Local and international tourists now have an opportunity to learn more about the ancient and unique culture of the Khomani San in the Northern Cape.
That is thanks to the newly launched Twee Rivieren Interpretative Centre project in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Located in the Kalahari, the park is known for its rich cultural and tourism offerings of the Kalahari Red Dune Route.
The route passes through small communities including Mier, Ashkam, Noenieput and Andreisvale, home to the world's oldest tribe - the Khomani.
Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille recently launched the R3.5 million Twee Rivieren (Khomani) Interpretative Centre and Narrative Development
She said the project pays homage to the unique culture of the Khomani San.
It is situated in a rural part of the province, one of the regions identified by the government for socio-economic development.
“Through this centre, the Department of Tourism has enabled the local community to proudly share the narrative of their captivating culture
to thousands of tourists who visit the park annually," said Minister De Lille.
The Khomani Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site also forms part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park bordering Botswana and
The Minister said although the project is funded by the department, South African National Parks (SANParks) has been appointed as the
According to SANParks, the significance of the park can be attributed to its compelling history and rich cultural heritage, with the original inhabitants, living close-by and able to contribute to the interpretation of the park.
The park also enables the modern design to meet ancient wisdom as it provides a unique stop for tourists at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp.
It also provides visitors with a demonstration of the cultural and natural heritage of the park, ensuring an immersive experience.
narratives and storylines of the local Khomani communities within the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
"The outcomes of this initiative are to improve the overall visitor experience of tourists to the Red Dune Kalahari Region, facilitate educational trips of school groups and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for the local communities," the Minister said.
SANParks Chief Executive Officer Hapiloe Sello said: "We are proud to be the custodian of the project that will assist in showcasing the rich culture of the Khomani and Mier comm unities and which is also the reason why Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was incepted as one of the World Heritage Sites in South Africa."
Furthermore, the department has trained ten tourist guide. The learners completed training as both Nature and Culture Site Guides for the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park and its surrounding areas.
The training allows the communities to directly benefit from the interpretation centre and tourism activities in the area. The interpretation centre also
ensures that tourist guides have access to information that is comprehensive, factually correct and objective.
Roseline Van Neel (35) of Mier is one of the tour guides that benefited from the training.
She completed her matric in 2007 but could not further her studies because of financial problems.
“I have been unemployed for a long time. I am excited about having an opportunity to work as a tour guide because I love tourism and
I think it is an important industry that creates jobs for many people, in both rural and urban communities.
Tourism also strengthens the local economy,” she said.
She added that working at the park will also help her and fellow residents preserve their rich history and culture because there are a lot of cultural and heritage sites that tourists can enjoy in the Kalahari.
She encouraged people to follow the Kalahari Red Dune Route on Facebook to find out more information about places they can visit in the area.
You can also visit www.sanparks.org to find out more about national parks or call 012 428 9111 OR Twee Revieren Interpretation Centre a 054 561 2031 / 2050