Family and Fitness · Hiking

Three Peaks Challenge | Gaborone Edition

On Sunday, I challenged myself and the family to a fun and exciting adventure – a Three Peaks Challenge (Gaborone Edition). The three peaks in question were Kgale Hill, Tlokweng Hill and Oodi Hill. Technically speaking, all three peaks are not in Gaborone, but they do surround the city. Kgale sits on Gaborone’s border with the South-East District and the other two are in neighbouring villages, Tlokweng and Oodi. We decided to start with Kgale Hill as this was the highest and most challenging climb and needed to get done fairly early before the day heated up. The order of the other two didn’t matter, so we did Tlokweng second followed by Oodi.

Peak 1: Kgale Hill, 268m ascent, 3.2km, 1:34:48 hours

Located on the southern outskirts of Gaborone on the A1 to Lobatse, Kgale Hill, loosely translated as “The Place That Dried Up” is a national treasure. A visit to Gaborone just isn’t complete without a hike up Kgale. For those who are familiar with the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, much of the filming for it took place at the foot of Kgale Hill, giving rise to the apt nickname “Kgalewood” for the set! It is also the site of the famous PPC Kgale Hill Challenge, a 15km race I did in 2018. I have climbed Kgale several times and shared my experience on the blog. Unlike previous climbs, this time, we decided to go up the rockier section of the hill thus bypassing the more popular concrete path. I was surprised at how much shorter it was to the top using this route, but it did call for a lot more flexibility and active use of all four limbs!

When we got to the summit, it was windy and quite nerve-wracking to take a photo. At least I could hold onto the beacon, but Ditiro was sat quite precariously on one ledge. On our descent, we found a group of women who had lost a phone in one of crevices and had all but given up on it. Ditiro volunteered to retrieve it by going into the crevice and luckily his efforts paid off. The phone was found and had not been damaged. We used the concrete path for our descent.

Peak 2: Tlokweng Hill, 99m ascent, 1.55km, 36:02 minutes

From Kgale Hill, we made a quick detour to pick up the kids so they could do the remaining (and shorter) two peaks with us. Tlokweng is a fast-growing town adjacent to Gaborone with beautiful mountain biking trails that I used when training for my ultra-trail marathon. My friend Gape introduced me to Tlokweng Hill which is quite popular amongst walkers and runners in the area. The steep concrete path is great for hill repeats and the views make for a great reward. It was a good climb to the top and the kids held their own, albeit it with a few complaints.

After the dry winter season, the fields looked barren, but I enjoyed looking at the vast expanse of land below. The beacon itself was hidden by a little shed and surrounded by bush, but we managed to get a photo!

Peak 3: Oodi Hill, 126m ascent, 2.07km, 52:05 minutes

From Tlokweng, we accessed Oodi by driving through the two villages of Modipane and Mokatse. It was a pretty drive and much better than if we had headed back into Gaborone. Oodi is a little village in Kgatleng District, north-east of Gaborone. I’ve participated in a few Y-Care Charity walks on the outskirts of Oodi and once ran through the village itself. Like Tlokweng, Oodi Hill also has a concrete path to the top, however, access to the summit is restricted for military use. So, instead of a summit photo you will have to make do with this No Entry sign.

However, there is a lovely viewing spot to the right of this gate where you can see the village and surrounding area.

We were back home around midday, having started our first climb at 06:30. It was a brilliant way to spend the morning and the actual challenge wasn’t strenuous, especially as we had some nice cloud cover. The most interesting climb was definitely Kgale Hill as it offers a real hiking experience with its trail and rock clambering elements, plus a well-placed beacon. Tlokweng and Oodi are great places for hill repeats and if I lived closer, I’d most certainly make use of them. Also, as both these climbs are fairly short, they can be incorporated as part of a longer run for some added spice. Although the kids sulked their way up Tlokweng, they were in good spirits by the time we finished Oodi, making this a fun family excursion as well.

Have you ever climbed multiple peaks in one day? How did you spend your Sunday morning? If you’re based in Gaborone, have you been up any of these three peaks?

I’m linking up with Kooky Runner and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics. Hop on over to their blogs and others to be inspired!

23 thoughts on “Three Peaks Challenge | Gaborone Edition

  1. That’s a lovely way to spend Sunday morning as a family!
    I can imagine the kids moaned a bit about it, but good that you could convince them.

    We should have done a few peaks last week, but we had rain and fog in Cape Town.
    Right now we’re on our way to the Drakensberg. I’m so excited to finally see this place!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this family challenge! My Sunday morning wasn’t quite as exciting, but I did do a trail run (no “peaks” here in Florida though.) I love the photo from the top of Oodi!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great idea! So fun to do activities like this as a family!!!!

    I think the most I’ve climbed in one day was two…

    I was in NYC this past Sunday… museums and eating… not much exercise but fun!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This certainly looks like a great challenge, and a nice family outing (at least with the two smaller climbs). Great strategy climbing the rocky side of Kgale first then taking the cement back down…I’d imagine those rocks would be real SCARY going down!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When we were going up that rocky section, we saw a couple of women coming down it and it just looked too scary for me and not worth the effort! I probably would have gone slower down that part (which is technically shorter) than the concrete path. SO yes, definitely a good call!


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