Khomani Cultural Landscape

Khomani Cultural Landscape Image source

The area in the Southern Kalahari, bordered in the East by Botswana and the West by Namibia, is where you will find a small group of the Khomani San a people who, until recently, were thought to have vanished. Their once vast and open, red dune scattered space has become a lot smaller, demarcated by fences and country borders, yet these first people of the Kalahari still live a largely hunter-gatherer existence. Now their landscape has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

This brings the number of South African World Heritage Sites to ten. They include: the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, Maloti-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Vredefort Dome, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Robben Island Museum, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas and just recently added, the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains.

The Khomani Cultural Landscape has changed little from its original form, the desert of the Southern Kalahari having remained protected as nature reserves. It covers 959 100 hectares, forming part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and including the whole Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. The Khomani San descend directly from an ancient population that lived in Southern Africa 150 000 years ago. This same group of people are believed to be among the ancestors of human beings. They have played a huge role in getting their area inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

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Last updated : 20-Aug-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 04-Jul-2018