Our new­est (old­est) World Her­itage Site

Getaway (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - khoman­isan.com

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.

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