Gongwe guest house all in Nata while Uphumula guest house is found in Sebina and Baobab and Gweta lodges in Gweta.

Industry: The common activities include crop and cattle farmland. There are also a number of poultry and vegetable farms around Tutume Sub District.

Tourism attraction places in the sub district ae mainly found in the Nata area whereby we find the Nata Sanctuary which has become a popular site since 2014 inception of the Makgadikgadi Epic which is held annual in collaboration with Botswana Tourism. The activities include; tandem jumps, helicopter flips, hot air balloons, fun quads and boat/game drives and they have proved to attract a lot of audience from both local and international scene.