Our newest (oldest) World Heritage Site
There’s something reminiscent of San rock art in this herd of springbok making its way across red dunes, near the border between South Africa and Namibia. The image not only celebrates our national animal in Heritage Month, but also our new World Heritage Site. The ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape, an area of 959 100 hectares (what was once the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in the far Northern Cape), joined the UNESCO list in July. The landscape, the result of a series of successful land claims from 1995 to 2002, is the last place left where direct descendants of the first humans, the original hunter-gatherers, still live in harmony with their (harsh) environment. There are about 2 000 ‡Khomani San living in and around towns like Rietfontein, Witdraai, Askham and Loubos, on the southern edges of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. They believe their future, in which they can retain their traditions and identity while having economic independence and freedom of movement, rests largely on tourism – on people coming to experience their way of life and ancient knowledge of nature. See our August issue for the best experiences in the Northern Cape, Kgalagadi and Kalahari.